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.

The Mind–Body Problem

The Mind–Body Problem

Learning Objective

Since the mind–body problem is one of the most basic problems that psychology has to deal with, you will be introduced to the problem in its initial philosophical forms. As a result, you should be familiar with the following:

  • The intellectual progression from Descartes’ interactionism, alternative dualistic solutions were offered: occasionalism, Double Aspect Theory, psychophysical parallelism, and epiphenomenalism.
  • Monistic materialist solutions based on reductionism or emergence will be considered.
  • Dualistic accounts from psychology along with the dismissal of the problem altogether in favor of some form of reductionism.
  • Lastly, you will be introduced to possible solutions and the possibility that there is no problem beyond an intellectual one.

In the end you should have sufficient insight to decide for yourself which of the ...

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