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Historical Foundation of Psychology
Although the philosophic underpinnings of modern psychology are important, and surely are necessary for a complete understanding of the development of the academic discourse in psychology, I will not undertake to elucidate the distant ancestors of our field. I must justify this position. I certainly believe that the Greek and later philosophers set patterns such as Socratic methodology, and the belief that the world is an entity that can be studied by its manifestations. Moreover, since there are many cultures in the world that do not subscribe to this European conceptualization of existence, it is obvious that without that basis modern, scientific psychology could never develop. None-the-less, the as sheer amount of possible and probable intervening influences preclude the reasonable and logical sequencing of that development. For example, it could be argued that the feudal economy was (at least partially) maintained by the primacy of the Catholic Church throughout Europe. An equally valid argument can be made that that oppressive atmosphere was the major fertile ground for the radical reaction against non-rational or philosophies that were not physically or biologically based. And the enlightenment, which followed the renaissance, was particularly anti-religious as a continued reaction to the oppressive dogmatism of the religious establishment. …
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