Psychology is the Science of Mind and Behavior

The concept of psychology, defined by the Merriam Webster dictionary as: “the science of mind and behavior,” existed as early as 360 BC, when Plato published Timaeous. Although there were successful findings in the realm of psychology prior to the discoveries of Sigmund Freud, nevertheless Freud is remembered as the father of modern-day psychology because of his discoveries in psychoanalysis.

The study of psychology prior to the findings of Sigmund Freud was incomplete, for, without the discovery of the subconscious, the human mind is unnavigable. In the 19th century, this "missing link" perplexed psychologists all over the world. The psychologists of that time had two views on the relationship of mind to brain: the first involved the localization of cerebral function, which was based on the idea which the brain serves as an organ of mind. The second was that mental events such as beliefs, mental suggestions, mesmeric trance states, and psychic traumas bring about radical alterations in the state of the body. Although the idea of the subconscious was still unknown, psychologists made many great scientific leaps nonetheless. In 1870, the English philosopher Shadworth Holloway Hodgson published The Theory of Practice where he articulated epiphenomenalism. Renée Descartes perceived the idea that animals were purely physical automata devoid of mental states, a notion that carries with it the implication that a completely self-sufficient neural mechanism can produce complicated and apparently intelligent acts. In La Mettrie and, later, in Cabanis, this view was extended to humans, but moderated so that only the causal efficacy and not the actual existence of mental states was denied. In this regard, the French materialists anticipated...

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...not solely because of his discoveries, but also because of the effect that his findings have in the modern world. Freud’s plea for people to understand their subconscious via the ways he discusses in his works is for the greater good of society. Society, according to Freud, is power-hungry and plants the seed of its own destruction instead of emphasising the good values in life. While discovering the hidden portions of the mind that help to explain the modern world and all of its complications, Freud simultaneously managed to voice powerful political opinions even amidst a time of war and anti-Semitism. Freud lives on as the father of psychology because he dived into the depths of the mind and gave hope to people troubled by showing them that by understanding oneself and facing your fears, one can change the way they think and feel, and thus change their behaviour.

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