March 15, 2010
A History of Modern Psychology
The history of psychology is in infancy at the present time. Many philosophers can be credited to the development of this science. Starting in the early 18th and 19th centuries philosophers such as Rene’ Descartes and John Locke opened the world of what we know as psychology today. The British empiricists also contributed to psychology. Some of these men include David Hume and David Hartley.
Psychology has a long past, yet its real history is short. –Hermann Ebbinghaus 1908
Key Issues in Psychology’s History
A psychologist/historian from Wellesley College named Laurel Furumoto brought attention to what she called “old” and “new” history of psychology. Furumoto’s explanation of “old history” emphasizes accomplishments of philosophers and psychologists, which also celebrates “classic studies” and “breakthrough discoveries” (Goodwin p. 7). Furumoto believed that old history is based more on presentist, internal and personalistic views where as new history views are based more on historicist, external, and naturalistic approaches.
Presentism versus Historicism
The definition of presentism is to interpret the past only in terms of present concepts and values. Example, if an individual were to look at the Revolutionary War and how it was fought in the present one may find this unconventional and lacking the ability to win. In those days however it was more of an honor to fight in a straight line rather than in the present day from far distances with better weapons. Historicism is the understanding of an event in the terms of knowledge and values that existed at the time of the event (Goodwin p. 8).
Internal versus External History
Internal history is referred to as what is written within the discipline of psychology where as external history focuses on the influences of the discipline of psychology. This history was developed in the... [continues]
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