Philosophy Of Psychology

Submitted By mpatel1512
Words: 2545
Pages: 11

Essay #1 Draft

Question One
Although it is difficult to oppose any of these great minds, Plato would be my choice for the person that least represents my own philosophy of psychology, while Aristotle would be most representative of my own thoughts. Aristotle takes an intriguing position on the importance of human knowledge, as he judged human knowledge in terms of its value to human life. My own views are similar to Aristotle’s, as I also believe that all human knowledge, if it is to be judged and discovered, should be of some use to us. It would be futile to pursue knowledge without any means of its practical use’s being evident to us. Perhaps one of the more interesting ideas that Aristotle concocted was the notion of causation and explaining change in terms of growth and development. He differentiated four causes upon which all beings depend. He analyzes it in a way that seems to be simple, however it is sufficient in order to understand any natural being or object. There is the matter from whence the being comes from, the form it takes, the agent, and purpose. It is interesting to me that although these may be outlined as stages; he is simply implying that the final stage is akin to a beings purpose. He is also stating that there isn’t something external that brought an object into being rather it is internal. This is synonymous with my view that although human beings are under a constant flux, they reach a point where they must accomplish some purpose in their lives and everyone definitely has a purpose of some sort. Personally the most relatable viewpoint of Aristotle is his view on “virtue ethics”. He stated that it is not duty nor consequences that make people behave in a manner for the common good, rather it is the development of a moral character that is crucial in order to make human beings behave in a civil manner. I have often felt this way for a long time because of the way our society is set up, where we have freedom, but within the constraints of the law and intangible boundaries. There is an overt focus on creating members of society that abide to these rules, while there could be more of an effort in order to allow opportunities for people to develop their own moral character.

Plato is not appealing to me for several reasons, one of them being that he believed that most people were blinded by the senses. He seems to be contradicting himself because he also believes that human beings are capable of self-reflection, however only a certain few are capable of this. He seems to be implying that there is an elite class of human beings with this capability, and the rest are a mindless mob, as he depicted in his allegory of the cave. I used to be supportive of Plato’s allegory of the cave, however I realized that his description of a Cave was contextual. Plato lived in an era where only a few elite got to experience any sort of formal education, which was essentially in the form of dialogue. They were under the rule of a king, and there was a hierarchy to their lifestyle. There was not much opportunity for upward mobility and this may have been a reason as to why he thought people were blinded by their sense. He was mistaking routine and livelihood for the blindness of people and being unable to see past the cave. He also fails to recognize that sensory information is the gateway to knowledge, without our sense there is no knowledge, if we cannot see, touch, hear, or smell then we are incapable of discovery. Therefore our senses do no blind us to the world, they enlighten us and allow us to experience the world. Another point by Plata I disagree with is that there is no real truth, as he further outlines in his allegory of the clave by stating that what we see are mere shadows of a real “true” object. I understand that he might have thought this because he did believe in a God or Godlike ultimate being; specifically a craftsman that he believed created the world. I do not