This book covers key movements that helped to shape psychology – from the early philosophical debate between rationalism and empiricism or realists and antirealists through to the emergence of psychology as a science and the ongoing debates about ‘objectivity’ and ‘truth’ and what a science of psychology should be. Often nuanced and complex, the author examines major conceptual issues in the history of psychology that continue to be debated and influence public policy and lay understanding. The latter stages of the book explore notions of individuality, hereditarianism, critical psychology, and feminist perspectives. While deeply rooted in human history, it is made clear that psychology, how it is conceived and practiced, has a bearing on our understanding of what it is to be human. Accessible, objective and above all comprehensive, this book will help students locate psychology in the wider field of science and understand the forces that continue to shape and define it.

Psychological Inquiry as an Evolving Human Practice

Psychological Inquiry as an Evolving Human Practice

Learning Objective

In this chapter we will consider what we know of the evolution of the universe and how, in the course of that process, life and mind came to be. This necessitates a consideration of hominin (formerly hominid) evolution, comparative psychology, and cultural evolution as aspects in the emergence and evolution of the mental or psychological. In acknowledging the biological as foundational to the emergence of mind, biology and neuroscience will be given their due, but not to the point of advocating biological determinism. The dependence of the psychological upon the biological will be established; however, it will be presented as relative given cultural evolution and its impact on higher mental ...

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