This highly original and important book demonstrates that Victorian England was the historical moment of a major transition from religious concepts of selfhood and morality to materialistic concepts of these. Henry Staten calls the latter “physio-psychology” or “psycho-physiology.”

The long introduction to this book is in two parts: a brilliantly learned intellectual history of the rise of physio-psychology by way of authors like Herbert Spencer, Alexander Bain, and George Eliot’s consort, George Henry Lewes. These authors and their associates deeply influenced Friedrich Nietzsche’s thinking about psychic energy flows and the will to power. Staten is in his previous work a keen interpreter of Nietzsche. He sums up as follows the consequences of this new mental materialism:

And if mind is a natural phenomenon, then all its functions, including the moral will, should be explicable on the basis of purely natural facts. Human...

You do not currently have access to this content.