Essay on The Concept Of The Self Holds Within Psychology

997 Words Oct 23rd, 2016 4 Pages
The self, a diverse, multifaceted and fundamentally unclear phenomenon, none of which has engendered more ambiguity and dispute amongst psychologists. Despite the position the fundamental concept of the self holds within psychology, no single theory integrates its true meaning, making it difficult to define and in essence describe (Dewane, 2006; Hoffman, Stewart, Warren and Meek 2008). Philosophically, psychology viewed within a modernist epistemology (Hansen, 2006), postulating the idea of a single, coherent, impenetrable entity. As the prevailing method of conceptualising human behaviour between 1650 and 1950, modernism posited that true knowledge of phenomena could only be discovered through objective experience, giving rise to scientific empiricism with the development of modernist methodology and the epistemological approach of logic and reasoning. From 1950, however, critiques of the modernist stance began to merge into a postmodern epistemology, recognising that humans actively construct what they observe (Anderson, 1990, Hansen, 2006). Within the last 30 years’ postmodern assumptions have begun to influence the psychology profession, particularly that of counselling psychology and the approaches it employs, challenging the conception of modernism with the notion that the self is essentially constructed and embedded within social relationships. Postmodernist theorists advocate for an epistemological pluralism which utilises diverse ways of knowing or being and assumes…

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