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Anthropology

Definition:
As proposed by Immanuel Kant, the study of how people actually behave in order to predict and control behavior.
 
Background:
Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) defined psychology as the introspective analysis of mind. So defined, he believed it could not become a science. For example, the mind cannot be studied objectively (quantified mathematically) because it is not a physical thing; and, the very act of introspection influences the state of mind. He proposed a discipline concerned with humanity, which he called anthropology. It would study how people actually behave; such descriptions would then be useful in predicting and controlling behavior. Kant's notion of anthropology is characteristic much more of present-day "psychology" than it is of present-day "anthropology." For Kant, anthropology is not a matter of cross-cultural studies; rather, its focus is human intellect, appetites, and character.
 
Further Reading:

Boring, E. G. (1950). A history of experimental psychology. (2nd ed.). New York: Appleton Century-Crofts.

Brennan, J. F. (1982). History and systems of psychology. Englewood Cliffs: NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Leahey, T. H. (1980). A history of psychology. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Watson, Sr., R. I. (1978). Herbart and Kant [On-line] Available: http://educ.southern.edu/tour/who/pioneers/herbart.html

 
Related Terms:
Kant, Immanuel (1724 - 1804)

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