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Alexander Bain

Updated on December 1, 2016

Alexander Bain (1818-1903), Scottish psychologist and educator, who is probably best known for his scientific approach to the study of psychology. Unlike many earlier psychologists, he emphasized the close relationship between the functioning of the nervous system and various mental states. Bain was also known as a brilliant teacher, and he was influential in improving the standards of education in Scotland. He was especially interested in the teaching of grammar and composition.

Bain was born on June 11, 1818, in Aberdeen, Scotland. After attending Marischal College (later incorporated into the University of Aberdeen), he became a free-lance writer and assisted the English philosopher and economist John Stuart Mill in revising his boofc A System of Logic (1843). Bain then published two works of his own, The Senses and the Intellect (1855) and The Emotions and the Will (1859), both of which were highly esteemed by the American psychologist William James.

In 1860, Bain was appointed a professor of logic at the University of Aberdeen, and in 1872 he published Mind and Body. A few years later he became one of the founders of Mind, the first journal of psychology  and philosophy. It was first published in 1876, and Bain remained a major contributor until 1890. His other published works include two books on education: Education as a Science (1879) and On Teaching English (1887). He also wrote a biography of John Stuart Mill (1882) and many political and social pamphlets. Bain died in Aberdeen on September 18, 1903. His Autobiography was published posthumously the following year.


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      Alexander Bain 5 years ago

      I created this stuff and you can't even get this right