Chapter 2: Early Psychological Knowledge
Early Psychological Knowledge Early science Psychological observations Religious teachings Folklore
Mesopotamia and Egypt are examples of two early civilizations that produced documented but very fragmented histories of peoples’ searches for answers about the nature of the world, the role of human beings in it, and supernatural forces. The separation of the material and spiritual (the body and soul) was an important step down the road of a relentless inquiry into human psychology. Similar division of the spiritual and material also appeared in written accounts of the early civilizations of the Assyrians, the Jews, the Persians, and the Babylonians.
Materialism isthe fundamental view suggesting that the facts of mental life can be sufficiently explained in physical terms by the existence and nature of matter. Material monismholds that all things and developments, including psychological processes, no matter how complicated they are, have one similar material origin. Idealism is a fundamental view suggesting that the facts of mental life can be sufficiently explained in mental terms. The soul is nonmaterial, immortal, and can exist alone, separated from the body.
Plato’s Cave Allegory “Things” or reflections of ideas The The Soul “Reality” or the world of ideas
The Triarchic understanding of the soul by Plato Rational soul Affective soul “Desirous” soul
The soul’s capacities according to Aristotle: Reason: Thinking Perception: Reflection of Reality Nutrition: Growth and Reproduction
Emotional states according to Aristotle Extasis: a manic state Warmer than normal Temperature of black bile Colder than normal Athymia: a depressive state
Greek Mythology and an Early Insanity Defense Forgiven because he was believe to be temporarily insane and had no control over his actions. Hercules Commits a terrible crime
The Greeks: Some shared views on the nature of mood and mood-related problems • Thereshould be physical (or somatic) causes of mood • Either an excessive surplus or deficiency in bodily • substances is associated with a certain mood problems • Some people have predispositions to • develop abnormal mood symptoms
Greek thinkers made a remarkable contribution to philosophy and science by developing original views of the principles of human behavior and experience. There are at least five major areas of influence: The teachings about the mechanisms of cognition The study of the soul The initial inquiry in the fields of clinical psychology The suggestions about the biological foundations of mental activities • The rich observations • of social behavior
Overlapping interests of the Greek, India, and Chinese Traditions Focus: the complexities of cognition and its distortions Focus: ethical and social problems
The Dual Nature of the Will According to Augustine Human Behavior Cupiditas: excessive desire, zest for violence, and greed Caritas: spiritual will, good intentions
Psychological Knowledge in Early Middle Eastern Civilizations: An Overview