Sub: Psychology Topic:
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indeed, scholars working at German universities in the mid- to late 1800scontributed much of the work that we retrospectively identify as important for theemergence of scientific psychology. Although we now take the existence of the
of Psychology for granted, thepossibility of its existence was not always so certain. Psychologist William James
stating that psychology, as a natural science, ‘‘requires a word of commentary’’
(1892, p. 1). Many scholars in the 18th and 19th centuries, in fact, felt that thesubject matter of psychology
the mind, or soul
was impervious to objective,scientific study. To summarize, although the body, like other aspects of the physical world, consisted of matter extended in space, the mind was immaterial.Descartes felt that the key to knowing the mind was rational reflection and that themind was not amenable to objective investigation. Descartes proposed that the body without the soul would be a mechanical automaton and the mind without the body would be conscious but would contain only innate ideas. The body, through theexperience of the senses and the material world, he argued, contributes to thecontents of the mind. According to Descartes, these interactions of mind and body occurred in a specific part of the brain, the pineal gland. His position became known
as interactive dualism. Descartes’s position was influential in resituating human
nature as part of the natural rather than the divine order, without succumbing to acompletely mechanistic or materialistic model of the mind that would have been aserious break from his religious tradition.