1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Ward, James (psychologist)

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WARD, JAMES (1843-       ), English psychologist and metaphysician, was born at Hull on the 27th of January 1843. He was educated at the Liverpool Institute, at Berlin and Göttingen, and at Trinity College, Cambridge; he also worked in the physiological laboratory at Leipzig. He studied originally for the Congregational ministry, and for a year was minister of Emmanuel Church, Cambridge. Subsequently he devoted himself to psychological research, became fellow of his college in 1875 and university professor of mental philosophy in 1897. He was Gifford lecturer at Aberdeen in 1895-1897, and at St Andrews in 1908-1910. His work shows the influence of Leibnitz and Lotze, as well as of the biological theory of evolution. His psychology marks the definite break with the sensationalism of the English school; experience is interpreted as a continuum into which distinctions are gradually introduced by the action of selective attention; the implication of the subject in experience is emphasized; and the operation in development of subjective as well as natural, selection is maintained. In his metaphysical work the analysis of scientific concepts leads to a criticism of naturalism and of dualism, and to a view of reality as a unity which implies both subjective and objective factors. This view is further worked out, through criticism of pluralism and as a theistic interpretation of the world, in his St Andrews Gifford Lectures (the Realm of Ends).

Beside the article “Psychology” in the Ency. Brit. (9th, 10th and 11th ed.) he has published Naturalism and Agnosticism (1899, 3rd ed. 1907), besides numerous articles in the Journal of Physiology, Mind, and the British Journal of Psychology.