Evolution Of Psychology Rationality The Thesis

Length: 10 pages Sources: 7 Subject: Black Studies - Philosophy Type: Thesis Paper: #12933369 Related Topics: Evolution, Gestalt Therapy, Bf Skinner, Jean Piaget
Excerpt from Thesis :

Nonetheless, this does not make philosophy any less important in the field.

Philosophy today can be seen as a manifestation of the workings of the human mind, while psychology studies the mind itself. Philosophy is therefore a very important aspect in helping the psychologist understand the human mind. Philosophy is indeed responsible for the birth of psychology as a discipline in itself, as mentioned.

While the early philosophers, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, are responsible for many of the ideas in both philosophy and psychology today, the 17th century philosopher Rene Descartes is known as the "father of modern philosophy" (Consciousness 9). All these philosophers made a specific point of studying what it means to be human and conscious.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung built upon the work of all the above philosophers in order to develop his theories of the conscious and the subconscious. This can be related to the ancient Greek ideas of the body, mind, soul, and spirit, and how these interrelate to create different levels of consciousness. As the rest of the Consciousness chapter shows, the mind cannot be studied without also considering philosophy. The ancient philosophers were also psychologists. Today, psychologists must also be philosophers. Although these disciplines have separated, they cannot in truth be seen as anything but parts of studying the human mind and what it means to be conscious.

Psychology is indebted to philosophy for its existence and as such, the latter should always form part of investigations into the former. No psychologist can claim that he or she does not also consider philosophy when studying the mind.

4. Do the current paradigms in psychology differ from those dominant in the past?

When examining the origins of psychology as we know it today, one can draw certain parallels and also divisions in the way philosophers thought about the human mind over the centuries. These considerations demonstrate that there are indeed differences between the paradigms dominant in the past and those that are seen as important today. The reasons for this can be numerous and complex. Behind these reasons lies the fact that human society develops and changes throughout its existence over the centuries. As social and philosophical paradigms change, so do the paradigms of psychology.

The Chapter on Philosophical Assumptions of the Cognitive Revolution (2) for example notes that the Ancient Greeks featured certain assumptions and paradigms relating to the human mind of the time. These related mainly to physical objects and their relation to the mind. Aristotle particularly can be seen as promoting the idea of empirical research in order to gain knowledge. In turn, the religious paradigm that was dominant in the society of the 17th century gave rise to the idea that divine power is the root of all knowledge (Philosophical Assumptions 2). It is therefore clear that psychological research and development occurs not only by means of empirical research, but is also widely influenced by the social and psychological beliefs of any given time. The manifestations of these beliefs in psychological paradigms in themselves are also a valuable indication of the very psychological paradigm being studied.

Particularly important to the development and study of psychology today is the fact of technological advancement (Philosophical Assumptions 2). The 20th century, up to the first decade of the new century in which philosophers and psychologists find themselves, is particularly interesting as a result of the cognitive revolution, which the Chapter places between 1950 and 1970. New technology such as processing models and cognitive research methods lends itself perfectly to the study of this revolution and the paradigms arising from it.

Another interesting aspect of the psychological paradigms prevalent today is its influences. Whereas past paradigms were mainly influenced by social or spiritual ideas, today's psychology is influenced by multi-disciplinary aspects and developments in society. The Chapter for example mentions Alan Turing, the "father of modern computer science" (Philosophical Assumptions 3) and the linguist Noam Chomsky (Philosophical Assumptions 4) in this regard. The former influenced the way the workings of the mind are investigated, while the latter had great influences on the study and critique of

...

The difference is that today's psychology is influenced by a much wider complexity of concerns, in keeping with the technological and sociological developments in the world of the 20th and 21st centuries.

6. Evaluate the opposing philosophical arguments for nature vs. nurture

In psychology, the nature vs. nurture debate has been subject to widespread controversy, particularly in criminology. The "nature" aspect concerns genetics. Those who support this aspect hold that human beings are mainly influenced by their genetic makeup. Studies have found that DNA do not only influence physical human traits, but also behavioral aspects that manifest themselves from generation to generation. Supporters of the "nurture" aspect, on the other hand, hold that human beings are mainly influenced by the environment in which they are educated and grow up. This means that genetic makeup is not as influential as the external influences from the environment. Although both aspects have been studied for decades, no conclusive evidence has been forthcoming to support either side over the other. This has given rise to a third side of the debate, that both nature and nurture influence human behavior equally.

The Chapter on Nature vs. Nurture (4) mentions studies on twins in support of the nurture aspect: twins are close in their genetic identity, yet those who are raised separately show vast different personalities and interests. This shows that the environment has a significant influence on the development of these interests and personalities.

As mentioned above, the debate has significant implications for criminology, as well as other disciplines, such as human health (Nature vs. Nurture 4). In the latter discipline, the influence of both nature and nurture prove to be significant. Asthma, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's can be the result of environmental factors, as well as genetics. In the case of Parkinson's for example, a genetic predisposition for the disease in men can be exacerbated by an exposure to pesticides and industrial chemicals. Genetics do not however necessarily play a role when such exposure results in the disease.

In criminology, the debate is also significant in terms of a predisposition towards criminal activity. If a murderer were for example convicted, the punishment would be significantly influenced by a finding that the individual was genetically predisposed towards such activity. On the other hand, environmental influences are often cited as an argument for less severe punishment. Such environmental influences as childhood circumstances for example imply that the criminal is not fully responsible for his or her actions.

According to the Chapter (5), there are many questions still unanswered and issues unaccounted for when considering the nature vs. nurture debate. Studies are ongoing and no clear answers are currently available - hence the issues still being subject to debate. In many cases, for example, some develop genetically related illnesses while their siblings do not. The development of learning, memory, intelligence, and personality is still a mystery to psychological and biological scientists. The development of science and technology has made it both challenging and increasingly possible to address these questions. While answers may take long to clarify and quantify, nature vs. nurture remain a rewarding and interesting area of study.

References

Consciousness: Section PS13D

Holism, Reductionism and Four Theories: John B. Watson; B.F. Skinner; Jean Piaget; Gestalt Psychology

Nature vs. Nurture: Psychology 4012 Recitation Section T54B, Fall 2008.

Psychological Assumptions of the Cognitive Revolution: Psychology 4012 Recitation Section T54E,…

Sources Used in Documents:

References

Consciousness: Section PS13D

Holism, Reductionism and Four Theories: John B. Watson; B.F. Skinner; Jean Piaget; Gestalt Psychology

Nature vs. Nurture: Psychology 4012 Recitation Section T54B, Fall 2008.

Psychological Assumptions of the Cognitive Revolution: Psychology 4012 Recitation Section T54E, Fall 2008.


Cite this Document:

"Evolution Of Psychology Rationality The" (2008, December 19) Retrieved November 28, 2021, from
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/evolution-of-psychology-rationality-the-25679

"Evolution Of Psychology Rationality The" 19 December 2008. Web.28 November. 2021. <
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/evolution-of-psychology-rationality-the-25679>

"Evolution Of Psychology Rationality The", 19 December 2008, Accessed.28 November. 2021,
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/evolution-of-psychology-rationality-the-25679

Related Documents
Evolutions in Special Education
Words: 1416 Length: 5 Pages Topic: Teaching Paper #: 62898900

Evolution of Special Education: Pre-1950s to Present Special Education Evolutions Special reduction has made tremendous evolutions since its inception. To effectively understand the current state of special education in public education, it is necessary to consider the full trajectory and how the perspectives on special education have developed over the years. The first special education programs were target at "at risk" children who primarily resided in urban slums and ghettos after a

Social Psychology and the Perspectives
Words: 1940 Length: 7 Pages Topic: Psychology Paper #: 25591850

Therefore, the person who chooses to suspend his interests to comply with those artificial externally-imposed social values for the benefit of others will ultimately always suffer disadvantage because others cannot be counted upon to do so consistently and in a meaningful way, at least not beyond the ability of the state to control and ensure. To Freud, modern civilization provides various tangible benefits to the individual but only at a

Clinical Psychology
Words: 60005 Length: 200 Pages Topic: Psychology Paper #: 12402637

Clinical Psychology Dissertation - Dream Content as a Therapeutic Approach: Ego Gratification vs. Repressed Feelings An Abstract of a Dissertation Dream Content as a Therapeutic Approach: Ego Gratification vs. Repressed Feelings This study sets out to determine how dreams can be used in a therapeutic environment to discuss feelings from a dream, and how the therapist should engage the patient to discuss them to reveal the relevance of those feelings, in their present,

Modern Europe
Words: 1232 Length: 3 Pages Topic: Psychology Paper #: 67138395

Invisible Century: Einstein, Freud and the Search for Hidden Universes," Richard Panek argues that both Einstein and Freud cut across the barriers of science in their time and, through scrupulous observation not only did they produce a revolution in their respective fields of research but, most importantly, they prompted a "revolution in thought" by using as instruments of research not so much mathematical formulas, but more, the tool of

Combination of Modern and Postmodern Bereavement Theory Explain and...
Words: 5009 Length: 15 Pages Topic: Psychology Paper #: 16035742

Postmodern Bereavement Theory Bereavement is a universal observable fact as every human being experiences the loss of a loved one at some point in his/her life. However, every individual experiences it in a unique way. It is, without a doubt, an undeniable truth that to be human is to grieve. The passing away of a loved one can be difficult, irresistible and dreadful for any normal individual. When people are

Psychological and Socio-Cultural Theories of Risk
Words: 4457 Length: 13 Pages Topic: Psychology Paper #: 67940104

Psychological and Socio-Cultural Theories of Risk Definition of Risk The term "risk" is often defined differently depending on the particular paradigm. For example, risk is economics is typically defined in terms of differences in possible monetary outcomes and individuals/corporations involved in risk -- seeking behavior are typically seeking higher monetary payoffs (Markowitz 1952). When clinical psychologists, sociologists, law enforcement officials, and lay individuals identify "risky behaviors" they are referring to a broader