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Mary Whiton Calkins was born on March 30 1863 in Hartford Connecticut but spent most of her childhood in Buffalo New York Mary was the oldest of five children born to her Puritan mother and minister father According to some sources Calkins father had a great distrust of public education and preferred educating his children by boarding them with French and German families It is recorded though that Mary Calkins graduated from an established high school in Newton Massachusetts Calkins indicated her interest in philosophy in high school by writing a graduation essay entitled The Apology Plato should have written a vindication of the character Xantippi Johnson 1997 McHenry 1995 Calkins entered Smith College in 1882 as a sophomore but left the following spring when her sister became ill and died She remained home the following academic year studying Greek and tutoring two of her younger brothers Calkins re-entered Smith College in the fall of 1984 with senior standing and graduated the following spring with a degree concentrated in classics and philosophy Johnson 1997 After Calkins graduation from Smith she spent a year studying social and economic issues with a womens organization called the Newton Social Science Club Calkins researched her first paper entitled Sharing the Profits 1888 during this period Johnson 1997 The following year Calkins and her family went on a journey to Europe where Calkins attended Leipzig University for a short while and studied with Wilhelm Wundt McHenry 1995 The Calkins family traveled on to Greece where Mary studied Modern Greek Johnson 1997 Calkins began her career in academia immediately upon her return when she was offered a position as a Greek teacher at Wellesley College During her time at Wellesley Calkins made her interests in philosophy known and she was recommended to fulfill the position of teaching courses in the emerging science of psychology Calkins was appointed to the position on the condition that she study psychology for a
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