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A History of Psychology
Most psychological research, writing, and practice reproduces itself from specific fields of study. These include the following:
•Nature versus Nurture-Extent to which individuals are shaped by genetics or the environment
Now we must look to a historical development of psychology.
Overview -- Philosophy reigned as the source of psychological considerations to classical Greece. Plato and Aristotle taught ideas related to today's psychological questions. Later in the late Middle Ages, psychology continued as a handmaiden to philosophy. . It was not until the middle of the 19th century that psychology gained a foothold in its own right. Experimentation gave its first territory in the growing social sciences. As with sociology, scholars looked to experimentation and positivism for facts. Scientific method through actually existing acts, events, and patterns held a new world view aloft. So psychology progressed from an experimental form to that of an official discipline in its own right. Philosophy now looked elsewhere for academic standing. Crime scene cleanup would remain a janitorial exercise without an articulation as it has today.
Platonic notions of a soul had continued during the late 1500s and throughout the 1600s; psychology came under theology's study rather than an empirical study of the mind and body. A leading German idealist philosopher by the name of Christian Wolff would first use psychology in the context of worldly phenomena. Suicide occurred without public condemnation until Christian fathers of the church found that too many peasants committed suicde to reach heavn. Their lives were terrible and suicide cleanup occurred in and near churches.
New influences in psychology lead to debates about mesmerism (hypnosis) and the value of phrenology (the shape of the skull). (See my comment about Darwin's cousin Sir Francis Galton. Suicide remained a concern among early psychologists. During the 19th century its study lead to the individual and the "soul," their internalized thoughts and moods. We might infer that Charles Darwin gave suicide much thought during this time.
With social pressures from without, he suffered great stress. Darwin's stomach often caused great illness. We must remember that he had hoped to publish his theory of natural selection after his death, not before. With his theological education the contradictions in his life were quite heavy. Pressure from his wife and church leaders caused great internal turmoil. Last, his grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, also an evolutionary theorist, committed suicide by drowning. Suicide by drowning, incidentally, shows forethought for the sensibilities of others. Suicide cleanup in such cases avoids the migration of blood and other body fluids in buildings.
We ought to keep in mind that during the 1800s wars and other forms of homicide continued. Crime scene cleanup had no name during these times, just as psychology had no name of its own in the 15th century. Even suicide cleanup remained unknown, but for "self-murder." During the 1800s, the study of physiology underwent dramatic changes in neurophysiology. The transmission of neuron transmissions became a focal point when Hermann von Helmholtz's proposed that perception comes into the central focus of conscious awareness through electrical impulses. This empirical approach to psychology stood at an opposite pole to that of Sigmund Freud's ideas on psychoanalysis. Frued looked to what he called "free association" during moments of hypnosis and dream analysis. We see here a look to the study of intelligence through empirical science on the side of Helmholtz's work; we see a look to unconscious motivation in Frued's search of hypothetical subconscious humanity.
Around these critical junctures a growing list of events and characters were taking place in the growing world of psychology.
1817 An American Asylum for the Relief of Persons Deprived of the Use of Their Reason opened in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As an entrepreneural enterprise, this "Friends' Hospital" hospital sought to give secure, helpful treatment for psychologically distressed patiens.
1840 Johannes Peter M. published a handbook on human physiology. A mechanistic theory of thinking now appeared as an industrial age grew paralell to psychology's mechanized view of human thinking and intelligence. His boo, "Handbuch der Physiologie des Menschen" would have wide influence over the empirically minded researchers in empirical psychology. Meanwhile, those involved in animal research apply mechanistic explanations for animal behavior resulting in extreme animal abuse. Animal Rights activists in the 20th century come to see this period of experimental psychology as a dark period of human relations to sentient beings.
1842 Charles Darwin published his "The Theory of Evolution" and Herman Ludwig von Helmholtz looked to nerves and nerve fibers to explain human behavior. This reductionest approach to understanding huamity and nature would later lead to brilliant insights.
2002 Eddie Evans begins his considerations of a psychology of biohazard cleanup and suicide cleanup.
2010 Eddie Evans begins writing for a psychology of biohazard cleanup.
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