Ward, James

Ward, James


Born Jan. 27, 1843, in Hull, Yorkshire; died Mar. 4, 1925, in Cambridge. English psychologist and idealist philosopher.

Ward was a professor at Cambridge University from 1897. In his philosophy, he sharply criticized materialism, naturalism, and atomism as mechanical doctrines about the world; in their place he proposed a theistic viewpoint called the theory of spiritualistic monadism. He developed the idea of the qualitative differences between the kingdoms in nature; according to Ward, the real world is an aggregate of interacting “spirits,” or monads. According to V. I. Lenin’s evaluation, Ward “seizes upon the weak points in ’instinctive’ natural-scientific materialism” (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 18, p. 297) and endeavors to use this to prove the philosophical untenability of materialism in general. In psychology Ward opposed evolutionism, psychophysical parallelism, and associationism. Following William James, Ward viewed the psychological subject as perceiving actively and selectively, thus emphasizing the significance of will and attention as the principal forms of mental activity.


Naturalism and Agnosticism, vols. 1–2. London, 1899.
The Realm of Ends, or Pluralism and Theism. New York-Cambridge, 1911.
Psychological Principles. Cambridge, 1918.


Bogomolov, A. S. Ideia razvitiia v burzhuaznoi filosofii 19 i 20 vv. [Moscow] 1962. Chapter 3, sec. 2.
Iaroshevskii, M. G. Istoriia psikhologii. Moscow, 1966.
Murray, H. The Philosophy of James Ward. London, 1936.


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