Psychology is an ever-growing, changing, developing field. From the early days of Descartes to more resent of Watson, psychology always has been an always changing discipline, but to go forward, you must understand the past and how it came to be.
Before psychology there was philosophy. Descartes was around during the end of the Renaissance and in the era of revolutionary developments in science. Born in 1596 to a French lawyer, Descartes could understand more than most. When he was in his late 20’s, he resembled more of a scientist than a philosopher since he had studied physics, optics, geometry as well as physiology. The first to discover that lenses in one’s eyes are inverted by removing an ox’s eye, Descartes also believed in truth and was an active rationalist, meaning he believed the truth would emerge by careful use of reason and it became his modus operandi. This way to truth was also through the human capacity to reason. He created four rules he used to arrive at truth. He also was the best-known example of a dualist, giving way to accepting a clear partition between mind or soul and body. He believed that the body was like a well-oiled machine and the mind could have a direct influence on it. John Locke followed Descartes in 1632. He wanted to take epistemology, the study of human knowledge and obtaining it, to a more experimental based group of discipline. Locke spurned the idea of innate ideas, only “faculties”. Some ideas appeared so early in life that they used to believe they were innate but Locke declared that all of our knowledge was derived from experiences. Locke stated that the mind was like a white sheet of paper, blank but able to become something great. Experiences add to the paper by sensations and reflections. George Berkeley was another philosopher born in 1685. His work on vision was the first example of how empiricist thinking could be applied to the study of perception. Lastly there is David Hume. He built his knowledge around the...
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