Four aspects of human existence: The human being as an individual (individual existence)The individual in relation to other people (social existence)The individual in relation to his/her physical environment (physical existence)The individual in relation to a transcendent environment (transcendental existence).
6Canbe traced back to Plato (427 –347 BC) and Aristotle (384 –322 BC), who laid down the basic principles of human behaviour, particularly with regard to the structure and functions of the soul or mind (psyche). According to Plato, the soul and the body are two separate entities and the evil body interferes with the functioning of the good soul. The soul consists of 3 elements: the rational, the spiritual, and the yearning aspect, which function independently of the body. Aristotle (a student of Plato) proposed the idea of a unity of body and soul. The soul is a manifestation of the body, just as a piece of furniture is a manifestation of wood. St Augustine (354 –430) and Thomas Aquinas (1225 –1274) tried to reconcile Plato’s psychology with Christian doctrines. During this phase, psychology was part of religious thinking, and thus of philosophy. Psychology as part of philosophy and of the natural sciences (1600 –1879): Age of Reason –knowledge ceased to be linked with religion and faith. The human being is the focal point.Two currents of epistemology came into being during the 16thand 17thcenturies: Empiricism and Rationalism. Empiricism: an approach to the philosophy of science that starts with the assumption that the only source of true knowledge is observation through sensory perception. Francis Bacon (1561 –1626) pointed out that knowledge had, to date, been gathered exclusively by means of the deductive method, which limits scientific endeavour. He believed that truly valid knowledge was attained chiefly through the inductive method. Bacon emphasised empirical observation...
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