University of Phoenix History of Psychology2 The Development of Psychology The foundations of psychology go back in history to ancient philosophers. These philosophers had a combination of interests with the human mind, body, and knowledge. Each philosopher had different interests, studies, and experiments. Some of them agreed with the theory’s of other philosophers whereas others had different points of view. These philosophers began the study of psychology, and became the foundation of psychology today.
The foundation of psychology forms around questions involving how humans accumulate knowledge of the world, how the mind is organized, how senses work, and if knowledge is built into the system (Goodwin, 2008). Rene Descartes (1596-1650) When Descartes was 18 years of age he left college because he was not satisfied with his education. He was more interested in finding information out for himself, rather than relying on authority. His main scientific interests were encompassed geology, astronomy, botany, anatomy, aeronautics, engineering, and weaponry.
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In the early 1620s, Descartes studied physics, optics, geometry, and physiology. He combined his interests, and demonstrated how various disciplines could be united through the careful use of reason based on a mathematical foundation (Goodwin, 2008). John Locke (1632-1704) John Locke spent most of his adult life as a tutor, and lecturer at Oxford. He led the life of a philosopher with a political and diplomatic career. Locke explains how knowledge is required, and how humans understand our world.
Locke believed that empiricist thinking could be applied to all aspects of the education of children. Locke studied human knowledge and its acquisition (Goodwin, 2008). George Berkeley (1685-1753) George Berkeley’s main focus was on analysis of sensory processes. He published two books when he was in his twenties that became an important part of psychology. In one of his books he shows how our perceptions of the distance, size, and locations of objects are judgments based entirely on History of Psychology3 experience (Goodwin, 2008). David Hume (1711-1776)
David Hume used experimental methods with careful and systematic observations of human thinking and behaviors. He used a logical analysis of the process to uncover basic laws of the human mind. Hume’s laws of association include resemblance, contiguity, and cause, and effect (Goodwin, 2008). David Hartley (1705-1757) David Hartley was a contemporary of Hume, but was not under his influence. Hartley considered psychological and physical events separately. He studied both the mental and physical side of the human body, and believed that man came with two parts, mind, and body.
His main law of association was experiencing events together. He believed that the strength of association relies on repetition. He relied on the building block structure taking ideas from individual component parts (Goodwin, 2008). John Stewart Mill (1806-1873) John Stewart Mill believed that all knowledge developed through experience, and under the proper circumstances anyone could become knowledgeable. In 1843, Mill published a book that included his beliefs about association and mental chemistry, and included an argument approach to the study of psychology.
Mill used logic for a series of methods of agreement, difference, and concomitant variation (Goodwin, 2008). Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was a mathematician and the coinventor of calculus. His interests included politics, mathematics, engineering, alchemy, and philosophy. With his approach to the mind-body problem, he had a different theory than Locke. Leibniz expresses different levels of awareness with some of the earliest experiments in psychology (Goodwin, 2008).
History of Psychology4 Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) Immanuel Kant argued that psychology could never become a science like physical sciences. Physical objects can be compared, observed directly, and could be defined and measured. He pointed out with mental phenomena, this was not possible. Kant agreed that our knowledge is based on our experiences, but what was most important is the process in which that occurs (Goodwin, 2008). References Goodwin, C. J. (2008). A history of modern psychology (3rd ed. ). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.