A Study Of The Soul Essay

1160 Words Dec 15th, 2016 5 Pages
Psychology began as a study of the soul. Plato believed the soul was an individual’s belief they are distinct from but also connected to their physical and social environments. Aristotle believed the soul was a set of psychological powers or attributes. In fact, Garcia-Valdecasas (2005) noted that Aristotle used the term ‘mind’ to collectively refer to these attributes.
From that, psychology evolved into a science of the self. James (1890) viewed the self as a fundamental concept in the ‘science of mental life’ or psychology. James (1890) believed the self could and should be studied scientifically. In James’ (1890) radical empiricism, he makes the distinction between the objective self (me) and the subjective self (I). Poll and Smith (2003) observed that psychodynamic theories place more emphasis on the objective self unlike James (1890).
The psychodynamic school of thought was founded by S. Freud and emphasizes the study of psychological forces which underlie human behaviour, feelings and experience. Childhood experiences are believed to shape our personality. Furthermore, a strong emphasis is placed on the unconscious as the psychodynamic approach tries to explain personality in terms of conscious and unconscious forces such as unconscious beliefs and desires.
Psychoanalytic Theory (S. Freud, 1900)
The most well-known psychodynamic theory of personality is S. Freud’s (1900) psychoanalytic theory. It can be seen as a response to James’ (1890) radical empiricism.
S. Freud…

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