Who is Mary Calkins?

Who is Mary Calkins?

June 25, 2021 Off By Felso

Mary Calkins, or full name Mary Whiton Calkins, was an American philosopher, psychologist, and educator who lived from March 30, 1863 to February 26, 1930.

The Life of Mary Calkins

Calkins was raised mainly in Buffalo, New York and moved with his family to Newton, Massachusetts in 1880. He graduated from Smith College in 1885 and went on a European adventure with his family. During this time she went to the University of Leipzig for a short time. She went to Wellesley College in 1887, after her European journey.

Mary Calkins began advanced studies in psychology and philosophy at Clark University and then Harvard University in 1890, where she collaborated with William James, Josiah Royce, and Hugo Münsterberg.

While working at Harvard in 1896, the Harvard administration refused to grant a doctorate degree to a woman, even though she had met all the requirements for a doctorate and was recommended by the department for a doctorate.

Mary Calkins
Works of Mary Calkins

Calkins began teaching psychology at Wellesley in 1890. In 1891 she founded one of the first experimental psychology laboratories in America here, as well as a women’s college open to women’s education. Mary Calkins continued to teach philosophy and psychology at Wellesley consistently until 1898.

In the field of psychology, she was primarily interested in the consciousness of space and time, emotions, associations, color theory and dreams. His theory of “personality psychology” argued that the conscious self was the central truth of psychology, contrary to the then emerging behaviorist view.

In philosophy, he adopted Royce’s conception of idealism and recognized it as the main influencer of his system of “personal absolutism”.

Calkins’ works include over one hundred articles in professional psychology and philosophy journals; It covers several books, including An Introduction to Psychology (1901), The Persistent Problems of Philosophy (1907), and The Good Man and the Good (1918), which went into five editions.

Calkins was the first woman to be elected president of the American Psychological Association (1905), and was awarded a similar honor by the American Philosophical Society in 1918.

In 1903, she was ranked 12th on the list of the 50 most eminent psychologists in the United States.

Calkins retired from his active work at Wellesley with the title of professor of philosophy and psychology.

Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer Yıldırım