Towards a Psychology Before Idiography

Stenner, Paul (2021). Towards a Psychology Before Idiography. In: Salvatore, Sergio and Valsiner, Jaan eds. Yearbook of Idiographic Science. Yearbook of Idiographic Science, Volume X. Information Age Publishing (In Press).


This paper offers an historically informed critique of Windelband’s famous distinction between idiography and nomothesis. The argument is organised into three sections. First, an historical examination of Windelband’s distinction situates his work as an intervention designed in part to displace Dilthey’s argument for Psychology being fundamental to the Geisteswissenschaften. A second section examines the new meaning ‘idiography’ acquired within North American ‘personology’ and research on personality. A final section urges a re-evaluation of this distinction based on a re-discovery of the continued relevance of Dilthey’s hermeneutic approach to Psychology.

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