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Core Assessment Research Paper

Updated August 15, 2022
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Core Assessment Research Paper essay

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Logical thinking and mathematics were the basis of science in Ancient Greece along with technology and everyday life. The arts in Ancient Greece were sculptors and painters. The Greeks were intrigued to learn about the world, the heavens but mostly about themselves. Many Greeks studied about the sky, sun, moon, and the planets which led them to discover that the earth was round. From Thales of Miletus who is regarded by many as the father of science to Socrates, Aristotle, Descartes, Hobbes, Comte, and Darwin. All these men were among the main researchers of Greek, including Greek biology who contributed their ideas, theories, and discoveries to science. I will try to show how ethics and values developed with the philosophical thought of human behavior and discuss how the traditional schools and systems of psychology have influenced contemporary psychology and in turn affect the application of treatment along with contemporary psychology plays in different cultures.

Greek philosophers were “the first thinkers who attempted to explain the world in natural rather than supernatural terms” (Kardas, 2014). Their first duty was to sperate the superstition that many used to handle simple or complex issues and prove that there were no supernatural gods that intervened in the natural process of human life. Much of what is known about the early philosophers is found in the writings from Plato and Aristotle, but they were not totally accurate because they tend to lean more towards their own beliefs and teachings.

Thales was the first Greek philosopher to seek to explain the physical world in terms of natural rather than supernatural causes but along with being philosopher he was an astronomer and geometer. His studies focused on” water as the source of everything else found in the natural world” (Kardas, 2014) and believed that water was responsible for life itself because it existed everywhere. Thales was the first to attempt a purely explanation for the nature of the world and created the first system of natural philosophy. He also believed that all physical things were alive and that they contained some type of lifeforce, so he was considered an animist. Even though there are no writings that directly attributed to Thales, other philosophers tend to mention his work, such as Aristotle and Anaximander so that is proof that his work lead to future discoveries. One topic in which Anaximander did not agree with Thales water was the was the source of everything. “Anaximander came up with his concept of the ‘unlimited’ substance.

This ‘unlimited’ (or ‘apeiron’ in Anaximander’s ancient Greek) describes what Anaximander thought was the basic material of the world. Apeiron, is “fire (hot) vs. air (cold) or water (wet) vs. earth (dry)” (Kardas, 2014). The term is often translated as the ‘indefinite’ or ‘boundless.’ (Downey, 2017). This theory was the first time someone would physical substance that was indefinite yet invisible as to how the world worked. One student of their work, Anaximenes, used what he learned form both and came to his own theory that “Air “was the first substance instead of water. Anaximenes theory “thought the underlying reality was ‘one and infinite’, but it did have qualities, being air. It changed into different things such as stone or fire by getting denser or thinner, yet remained the same element” (Trainer, 2008). These were the beginning of the Greek philosophy and the Milesian philosophers, as each one learned from the previous one but as they did their own research they developed new theories and opened new doors for the one’s that followed.

[bookmark: _Hlk507939673]As philosophy expanded and grew in to other areas so did the theories. Socrates work is somewhat confusing because as stated “Socrates wrote nothing, He preferred to speak to others in a particular way, a method now called Socratic. In that method, He Socrates usually acted as if he knew little or nothing about the subject at hand. He would ask the others (usually young men) a long series of questions, designed to reveal to them how little they knew about the topic” (Kardas, 2014) in doing this, the young men would realize their own ignorance, but Socrates would then continue questioning them and in the process providing them with the answer. This method was learned from his students but Socrates “never claimed to be a teacher” (Kardas, 2014). Socrates “believed that philosophy should achieve practical results for the greater well-being of society. He attempted to establish an ethical system based on human reason rather than theological doctrine (Biography.com, 2017) and this a method that can still be seen today.

Many will find a way to answer what is being asking from a set a question they ask and in doing so they find the answer based on what the individual wants to hear and never giving them a sound answer. His philosophy searched for a well being of society and to establish a ethical system that would not use theological doctrine but instead human reasoning. Knowing oneself is the Ultimate wisdom and the “more a person know, the greater his or her ability to reason and make choices that will bring true happiness” (Biography.com, 2017). Socrates met Plato at a time when Plato was looking to become a politician but after they met “philosophy became his true calling” (Kardas, 2014) and became a follower of Socrates. “Plato invented a theory of vision involving three streams of light: one from the what is being seen, one from the eyes, and one from the illuminating source” (Weisstein, 2007) and is known for believing “that knowledge was ‘forgotten’ at birth and could be remembered. He saw the search for understanding as an attempt to gain pure knowledge” (Weisstien, 2007).

Plato also believed just like Anaximenes, that everything was composed of air, earth, fire, and water. Plato also put in to theory that “definitions can be true or false” (Makridis, 2016) and he give the example “descriptions can be logically falsified, but definitions cannot be falsified” (Makridis, 2016). Plato became well know for the plays that he wrote as he would translate his theories and those of Socrate in them. He would speak through them and put his philosophy at for front. Philosophy is recognizable and familiar thanks to Plato’s transformation of it. After Plato came Aristotle who was a student at Plato’s Academy, but he developed interest in the natural world. “Aristotle saw ultimate reality in physical objects, knowable through experience. Objects, including organisms, were composed of a potential, their matter, and of a reality, their form; thus, a block of marble — matter — has the potential to assume whatever form a sculptor gives it, and a seed or embryo has the potential to grow into a living plant or animal form. In living creatures, the form was identified with the soul; plants had the lowest kinds of souls, animals had higher souls which could feel, and humans alone had rational, reasoning souls. In turn, animals could be classified by their way of life, their actions, or, most importantly, by their parts” (Thompson, 2009).

As the philosophers continue their studies the pattern begins to show as to how more evidence is used to add substance to the theories. We started with Thalis believing that water was the substance to everything to Aristotle proving that humans can give substance to life and others around them. He also was a firm believer in knowledge and thought “knowledge is obtained through the psyche’s capability of intelligence, although the five senses are also necessary to obtain knowledge” (Britannica Online, ‘Physiological Psychology’). Aristotle had a belief that is used on a personal level just because it makes sense and can be proven, and it says “While some animals can imagine, only man thinks. Knowing (nous) differs from thinking in that it is an active, creative process leading to the recognition of universals” (Britannica Online, ‘Physiological Psychology’). This can be seen at times as how we have the choice to make decisions in life as opposed as to an animal who at times reacts on instinct and survive mode.

As the world moves forward and new philosophies arise, modern philosopher emerge with new theories. Rene Descartes, who is “considered the father of modern philosophy” (SparkNotes, 2005) was the founder of rationalism and inspired many other philosophers to support his views. He used rationalism as a method of understanding the world and used reason to gain knowledge and was one of the main intellectual currents of Enlightenment. Enlightenment was a cultural movement during the 17th and 18th centuries the revolutionized the Western world. “Both the American and French Revolutions were based on Enlightenment theories, and the ways we approach science, math, philosophy, and the idea of the self were radically transformed during the period” (SparkNotes, 2005).

Descartes’s left a vast legacy in philosophy and not only was he the founder of new philosophy but was the inspiration to others to “complete and refine his rationalist approach to philosophy or create new philosophies to counter it” (Kardas, 2014). “Among the historical thinkers we call ‘philosophers’ today, Thomas Hobbes was one of the most astute concerning questions properly rhetorical” (Sacksteder, 1984). Hobbs disagreed with Descartes over many issues but most importantly the “notion of a separate and incorporeal (existing without a physical substrate) mind” (Kardas, 2014). Hobbes believed that everything had to possess physical existence, and this included God which was why he was a materialist. However, Hobbes greatest contribution to philosophy was in his analysis of politics. “Hobbes’s new science of politics proposes to understand both politics and God from the point of view of the being most at hand” (Tessitore, 2009).

As philosophy continues to evolve, the social sciences are emerging and with it comes a modern social science called sociology. One of the founding fathers was Auguste Comte who “sought to create a scientific approach to study society based on positivism” (Kardas, 2014). Comte believed in an ordered, cohesive society along with a strong central direction society. “One reason why he often appears a ’rid’ as a thinker is that his use of the term ‘spiritual’ is highly intellectualized” (Blamires, 1995). He believed that human history was divided into three periods which consist of the theological, metaphysical, and scientific stages. Charles Darwin also “was a man who “thought seriously” about and “sought far and wide for new perspectives on religion” throughout his life” (Pleins, 2013).

Darwin was the creator of the theory of natural process, “the competitive process by which organisms that are better adapted to survive the environmental conditions around them survive, and thus, reproduce more successfully leaving more offspring, and gradually altering the population characteristics of their own species” (Kardas, 2014). Upon conducting a voyage of five years, Darwin struggled to make sense of the observations from the collection of specimens from animals and plants that he did during his voyage but “he believed that species changed over time but could not come up with a mechanism that was neither God given (creationist) or directive (evolution) however, the mechanism did come to him and he called it natural selection” (Kardas, 2014).

Science has a long history and is seen evolving with each philosopher as each carves his theory in to it but “it is indisputable that modern science emerged in Western Europe and nowhere else” (Grant, 1997) and it can be found in many societies in early times whether it is through astronomy, cosmetology, or physics. “Empiricism, like philosophy, was at a historical low point during much of the Middle Ages” (Kardas, 2014) as philosophers used their senses to make sense of the world and at times ignoring the real world around them. “Empiricism is the philosophical stance according to which the senses are the ultimate source of human knowledge” (Borghini, 2017) and with this definition an example is that our ideas are formed through our personal experiences. “Empiricist theories can be defended by appeal to methodological parsimony. Once we have postulated a certain class of representations for a theory of perception, it is cost effective to see whether those same representations can be used for a theory of cognition” (Fitzpatrick,2014).

Sensationalism, “in epistemology and psychology, a form of Empiricism that limits experience as a source of knowledge to sensation or sense perceptions. Sensationalism is a consequence of the notion of the mind as a tabula rasa, or “clean slate.” (Britannica Online, 2011). “Scholars have tended to dismiss sensationalism as unworthy of serious study, based on two pervasive though somewhat incompatible assumptions: first, that sensationalism is essentially a commercial product, built on the exploitation of modern mass media; and second, that it appeals to a basic though depraved human taste for gore, and thus has little history apart from the changing technological means for spreading it” (Wiltenburg, 2004). Our senses can at times create notions that affect how we think, thus leading us to create theories that are only to our liking. Positivism according to Auguste Comte was “a view of how knowledge develops, both phylogenetically in society and ontogenetically in each individual” (Mackenzie, 2011). Rationalism can only be “explained through the action of human though” (Kardas, 2014) and it can be described as molding reality through our way of thinking. Romanticism was “a response against Enlightenment and its seemingly inexorable movement toward materialism and skepticism” (Kardas, 2014). It was a reaction against reason, sensation, and focused on the individual at hand.

Existentialism is a philosophical term that is concerned with finding one’s self and the meaning of life through free will, choice, and personal responsibility to which our decisions are not without stress and consequences. Physiology is a sub-field in biology that is categorized into animal and plant physiology depending on the organism. Physiology becomes very important in philosophy when Darwin begins to try and make sense of his finding of his collection of specimens. “Experimental Psychology has continued to publish highest-quality experimental research in all areas of psychology, which has had great impact on psychology as a basic science” (Stahl, 2017). Experimental Psychology consists of all the contributions from theoretical work that goes in to psychology for growth in future studies. Voluntarism consist of Wilhelm Wundt’s “theories focused on the central role of consciousness and a person’s ability to actively choose to attend to selective parts of consciousness” (Kardas, 2014).

Our decisions are made with a clear conscious and when they affect our consciousness then voluntarism is affected and not active. Structuralism is developed by Edward B Titchener as a departure of Voluntarism with “more emphasis upon the role of introspection as a psychological method” (Kardas, 2014). Darwin “discovered a mechanism for how species could change over time that did not depend on the creator” ( Kardas, 2014) and he called it natural selection which equaled to his theory of evolution. Functionalism was formed when “American students were studying at home, in laboratories and departments that were busily at work creating a distinctly American brand of psychology” (Kardas, 2014). William James never had any training in psychology but his extensive experiences from his trainings to form functionalism. John B Watson proposed a new approach to psychology, he “argued for a completely new psychology, one that dispensed with introspection and consciousness in a single stroke” (Kardas, 2014) this new approach was called behaviorism. From behaviorism came a separate theory that used animals as models during studies.

“Neobehaviorism concentrated on understanding learned behaviors. used animal models, and practically eliminated from psychology any reference to mental life” (Kardas, 2014). Gestalt psychology comes from Germany and was formed at the same time as behaviorism and neobehaviorism were ascending in the United States. A unified whole that cannot be predicted from summing its component parts. Gestalts may be perceptual, cognitive, or social. Sigmund Freud was the founder of psychoanalysis. He believed by making one’s unconscious, conscious of their thoughts and motives, people could be cured of repressed emotions and experiences. Humanism gave rise or new life to many academic studies which include anthropology, philosophy, and history. Humanism is the study and application of worldly knowledge for and about secular concerns instead of sacred ones, especially as applied to arts and literature.

Contemporary psychology reflects several major perspectives such biological/neuroscience, cognitive, behavioral, social, developmental, clinical, and individual differences/personality thus in return the system of psychology has changed to a more defined one. Before psychology was evolving in to small theories that were being found as they studied more about it. One course could satisfy many fields and fulfill many occupations. As it has grown there are a vast selection of concentrations of psychology where one can specialize in certain area that one desires to learn. Thus, when we study psychology, we can now choose to follow a specialized field instead of having to learn a general field of psychology. We are now dealing with philosophical issues when it comes to ethics and values.

In today’s society puts people’s ethics in plane site and their values are now judged by everyone. Our way of thinking can expose the ethics we believe in and our values can give philosophical insight to what we strive for in life. psychology has continued to expand as there has been an increasing popularity of incorporating culture and diversity into studies of numerous psychological areas and since cultures refer to attitudes, personalities, thought processes, opinions, beliefs, feelings, and behaviors and every culture is different. In return, culture plays a role in contemporary psychology instead of the other way around because as one culture can be affect by certain mental issues that affects them, another culture may need a different concentration of psychology.

Core Assessment Research Paper essay

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