Born in South Shields, Stout studied psychology at Cambridge University under James Ward. Like Ward, Stout employed a philosophical approach to psychology and opposed the theory of associationism.
It was as a fellow of St. John’s College, Cambridge (1884–96), that Stout published his first work in 1896: the two-volume Analytic Psychology, whose view of the role of activity in intellectual processes was later verified experimentally by the Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget. The work contains numerous references to Franz Brentano, Kazimierz Twardowski, Carl Stumpf, Christian von Ehrenfels, and Alexius Meinong. The term "analytic psychology" is a translation of Brentano's term "descriptive psychology" (cf. also Analytic psychology (Dilthey)).
Stout was appointed to a new lectureship in Comparative Psychology at the University of Aberdeen in 1896, before becoming reader in mental philosophy at the University of Oxford (1898–1902), where he published his Manual of Psychology in 1899. This work formulated many principles later developed experimentally by the Gestalt school of psychology. Leaving Oxford, from 1903 to 1936, Stout served as professor of logic and metaphysics at St. Andrews, Fife, where he published another major work, Mind and Matter in 1931. He remained at St. Andrews until his retirement thirty years later, in 1936.
Over the course of his career, Stout taught a number of notable students, including G. E. Moore and Bertrand Russell at Cambridge University. In addition, from 1891 to 1920, he served as editor of Mind, a leading philosophical journal, and was president of Aristotelian Society from 1899 to 1904. In metaphysics, Stout is well known for his contribution to trope theory, specifically in the form of a 1923 paper for the Aristotelian Society.
- Analytic Psychology (1896)
- Manual of Psychology (2 volumes, 1898–1899)
- Studies in Philosophy and Psychology (1930)
- "George Frederick Stout, 1860 - 1944, Professor of Logic and Metaphysics, University of St. Andrews". Templeton Foundation. Retrieved 2 January 2011.
- "Stout, George, Frederick (STT879GF)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- "George Frederick Stout". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 19 March 2014.
- Liliana Albertazzi, Immanent Realism: An Introduction to Brentano, Springer, 2006, p. 321.
- Maria van der Schaar, G. F. Stout and the Psychological Origins of Analytic Philosophy, Springer, 2013, p. 2.
- Maria van der Schaar, G. F. Stout and the Psychological Origins of Analytic Philosophy, Springer, 2013, p. viii.
- G. F. Stout. "Are The Characteristics of Particular Things Universal or Particular?". Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society (Supplementary). 3: 114–122.
- Maria van der Schaar, "From Analytic Psychology to Analytic Philosophy: The Reception of Twardowski's Ideas in Cambridge", Axiomathes 7: 295–324.