Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


In this essay I present revisionary readings of four Victorian philosophers. I argue that each of them is fundamentally committed to a naturalistic philosophical project called psychologism. The psychologistic readings that this critical stance generates offer resources that may be exploited by contemporary philosophers pursuing their own naturalistic projects.;In the first chapter I sketch the structure and main points of the essay. In the second chapter I suggest that Mansel's Kantian psychologism manages to evade the criticisms of Husserl. This serves to highlight the distance between psychologism and contemporary logic. In the third chapter I argue that Whewell embraces a developmental modification of Kantian psychologism. This account undermines reading Whewell as interested only in formal relations between hypotheses and evidence. The fourth chapter contains an alternative to the view that J. S. Mill embraces a covering-law model of explanation. Mill's psychologistic commitments are incompatible with most contemporary analyses of the concepts of science. In the final chapter, I argue that James Clerk Maxwell embraces Whewell's psychologism and actively imports it into his method of research.



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