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Philosophical Psychology I (Study of the Philosophical Proofs for the Soul)

Philosophical Psychology I (Study of the Philosophical Proofs for the Soul)

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Published by ThomisticPhilosophy
These are the notes from the Philosophical Psychology course from a major Pontifical University. The philosophical point of view of the teacher was the Thomistic school.
These are the notes from the Philosophical Psychology course from a major Pontifical University. The philosophical point of view of the teacher was the Thomistic school.

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Published by: ThomisticPhilosophy on Dec 22, 2009
Copyright:Public Domain


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Philosophical Psychology I(Study of the Philosophical Proofs for the Soul)Class Notes
(Taken at a Pontifical University)
First Lesson:What is the Place of Psychology in the field of sciences?
In the “old days”
Natural Sciences
were divided into
(required discipline for Philosophy, because it speaksabout the rules of our mind / the laws of reasoning one has to use to arrive at the truth) and
was divided into
(dealing with the object for the sake of knowledge) and
(acquiredfor the sake of operation) Philosophy.
Speculative Philosophy
is divided into three aspects according to the degree of excellence of the objectinvestigated. This degree is measured by the ability of the object to be separated from a material component / to beabstracted from matter. This separation exists on two levels: Definition and existence.
Natural Philosophy
has the lowest degree of perfection, because it deals with objectstotally dependent on matter both in definition and in existence.
have a higher degree of perfection because they deal with objects existingin material condition but defines the reality of those objects separated frommatter.
have the highest degree of perfection, because they do not depend onmatter and can be taught without matter existing.
Practical Philosophy
is divided into
is the science of Being. It is divided into
: talks about Being as Being
: deals with our relation to Being
Natural Theology
: because Metaphysics have to examine the first causes of Being
are concerned with quantified Being. Look at reality from a quantitative point of view
Natural Philosophy
investigates the world of nature, the material world. Nature here means the world of beings thatcan be recognized by our senses and that move through time and space. Natural Philosophy is divided into
: dealing with things that need an external cause of movement
: dealing with beings that in themselves have the principle of movement
is the part of Natural Philosophy that deals with beings that are capable of self-motion. The principleinner cause of movement has been given the name “soul”. So “soul” here is equivalent to the capacity of self-movement
What is the Object of Psychology?Object
: from lat. obicere: “to put in front of” = the thing put in front of our eyes in order to examine it.The
has to be divided into the
objectum quod
(What are we studying?) and the
objectum quo
(“Lumen subquo”: the light under which we examine the object / the specific point of view).The
objectum quod
has to be divided into the
material quod
(a particular thing investigated in general, that is lookedat from different points of view (quo)) and the
formal quod
(the specification of that particular thing)In ancient Philosophy the Material Object of Psychology has been the Soul (1
essay on the soul by Aristotle “”). The Soul is a principle of life / of organized bodies that potentially have life, of material beings which areanimated. The object of Psychology was every thing that was alive: natural, physical, corporal realities with aninherent principal of movement (plants, animals, humans).In St. Thomas’ time the focus of what is the object of Psychology shifted from the soul in general to the human being.For Thomas the main object of study were humans, while for Aristotle it was the totality of living beings. This limitationwas made complete by modern philosophers, because now the objects of Psychology are human beings exclusively.While humans are indeed special they still incorporate vegetative and animal aspects. Modern Psychology has as itsobject only the conscious or sub-conscious life of human beings (due to Descartes, who made a strong separationbetween spirit and matter/dualism of Humans).From the
point of view our 
Objectum Quod
is the
Human Person (H)
From the
point of view our 
Objectum Quod
is the
Human Soul (S)
Human Person understood as someone with a soul, someone who has a principle of life.Acts of Human Persons hint to the faculties/powers/capacities (if I speak it indicates a f/p/c of speech) which again
lead to the source (soul) / principle of Human Life.Task is to study human acts and f/p/c’s in relation to the soul.The object of investigation is looked at from four different points of view:
Pre-scientific Psychology
: It is purely empirical. It is a kind of knowledge of our behavior that we ourselves acquire without being Psychologists, a knowledgegained by observation of everyday life; the aim is practical, one cannot livewithout these observations, because they help us to orientate, to improve our acts,to improve our relationships with others. This knowledge is based on individualobservations, it is linked to an individual, it is not scientific because it does nothave a universal aspect.
Literary Psychology
: An analysis of characters by writers which goes deeper than theobservation of everyday life, because it creates archetypes of characters. The aimis not scientific but aesthetic, the character is immersed in a specific situation, soagain no universal aspect.
Scientific Psychology
: The point of view taken by most modern Psychologists
Philosophic Psychology
: Approach from a philosophical point of view
The alternative names “empiric” for “scientific” and “rational” for “philosophic” are wrong, because they implythat scientific psychology creates a statement “a posteriori”, by making reference to experiences, while philosophicalpsychology works “a priori” and has no connection to everyday life.
Psychology (object of study = man)What are we studying? A human person seen from the point of view of someone who possesses a soul.We are studying what is essential for the human person.We are looking for how are we acting? What can we do?Actions - power - SOULDifference between scientific and philosophy psychology.Scientific psychology = empirical psychology (MODERN, not correct)Philosophy psychology = rational psychology (MODERN, not correct)Empiric - based on experience, experimentalRational - something based totally on contemplating/thinkingEmpiric - absolutely based exclusively on experience a posteriori

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