Ibn Zuhr Avenzoar described disorders similar to meningitisintracranial thrombophlebitisand mediastinal germ cell tumors ; Averroes attributed photoreceptor properties to the retina ; and Maimonides described rabies and belladonna intoxication. His Perspectiva contains much material in psychologyoutlining views that are close to modern notions on the association of ideas and on the subconscious. Beginnings of modern psychology[ edit ] Many of the Ancients' writings would have been lost had it not been for the efforts of the Christian, Jewish and Persian translators in the House of Wisdomthe House of Knowledgeand other such institutions in the Islamic Golden Agewhose glosses and commentaries were later translated into Latin in the 12th century.
Ibn Zuhr Avenzoar described disorders similar to meningitisintracranial thrombophlebitisand mediastinal germ cell tumors ; Averroes attributed photoreceptor properties to the retina ; and Maimonides described rabies and belladonna intoxication. His Perspectiva contains much material in psychologyoutlining views that are close to modern notions on the association of ideas and on the subconscious.
However, it is not clear how these sources first came to be used during the Renaissanceand their influence on what would later emerge as the discipline of psychology is a topic of scholarly debate. The term did not come into popular usage until the German Rationalist philosopher, Christian Wolff — used it in his works Psychologia empirica and Psychologia rationalis In England, the term "psychology" overtook "mental philosophy" in the middle of the 19th century, especially in the work of William Hamilton — Descartes dissected animals and human cadavers and as a result was familiar with the research on the flow of blood leading to the conclusion that the body is a complex device that is capable of moving without the soul, thus contradicting the "Doctrine of the Soul".
The emergence of psychology as a medical discipline was given a major boost by Thomas Willisnot only in his reference to psychology the "Doctrine of the Soul" in terms of brain function, but through his detailed anatomical work, and his treatise De anima brutorum quae hominis vitalis ac sentitiva est: Transition to contemporary psychology[ edit ] Also influential on the emerging discipline of psychology were debates surrounding the efficacy of Mesmerism a precursor to hypnosis and the value of phrenology.
The former was developed in the s by Austrian physician Franz Mesmer — who claimed to use the power of gravity, and later of "animal magnetism", to cure various physical and mental ills.
As Mesmer and his treatment became increasingly fashionable in both Vienna and Paris, it also began to come under the scrutiny of suspicious officials. Mesmerism also continued to have a strong social if not medical following in England through the 19th century see Winter, Phrenology began as "organology", a theory of brain structure developed by the German physician, Franz Joseph Gall — He argued that the larger each of these organs are, the greater the power of the corresponding mental trait.
Although Gall had been a serious if misguided researcher, his theory was taken by his assistant, Johann Gaspar Spurzheim —and developed into the profitable, popular enterprise of phrenologywhich soon spawned, especially in Britain, a thriving industry of independent practitioners.
In the hands of Scottish religious leader George Combe — whose book The Constitution of Man was one of the best-sellers of the centuryphrenology became strongly associated with political reform movements and egalitarian principles see, e.
Phrenology soon spread to America as well, where itinerant practical phrenologists assessed the mental well-being of willing customers see Sokal, Emergence of German experimental psychology[ edit ] Until the middle of the 19th century, psychology was widely regarded as a branch of philosophy. Whether it could become an independent scientific discipline was questioned already earlier on: Immanuel Kant — declared in his Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science that psychology might perhaps never become a "proper" natural science because its phenomena cannot be quantified, among other reasons.
His Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of Viewwhich resulted from these lectures, looks like an empirical psychology in many respects.
Although he was unable to empirically realize the terms of his psychological theory, his efforts did lead scientists such as Ernst Heinrich Weber —18 78 and Gustav Theodor Fechner — to attempt to measure the mathematical relationships between the physical magnitudes of external stimuli and the psychological intensities of the resulting sensations.
Fechner is the originator of the term psychophysics. Meanwhile, individual differences in reaction time had become a critical issue in the field of astronomy, under the name of the " personal equation ". Other timing instruments were borrowed from physiology e.
The 19th century was also the period in which physiology, including neurophysiology, professionalized and saw some of its most significant discoveries. In the s, while he held a position in HeidelbergHelmholtz engaged as an assistant a young M.
Moving to a more prestigious professorship in Leipzig inWundt founded a laboratory specifically dedicated to original research in experimental psychology inthe first laboratory of its kind in the world. Wundt attracted a large number of students not only from Germany, but also from abroad.
Among his most influential American students were G. The most influential British student was Edward Bradford Titchener who later became professor at Cornell. Another major German experimental psychologist of the era, though he did not direct his own research institute, was Hermann Ebbinghaus — Psychoanalytic concepts have had a strong and lasting influence on Western culture, particularly on the arts.
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