Chapter

Introduction: A Chain of Associations

Cairns Craig

in Associationism and the Literary Imagination

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print June 2007 | ISBN: 9780748609123
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652044 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748609123.003.0001
Introduction: A Chain of Associations

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This chapter introduces associationism, which was the dominant psychological theory during the latter portion of the nineteenth century. It first studies how John Stuart Mill's bouts of depression became symbolic of the destructive consequences of utilitarianism's conception of the human mind and of the aims and purposes of education. The chapter then looks at the development of nineteenth-century literature and the emergence of modernism and modern literary criticism during the twentieth century. It also discusses associationist and empiricist philosophy. Finally, the chapter considers the application and contribution of the association theory and associationism to the understanding of art and the development of scientific psychology.

Keywords: associationism; psychological theory; John Stuart Mill; utilitarianism; modernism; associationist psychology; empiricist philosophy; association theory; scientific psychology; art

Chapter.  16753 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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