Daniel N. Robinson

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Daniel N. Robinson
Daniel Robinson.JPG
Born March 9, 1937
Residence Middletown, Maryland, America
Citizenship United States
Fields Philosophy of Mind
Philosophy of Psychology
Philosophy of Law
History of Psychology
Institutions University of Oxford
Georgetown University
Alma mater B.A. Colgate University
Ph.D. City University of New York (Neuropsychology)
Notable awards Lifetime Achievement Award (American Psychological Association, Division of the History of Psychology)
Distinguished Contribution Award (American Psychological Association, Division of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology),Distinguished Alumni Award (2009), Graduate Center, City Univ. New York <http://www.gc.cuny.edu/News/Commencements/Detail?id=5442> Joseph Gittler Award (American Psychological Association

Daniel N. Robinson (born March 9, 1937) is a philosopher who is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Georgetown University and a Fellow of the Faculty of Philosophy, Oxford University.


Robinson has published in a wide variety of subjects, including moral philosophy, the philosophy of psychology, legal philosophy, the philosophy of the mind, intellectual history, legal history, and the history of psychology. He has held academic positions at Amherst College, Georgetown University, Princeton University, and Columbia University. In addition, he served as the principal consultant to PBS and the BBC for their award-winning series "The Brain" and "The Mind". He is on the Board of Consulting Scholars of Princeton University's James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions[1] and is a Senior Fellow of BYU's Wheatley Institution.[2] In 2011 he received the Gittler Award[3] from the American Psychological Association for significant contributions to the philosophical foundations of Psychology.

Primary interests[edit]

Robinson’s interests range over the brain sciences, philosophy, law and intellectual history. Several of his works are illustrative of these interests. Regarded as a classic in its field, his An Intellectual History of Psychology[4] was praised by Ernest Hilgard for its “…development of ideas as they provide alternative perspectives on the nature of mind…The reader is carried along on a genuine intellectual adventure."[5] Robinson’s enduring interest in Aristotle’s thought is summarized in Aristotle’s Psychology,[6] which Deborah Modrak described as “Easy to read and informative” predicting that it would “no doubt prompt readers to reflect on the relevance of Aristotle’s work to modern psychology…” (International Studies in Philosophy, Volume 23, Issue 3, 1991; pp. 142–143). In this connection, Robinson was among the small group assembled by Martin Seligman in 1999 to develop the framework for Positive Psychology.[7]

In Wild Beasts and Idle Humours,[8] Robinson offers a treatise on the relationship between science and jurisprudence as this developed from ancient to contemporary times. Michael Perlin describes the book as “truly unique. It synthesizes material that I do not believe has ever been considered in this context, and links up the historical past with contemporaneous values and politics. Robinson effortlessly weaves religious history, literary history, medical history, and political history, and demonstrates how the insanity defense cannot be fully understood without consideration of all these sources.” Robert Kinscherff states that it “…reads like the inner workings of a fascinating and disciplined narrative mind.”[9]

Robinson’s major work in moral philosophy is Praise and Blame: Moral Realism and Its Application.[10] Reviewing the book in Review of Metaphysics, Jude P. Dougherty writes, “The richness of this work cannot be comprehended in one reading. Whether the reader agrees or not with the author, one has much to learn from the profundity of Robinson's insight into the framing of moral judgment”. (Rev. Metaphys., 2003, vol. 56, 899-900.)

Central to Robinson’s concerns are the conceptual and philosophical foundations of psychology and related subjects. Of Robinson’s Philosophy of Psychology,[11] William Dray wrote that “this highly readable book squarely addresses fundamental metaphysical, epistemological and methodological problems…His clear and informed treatment…offers salutary challenge to much conventional wisdom on the nature and prospects of psychological science.[12]

Selected published works[edit]

  • Robinson, Daniel N. (1980). The Enlightened Machine: An Analytical Introduction to Neuropsychology. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0231049552. 
  • Robinson, Daniel N. (1980). Psychology and Law. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195027264. 
  • Robinson, Daniel N. (1985). Philosophy of Psychology. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 023105923X. 
  • Robinson, Daniel N. (1999). Aristotle's Psychology. [S.l.]: Joe Christensen Inc. ISBN 096720660X. 
  • Eccles, John C. and Robinson, Daniel N. (1984). The Wonder of Being Human: Our Brain and Our Mind. New York, N.Y.: Free Press. ISBN 0029088607
  • Robinson, Daniel N. (1995). An Intellectual History of Psychology (3rd ed.). Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 0299148440. 
  • Robinson, Daniel N. (1998). Wild beasts & Idle Humours : the Insanity Defense from Antiquity to the Present (1st Harvard University Press pbk. ed.). Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0674952901. 
  • Robinson, Daniel N., ed. (1998) The Mind. Oxford [UK]: Oxford Univ. Press. ISBN 0192893084
  • Robinson, Daniel N. (2002). Praise and Blame : Moral Realism and its Application. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0691057249. 
  • Robinson, Daniel N. (2008). Consciousness and Mental Life. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0231141009. 
  • Robinson, Daniel N. (2012). How is nature possible? : Kant's project in the First critique. London: Continuum. ISBN 1441148515. 
  • Robinson, Daniel N. "Visual reaction time and the human alpha rhythm: The effects of stimulus luminance, area, and duration.". Journal of Experimental Psychology 71 (1): 16–25. doi:10.1037/h0022683. 
  • Robinson, D. N. (7 October 1966). "Disinhibition of Visually Masked Stimuli". Science 154 (3745): 157–158. doi:10.1126/science.154.3745.157. PMID 5922862. 
  • Robinson, D. N. (2 June 1967). "Visual Discrimination of Temporal Order". Science 156 (3779): 1263–1264. doi:10.1126/science.156.3779.1263. 
  • ROBINSON, DANIEL N. (1 February 1968). "Visual Disinhibition with Binocular and Interocular Presentations". Journal of the Optical Society of America 58 (2): 254. doi:10.1364/JOSA.58.000254. 
  • Robinson, D. N. (9 January 1970). "Critical Flicker-Fusion of Solid and Annular Stimuli". Science 167 (3915): 207–208. doi:10.1126/science.167.3915.207. 
  • Robinson, Daniel N. "Therapies: A clear and present danger.". American Psychologist 28 (2): 129–133. doi:10.1037/h0034244. 
  • Robinson, Daniel N. "What Sort of Persons Are Hemispheres? Another Look at ‘Split-Brain’ Man". The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 27 (1): 73–78. doi:10.1093/bjps/37.1.73. 
  • Robinson, Daniel N. "Cerebral plurality and the unity of self.". American Psychologist 37 (8): 904–910. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.37.8.904. 
  • Robinson, Daniel N. "Ethics and advocacy.". American Psychologist 39 (7): 787–793. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.39.7.787. 
  • Robinson Daniel."Antigone's Defense: A critical study of 'Natural Law Theory'". Review of Metaphysics, 1991, 45, 363-392.": The Review of Methaphysics". http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/20129179?uid=2&uid=4&sid=21104532998623. 
  • Robinson, Daniel N. "Is there a Jamesian tradition in psychology?". American Psychologist 48 (6): 638–643. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.48.6.638. 
  • Robinson, D. N. (1 October 1997). "Therapy as Theory and as Civics". Theory & Psychology 7 (5): 675–681. doi:10.1177/0959354397075005. 
  • Robinson Daniel."Fitness for the Rule of Law".Review of Metaphysics, 1999, vol. 52,pp. 539–554.http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/20131189?uid=2&uid=4&sid=21104532998623.  Missing or empty |title= (help);
  • Robinson Daniel.“On the evident, the self-evident and the (merely) observed”.American Journal of Jurisprudence, 2002, vol 47, pp. 197–210.
  • Robinson, Daniel N. "Jefferson and Adams on the mind-body problem.". History of Psychology 6 (3): 227–238. doi:10.1037/1093-4510.6.3.227. 
  • Robinson Daniel.“How religious experience ‘works’: Jamesian pragmatism and its warrants”. Review of Metaphysics. 2003, vol. 56, pp. 763–778. http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/20131898?uid=2&uid=4&sid=21104532998623.  Missing or empty |title= (help);
  • Robinson, D. N. (8 December 2010). "Consciousness: The First Frontier". Theory & Psychology 20 (6): 781–793. doi:10.1177/0959354310369944. 
  • Robinson, D. N. (18 August 2010). "Do the people of the United States form a nation? James Wilson's theory of rights". International Journal of Constitutional Law 8 (2): 287–297. doi:10.1093/icon/moq005. 
  • Robinson, Daniel N. (15 June 2012). "Determinism: Did Libet Make the Case?". Philosophy 87 (03): 395–401. doi:10.1017/S0031819112000253. 

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "James Madison Program". [http://web.princeton.edu/sites/jmadison/people/society.html. 
  2. ^ "Wheatley Fellows". http://wheatley.byu.edu/about/fellows/. 
  3. ^ "Gittler Award Past Recipients". http://www.apa.org/apf/funding/gittler.aspx. 
  4. ^ Robinson, Daniel N. (1995). An intellectual history of psychology (3rd ed.). Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 0299148440. 
  5. ^ "University of Wisconsin Press". http://uwpress.wisc.edu/books/0136.htm. 
  6. ^ Robinson, Daniel N. (1999). Aristotle's psychology. [S.l.]: Joe Christensen Inc. ISBN 096720660X. 
  7. ^ "UPenn Center for Positive Psychology". http://www.ppc.sas.upenn.edu/posclinpsychchap.htm. 
  8. ^ Robinson, Daniel N. (1998). Wild beasts & idle humours : the insanity defense from antiquity to the present (1st Harvard University Press pbk. ed.). Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0674952901. 
  9. ^ "Harvard Press". http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674952904&content=reviews. 
  10. ^ Robinson, Daniel N. (2002). Praise and blame : moral realism and its application. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0691057249. 
  11. ^ Robinson, Daniel N. (1985). Philosophy of psychology. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 023105923X. 
  12. ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=KJBMlurP9P0C&pg=PA177&lpg=PA177&dq=daniel+robinson+philosophy+of+psychology+william+dray&source=bl&ots=cXKnSoinHe&sig=DJuuiS2e3T_HfN86lGE6hslfG68&hl=en&sa=X&ei=NnbDU5L_D4SgyATRw4HgDg&ved=0CB0Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=daniel%20robinson%20philosophy%20of%20psychology%20william%20dray&f=false.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]