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Brief history of psychological ideas

Updated on July 10, 2012

In the earliest stages of emergence of civilizations in people's minds arise animistic ideas about the nature of the world and man. The term “animism” comes fromthe Latin word anima, which means “soul” or “breath.”This is the belief that
non-human entities are spiritual beings, or at least embody some kind of
life-principle. So as you can see from the most ancient times people seek explanation
for their mental phenomena. If we search the roots of modern psychology we will
find them in the cultural cradle of Europe- Ancient Greece. Psychology existed
within the frame of philosophy, but you can find psychological ideas in the works of the greatest thinkers of the time.
Aristotle connects the soul
with the biological form of matter. He has seen the psyche as one of the levels of organization of living matter. One of his greatest works is called ” On the soul”. Democritus considered that soul is the main reason for the activity of bodies. Socrates gives explicit definition - soul is reality different from the body. She is
immortal and divine .The central theme in the works of Plato is the Theory of ideas. In narrow term Plato explains the structure of the soul - its internal organization, rational, affective and volitional layers. In the Middle Ages psychological ideas were dictated by church and religion, the Greek ideas were kept, but they existed in convenient forms. Things started to change in 17th century. During the European Renaissance
ran processes that generally aimed liberation from religious canonization and formation of a new perspective on human . Many gifted thinkers took part in this process. Descartes
clearly and openly defined body and soul as two separate substances. For him the body is
matter and the soul is immaterial and its essential feature is the ability to think. This is the beginning of dualism in psychology. All this lead to 19th century more specifically the year 1878 When in Leipzig Wilhelm Wundt creates the first laboratory for
experimental psychology. Wundt is considered to be the father of psychology
because after his hard work psychology stets free from philosophy and is acknowledged
as independent science.


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