Hostname: page-component-77c89778f8-gvh9x Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-07-18T17:28:52.711Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Of Means and Ends: Mind and Brain Science in the Twentieth Century

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 February 2015

Stephen T. Casper*
Clarkson University E-mail:


What role does context play in the mind and brain sciences? This introductory article, “Of Means and Ends,” explores that question through its focus on the ways scientists and physicians engaged with and constructed technology in the mind and brain sciences in the twentieth century. This topical issue addresses how scientists, physicians, and psychologists came to see the ends of technology as important in-and-of themselves. In so doing, the authors of these essays offer an interpretation of historian Paul Forman's revisionist and highly contextualist chronology of the twentieth century, which presents the comparatively recent tendency to aggrandize the ends of technology as evidence of a major, epochal transformation in the epistemic culture of twentieth-century American science. This collection of papers suggests that it was in the vanguard of such fields as psychology, psychiatry, and neurophysiology in North America and Europe that the ends and applications of technology became important in-and-of themselves.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2015 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Clarke, Edwin, and Jacyna, L. Stephen. 1992. Nineteenth Century Origins of Neuroscientific Concepts. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
Daston, Lorraine. 2009. “Science Studies and the History of Science.” Critical Inquiry 35 (4):798813.Google Scholar
Danziger, Kurt. 1990. Constructing the Subject: Historical Origins of Psychological Research. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Engstrom, Eric J. 2003. Clinical Psychiatry in Imperial Germany: A History of Psychiatric Practice. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
Forman, Paul. 2007. “The Primacy of Science in Modernity, of Technology in Postmodernity, and of Ideology in the History of Technology.” History and Technology 23 (1/2):1152.Google Scholar
Forman, Paul. 2010. “(Re)cognizing Postmodernity: Help for Historians – of Science Especially.” Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte 33 (2):157175.Google Scholar
Forman, Paul. 2012. “On the Historical Forms of Knowledge Production and Curation: Modernity Entailed Disciplinarity, Postmodernity Entails Antidisciplinarity.” Osiris 27 (1):5697.Google Scholar
Galison, Peter. 2008. “Ten Problems in the History and Philosophy of Science.” Isis 99 (1):111124.Google Scholar
Herman, Ellen. 1995. The Romance of American Psychology: Political Culture in the Age of Experts. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
Kennaway, James. 2012. Bad Vibrations: The History of the Idea of Music as a Cause of Disease. Farnham, Surrey and Burlington VT: Ashgate Press.Google Scholar
Napoli, Donald S. 1981. Architects of Adjustment: The History of the Psychological Profession in the United States. London: Kennikat Press.Google Scholar
Porter, Theodore. 1986. The Rise of Statistical Thinking, 1820–1900. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Richards, Robert J. 1987. Darwin and the Emergence of Evolutionary Theories of Mind. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
Rose, Nikolas. 1989. Governing the Soul: The Shaping of the Private Self. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
Rose, Nikolas, and Abi-Rached, Joelle. 2013. Neuro: The New Brain Sciences and the Management of the Mind. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Smith, Roger. 2007. Being Human: Historical Knowledge and the Creation of Human Nature. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
Sokal, Michael M. 1987. Psychological Testing and American Society, 1890–1930. New Brunswick and London: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar