History of Psychology

Topics: Empiricism, Mind, Psychology Pages: 2 (674 words) Published: January 23, 2011
History of Psychology
Modern psychology is a science that it continually being researched and added to. Psychology predates the 19th century and includes roots into early philosophy. Looking closely one can identify philosophers that related to the beginnings of psychology, identify major philosophers that historically relate to the beginnings psychology as a formal discipline and how the development of the science of psychology changed during the 19th century.

A philosopher that could easily be called the father of modern psychology would be: Rene Descartes. Descartes was a philosopher in the 17th century that stepped outside the limits and wanted to know more. Descartes came up with 4 basic rules to arrive at the truth of whatever he was researching. These rules were basically to think clearly, logically and without bias (Goodwin, 2008). Descartes had several derived ideas and was considered a nativist and a rationalist. These ideas that he created foreshadowed one of psychology’s major topics of nature versed nurture. Descartes also fought that there was a difference between a person’s mind and body; and this difference separated us from animals. Before Descartes died he published his last of many books called: The Passions of the Soul. This book established him as a psychologist and a physiologist (Goodwin, 2008). This book emphasized on human emotions and continued on with a discussion about mind and body distinctions. He Clarified the body is a machine and responds to curtain motions, such as fear, that trigger reflexes. Descartes also determined that the pineal glad in the brain was the gland that sent messages from the mind/spirit to the body. Descartes died at just before his 54th birthday in 1650.

There were several philosophers that historically relate to the beginnings psychology as a formal discipline. John Locke, George Berkeley, David Hume and John Stuart Mill are just a few to mention. Each philosopher contributed an aspect to psychology...

References: Goodwin, C.J. (2008). A History of Modern Psychology (3rd ed.).
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