The Ghosts of Consciousness: Thought and the Spiritual Path

The Ghosts of Consciousness: Thought and the Spiritual Path

The Ghosts of Consciousness: Thought and the Spiritual Path

The Ghosts of Consciousness: Thought and the Spiritual Path

Excerpt

Over the last one hundred years the field of psychology has developed an inferiority complex. To a large extent it lost its identity by trying to emulate the “hard” physical sciences, which employ the scientific method and rely upon empirical data to support their hypotheses (Wilber, 1995). Fifty years ago, psychology, in the form of behaviorism, espoused the extreme viewpoint that human behavior should be explained and accounted for by the scientific method and empirical data (Gardner, 1985; Chalmers, 1996; Paranjpe, 1998). Hypotheses related to motivation, for example, as a phenomenon intrinsic to understanding manifest human behavior, were rendered obsolete. Motivations, should they actually exist, cannot be seen or directly measured, and therefore are not valid candidates for “scientific” study.

In time the psychology pendulum began to swing away from exclusive empiricism in the form of behaviorism, to cognitive-behaviorism or cognitive psychology (Kihlstrom, 1987). Although mental structures and processes, including internal cognitions, cannot be seen from some external vantage point, they are recognized as playing an important role in human behavior. Nevertheless, cognitive psychology granted these structures and processes validity only to the extent that they were manifest in observable behavior (Wilber, 1996b).

Recent research suggests that cognitive psychology is now the most prominent school of psychology (Robins, Gosling, & Craik, 1999). In the 1980s, cognitive psychology sprouted cognitive science. As an interdisciplinary effort to unravel the mysteries of the human mind, cognitive science takes materialistic explanations of mind, psyche, and consciousness to an even more mechanistic level, comparing human mental functioning . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.