By Robert C. Fuller
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Extra info for Americans and the Unconscious
It employed the inductive method and drew its data from the world of nature. As orthodox Baconians conceived it, natural theology was also like the sciences in one other respect: its conclusions could be demonstrated empirically. 41 Nature was thought to display a divinely ordered, rational design. Although this design was statically and mechanistically conceived, natural theology infected antebellum Americans with a kind of cosmic optimism. Amherst President Edward Hitchcock voiced the progressivist message of natural theology in his book The Religion of Geology and Its Connected Sciences (1851).
Establish this and man rises to a higher state of wisdom, not of this world, but of that World of Science . . "47 Quimby's gospel of mind cure had a beautiful simplicity. Right beliefs channel health, happiness, and wisdom out of the cosmic ethers and into the individual's mental atmosphere. If we can control our beliefs, we will control the shunting valve that connects us to psychological abundance. The essential thing, Quimby counseled, was to identify ourselves in terms of internal rather than external reference points.
There was no one "new psychology," but rather several new schools of psychological thought each competing for jurisdiction over the discipline. True, the functionalist school in which Goddard had himself been trained held sway 53 Americans and the Unconscious temporarily, but its hegemony would soon yield to the pressures brought to bear by the physiological, psychoanalytic, and early behavioral points of view. These differences notwithstanding, the term New Psychology does focus attention on an important fact; namely, the academic world had recognized psychology as an autonomous discipline.