History of Phychology

Topics: Psychology, Mind, Consciousness Pages: 3 (925 words) Published: June 29, 2011
History of Psychology Essay
Psychology on the whole deals with the nature of the mind and mental processes. Questions concerning these factors first came about from ancient Greek philosophers, the most famous being Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, during the forth and fifth centuries B.C. Hippocrates, was a Greek physician, frequently called the “father of medicine.” He was especially interested in the study of the living organism and its parts. He observed how the brain controlled various parts of the body. This gave rise to the biological perspective of psychology. Today, all new physicians reflect upon Hippocrates’s medical ethics for their study.

Following the Greek philosophers, around the 17th century, one of the discussions of human psychology was whether or not human beings are born with knowledge and understanding of reality, or are they acquired through experiences and interactions with the world. The view that we are born with existing knowledge is called the nativist view. The view that knowledge is gained through experiences is called the empiricist view. An English philosopher called John Locke, put forward a theory that at birth, the mind is at a blank slate, or tabula rasa, onto which experiences of what he/she sees, hears, smells, tastes and feels are written. In other words, there is no store of knowledge, but through our senses, our knowledge comes. Today it is still questionable and it is referred to as the nature versus nurture debate in psychology. It centres around the fact that biological processes affect our emotions and behaviour, but also acknowledges that experiences can also affect our behaviour.

In 1879, a man called Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920) was considered by some to be the founder of modern psychology. Wundt was the leader of the school of structuralism, which contended that psychology is human experiences studied from the point of view of the person doing the experiencing. In other words, it was Wundt’s belief that the mind...
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