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History Midterm Essay

1634 words - 7 pages

Question #1

Many people have contributed to the filed of psychology. Three whom I believe made significant impacts are Socrates, Aristotle and Rene Descartes. In the following section, I will briefly discuss a bit about each individual, and then talk about which of the four archetypes they each fall under based on the information presented.
Socrates was a classical Greek philosopher who devoted his life and work to searching for moral good, virtue, and justice. He developed a method of seeking knowledge by question and answer called dialectics. He used this technique to teach individuals about their own ignorance, so as to become more self-aware (Leahey, 2013). Based on this ...view middle of the document...

Lastly, there is Rene Descartes, whom some believe is the father of modern psychology (“I think, therefore I am”). He was a philosopher and mathematician. Descartes introduced the idea of dualism through his study of the pineal gland. He suggested the mind is the source of ideas and thoughts, the body is a machine-like structure to be studied and understood. Therefore, he proposed that the mind and body are separate entities, and that each have their own ontological experiences (Leahey, 2013). Based on his commitment to discovering and developing new ideas, I believe Descartes best fits under the scientist archetype.
Question #2
I think of psychology as an amalgamation of science, art, and healing. There is both structure and creative freedom. There are no fixed laws, yet it is a discipline comprised of valid theories and evolving possibilities. I believe it is a field that strives for an understanding of how individuals think, behave and perceive the world, and what factors play a part in framing their personalities, hopes, fears, limitations and abilities. To be part of this discipline requires a fervent curiosity, a willingness to constantly explore new realms, a level of healthy skepticism, and a desire to improve the quality of life of others. Finally, I believe that psychology is fluid science, and it heavily influenced by the current zeitgeist. Given this delineation, I believe the time period that most influenced my idea psychology was the Enlightenment.
The Enlightenment was an extensive intellectual, philosophical, cultural, and social movement that spread through England, France, Germany, and other parts of Europe during the 1700s (Leahey, 2013). Enabled by the Scientific Revolution, the Enlightenment represented a marked departure from the Middle Ages, an era characterized by stanch religious devotion and immeasurable cruelty. The Enlightenment opened a path for independent thought through the expansion of various scientific disciplines, and the amount of new knowledge that emerged was astounding. The great minds of this era (e.g., Rene Descartes, John Locke, Issac Newton, etc.) all contributed their own unique ideas, which were conceived out of necessity. Meaning, they all recognized change was essential, and sought to understand how healthy change can occur. This is greatly akin to psychology. Even though not all of the contributors shared the same philosophies, they shared a common purpose, which was the progressive pursuit of happiness.
Question #4

Out of the four different archetypes, I believe that Physician is the most fitting archetype for contemporary clinical psychologists. According to Larson (2002), physicians are those who help people to “understand the vicissitudes of life and perhaps bear with the unbearable or perhaps hope to change their course of action and thus their outcome” (p. 256). This is very close to how I define the role of the psychologist. I believe people enter...

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