Two papers in particular, Ferrier's Proposition One and Ye Machine, were motivated by the associationist psychology of John Stuart Mill and Alexander Bain whose searching explorations of the human mind had inspired Marshall to embark upon his own quest to unravel the undulations of the human cognitive experience.
This deficit view of learning, even as embodied in academic standards that are performance-based, usually embraces an associationist psychology that favors a pedagogy in which knowledge exists apart from the learner and not, as modern cognitive science would have it, in relation to the learner's current mental schemata, motivations, and life experiences.
The discussions of Victorian writings on mesmerism, multiple consciousness, memory, and associationist psychology are for the most part lucid, and serve the chance purpose--through extended quotes and an appendix of extracts--of bringing together a range of obscure texts on mental science and music in source-reader fashion.
The associationist psychology of art critics like Archibald Alison (Essays on the Nature and Principles of Taste, first published in 1790) provided a theoretical explanation for this synecdochal connection.
The great critical champion of |the common voice of the multitude', however, neither followed |Longinus' nor subscribed to a rigorous associationism; Dr Johnson invested the reader with an importance based on A uniformitarianism older than associationist psychology.