History of Psychology

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History of Psychology
PSY/310
November 5, 2012

History of Psychology

The development of modern psychology has roots that can be found well past the 19th century. This paper will identify philosophers who are historically related to the beginnings of psychology as a formal discipline. It will also identify philosophers in the western tradition who were primary contributors to the formation of psychology as a discipline. The development of the science of psychology during the 19th century will also be explored. Philosophy is not the same as psychology. However, several philosophers provided the necessary foundations for modern psychology (Goodwin,2008). Two philosophers that are historically related to the beginning of psychology as a formal discipline are Plato and Aristotle. During the fourth and fifth centuries, Plato and Aristotle were the prominent philosophers. Ironically, Aristotle was Plato’s student (Bennett,2007). However, they did have different thoughts on explaining the “soul”, which was the common term used for the mind. The view that Plato held was that the soul was composed of three parts: the thymos(emotion), nous (intellect) and menos (rage). He also believed that the soul was incorporeal or not material (Bennett,2007). Aristotle on the other hand, distinguished three different kinds of soul: rational, sensitive and nutritive and thought it impossible for an incorporeal soul to interact with a corporeal body (Bennett,2007). So in other words, Aristotle thought that both mind and body, that the mind is not a spirit, but is substantial. These two philosophers unknowingly laid the foundation for psychology. Even in this modern age we still do not have a clear understanding of all the attributes of the psyche, such as cognitive, emotional and responses work. Following Plato and Aristotle, around the 17th century, one of the topics of discussions of human psychology was whether or not humans are born with knowledge and understanding of...
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