Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2020)

Authors
Mike Dacey
Bates College
Abstract
Association dominated theorizing about the mind in the English-speaking world from the early eighteenth century through the mid-twentieth and remained an important concept into the twenty-first. This endurance across centuries and intellectual traditions means that it has manifested in many different ways in different views of mind. This article traces associationist themes as they developed over the years by presenting the views of central historical figures in each era, focusing specifically on their conception of the associative relation and how it operates in the mind.
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