The Scientific Evolution of Psychology - Vol. 1

The Scientific Evolution of Psychology - Vol. 1

The Scientific Evolution of Psychology - Vol. 1

The Scientific Evolution of Psychology - Vol. 1

Excerpt

The goal I have set myself in this book is to trace the evolution of psychology as a science. I undertake a critical examination of the way scholars in the psychological tradition described and interpreted the interbehavior of organisms with stimulus objects. When I speak of the psychological tradition I strongly emphasize the fact that the science of psychology has not enjoyed a continuous naturalistic development. As is well known, the evolution of psychology includes periods in which scholars not only limited their studies to human interbehavior and neglected the behavior of other organisms, but, in addition, failed to describe and interpret that interbehavior as natural events. Instead, they thought of it as at least partially extranatural. Such theological and metaphysical periods must, however, be taken strictly into account because they articulate with and influence the naturalistic stages of psychological tradition. In fact, these scientific dark spots continue to influence the current course of psychological history.

Now, I must add that, although our primary interest is in the development of psychology, we cannot overlook the fact that this science has originated and evolved as a component star of a scientific constellation. Accordingly, I treat psychology as it grew and changed with the varying circumstances of the scientific culture of Western Europe. Furthermore, since obviously scientific culture itself exists only as a part of general culture or civilization, I also take account of this cultural matrix, which shapes all the sciences and in turn is shaped by them.

I have already implied that the scientific study of psychological evolution involves the same procedures which scientists use in studying any other class of events. I am assuming that the investigation of the successive interactions of psychologists with a particular type of stimulus-response interbehavior is a similar enterprise to that of studying any other type of interactions. For historical reasons, however, the psychological historian, perhaps more than other investigators, finds it expedient to throw into relief the assumptions that are basic to his work in order to improve his skill in handling the events of his science and, as far as possible, avoid enthrallment by conventional beliefs about those events. On the whole modern historians of psychology have been immured in a dualistic culture and thus have imposed a spiritistic . . .

Author Advanced search

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.