The Hope of a Science

By Gregory A. Kimble

A Bradford Book





At a time in the history of psychology when many psychologists are troubled by the splintered condition of the field, Gregory Kimble proposes that the diverse perspectives in psychology share ways of thinking that can bring coherence to the discipline.

Drawing on years of extensive research and scholarship (including a deep familiarity with the writings of William James and many psychologists who have succeeded him in a search for unity in psychological theorizing), Kimble presents evidence for this potential unity. He portrays psychology as a natural science with relevance to human life and offers a set of axioms that hold the field together.

Psychology is a two-part exploration of the concept of psychology as the science of behavior. The first part describes the traditional commitments of the scientific method and spells out the implications of those commitments for psychology. The second part develops a general theory within a framework that can be called functional behaviorism, which combines the imperative that a science of psychology must be about observable realities with the view that human behavior is the result of evolution. Kimble's proposals are of general significance and have stood the test of time: they were reasonably explicit in the writings of the giants in the history of psychology, and they apply in contexts that range from behavioral neurology to social action.

A Bradford Book


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262112048 168 pp. | 6.2 in x 9 in


$15.00 X ISBN: 9780262525602 168 pp. | 6.2 in x 9 in


  • Psychology: The Hope of a Science paints a picture of psychology with a broad brush of the type that is becoming increasingly uncommon. It flies in the face of forces fragmenting the subject by proposing general principles of psychology. It draws on the author's extensive research and scholarship and will be of interest to all those engaged in behavioral measurement.

    Nicholas Wade

    Professor of Visual Psychology, University of Dundee

  • Psychology: The Hope of Science is a serious and thoughtful presentation of the point of view that Kimble describes as functional behaviorism. It represents years of study by a senior psychologist who is familiar with the writings of William James and the many psychologists who have succeeded him in attempting to find a basis for unity in psychological theorizing. It should enlist wide reading by psychologists generally and by graduate students in their preparation for careers in psychology.

    Ernest R. Hilgard

    Professor of Psychology, Emeritus, Stanford University