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History and Systems of Psychology

GREEK THINKERS:Aristotle, Contiguity, Contrast

<< ANCIENT GREEK PHILOSOPHY/PSYCHOLOGY:Socrates, Plato
PSYCHOLOGY IN THE 5TH TO 12TH CENTURY:Saint Augustine, Avicenna >>
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History and Systems of Psychology ­ PSY502
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Lesson 03
GREEK THINKERS
Aristotle
Aristotle was one of the greatest philosopher/thinker ever in the history of mankind. This Greek
philosopher/psychologist, Aristotle was born in 384BC and he died in 322BC. Aristotle was a student of
Plato and his ideas not only show the influence of Plato's thinking but also sometimes Aristotle has
presented completely opposing views to his teacher.
Aristotle wrote a book by the name of De Anima which means "the Soul." Since soul was
considered to be the primary topic of interest for philosophers/psychologists at that time, Aristotle is
considered to the first psychologists ever. Aristotle rejected the idea of dualism of soul and the body and
put forward the view that these two are not separate but one entity.
Aristotle was of the view that ideas in the human beings tend to become associated with each other
and there are three reasons for the association of ideas which he gave:
Similarity
Similarity means that the mind tends to see certain similar patterns between two things and relates them
together. This is the simplest explanation of the association of ideas where, for example, two events which a
person witnesses have certain common elements. These may then be associated with each other due to the
similarities present in them.
Contiguity
Contiguity refers to two things or events happening close to each other so that the person is able to relate
them to each other. For example, if two events occur consecutively, one after the other, they tend to get
associated with each other. This is an example of contiguity of ideas, where one even may remind of the
other event which is contiguous to it.
Contrast
Contrast means that two events or ideas are completely opposing to each other, which results in the
formation of a link between the two. Humans tend to associate the ideas together. These may be two
conflicting statements by someone. One statement would remind a person about the other conflicting
statement immediately.
Therefore, in this way ideas tend to become associated with each other.
According to Aristotle, man is a biological being whose functions include:
Eating
·
Perceiving
·
Having children
·
Thinking
·
And doing things.
·
All of these are characteristics of living organisms. It eats to fulfill the requirements for the nourishment of
its body and its growth. It perceives and responds to stimuli according to its perception. It has the ability to
procreate and expand its species. Higher form of living beings such as humans has the ability to use their
mind to think and analyze objects and happenings around them. Further, according to Aristotle, one of the
functions of human beings is doing things, which means that humans are involved in various activities
which they perform throughout their lives which may be anything such as reading this text.
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History and Systems of Psychology ­ PSY502
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According to Aristotle's teacher Plato, ideas are eternal. They are neither born nor do they die while worldly
objects change. Therefore, according to him the true source of knowledge is ideas themselves. Plato further
asserted the soul or psyche to be permanent and the body as something that could change. Therefore,
according to Plato, knowledge could be acquired through the soul or the psyche and sensory organs were a
hindrance to the acquisition of knowledge. This was an introspective and subjective method of learning,
which means to look into the mind to find solutions to problems. Aristotle on the other hand rejected his
teacher's views on introspection and said that true knowledge can only be gained through observation and
empiricism. As human beings observe the phenomenon going on around them and the world around them,
they tend to make judgments and decisions that are based on their objective perception rather than their
subjective biases. Therefore, instead of looking to the mind, one needs to look at the world around in order
to gain knowledge. This implies that in Aristotle's views, sensory organs are not a hindrance to learning, but
they are the source of gaining knowledge.
Aristotle also described two types of human motives which are
Primary motives
·
Primary motives are basic motives which are the desires of all human beings and are mostly bodily
desires such as such as hunger, sex, thirst, anger and need for rest. Such motives are not just possessed
by human beings but may also be possessed by other living beings. An important aspect of such
motives is that they are not learnt by the organisms; rather they are a part of the genetic makeup of all
organisms. Humans are born with these motives, in other words these motives are inherited and they
become the cause of propelling a person to perform a certain act or to do something. For example,
hunger may cause a poor man to beg for food. Therefore, his basic bodily desire has caused him to
perform a certain action. Such desires or motives are called primary motives by Aristotle.
Secondary Motives
·
Secondary motives are those motives which are learnt by organisms and these become habits of the
individuals. For example, it is the habit of certain people to socialize with others. Some people have the
desire to dominate their fellows. These motives become the habits of individuals and they tend to
follow them quite often. Therefore, they are called secondary motives by Aristotle.
Another great contribution of the great philosopher Aristotle was that he recognized that there are
individual differences in various respects in people. These differences may be in the intelligence level, in
certain abilities, sports, math etc. For example, one individual may be a very good sportsman but not a very
good musician, while another may be a very good musician but not a sports man. Therefore, differences
exist in all individuals as far as their personal characteristics are concerned. This is the reason for some
individuals to excel in certain fields.
Aristotle further suggested that these individual differences are created during the life span of a person, but
they are inherited by the person. He is born with these differences which may although be discovered in
later in life.
Apart from these individual differences that are inherited and are a part of the genetic makeup of all
individuals, Aristotle was of the view that the early childhood experiences and training of an individual have
a profound impact on him or her. Childhood is the time when the mind is open to all influences from the
environment. A child would learn to behave in a certain manner as he would see the individuals around him
doing. Further, training of a child is also an important factor that would influence his behavior throughout
his life. The way he has been trained and educated during the early years of his life, that is childhood, he is
expected to show some influence of it in every part of his or her life. A child of Pakistani family who has
been educated and grown up in the United States cannot be expected to behave in a similar manner to the
one who has been grown up in Pakistan. That is because his experiences in his environment and training
that he gets is absolutely different from the child grown in Pakistan. This influence is expected to last
through out his or her life.
Aristotle also gave the concept of Catharsis. Catharsis is the sudden release of emotions by a person when
he sees, hears or feels something. For example a person may start crying when he hears about a tragedy that
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History and Systems of Psychology ­ PSY502
VU
someone else has encountered, or a people often have soaked eyes when they watch a tragic scene in a
movie. These are the examples of catharsis where emotions are suddenly released by the individual. There
may be also the emotions such as happiness or joy which someone feels when a villain is being beaten up by
the hero of the movie. The list of contributions of Aristotle is a long one. This is why he is considered to be
one of the greatest thinkers of mankind. His ideas have left a profound and a long lasting impact on man's
thinking.
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Table of Contents:
  1. INTRODUCTION:Methodology, Grading, Course Overview up to Midterm
  2. ANCIENT GREEK PHILOSOPHY/PSYCHOLOGY:Socrates, Plato
  3. GREEK THINKERS:Aristotle, Contiguity, Contrast
  4. PSYCHOLOGY IN THE 5TH TO 12TH CENTURY:Saint Augustine, Avicenna
  5. PSYCHOLOGY IN THE 5TH TO 12TH CENTURY:Al-Ghazali, Ibn-Rushd, Averroes
  6. RENAISSANCE:Rene Descartes
  7. ASSOCIATIONISTS:Thomas Hobbes, John Locke
  8. ASSOCIATIONISTS:David Hume, FRENCH REVOLUTION, Denis Diderot
  9. GERMAN CONTRIBUTION:Wilhelm Liebniz, Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Hegel
  10. INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION:RUSSIAN CONTRIBUTIONS
  11. RUSSIAN CONTRIBUTIONS:Ivan Pavlov, Reflex, Acquisition
  12. RUSSIAN CONTRIBUTIONS:Vladimir Bekhterev
  13. IMPACT OF PHYSICAL SCIENCES ON PSYCHOLOGY:Charles Darwin, Gustav Fechner
  14. STRUCTURALIST SCHOOL OF PSYCHOLOGY:Wilhelm Wundt
  15. FUNCTIONALISM:William James, John Dewey
  16. EUROPEAN FUNCTIONALISTS:David Katz, Edgar Rubin, Jean Piaget
  17. BEHAVIORISM:Edward Lee Thorndike, Law of belongingness
  18. BEHAVIORISM:Albert Weiss, Edwin Holt, Learning, Canalization, Walter Hunter
  19. BEHAVIORISM:J.B.Watson
  20. NEO-BEHAVIOURISTS:Clark Hull, Edward Tolman, Edwin Gutherie
  21. NEO-BEHAVIORISTS:B.F. Skinner, Karl Lashley, Donald Hebb, Hobart Mowrer
  22. GESTALT PSYCHOLOGY:Max Wertheimer, Similarity, Proximity, Closure
  23. GESTALT PSYCHOLOGY:Wolfgang Kohler, Kurt Koffka, Edward De Bono
  24. GESTALT SCHOOL AND DYNAMIC PSYCHOLOGY:Kurt Lewin, DYNAMIC PSYCHOLOGY
  25. HISTORICO-EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY:Leon Vygotsky, Sergei Rubenstein
  26. HISTORICO-EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY:Alexei Leontiev, K.M Bykov
  27. SCIENTIFIC LOOK AT MENTAL DISORDERS
  28. SCIENTIFIC LOOK AT MENTAL ILLNESS:Philippe Pinel, Sameul Tuke
  29. SIGMUND FREUD AND THE PSYCHOANALYTIC MOVEMENT:The Superego
  30. SIGMUND FREUD AND PSYCHOANALYTICAL MOVEMENT:Anna Freud
  31. CARL JUNG AND ANALYTICAL PSYCHOLOGY:Carl Gustav Jung
  32. JUNG’S ANALYTICAL PSYCHOLOGY:Carl Gustav Jung
  33. ALFRED ADLER AND INDIVIDUAL PSYCHOLOGY:Alfred Adler
  34. NEO-FREUDIANS:Harry Stack Sullivan, Karen Horney
  35. NEO-FREUDIANS:Karen Horney, Erich Fromm
  36. ERIKSON and MORENO:J.L. Moreno, Protagonist, Audience, Role playing
  37. HUMANISTIC PSYCHOLOGY:Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, Positive Psychology
  38. MODERN TRENDS IN PSYCHOLOGICAL TREATMENT
  39. MODERN TRENDS IN PSYCHOLOGICAL TREATMENT:Biological Approaches
  40. ANTI-PSYCHIATRY MOVEMENT:D.L. Rosenhan, R.D. Laing, Aaron Esterson
  41. PSYCHOLOGY IN THE THIRD WORLD:Frantz Fanon
  42. PSYCHOLOGY IN THE THIRD WORLD CHINA AND PAKISTAN
  43. PSYCHOLOGY IN THE 21st CENTURY
  44. PSYCHOLOGY IN THE 21ST CENTURY:Consumer Psychology
  45. PSYCHOLOGY IN THE 21ST CENTURY:Sports Psychology, Positive Psychology