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Associationism and the Literary ImaginationFrom the Phantasmal Chaos$
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Cairns Craig

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780748609123

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748609123.001.0001

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Introduction: A Chain of Associations

Introduction: A Chain of Associations

(p.1) Introduction: A Chain of Associations
Associationism and the Literary Imagination

Cairns Craig

Edinburgh University Press

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

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