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History of psychological knowledge within other sciences
The origins of scientific psychology must be sought, first of all, in the depths of philosophy. The ancient philosophers expressed the concept of "soul" the reason for life, breath, knowledge.
Scientific psychology at that time was not a special professional activity, nor was there professional psychologists. Scientific and psychological knowledge accumulated in philosophical, medical, legal works, as a result of the work of philosophers, doctors, lawyers.
The most famous contribution to the psychology of the ancient Greek philosophers. They believed that the soul is present in nature wherever there is movement and warmth.
Democritus (460-370 BC) thought that the soul is a material substance, which consists of fire atoms, spherical, light and mobile. Democritus tried to explain all phenomena of the spiritual life by physical and even mechanical reasons.
The idea of Socrates (470-399 BC), one of the most remarkable thinkers of ancient Greece, was to help the interlocutor to find the true answer with the help of selected questions in a certain way, and thus bring it from vague ideas to logically clear knowledge subjects discussed. Considered a wide range of "everyday concepts" of justice and injustice, goodness and beauty, courage, etc. Socrates motto said: "Know yourself," which implied an analysis of actions, moral evaluations and norms of human behavior in various life situations. This led to a new understanding of the essence of the soul, to the new attitude of man to himself as the bearer of intellectual and moral qualities.
The ancient Greek philosopher Plato (428-348 BC) paid much attention to the study of the soul. In his writings, he gave a classification of mental phenomena. He believed that the soul consists of three parts - lustful, passionate and intelligent. The predominance of one or another part of the soul in man explained his individuality. The process of thinking Plato considered a recollection of what the soul knew in its cosmic life, but forgotten when moving into the body. Exploring cognitive processes, Plato spoke about sensation, memory, and thinking. Moreover, he was the first scientist who began to talk about memory as an independent mental process. He discovered the role of inner speech and the activity of thinking in the process of cognition.
The ancient Greek philosopher and encyclopedic writer Aristotle (384-322 BC) had a more complex idea of the soul. According to his teachings, the world consists of a set of the smallest indivisible particles - atoms with different size and mobility. The smallest and most mobile of them are the atoms of the soul. Aristotle's treatise "On the Soul" was the first special psychological essay in which the first systematic doctrine on the psyche was created. For many centuries it remained the main guide in psychology. Aristotle himself is rightly considered the founder of psychology, as, indeed, of a number of other sciences.
The soul, according to Aristotle, is a way of organizing a living body. It was believed that the soul is inherent in all living organisms (including plants). Aristotle proposed a scientific explanation for the five main organs of sense: sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste, and also for the first time gave a systematic description of mental phenomena.
In the Middle Ages, the soul was represented by the divine essence of man and this imposed a ban on research by its scientific methods. The church had the exclusive right to the knowledge of the soul. Religious philosophy and theology as a teaching about God became the main sources of knowledge about the soul. This situation persisted until the XVII century.
In the Renaissance, there was an interest in the natural science research of the soul. The greatest contribution to the development of psychological knowledge was made by R. Descartes, B. Spinoza, T. Hobbes, J. Locke. The French philosopher Rene Descartes (1596-1650) was one of the first to try to explain mental phenomena by organic processes occurring in the human brain. He introduced the concept of reflex as an automatic way to respond to external influences. With the help of this concept, he explained the behavior of animals and humans. However, he did not find a natural-science explanation of mental phenomena. Descartes defined introspection as the main method of psychology. Later, in the 18th and 19th centuries, the inner world of a person was most often studied by the introspective method.
The Dutch philosopher Benedict Spinoza (1632-1677) wrote that the soul is closely connected with the body and does not exist without it. In Spinoza, the science of the soul became not only a descriptive, but also an explanatory system of knowledge.
The English philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) believed that human behavior and the psyche of man are subject to the laws of mechanics, and explained the differences in the abilities of people in a natural science way.
Another English philosopher John Locke (1632-1704) is considered the founder of empirical (experimental) psychology. He believed that the main task of psychology should not be philosophizing about the soul, but obtaining and analyzing objective scientific facts. Empirical knowledge, that is, knowledge gained in experience, should be the basis of psychology.
English scientist David Gartley (1705-1757), developing the ideas of J. Locke, became one of the founders of associative psychology. The association was understood as a logical connection of some mental phenomena with others. According to D. Gartley, the whole mental life is based on the association (binding) of three types of elements with each other: sensations, thoughts (ideas) and feelings. He turned the mechanism of association into a universal principle of explaining mental activity.
In the 18th century, scientists find a link between mental phenomena and brain activity (before this, ideas were that the psyche was located in the heart, liver, or other parts of the body).
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History of psychological knowledge within other sciences
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