History Of Psychology Argumentative Essay

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This paper aims to follow and analyse the historical development of the subjective nature of truth. the beginnings and reactions towards the theory. The deductions of the theory of subjective truth are huge since a place on the nature of truth permeates one’s personal life ends and intents. knowledge. and morality of single and hence besides affects research methodological analysis and psychotherapeutics.

Subjectivism focuses on individuals’ ideas and feelings every bit good as the proposition that cognition of worlds can ne’er be separated from the apprehender. This literature reappraisal covers the being of truth as being subjective during the clip of the early Grecian philosophers. nowadays within Hellenistic and Roman psychological science and persisting within romantic and experiential doctrine. humanistic psychological science and the attacks of the postmodernists in the mid-1960s.

Keywords: subjective truth. history. postmodernism

The Subjective Nature Of Truth: A Historical Development

The changeless tenseness of whether truth is nonsubjective or subjective has long since existed throughout history and continues to permeate in current schools of psychotherapeuticss. “Science versus Humanism” is the term Conway ( 1992 ) gives to the philosophical dimension along which the values underlying the theories of psychologists differ. A scientific attack to psychological science is based on the epistemic tradition of objectivism. Mahoney ( 1989 ) summarizes objectivism as beliefs that an nonsubjective and separate ‘real world’ lies beyond the being. independent of perceptual experience and that valid cognition is finally rendered from our centripetal experiences. and can be wholly separated from the apprehender ( Mahoney. 1989 as cited in Conway. 1992 ) .

In contrast. the humanistic attack to psychological science is based on the epistemic tradition of subjectivism which focuses on ideas and feelings. Furthermore. cognition of worlds can ne’er be separated from the apprehender ( Conway. 1992 ) . Due to different theories on the nature of truth. methodological analysis for detecting consciousness and the function of interior experience differ. The human scientific discipline attack to psychology seeks to explicate behaviour in footings of a person’s subjective being ( Kendler. 2005 ) . Humanist psychological science and philosophical phenomenology are two schools of idea that employ the human scientific discipline reading of psychological science ( Kendler. 2005 ) . The deductions of the theory of the relativity of truth is seen in the persons personal life ends. intent of life. cognitive manners. morality. moralss. reding ends. research methodological analysis and conceptualisation of definitions.

Due to the great relevancy of the subject to psychological science. this essay hints and analyzes the historical development of the subjective nature of truth. the beginnings and reactions towards the theory. Early Grecian Philosophers and Hellenistic and Roman Psychology The Sophists were a group of philosophers who believed that nil is inherently right or incorrect but that believing something is right makes it right and frailty versa ( Hergenhahn. 2009. p. 41 ) . Protagoras ( 485-420 B. C. ) was the most popular Sophist who proposed that adult male is the step of all things. significance that adult male determines whether something is true or untrue and hence. truth depends on the percipient non physical world ( Hergenhahn. 2009. p. 41 ) .

The context of this position of the nature of truth is that Protagoras lived in the Periclean democracy where accomplishments for effectual communicating were valuable to have particularly in the political domain ( Hergenhahn. 2009. p. 42 ) where some beliefs were more advantageous to useful harmoniousness than others. Hence. Protagoras was chiefly interested in learning effectual debate to show the practicality of the relativity of truth. Socrates ( 470-399 B. C. ) disagreed with the Sophists’ position that no truth exists beyond personal sentiment. In the 2nd century A. D. . a school of idea named Skepticism promoted suspension of judgement and preferable to state ‘This is how things appear to me” instead than to claim holding arrived at irrevokable truth ( Hergenhahn. 2009 ) .

They were of the position that dogmatists invariably fought amongst themselves and were ever agitated unlike the Skeptics who sought a life of peace and lived by two primary ushers: visual aspects ( esthesiss and feelings ) and societal convention ( Hergenhahn. 2009 ) . Exposing a similarity with the Sophists and the Skeptics. the Cynics such as Diogenes ( 412-323 ) advocated individuality and that true felicity depended on autonomy and populating a life that was natural. rejecting any type of control. be it bodily or societal control. The subject of traveling off from absolute truth and towards a relativistic construct of truth. single feelings. sentiments. societal convention or whatever ‘truth’ brings addition ( e. g. . political position or life pacifically with others ) will attest itself once more throughout history.

Instrumental theory of truth: Profitableness as standards for truth William James ( 1842-1910 ) was of the position that ideas become true every bit long as they help people satisfactorily relate with other parts of one’s experience ( De Waal. 2005. p. 43 ) . James proposes that it is far from indispensable for our ideas. beliefs or in other words. constructs of truth. to copy world. Hence. he opposes the uniqueness of truth and postulates that multiple. though different beliefs are acceptable. In contrast. there can merely be one truth for the empiricists and the positivists since truth is the perfect transcript of world ( De Waal. 2005. p. 47 ) .

Based on matter-of-fact rules. James proposes that any hypothesis can non be rejected if there are utile consequences that come from it. Pragmatism is therefore a rule that views any ‘truth’ every bit true every bit long as it net incomes. In other words. the pragmatist’s impression of truth is that beliefs arising from within one’s egos but does non copy anything without the truster will still number as true when these lead people to waies that are worthwhile ( De Waal. 2005. p. 50 ) .

The subject of traveling off from a remarkable truth independent of the apprehender and towards whichever construct. thought or belief brings net income is a form seen even during the Early Grecian Philosophers and Hellenistic and Roman Psychology. A profit-focused attack to managing truth. as proposed by the pragmatists. will strongly pervade and an implicit in rule in future doctrines and attacks to psychology such as romanticism. existential philosophy. humanistic and postmodern psychological science.

Romantic and experiential doctrine: Feelingss. human pick and freedom

In the late eighteenth century. an artistic and rational motion named Romanticism rebelled against Enlightenment reason that overemphasized additive and the probe of causes by seeking to add feelings and intuition to reason ( Schneider. 1998 ) . Romanticism emphasized the integrity of experience via inexplicit procedures such as affect. intuition. kinaesthesia. imaginativeness every bit good as the descriptions of these procedures ( Schneider. 1998 ) . Rousseau was of the position that facts of history were of less importance than what values can be learned from them and that history should be considered as a aggregation of fabrications ( Rousseau. 1762 as cited in Robinson. 2008 ) .

This type of thought is seen once more in Postmodernist thought subsequently on in history although to Rousseau. historical facts were non subjective but unknowable because of human mistake and reading. In psychological science. romanticism is manifested in orientations of existential-humanistic. hermeneutical. narrative. and transpersonal psychological sciences ( Schneider. 1998 ) . Carl Rogers of the school of humanistic psychological science. whose ideas will be farther explored subsequently on in this paper. has much similarity with the romantics since experience is Rogers’ highest authorization and makes determinations based on what feels [ accent mine ] right. valuable or deserving making ( Hergenhahn. 2009. p. 593 ) . Like romanticism. existential philosophy stresses subjective experience.

The existential philosophers ( 18th and 19th centuries ) encourage us worlds to see the significance of life genuinely. in one’s ain personal manner ( Oaklander. 1992 ) . If one chooses freely. one chooses genuinely and leads an reliable life. Since there are no nonsubjective values for the existential philosopher. it depends more on how one chooses instead than what their pick is. An experiential philosopher. Kierkegaard proposed that each person’s life separately has its ain self-determined significance. Subjectivity is truth. that is. the person’s beliefs define that person’s world ( Oaklander. 1992. p. 577 ) .

Though the existential philosopher philosophers differ in their positions in a few facets of their thought. one common subject is the accent on human freedom and pick and the related motto of Sartre that ‘existence precedes essence’ which means that worlds have no prepacked nature or kernel but that we are is what we choose to be ( Oaklander. 1992 ) . In other words. subjectiveness must be the starting point ( Oaklander. 1992 ) . Sartre besides says that “Man is nil else but what he makes of himself. Such is the first rule of existential philosophy. It is besides what is called subjectivity…” Influenced by experiential doctrine. a trade name of modern-day psychological science which has the cardinal constructs of freedom. individualism. genuineness and duty emerged called experiential psychological science ( Hergenhahn. 2009. p. 574 ) .

The adult male who is by and large considered to be the span between experiential doctrine and experiential psychological science is Martin Heidegger ( 1889-1976 ) who is of the position that there is no ‘ultimate truth’ but emphasizes reading and that there is no ‘real meaning’ behind a phenomenon ( Daitz. 2011 ) . He proposed that worlds choose nature of their ain being and it is worthy of notice that Heidegger chose to be committed to Nazism ( Hergenhahn. 2009. p. 574 ) .

The subject of traveling off from a remarkable truth independent of the apprehender and towards “personal truth” as self-defined by persons every bit good as the unfortunate effect of persons freely taking what they think is right or desirable which may conflict with what society positions as desirable. This will attest itself once more with little differences in humanistic and postmodern psychological science.

Humanist psychological science: An application of subjective truth

In the early sixtiess. humanistic psychological science. a new human scientific discipline that would analyze worlds as cognizant. choosing and emotional existences. appeared in reaction to traditional scientific attacks to psychology ( Hergenhahn. 2009. p. 571 ) . Unlike the two bing schools of psychological science. behaviourism and depth psychology. which assume determinism in explicating human behaviour. humanistic psychological science assumes worlds are free to take their ain being and that subjective world is the most of import cause of behaviour ( Hergenhahn. 2009. p. 571 ) . A basic dogma of humanistic psychological science is that subjective world is the primary usher for human behaviour ( Hergenhahn. 2009. p. 586 ) .

Abraham Maslow ( 1908-1970 ) was of the position that humanistic scientific discipline should let the person to be freer and more interior determined ( Hergenhahn. 2009. p. 586 ) . What he deemed as self-actualization is what worlds achieve when they are true to their ain nature ( Hergenhahn. 2009. p. 587 ) . Carl Rogers ( 1902-1987 ) besides proposed that a individual who is likely to populate a fulfilling life is motivated by his true interior feelings alternatively of beliefs. traditions and values imposed by others outside the person ( Hergenhahn. 2009. p. 593 ) .

Rogers started the motion of Person-Centered therapy which stress an indispensable trust in the experiential universe of the client and stress three conditions to advance the client’s growing: congruity ( genuineness on the therapist’ portion ) . true empathy. unconditioned positive respect. A restriction that Owen ( 1999 ) notes in his analysis of both depth psychology and person-centred therapy is the struggle for the person-centred healer to both communicate unconditioned positive respect every bit good as congruity with a negative feeling about a client. In other words. valuing the client and besides at the same clip. being honest with personal feelings towards client.

This poses a inquiry of what a healer should justly make when being honest besides means being non-empathic and withholding unconditioned positive respect from the client. This job of congruency undeniably stems from the theory of truth and its subjective nature since what the healer believes to be true and what the client believes to be true are both every bit ‘true’ if the premise is that the single self-defines truth. Postmodernism attacks: Contemporary development of the theory of truth Modernists believe in nonsubjective world that exists independent of any effort to detect it whereas postmodernists believe in subjective worlds that do non be independent of experimental procedures ( Corey. 2005 ) .

Postmodernism is similar to the romantics. existential philosophers. the Sophists. and Skeptics and facets of James’ psychological science in that there multiple truths and these vary with single experience. therefore paving the manner for postmodernism. Harmonizing to Schneider ( 1998 ) . the postmodernist were different from the romantics in that postmodernists promote a relativistic pandemonium when this conflicted with the esthesia of Romanticism ( Schneider. 1998 ) . The Romantics assumed cognition as determinate and argued for the catholicity of independent experience while postmodernism assumes it as indeterminate and relativistic. therefore break uping cognition and experience ( Webb. 2006 ) .

Similar to James’ pragmatism. the postmodernist is of the position that a job exists merely when people agree there is a job needing to be addressed. Narrative therapy is an application of the Postmodernist attack to psychological science and encourages clients to see their narratives from different positions ( Corey. 2005 ) . The client’s world is focused on without differing whether it is accurate or rational ( Weishaar. 1993 as cited in Corey. 2005 ) . Unlike traditional healers who see the client as the job. the narrative healers believe that the job is the job ( Corey. 2005 ) . This separation of client from job allows one to take a stance against specific plot lines. be hopeful in bring forthing a more positive. mending narrative and therefore cut downing self-blame.

The healer hunts for times when the client made a pick and times when the client was successful ( Corey. 2005. p. 403 ) . Very similar to the premises of the Cynics and peculiarly the Romantics. the Postmodernist attack is based on the optimistic premise that people are able and that they possess alternate narratives that can heighten their lives ( Corey. 2005. p. 403 ) . The nature of truth and the attack to psychological science: Future research way Within the United States and internationally. Kirschenbaum and Jourdan ( 2005 ) carried out a study that found an increasing figure of healers who identify themselves as “eclectic” or “integrative” amongst Carl Rogers’ client-centered/person-centered healers over the past 30 old ages.

In his authorship on the subject of romanticism’s potency in complementing psychological science. Schneider ( 1998 ) writes that experimental research. whether in hypothesis-making or confirmation. can non to the full replace romantic penetrations and demands to mention back to qualitative informations that Romantics stress ( Schneider. 1998 ) . Hence. there are advantages in using research every bit good as therapy methodological analysis that take into history facets of the intuitive and emotional facet of human existences that romanticism emphasizes. In position of the advantages. Schneider besides writes about the deductions for healers in preparation. He proposes the proviso of rich and sensitive qualitative descriptions of their clients in add-on to intervention programs that are problem-oriented or behavioural in focal point ( Schneider. 1998 ) .

Therapists in preparation should besides pay attending to emotional. kinaesthetic. and cognitive experiences of clients. Besides merely measuring advancement toward therapy ends. the significance of therapy ends for clients should besides be considered. Schneider is of the position that healer with the full scope of experiential informations about their clients would be in an optimum place to collate indispensable informations for a intervention program. Hence. research should be done to mensurate the effectivity of this attack to therapy in add-on to ( i. e. . eclectic attacks ) or alternatively of traditional attacks.

In his comparing of person-centred therapy with psychodynamic therapy. Owen ( 1999 ) notes the possibility of struggle that person-centred healers might confront in seeking to be congruous to their ain personal feelings while at the same clip. being non-judgmental and supplying unconditioned positive respect. Further research should be carried out in the country of long-run effects to the healer and to the client every bit good as schemes that can be employed when there is a struggle in the congruity of the healer and the therapist’ proviso of unconditioned positive respect.

Research may besides include look intoing the incorporation of one facet of the psychodynamic attack which is neutrality ( neither doing readings nor supplying unconditioned positive respect ) towards the client’s sharing of his personal experience or ideas ( Owen. 1999 ) . Neutrality allows for a full scope of emotions including negative emotions of the client.


Whether truth is absolute and independent of the apprehender and percipient has been supported and argued against since the period of the early Grecian philosophers. Similar subjects that focus on the human person to measure and do their ain picks. specify their ain significance and finally. define and act upon what is the nature of truth and the truth itself recur clip and clip once more whether in the signifier of an accent on affect like the Romantics or Postmodernist who selects portion of a narrative. whether accurate or true. to set it to good usage in assisting the single header during therapy.

The deductions of the place taken on the nature of truth have been demonstrated throughout history in major schools of doctrine. psychological science and in this paper. Future guess of this theory of truth is that. after certain negative events that will go on in future times as a consequence of matter-of-fact and postmodern thought. a reaction against relativistic and individualised constructs of truth that may take a form of fundamentalism may return to schools of doctrine and the societal scientific disciplines.

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