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Emergence of Psychology Through Aristotle's Definition and Theories on the Psychê

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It is without question that Aristotle's theories and principles influenced the western civilization for decades. According to Hergenhahn (2009) the philosopher's De Anima plays a major part of psychology because it is considered to be the first text on the history of psychology. It is within that book, Aristotle seek to define the mind and the soul: psychê. He later based his theories involving psychology based on his definition of psychê. In order to develop his own definition of the mind and the soul, Aristotle brought forth the idea of empirical studies of behavior as evidence upon his theories. Not only that, he instilled the idea that empirical observation is not to enough alone. It is only with both empiricist and rationalist methods that one can produce optimal data. Then it is through those discoveries, Aristotle placed forth his definition of the mind and soul which he later based his theories upon. Thus, throughout the history of psychology, his theories are used as a backbone which psychologists later contested. His theories are the fuel to which compelled psychological research to continue to which an extent that it branched off from philosophy to form its own field.
Psychology is no question a study of human behavior. Like many after him, Aristotle's analysis of psychology involved observation. That is to say, the empirical analysis of the data was collected to which deductions were made. Hergenhahn (2009) states that the philosopher's standpoint involves obtaining the information through senses, but one can only do that with the right sense of mind. This is one ofthe reason Aristotle stated that rationalism and empiricism should be employed together. It is also based upon that opinion Aristotle constructed his the...


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...e importance of psychê created various of field for future psychological theories to build upon and influence modern psychologists. In essence, does it matter that the philosopher was wrong in his conclusions? Taking into account that modern psychology is at where it is now due to people contesting Aristotle's philosophies on the psychê, one would not think so.



Works Cited

Baumrin, J (1975). Aristotle's Empirical Nativism. American Psychologist, 30(4), 486-494.
Green, C, & Groff, P (2003). Early Psychological Thought. Wesport, CT: Praeger Publsihers.
Haslam, N (1991). Prudence: Aristotelian perspectives on practical reason. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 21(2), 151-166.
Hergenhahn, B. (2009). Introduction to the history of psychology. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Wedin, M (1989). Introducing Aristotle's Psychology. PsycCritiques, 36(11), 937-939.


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