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THE CONTROVERSIAL APPOINTMENT OF JAMES MARK BALDWIN TO THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO IN 1889
Tory Hoff Carleton University
The thesis presents and discusses events leading to the Toronto appointment of James Mark Baldwin at an early stage in his career. Because was pronounced in Toronto and British idealism the prevailing philosophy, most graduates of the University of Toronto advocated the appointment of James Gibson Hume, a recent fellow graduate and follower of the revered British idealist, George Paxton Young, whose death precipitated the vacancy in the chair in metaphysics. Sir Daniel Wilson, President of the University and the principals of two local theological colleges supported Baldwin, who had graduated from Princeton where he had been a student of James McCosh, the Scottish realist. Motivated by differences in philosophical views and attitudes on nationalism, the leaders of the University and the local press debated the issue of Baldwin or Hume. Of particular historical importance was the matter of the nature of psychology and its relation to philosophy and science. In the end the Ontario government appointed both young men. Baldwin, however, is the more significant historical figure. During his four short years at Toronto he established the first psychological laboratory in Canada and introduced an evolutionary psychology. Baldwin came to Toronto and left his mark on the development of academic psychology at the University of Toronto.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
|Table of Contents
|1) Toronto and its people
|2) Anglo-Saxon supremacy and anti-American sentiments
|3) The University of Toronto
|4) Science at the University
|5) Response to Origin of Species
|6) Response to Descent of Man
|PROFESSOR YOUNG AND THE CHAIR OF METAPHYSICS
|1) The rejection of Scottish realism
|2) The evolution of Young's philosophy
|3) Young and the 'new psychology'
|4) Idealism and the British imperialism
|5) Early appointments at the Provincial University
|6) The Chair of English Literature
|7) An unexpected event
|THE VACANT CHAIR OF METAPHYSICS
|1) The initial events
|2) Another applicant
|3) The other contender
|4) The rejected candidates
|1) "The testimonials on their philosophical scholarship"
|2) "A comparison of teachers and philosophical background"
|3) "General Scholarship" and "Teaching ability"
|4) "Writings": Handbook of Psychology
|5) Baldwin's earlier publications
|6) Hume a follower of Young?
|7) Baldwin the psychologist?
|8) Baldwin of the school of McCosh?
|9) Baldwin akin to Lotze but opposed to Spencer?
|THE GOVERNMENT'S DECISION
|1) The nativists in public
|2) The counter-arguments
|3) The president's stance
|4) Mowat and his cabinet
|5) The private discussion
|6) 'Public opinion'
|THE PUBLIC REACTION
|1) The nativist graduates
|2) Other reactions
|3) An exchange in The Week
|4) Baldwin's inaugural address
|BALDWIN AT TORONTO
|1) Establishing a psychological laboratory
|2) Psychophysical experimentation
|3) Baldwin, the infant psychologist
|4) The evolutionary psychology of Mental Development
|1) Laboratory frustrations
|2) History repeats itself
|3) The Kirschmann ordeal
|4) The rejection of Titchener
|5) Baldwin and Tracy
|Philosophical Psychology in Central Canada: Toward a History of Psychology, 1870-1900
|Watson at Queen's
|Baldwin's early publications
When the eminent George Paxton Young, Professor of Logic, Metaphysics, and Ethics at the University of Toronto, dies in 1889, the unexpected burden of obtaining a new professor lay upon the Ontario government since Toronto was the Provincial University. Premier Oliver Mowat and his cabinet, in consultation with the leaders of the University of Toronto, narrowed the choice among candidates to two young men -- James Gibson Hume, a student of Young and a graduate of the University of Toronto, and James Mark Baldwin, a graduate of Princeton University. In the recollection of W.S. Wallace nearly forty years later, there was an unseemly controversy over the appointment of Young's successor. The nativists demanded the appointment of a Canadian, whereas their opponents denounced inbreeding and advocated the introduction of new blood from the outside. In the end Mowat agreed to a compromise which allowed for the appointment of both Hume and Baldwin.
This study presents an investigation of the controversy surrounding the appointment of Hume and Baldwin. An attempt is made to identify, among those people who played major roles in the affairs of the University, certain prevailing values in science and education that resulted in the confrontation of two philosophic traditions, and, consequently, two different approaches to psychology (also known as mental science). Because filling the vacant chair in metaphysics was a political responsibility, this study also presents the political side of the controversy.
Chapters One and Two give the historical background of the appointment and focus upon the increasing influence of laboratory science and evolutionary theory at the University, especially as it related to G.P Young and his department of metaphysics. Chapters Three to Six contain a detailed account of the appointment of Hume and Baldwin, in the context of the intellectual climate at the University of Toronto. Of particular importance is a debate between the supporters of Hume and those of Baldwin. Chapter Seven analyzes Baldwin's unique contribution to mental science and the development of a more modern psychology at the University of Toronto. Whereas the above chapters demonstrate how one intellectual faction at the University could win the appointment of Baldwin in the face of strong opposition, Chapter Eight traces the events that led to Baldwin's decision to leave and his influence upon the later development of the department.
Baldwin's appointment was a significant event in the transition from mental science as an academic subject in Ontario to the establishment of psychology as a study distinct from philosophy in both subject matter and methodology. Since this study deals with the context in which Baldwin's appointment occurred, as well as his psychological orientation at an early stage in his career, it is submitted both as a study of one fragment of Canadian intellectual history and as apart of the history of academic psychology in Canada. Finally, this study may serve a cautionary function in reminding psychologists that psychological theorizing does not and cannot occur independently of its cultural environment. Academic psychology today has social and political components as much as it did in Toronto in 1889.