On This Day .. 04 March

People (Births)

  • 1916 – Hans Eysenck, German-English psychologist and theorist (d. 1997).

People (Deaths)

  • 1925 – James Ward, English psychologist and philosopher (b. 1843).

Hans Eysenck

Hans Jürgen Eysenck (04 March 1916 to 04 September 1997) was a German-born British psychologist who spent his professional career in Great Britain. He is best remembered for his work on intelligence and personality, although he worked on other issues within psychology. At the time of his death, Eysenck was the living psychologist most frequently cited in the peer-reviewed scientific journal literature. A 2019 study found him to be the third most controversial of 55 intelligence researchers.

Eysenck’s research purported to show that certain personality types had an elevated risk of cancer and heart disease. Scholars have identified errors and suspected data manipulation in Eysenck’s work, and large replications have failed to confirm the relationships that he purported to find. An enquiry on behalf of King’s College London found the papers by Eysenck to be “incompatible with modern clinical science”.

In 2019, 26 of his papers (all co-authored with Ronald Grossarth-Maticek) were considered “unsafe” by an enquiry on behalf of King’s College London. 14 of his papers were retracted in 2020, and journals issued 64 statements of concern about publications by him. Rod Buchanan, a biographer of Eysenck, has argued that 87 publications by Eysenck should be retracted.

James Ward

James Ward FBA (27 January 1843 to 04 March 1925) was an English psychologist and philosopher. He was a Cambridge Apostle.

Apprenticed to a Liverpool architect for four years, Ward studied Greek and logic and was a Sunday school teacher. In 1863, he entered Spring Hill College, near Birmingham, to train for the Congregationalist ministry. An eccentric and impoverished student, he remained at Spring Hill until 1869, completing his theological studies as well as gaining a University of London BA degree.

In 1869-1870, Ward won a scholarship to Germany, where he attended the lectures of Isaac Dormer in Berlin before moving to Göttingen to study under Hermann Lotze. On his return to Britain Ward became minister at Emmanuel Congregational Church in Cambridge, where his theological liberalism unhappily antagonised his congregation. Sympathetic to Ward’s predicament, Henry Sidgwick encouraged Ward to enter Cambridge University. Initially a non-collegiate student, Ward won a scholarship to Trinity College in 1873, and achieved a first class in the moral sciences tripos in 1874.

With a dissertation entitled The Relation of Physiology to Psychology, Ward won a Trinity fellowship in 1875. Some of this work, An interpretation of Fechner’s Law, was published in the first volume of the new journal Mind (1876).

During 1876-1877 he returned to Germany, studying in Carl Ludwig’s Leipzig physiological institute. Back in Cambridge, Ward continued physiological research under Michael Foster, publishing a pair of physiological papers in 1879 and 1880.

However, from 1880 onwards Ward moved away from physiology to psychology. His article Psychology for the ninth edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica was enormously influential – criticising associationist psychology with an emphasis upon the mind’s active attention to the world.

He was elected to the new Chair of Mental Philosophy and Logic in 1897 and his students included G.E. Moore, Bertrand Russell, Sir Mohammed Iqbal and George Stout.

He was president of the Aristotelian Society from 1919 to 1920; his wife Mary (née Martin) was a lecturer in moral sciences at Newnham College, a suffragist and a member of the Ladies Dining Society in Cambridge.

Ward died in Cambridge, and was cremated at Cambridge Crematorium.

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