Idols of the Psychologist: Johannes Linschoten and The demise Of Phenomenological Psychology In The Netherlands

René Van Hezewijk, Henderikus J. Stam

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    Prior to and following WW II a loose movement within Dutch psychology, led by F. Buytendijk, eventually solidified as a nascent phenomenological psychology. Supported by German, Belgian and French colleagues, Dutch phenomenological psychologists and criminologists attempted to generate an understanding of psychology that was based on largely Husserlian interpretations of phenomenological philosophy. This movement came to a halt in the 1960s even though it was exported to North America and elsewhere as “phenomenological psychology.” Frequently referred to as the ‘Utrecht School,’ most of the activity of the group was centered at Utrecht University although it was less a school than a group of loosely affiliated individuals. In this article we examine the role played by Johannes Linschoten in both aspects of the development of a phenomenological psychology; its rise in North America and Europe, and its institutional demise. By the time of his early death in 1964, Linschoten had cast considerable doubt on the possibilities of a purely phenomenological psychology. Nonetheless, his empirical work, especially his 1956 dissertation published in German, can be seen to be a form of empiricism that was inspired by phenomenology but that clearly distanced itself from the more elitist and esoteric aspects of Dutch phenomenological psychology.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)185-207
    JournalHistory of Psychology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008


    • history of psychology
    • phenomenology
    • binocular rivalry
    • perception of depth


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