The Freudian Wish and its Place in Ethics

by Edwin B. Holt

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Edwin B. Holt was born in 1873 in Massachusetts. He earned a PhD from Harvard in 1901, and went on to become an esteemed professor there. He was a psychologist who was also well-read in philosophy. He retired early to write, but then he began teaching for another decade at Princeton University. He wrote a great deal, and became known for his research in developing cognitive behaviorism. In this work, The Freudian Wish and its Place, Holt examines how ‘the wish’ can help explain people’s motivations for their actions. Some of his ideas in this work were expanded upon by Edward C. Tollman, one of Holt’s students, as purposeful behaviorism. Holt passed away in 1946 after many decades of teaching and writing.