Origins of Psychology

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By dww1969
Words 1434
Pages 6
Origins of Psychology Abstract “Psychology has a long past but only a short history.” This simple almost satirical statement by Hermann Ebbinghaus is key to understanding the history and underpinnings of modern psychology. From a flawed seventh century B.C. experiment by the King of Egypt to Socrates, Plato, Hume, Liebniz, and others, psychology has a very long past but only a short scientific history.

Philosophical Background In the seventh century B.C., the King of Egypt conducted what many, including psychology historian Morton Hunt, consider to be the first psychology experiment. Though flawed and rudimentary, the king tested his idea that thoughts and language came from the mind. Although unscientific, the idea of the minds overall ability to do more was put to the test. Socrates (460-399 B.C.) often considered and referred to as a father of philosophy, stated “One thing only I know and that is I know nothing.” This realization came when he concluded that philosophy can only begin when one learns to doubt, particularly the thoughts and ideals that each individual holds dear and sacred. In short, real philosophy cannot start until one’s mind begins to examine itself. Again the mind is central and paramount. To modern psychology he gave the Socratic Method of questioning, which demanded definitions be as accurate as possible, clear thinking at all times, and exact analysis of all details. Hippocrates (460-370 B.C), the father of medicine, developed a new method of research that necessitated the need for careful observation followed by precise collection and interpretation of facts. This method was incorporated into the study of individual physical, emotional, and…...

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