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From the history of the formation of psychology as a science

The concept of “psychology,” as sources most often indicate, first appeared in 1590 in the writings of the German theologian Goklenius; German scholar Christian Wolf (1679-1754), the author of the books “Rational Psychology” and “Empirical Psychology”, first introduced him into the scientific language of the 30s of the 18th century. This, of course, did not mean that thoughts about the soul, and even less ideas about it, arose only with the advent of the concept of “psychology” - as well as the fact that with the advent of Wolf’s works, psychology gained scientific status.

German psychologist Herman Ebbingauz (1850-1909), one of the pioneers of experimental psychology, expressed a seemingly paradoxical idea, often quoted in various psychological publications: "Psychology has a brief history, but a long past."

Indeed, we can find reflections on the soul among philosophers of deep antiquity (and one or another of its vision - without discussion and argument - in the mythological and religious ideas of various nations, including those who never knew philosophy). In this sense, psychology really has a long past; science, in the sense that we discussed above, it became relatively recently, at the end of the nineteenth century; 1879, when the German philosopher, psychologist, physiologist, physician Wilhelm Wundt (1832–1920) opened the first experimental psychological laboratory in the world in Leipzig, and then a psychological institute where it was studied and where Many outstanding psychologists of the world have been trained.

The creation of the institute meant the separation of psychology into an independent science (before it was considered part of philosophy), and an introduction to the psychology of experiment meant that it acquired a method comparable to the methods of the natural sciences (which at that time, in fact, were considered most often sciences in the full sense). There was a certain paradox that Wundt, an idealist philosopher, tried to apply research methods to the soul that were close to those accepted in physiology (he called his experimental physiology psychology), which caused both the recognition of many scientists and resistance from others; this is a paradox, characteristic - in various ways - for the further development of psychology, which has been sharply debated to this day. But, anyway, scientific psychology was born as a child of philosophy and experimental physiology.

However, psychology as a science originated on the basis of centuries-old reflections on the soul, reworked by Wund-tom and his contemporaries, and later changed a great deal: modern psychology is not at all like the one it was at birth.

Let us trace briefly how psychology has changed, since its long past - how its subject and methods have changed. Let us begin with the ancient Greek philosophy of the 5th — 4th centuries. BC, where psychological thought was born - not yet within the framework of science.

For ancient authors, the soul acted as something responsible for life and the phenomena associated with it - movement, food, etc., as the “beginning of living beings”; these authors, however, differed on many issues, especially regarding whether the soul is a special entity , separate from the body, as if moving into it, or it is inseparably connected with the body, being its function.

In this regard, questions regarding its origin, mortality, the ratio of parts, etc. were solved in different ways. E. E. Sokolova identifies three main approaches that are most important from the point of view of the development of psychological thought. They are associated with the names of the three greatest ancient philosophers of the 5th — 4th centuries. BC - Democritus, Plato and Aristotle.

Democritus is considered the most prominent representative of ancient materialism; Plato - the so-called objective idealism (that is, the philosophical position,

.

Sokolova Elena Evgenievna - Candidate of Psychological Sciences, teacher of the Faculty of Psychology, Moscow State University, one of the leading experts in the field of the history of psychology and historical psychology.

according to which the material world is secondary in relation to the world reason that created it); Aristotle, in his views combined that and other positions.

In spite of the fact that many (including the aforementioned ones) the ancient Greek philosophers talked about the soul, Aristotle is considered the “father of psychology” (384-322 BC), who wrote the first major work in history specifically dedicated to philosophical reflections on the soul - treatise "On the soul." The concept of the soul as the essence of the living body for many years entered as the main philosophical reflections that we call psychological (although the word “psychology”, we recall, was not in antiquity, nor for most of the Middle Ages). In antiquity, historically, the first subject of psychological reflection develops - the soul as that which distinguishes the living from the inanimate (it is not by chance that we now use the words animate and inanimate in ordinary language in the same sense). At the same time, using the concept of "soul", they described and explained, among other things, those phenomena that modern science does not consider to be mental, for example, physiological processes. It is impossible to talk about specific methods of soul research at this stage - in fact, the question of research methods was not raised then; The reasoning of the authors, of course, was based on observations, but these were observations close to what we call everyday ones.

New ideas about the subject of psychology were formulated in the XVII century. AD, that is, two millennia after the emergence of the described ideas of ancient philosophers, after the emergence of the very concept of "psychology". This - historically the second - becomes the subject of consciousness, then understood as the knowledge of the soul about itself. At the same time, psychology begins to be based on empiricism, that is, on experienced (and not only theoretical) knowledge, and gradually acquires its first method — introspection, that is, a specially organized self-observation of the psychologist.

The key figure in this regard is the French philosopher Rene Descartes (1596–650), who believed that there are two substances (that is, the fundamental principles of the world) bodily, the property of which is length, and the soul, the property of which is thinking.

The bodily phenomena, from his point of view, are given to us not directly, but through their awareness, whereas mental phenomena are moments of consciousness as such. For example, we are not directly given sensations, but thoughts about sensations, that is, ideas; ideas constitute the world of spiritual phenomena. As it is easy to understand, the soul, according to Descartes, belongs only to thinking beings, that is, to people; animals, on the other hand, are nothing more than original living machines acting on the basis of the principles of mechanics (by the way, Descartes justified the idea of ​​the reflex arc and is often referred to as the “father of physiological psychology”); animals are capable of sensations, but do not understand what they feel. So, the soul has become equated with consciousness, with what is directly conscious of man.
In this logic, the only way to study the soul can be a “look inside yourself”, tracking the life of your own ideas, your inner world — that is, introspection. Such an understanding of the soul and the method of its research was preserved in psychology as a leader until the beginning of the 20th century, when, as discussed below, psychology rethought its subject matter. Psychology basically developed at this time in line with the so-called association; this concept denotes quite different psychological trends, which, however, were common for the recognition of the principle of association (hence the name) as the main one in explaining the phenomena of consciousness. The term association was introduced in the 17th century. English philosopher and educator John Locke (1632-1704) and comes from the Latin associo - to connect; they identified such a connection between two ideas, in which the actualization of one of them leads to the actualization of the other (approximately in this sense, we use the concept of association in everyday speech, saying that “we remembered something by association”). Locke himself did not consider this principle basic, but later, as already mentioned, on the basis of it, we tried to explain all the phenomena of consciousness. Most of the associationists were united by the recognition of several main points, from which we would highlight the following:

1. As already mentioned, the soul was understood as consciousness;

2. It was believed that consciousness basically consists of simple elements, peculiar "atoms", which, when combined, form more complex ones;

3. To explore the consciousness is possible only with the help of introspection;

4. The subject of study was only the individual consciousness, the individual inner world — that is, at that time psychology did not study, for example, the relationships between people, the characteristics of human communities, etc.

In the last third of the XIX century. in psychology, some - and very serious - changes began. Under the influence developed in the XIX century. New philosophical concepts, achievements of the natural sciences (especially general biology and physiology) and the sciences of the humanities (for example, the foundations of sociology were laid in the middle of the 19th century), psychology, remaining mostly on the positions of association, began to “let in” new ideas and principles.

Consciousness is the subject of psychology as a whole, but it was at this time that a laboratory arose, and then an institute founded by V. Wundt, who introduced some principles of physiological research into psychology, namely, an experimental method that presupposes a special organization of conditions allowing to investigate the phenomenon True, the experiment was not the main method, but a way to improve introspection).

As one of the most important events, we single out the creation of psychodiagnostic methods and the study on this basis of individual differences by the English scientist Francis Galton (1822–1911) and the development by his staff of the statistical data processing.

We also note some other trends in the psychology of the last third of the XIX century. Austrian psychologist and philosopher Franz Brentano (1838–1917) regarded consciousness as being built not from the content (images, ideas), but from acts (judgments, ideas, evaluations), defending the idea of ​​active orientation (intentionality) of consciousness; American psychologist and philosopher William James

1 Pupil F. Galtona J. Cattell called them the term “tests” known to you.



(1842-1910) creates the theory of the "stream of consciousness", which substantiates the idea of ​​the integrity and dynamism of consciousness and its adaptive function, and also laid the foundations of the psychology of the individual. It is important that psychology refers to new spaces for itself; branches of psychology are gradually emerging, including some applied ones.

At the same time, we note that not only philosophers and psychologists, but also representatives of the natural sciences — Charles Darwin — are interested in psychological problems, whose influence has been tested by many psychological schools and schools; Directly to psychology are reflections and studies of the genius Russian physiologist Ivan Mikhailovich Sechenov (1829-1905), who showed the reflex nature of mental phenomena.

As you probably understood, psychology begins to break up, differentiate; This period of its development is not accidentally seen by many as a “hidden crisis” - in general, we recall, it remains in the positions of as- sociationism, but within it there are complex processes that have prepared the next stage of its development.

The situation in psychology in the first third of the 20th century is often called an “open crisis” (this concept was proposed by P. Ya. Halperin); it is understood that in psychology a lot of new directions appear, offering their own understanding of the subject, methods, explanatory principles of psychological science.

However, the crisis in this case is not necessarily understood as something negative - yes, on the one hand, psychology loses the conditional unity that it had, but, on the other hand, an abundance of new and dissimilar ideas can also be seen as the flowering of psychology. It is also important that some new psychological theories were born not from philosophical reflections as such or from the depths of research laboratories, but in attempts to comprehend the phenomena found in practical work, primarily in the practice of psychotherapeutic aid.

Halperin Peter Yakovlevich (1902-1988) - an outstanding domestic psychologist, doctor of psychological sciences, professor, creator of the theory of the phased formation of mental actions. He devoted much attention to the history of psychology that he taught at the Faculty of Psychology at Moscow State University.

During the “open crisis”, quite a few areas have been formed, and this is not the place to consider them in detail - this will be the subject of discussion in other courses that you will meet in the subsequent study of psychology. However, the main ones - those that most influenced modern psychology - will be briefly highlighted. We emphasize that the theories will be discussed here - the practical applications of these areas will be covered in the future.

Let's start with the direction called psychoanalysis, and consider both this theory itself and its most important derivatives (derivatives), that is, theories that are historically associated with psychoanalysis, but due to various circumstances that have departed from it. Psychoanalysis and theories associated with it, and represent a significant part of the group of theories that were formed within the psychotherapeutic practice, and this leaves a special imprint on them - despite the fact that the basis of classical psychoanalysis is a natural-science picture of the world, methods of research in psychoanalysis do not obey the typical pattern of natural science research. However, in order.
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