The Foundations of Psychological Theory

By Robert E. Lana | Go to book overview

2
A Selective History of Social and Motivational Concepts in Psychology

There are elements in the development of ideas relevant to psychology that are not ordinarily included in typical histories of the field, (e.g., Boring, 1950; Murphy & Kovach, 1972). People such as Machiavelli ( 1952), Vico ( 1961), and Nietzsche ( 1956a. b, 1966) are more often discussed in histories of sociology or political science. The legacies of Hume, Kant, Darwin, James, and others have contributed largely to epistemology and the nature of human sensation. Machiavelli. Vico, and Nietzsche might be said to contribute more to ideas about the social and motivational structure of human beings. Their efforts provided the way to the Freudian revolution and are therefore of particular importance to an understanding of the development of much modern psychology. In this chapter, I have selected a few of the key figures contributing the major ideational structures that led to Freudian theory. My purpose in choosing these people is, through specific examples, to illustrate the central core of a certain kind of thinking about the motivational and social basis of human existence that has developed over the last 500 years. Although there is still attention to method among these theorists, they are not consumed with the use of experiment or with direct physical and biological processes. Whatever insights they have generated have been a result of their systematic, but technically unaided, observations of the world around them.


NICCOLÒ MACHIAVELLI (1469-1527)

Machiavelli lived in a period of political turmoil, which created for him a need to seek a way of ordering his society. A kind of executive anarchy existed in that rulers of the various fifteenth century Italian city-states changed frequently and were constantly in need of attending to military or political

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The Foundations of Psychological Theory
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xi
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - A Selective History Of Psychological Thought From the Greeks To the Early Behaviorists 7
  • 2 - A Selective History Of Social and Motivational Concepts In Psychology 39
  • 3 - Phenomenology and Psychology 57
  • 4 - Subject and Object Fused 73
  • 5 - The Nature of Data 86
  • 6 - Personality Theory 103
  • 7 - Social Theory 118
  • 9 - Physiological Theory 143
  • 10 - Values and Psychology 153
  • References 167
  • Author Index 171
  • Subject Index 174
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