Courses taught by Mead at University of Michigan

The following summary of courses taught at University of Michigan at Ann Arbor is taken from the catalog for the Department of Literature, Science and the Arts section on philosophy for the years listed.

We have included Tufts's courseload from 1890-1891 for the purposes of comparision. Mead was hired to replace Tufts who, like Mead had gone to Germany to study. The two crossed paths in Berlin during the summer. As can be seen in the table, the overlap is not complete. Michigan was in the process of expanding its Philosophy department. Another instructor, Lloyd, joined the Michigan team with Mead. Tufts's courses were split between the two and each added courses of their own.

There are two curiosities in the courses listed in the catalog. First, in all three years Dewey --then chairman of the Department-- taught a course entitled "Movements in Thought in the Nineteenth Century." Mead would later teach a course with the same title at University of Chicago. Moore makes no mention of this in either the "Prefactory Notes" or "Introduction" to his edition Mead's Lectures under the same title. It would be interesting to know if any material survives at Ann Arbor, documenting the course as taught by Dewey.

Second, a perhaps more importantly, during 1892-93, in his second year at Ann Arbor, Mead taught a course entitled "Experimental Psychology". What is curious about this is the implication for the history of Functionalist Psychology. The calendar describes the course as "Statement of psychological problems in terms of the organism." This is the short definition of functionalist psychology.

As we have noted elsewhere, the origins of the Functionalist perspective are a little confused and very confusing. Although typically creditted to Dewey's essay "The Reflex arc concept in psychology (1896), that essay makes references to existing work by Angell and Moore (1896). We have argued that "Reflex arc" is part of a quartet of articles by Dewey ( 1894, 1895, 1896 , 1897 ) beginning with the first part of his analysis of emotional experience. Those arguments were developed in collaboration with Mead. Miller (1982) has argued that the key insight informing Dewey's critique, can be found in Mead's discussion of Kurd Lasswitz history of conceptual developments in Physics. Note that Mead would be teaching a course on just that topic during the second semester of 1892-93. Miller's case may have more merit than has been previously recognized.

1890-1891
Tufts' Courses
First Semester General Psychology: Text Dewey's Psychology
Physiological Psychology: Lectures and laboratory work.
History of Ancient and MediŠval Philosophy. Lectures with study of portions of Plato and Aristotle.
Second Semester Elementary Logic. Text-book: Jevon's Lessons
Inductive Logic. Text-book: Fowler's Inductive Logic.
History of Modern Philosophy. Lectures with readings from Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume and Kant.
Seminary. Studies in the History and Philosophy of Religion
1891-1892 First Semester General Psychology: Text: Dewey's Psychology.
Physiological Psychology: Lectures and Laboratory work.
History of Ancient and MediŠval Philosophy: Lectures with readings from Plato and Aristotle.
Second Semester Advanced Physiological Psychology: Lectures and Laboratory work
History of Modern Philosophy: Lectures with readings from Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant
Philosophy of Evolution: Spencer's First Principles with lectures and assigned readings
1892-1893 First Semester History of Ancient and MediŠval Philosophy: Lectures with readings from Plato and Aristotle.
Special Studies in Ancient Philosophy
Experimental Psychology: Statement of psychological problems in terms of the organism
Seminary: Investigations into psychical phenomena of living organisms: Laboratory work with lectures
Second Semester English Psychology: from Locke, through Hartley and the Mills to Bain
History of Modern Philosophy: Lectures with readings from Descartes, Spinoza, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant
Special Studies in the History of Modern Philosophy
Matter and Motion: the net results of the concepts of modern science. The starting point will be found in the writings of Spencer and Clifford. Lectures and readings
Seminary: Continuation of Investigations into psychical phenomena of living organisms, with study of pathological psychology in asylums and hospitals.
1893-1894 First Semester History of Ancient and MediŠval Philosophy: Lectures with readings from Plato and Aristotle.
Special Studies in Ancient Philosophy
Special Topics in Psychology: Sense-perception, attention, memory, localization of brain functions, etc. James's and Ladd's larger works will serve as collateral readings
Special research in the laboratory of experimental psychology
Second Semester English Psychology: from Locke, through Hartley and the Mills to Bain
History of Modern Philosophy: Lectures with readings from Descartes, Spinoza, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant
Special Studies in the History of Modern Philosophy
Matter and Motion: the net results of the concepts of modern science. The starting point will be found in the writings of Spencer and Clifford. Lectures and readings
Special research in the laboratory of experimental psychology, continuation from first semester

Notes

No notes

Valid HTML 4.01 Strict Valid CSS2