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History and Philosophy of Psychology Section

The History and Philosophy of Psychology Section provides an opportunity for those interested in the history of psychology or in the philosophical aspects of the subject to exchange ideas and promote the discussion of these interests.


The History and Philosophy of Psychology section is an interdisciplinary section that looks at the intersection between the three areas, bringing together psychologists, historians and philosophers.

While we are primarily interested in both the history of psychology and the philosophy of psychology, there exists a growing awareness and understanding that it is in the dialogue between the two where the most is to be gained in terms of looking back, assessing the present and moving forward.

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History and Philosophy of Psychology Section

History and Philosophy of Psychology Periodical

History and Philosophy of Psychology Section


History and Philosophy of Psychology Section




History & Philosophy of Psychology

The periodical's remit is the history and philosophy of psychology, and to include papers from all theoretical perspectives, not just currently fashionable ones.

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Latest articles - History & Philosophy of Psychology

  • Periodicals

Sir Francis Galton: A Historiographical Reassessment of British Psychology’s Eugenic Past, 1860–1940 - History & Philosophy of Psychology

Volume: 23 Issue: 1

Author(s): R. Michael Chamarette

History and Philosophy of Psychology Section
  • Periodicals

Book Review - History & Philosophy of Psychology

Volume: 23 Issue: 1

Author(s): Bernard Scott

History and Philosophy of Psychology Section
  • Periodicals

In search of a moral compass across time and space: Notes from lunchtime ‘symposia’ - History & Philosophy of Psychology

Volume: 23 Issue: 1

Author(s): Paul Sullivan, John Ackroyd, Hannah Intezar

History and Philosophy of Psychology Section
  • Periodicals

Bliss in that dawn: The beginnings of operant psychology in the UK - History & Philosophy of Psychology

Volume: 23 Issue: 1

Author(s): David Dickins

History and Philosophy of Psychology Section
  • Periodicals

Obituary: Clare Crellin (1948–2021) - History & Philosophy of Psychology

Volume: 23 Issue: 1

Author(s): Elizabeth Valentine

History and Philosophy of Psychology Section

Publications by HPPS Members

HPPS wishes to share information on publications by members related to history and philosophy of psychology on an ongoing basis.

Currently, publications by some members of the HPPS committee are featured, but we intend it to be an all-members' listing. Please send in email lists of 5 existing publications for inclusion to the HPPS website officer, currently Jennifer Clegg, on [email protected]. We hope that members will then continue to send regular updates to the website officer, to keep colleagues up to date about the range of research being published in our field.  

Whats New 

Scroll down to find an introduction and link to all of the work of a significant founder member of HPPS, Ullin Place

Publications by Members

Jennifer Clegg

Clegg, J. A. and Lansdall-Welfare, R. (online July 2020). Psychology and neoliberalism. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia: History and systems of Psychology. Oxford University Press. Doi 10.1093/acrefore/9780190236557.013.668

Clegg, J. A. (2019). Soft words for strident times. (Invited commentary on Reinders, H. Stainton, T. & Parmenter, T. 2019: ‘The quiet progress of the new eugenics’ in same issue) Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities v16 (2):117–120.  DOI: 10.1111/jppi.12308

Clegg, J.A. Murphy, E. Almack, K. (2017). Liberal individualism & Deleuzean pluralism in ID.  Philosophy, Psychiatry, Psychology, 24 (4): 359-371.

Clegg, J.A. (2015). Intellectual Disability: making sense and making a difference. Pp 256-269 in John Hall, David Pilgrim & Graham Turpin (eds), Clinical psychology in Britain: historical reflections. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Clegg, J.A. & Jones, J. (2015). ‘Intellectual disabilities: Expanding the field of vision. pp147-160 in Oxford Handbook of Psychiatric Ethics vol 1. edited by J. Sadler, C.W. van Staden, and K.W.M. Fulford, Oxford University Press: Oxford. ISBN 978-0-19-966388-0. DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198732365.013.18

Hugh McCredie

McCredie, H (2014-16) Heroes, landmarks and blind alleys in personality assessment: a series of 10 articles in Assessment & Development Matters.

  • Introduction to the series, 6, 2, 16-18
  • Early type theories, 6,3, 19-21
  • Early implicit measures and the first psycho-lexical trait studies, 6, 4, 12-15
  • Measures originating in clinical data, 7, 1, 13-16
  • The later psych-lexical trait studies and the emergence of the Big Five, 7, 2, 17-20
  • The contribution of the laboratory and experimental psychology and the work of Jeffrey Gray, 7, 3, 26-30
  • Circumflex models of personality, 7, 4, 36-39
  • Personality, feelings and the pursuit of happiness, 8, 1, 28, 32
  • Connecting normal and dysfunctional personality characteristics, 8, 2, 25-30
  • Arriving at the frontier, 8, 3, 24-29

McCredie, H (2017-19) Pioneers and landmarks in intelligence testing. A series of 12 articles in Assessment & Development Matters

  • Introduction, 9, 1, 16-17
  • Identifying the gifted: Francis Galton (1822-1911), 9, 2, 31-35
  • Identifying those with learning difficulties: Binet, Simon & their immediate successors, 9, 3, 36-30
  • Intelligence at war: Robert Yerkes and the US Army Alpha examinations, 9, 4, 30-33
  • Making intelligence testing more scientific: Charles Spearman (1863-1945), 10, 1, 28-33
  • Searching for something lower than ‘g’ and more than ‘s’, 10, 2, 34-37
  • Consensus and controversy following World War II, 10, 3, 35-38
  • Searching for a taxonomy of intelligence, 10, 4, 30-34

Challenging the hierarchy of intelligence: (1) Robert Sternberg, 11, 1, 27-30

Challenging the hierarchy of intelligence: (2) Howard Gardner, 11, 2, 33-36

Towards a consensus model of IQ, John L. Horn and John B. Carroll: 11, 3, 31-36

IQ: Where does it come from? 11, 4, 28-32

McCredie, H. (2020-22) Explorers of implicit motivation, A series of 12 articles in Assessment & Development Matters

  • Introduction to the series, 12, 1, 34-35
  • Investigating the unconscious, 12, 2, 49-52
  • Measuring the achievement motive (nAch), 12, 3, 36-40
  • Measuring the affiliation (nAff) and power (nPow) motives, 12, 4, 42-45
  • Increasing achievement motive (nAch) to boost entrepreneurial activity, 13, 1, 45-47
  • (Remaining seven articles are drafted and awaiting publication at quarterly intervals from Summer 2021 to Winter 2022)

Paul Sullivan

Matusov, E., & Sullivan, P. (2020). Pedagogical violence. Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science, 54(2), 438-464.

Sullivan, P. and Akhtar, P. (2019). The effect of territorial stigmatisation on ontological security: A case study of Bradford politics. Political Geography. Vol.68, 46-54

Cresswell, J. and Sullivan, P. (2019). Bakhtin’s chronotope, connotations and discursive psychology. Vol. 17 (1). 121-142.

Madill, A., & Sullivan, P. W. (2018). Mirrors, Portraits and Member Checking: Managing Difficult Moments of Knowledge Exchange in the Social Sciences. Qualitative Psychology.

Alison Torn

Tyson, P. Davies, S. & Torn A. (2019). Madness: history, concepts and controversy.  London: Routledge.   

O’Mahoney, J., Bowman Grieve, L. & Torn, A. (2018). Ireland’s Magdalene Laundries and the Psychological Architecture of Surveillance. In Mackay, A. & Flynn, S. (eds). Surveillance, Architecture and Control. London: Springer Nature/Palgrave Macmillan. 

Torn, A. (2017). Medieval mysticism to schizoaffective disorder: the repositioning of subjectivity in the discourse of psychiatry. In Cohen, B. (ed).  International Handbook on Critical Mental Health.  London: Routledge, pp. 126-132.

Torn, A. (2012).  Rabelais’ carnival and madness.  History and Philosophy of Psychology, 14 (1), pp. 1-13. 

Torn, A. (2011). Chronotopes of madness and recovery: a challenge to narrative linearity.  Narrative Inquiry, 21, 1, pp. 130-150.

Elizabeth Valentine

Valentine, E.R. (2014) Philosophy and History of Psychology. Selected works of Elizabeth Valentine. World Library of Psychologists Series. London and New York: Psychology Press.

 Valentine, E.R. (2012) Spooks and spoofs: Relations between psychical research and academic psychology in Britain in the inter-war period. History of the Human Sciences, 25(2). 67–90.

 Valentine, E.R. (2009). “A brilliant and many-sided personality”: Jessie Margaret Murray, founder of the Medico-Psychological Clinic. Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 45(2), 145–61.

Valentine, E.R. (2006) Beatrice Edgell: Pioneer Woman Psychologist. Hauppage, NY: Nova Science.

 Graham, G. & Valentine, E. R. (Eds) (2004). Identifying the Mind: Selected papers of U. T. Place. New York: Oxford University Press.

 Valentine, E.R. (2012) Spooks and spoofs: Relations between psychical research and academic psychology in Britain in the inter-war period. History of the Human Sciences, 25(2). 67–90.

Place, Ullin

Past President Liz Valentine writes: 

Ullin Place (1924‒2000) was a loyal and most distinguished founder member of the BPS History & Philosophy of Psychology Section, contributing papers to every Section conference from the first in 1987 to 1999, the year before his death, as well as being a regular attender at national and international conferences.

Place trained and worked in both philosophy and psychology. As a member of the first cohort of the Oxford honours school in Philosophy, Physiology and Psychology,1946‒49, he was exposed to logical positivism, ordinary language philosophy and behaviourism. He fervently believed that empirical evidence could help resolve philosophical disputes.

His international reputation stems from his classic paper ‘Is consciousness a brain process?’ published in the British Journal of Psychology in 1956, which established him as the pioneer of mind-brain identity theory, the most influential philosophy of mind in the second half of the twentieth century. Unlike other identity theorists, Place distinguished mental events, such as pain, itches and images, identified with brain processes, from mental states such as beliefs, desires or attitudes, which he argued were dispositions to behave.

His other main contribution was a behaviourist analysis of language. He claimed that linguistic communication was only possible insofar as words are anchored to what is publicly observable. He was an active member of the radical behaviourist Experimental Analysis of Behaviour Group.

Place also made contributions to conceptual analysis, reference, truth, meaning, dispositions and causality.

This dedicated work by his son makes available all his papers online. This is particularly valuable as not all of them were published during his lifetime and many of those that were did not appear in mainstream journals. We owe him a debt of gratitude.

Awards and Funding

History and Philosophy of Psychology Section 

Post-graduate Research Prize 2022

The annual post-graduate research competition of the History and Philosophy of Psychology section is now open. PhD and Masters by Research students who are members of the History and Philosophy of Psychology Section are invited to submit a paper for a £300 prize to be paid in vouchers of the winner’s choice.


Chair: Gavin Sullivan

Treasurer: Richard Hassall

HPP Editor: Paul Sullivan

Social Media Lead: Hannah Intezar

Committee Members:

  • Ronwen Chamarette
  • James Good
  • Matthew Gibson


Membership of the History and Philosophy of Psychology Section is only open to members of the British Psychological Society.

If you are not already a BPS member, you can join the Section at the same time as applying for membership of the society.

Apply to join the society

Benefits of belonging

Benefits of History and Philosophy of Psychology Section Membership

  • A copy of the History and Philosophy of Psychology publication
  • Access to research funding, awards and bursaries (see website for details and application deadlines). Reduced registration rates to our annual conference, and to training and CPD events.
  • Contributing to policy consultation calls relevant to developmental psychology.
  • Full access to the Section website. 
  • Free electronic access to back issues of History and Philosophy of Psychology via the Society’s online shop. 
  • News and updates via the Section’s email list. 

Member Announcement Email List

The History and Philosophy of Psychology Section uses its membership announcement email list to inform its members of activities and initiatives that are relevant to their interests and to make requests for engagement on topical issues. 

By becoming a member of the Section you are automatically added to the announcement list.

To receive these emails you will need to:

  1. become a member of the History and Philosophy of Psychology Section
  2. opt into receiving email communication and provide a working email address

These preferences can be updated by logging into your member portal.

If you have any queries, please contact Member Network Services.

To assist us in responding to your query please make sure to include your membership number and quote 'History and Philosophy of Psychology Section announcement email' in the subject line.

Getting involved with the History and Philosophy Psychology Section Committee

The History and Philosophy Psychology Section relies on a wide range of people getting involved, and the work of the Section is largely achieved through the dedication of unpaid volunteers.

Our volunteers come from a wide range of different backgrounds, whether they be practitioners or academics, or full members or students members, and together form an open and inclusive community.