Psychology (Beginning of article)
The teachings of Aristotle on memory, thinking, sensation, feeling

Psychology — the science of the soul (GK. and soul — the concept, the word). The Creator it is considered to be Aristotle, who wrote an essay "On the soul", in 3 books, and a number of special works: on memory and recollection, on sleep and wakefulness, about dreams, about feelings and their objects, etc. Hints at the doctrine of the soul and its abilities and individual mental items, for example, the processes of sensation are already in Heraclitus, the Pythagoreans, Empedocles, Anaxagoras and Democritus.

Only in Plato we find a more consistent development in his dialogues the teachings about the soul, its parts or labor, of immortality on a higher spiritual level and of the nature of different mental processes, especially feelings, sensations, memory, thinking. But Plato, on the nature of his writing, oblakovska General thoughts in the conversations of Socrates with his disciples on various life topics, could not leave us a systematic exposition of his psychological views, which, moreover, develops gradually, and slowly ripening is partly changed.

Aristotle, after stating in the first book of essays "About the soul" of the beliefs of the predecessors, sees in two books, in the form of systematic, all ripened in his time, psychological problems, devoting more detailed discussion of the special composition of some of them. Aristotle's psychology is the science of mental forces and abilities, their relationships, development and manifestations, starting with the vegetable world to man, in which there is a particle of an active, divine mind, in the nature of an immortal and a reuniting with the divine mind after the death of the body.

Thus, Aristotle apparently did not recognize the personal immortality of the soul, which was so eloquently advocated by Plato (in "Fedone"). The teachings of Aristotle on memory, thinking, sensation, feeling, volition and other mental items represented a lot of new and extremely deep, even in comparison with Plato that was too abruptly protivobolevoe the spirit and the body and did not recognize the latter's participation in the higher spiritual functions. Aristotle was searched everywhere for a link between mental and physical processes in the body.The term "psychology" as a special science, Aristotle was not: it arose only in the late sixteenth century and first appeared in the titles of works by two German writers: Goclenius and Cassman in 1590 and 1594.

Greek philosophy after Aristotle (peripatetics, academicians, Stoics, Epicureans, Neoplatonism) further developed the psychological ideas and the teachings of Plato and Aristotle, partly of Pythagoreans and Democritus (materialism of the Epicureans).

The Stoics further developed the doctrine of faculties of the soul, the epicurean doctrine about inclinations and desires. But the special doctrine differs integrity of the Dam, who sought to synthesize the views of Plato, Aristotle and the Stoics on the grounds of mystic cosmogony and cosmology. The fathers of the Church more sympathetic to the psychological views of Plato and, later, Neoplatonic, but they impact and influence of Aristotle (Tertullian, "De anima", Nemesi, "On human nature").

Only Augustine (fifth century) in his doctrine of the unity of the soul and its distinctive teachings about the will, in connection with the problems of Christian dogmatics, has made some new life into psychology. The convergence of the doctrine of faculties of the soul with the doctrine of St. Trinity tied the psychology with Christian mysticism. In the middle ages was developed the same course in psychology, which were in antiquity and the Church fathers, especially Augustine. In the first age of scholasticism (up to XII century) prevailed in psychology Neoplatonism, combined with Christian mysticism.Arab philosophy contributed to the reinforcement of the Aristotelian element in the systems of psychology medieval philosophers (albert the Great and Thomas Aquinas).

In the Renaissance followers of Plato, Aristotle, the Stoics and Epicureans, are developing psychological problems in the direction of these philosophical schools. Essay People. Vives "De anima libri III" (1538), detecting the influence of Aristotle, devotes ample space to the analysis of affects.

From converters scientific methods Bacon made a little new to psychology, but Descartes has left a wonderful book about the passion ("Trait e des passions de l'a me", 1645-49), which restored and Spinoza to a deeper study of the affects in his "Ethics". To Descartes belongs the establishment of the latest spiritualism, as a study of self from matter of spiritual substance, of which the main attribute is thinking. When explaining individual mental processes that Descartes takes into consideration the participation of bodily organs and processes.A follower of bacon, Hobbes (the essay "On human nature"), considered the founder of the new materialistic psychology, but stands on the issue of the doctrine of ability. More >>


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In writing this article uses material from
Encyclopedic dictionary of F. A. Brockhaus and I. A. Efron (1890-1907).


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