A Historical and Contemporary Look at Psychological Systems offers a novel approach to examining the history and current state of scientific psychology. This boldly original volume analyzes the systems of psychology in an innovative new way. The author provides interconnectedness to, as well as the distinctiveness of, the diverse theoretical approaches to psychology. The book revisits the roots of psychology and traces them to the current state of the field, both theoretically and methodologically. Readers will gain a clearer understanding of the foundational differences and similarities that currently exist in psychological theories.
The volume reviews four broad systems of psychology: behavioral, cognitive, humanistic, and psychodynamic. Evolutionary and neuro- psychology are considered as additional approaches that influence all four psychological systems. The book opens with the historical background that led to the emergence of the four systems. It traces the concept of the soul through the periods of the ancient Greeks and Romans to the beginnings of psychology as an empirical science. Differences and similarities of the four systems are then explored with respect to eight fundamental psychological issues: consciousness, reductionism, teleology, determinism, values, spirituality, therapy, and psychological research procedures.
Intended for advanced undergraduate or beginning graduate level courses in the history and systems of psychology, this book will also appeal to researchers in this area. To facilitate the book’s use as a textbook, it features discussion questions at the end of each chapter.
Table of Contents
Contents: Foreword. Preface. Part I: A Historical Look. The Beginnings of Science and the Concepts of Soul. The Beginnings of Modern Science and the Modern Concept of Mind. The Beginnings of Psychology as a Separate Field of Study. The Rise of Competing Schools of Psychology. The Behavioral Revolution. The Aftermath of the Behavioral Revolution. The Four Systems Up Close: Internal Differences. Part II: A Contemporary Look. Consciousness. Divisions of the Whole Person. Teleology: Can the Future Affect the Present. The Issue of Free Will: Determinism vs. Indeterminism. The Problem of Values. Spirituality. Therapy. Scientific Research. Conclusion.
“This is a refreshing, original, highly creative and most welcome addition to the scholarly literature on the history and current systems of psychology…students…and other intellectuals interested in the historical and philosophical underpinnings of psychology and of contemporary approaches to it will find this fascinating book innovative, controversial, and thoughtful.”
—Michael Wertheimer, Ph.D.
University of Colorado at Boulder