PSY/310 Week One Assignment: History of Psychology
February 10, 2012
Instructor ANN BECHER-INGWALSON
Philosophy has been around for thousands of years. The most well known philosophers are Aristotle, Socrates, and Wundt. Historically, these men are associated with the beginning of psychology as a formal discipline because of their innovative and in-depth desires to understand human behaviors. These gentlemen pondered and researched important issues such as: the workings of the human mind, human beings given right to display free will, and understanding how and why humans choose their behaviors. For centuries, philosophers debated these and other psychological and behavioral issues that eventually turned the philosophical debates into what we know as today’s psychology.
Aristotle believed that psychology was a part of science. In one of Aristotle’s books, De Anima, which introduces as a question for consideration “whether all affections are common to what has the soul or whether there is some affection peculiar to the soul itself,” (De Anima i 1, 402a3-5). That is; in De Anima, Aristotle wants to know whether all psychological states are also material states of the body. “This,” he remarks, “is necessary to grasp, but not easy,” (De Anima i 1, 402a5).
Socrates substantially contributed to psychology, and was famously known for his quote of “know thy self.” This statement would serve as a seed for the development of psychology in that; in order for one to understand human conditions or to understand one’s fellow man he or she must first be able to understand him or herself. To fully know how to help others, one needs to understand who they are, their wants and needs, their feelings, and why they choose their behaviors. Today, these questions are still relevant in the field of psychology.
Centuries later, we still try to understand human conditioning, the thinking process, and why we behave the way we do. "Know thy self"...