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Origins and Roots of Psychology (Essay Sample)


The task concerned the history of psychology, particularly the contributions of william of ockham , thomas hobbes, and the Romantic revolt.


PS32OV Assignment 4
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PS32OV Assignment 4
The history of psychology is rooted in conceptual and empirical approaches to understanding the nature of behavior. All specialty areas in this field trace their origins in classical philosophers' formulations, early experimentalists' methodologies, and the appreciation for the historical progression of psychology in all of its variations. William of Ockham, Thomas Hobbes, and the Romantic Revolt’s contributions form the foundation for modern psychology.
William of Ockham Influence on the History of Psychology
William of Ockham is one such philosopher, a major figure of medieval thought who played a central role in the prime intellectual and political controversies of the fourteenth century. One significant contribution that he made to psychology was through the law of parsimony, or a principle referred to as “Occam’s razor.” He called for theoretical simplicity, where an individual should always choose an explanation based on the fewest possible causes, features, or variables (Tozzi, 2021). For instance, one must not link a behavioral act to the activity of a high psychic faculty if it can be explained equally well through the action of a faculty lower on the psychology scale. These terms entail the assumptions made in explaining rather than to the complexity of the psychological processes involved. The Occam’s razor can be seen at work in psychology’s history in the ontological reduction by elimination sense, for example, the use of demonic possession as an explanation of mental disorder.
Psychologists have since been employing this heuristic maxim in cognitive psychology as the simplicity principle, the concept that humans seek straightforward explanations of their sensory input. Undoubtedly, Occam’s razor is a fundamental tool for psychologists, as they follow the scientific method to conduct research (Tozzi, 2021). In particular, they state the question, provide a theory, and then conduct rigorous laboratory or field trials to test the hypothesis. Hence, it is by far the most popular instrument invoked to justify one doubtful theory over another.
Thomas Hobbes’s Law of Social Life
The social contract theory entails a sort of hypothetical agreement between society and its state. This accord has been said to be responsible for the pedestals for people’s moral decisions and positions. In other words, individuals merely abide by the government's rules and regulations, hoping that others will follow suit, subsequently resulting in a more secure and contented life. This theory draws on several philosophers, such as Thomas Hobbes, who argues that given men are naturally self-interested, yet rational, they will opt to submit to the authority of a Sovereign to live in a civil society conducive to their interests.
Thomas Hobbes’s argument is founded on the hypothetical state of nature. In this realm, people are naturally and entirely self-interested, equal, with limited resources, and yet lack the power to force them to cooperate (Seabright et al., 2021). In such conditions, Hobbes concludes that life would be cruel and man would be in constant fear of violent death, making the state of nature the worst likely situation any sensible individual could prefer. However, since men are reasonable from Hobbes's view, they recognize the laws of nature, which can help them cooperate socially and economically by constructing a social contract. In this agreement, people must consent to establish society by collectively agreeing to live in harmony. They must also choose a centralized authority to enforce the treaty and the laws that comprise it (Seabright et al., 2021). In other words, individuals must be willing to give up some liberty to secure a stable social life, which is better than living in the state of nature.
Based on Hobbes’s argument, morality, politics, and society are merely conventional. Before establishing a social contract, nothing is immoral. However, once the agreements are set, society becomes possible since people cooperate (Seabright et al., 2021). Indeed, the social contract is the most elemental source of all that is good and that which individuals can depend on to live peacefully.
The Romantic Revolt
The Romantic Revolt or romanticism was one of the most radical shifts from the Enlightment philosophy of reason, science, and worldliness. Numerous artists and philosophers advocated for freedom and independence and challenged the way people viewed the world, highlighting the individual’s integrity and refusing to recognize convention (Berlin, 2013). They rejected pure rationalism and order of the Enlightment, upholding that nature and the healing power of imagination could help individuals transcend their daily conditions. Although it is often fixed within the late 18th

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