Discuss Should the History of Psychology be X Rated.

I need help creating a thesis and an outline on Should the History of Psychology be X Rated. Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide. An abstract is required. As Erns Mach (1960) puts it, “They [students] that know the entire course of the development of science, will, as a matter of course, judge more freely and more correctly of the significance of any present scientific movement than they, who, limited in the views to the age in which their own lives have been spent, contemplate merely the momentary trend that the course of intellectual events takes at the present moment” (pp. 8-9).

The idea of rationality which is the ability to provide a logical, consistent, and understandable explanation of and justification for anything is the cornerstone of Western civilization. In the twentieth century, representatives of the positivist tradition founded by Augustus Comte made an attempt to refine the essence of rationality inherent in science by designing a set of methods that could be applied to any area of human life and behavior. This attempt was successful and from the middle of the last century had been influencing psychology tremendously (Brush, 1974).

However, this conventional view on the role of history in teaching science in general and psychology, in particular, has been recently put in question. The main point of the criticism relates to the claim of science to be a uniquely ‘uniquely rational enterprise’: this assumption has been also questioned heavily, and the history of science played an essential role in the process. Many believe that learning about the history of science may have a negative influence on the training of the next generation of scientists because it detracts students from a genuinely scientific approach (Brush, 1974). The essence of this belief is brilliantly worded by J. B. Conant (1960) who claims that “while knowledge of the history of science may help a scientist to function better outside the laboratory, it has nothing to teach him about the methods of research he will need in order to make new discoveries” (Conant, 1960 cited in Brush, 1974, p.1166). In a similar vein, Thomas S. Kuhn (1963) claims that the student “might discover other ways of regarding the problems discussed in his textbook, but he would also meet problems, concepts, and standards of solution that his future profession has long since discarded and replaced” (p.344).

 

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