The evolution paradigm
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The Evolution Paradigm. Its Influence on Psychology. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770 - 1831). dialectical understanding of knowledge leading to a developmental view of economics, social conditions, politics, culture, human psychology. . Knowledge as Progression.

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The Evolution Paradigm

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The evolution paradigm

The Evolution Paradigm

Its Influence on Psychology


Georg wilhelm friedrich hegel 1770 1831

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770 - 1831)

  • dialectical understanding of knowledge

  • leading to a developmental view of

    • economics,

    • social conditions,

    • politics,

    • culture,

    • human psychology.


Knowledge as progression

Knowledge as Progression

  • Dialectics (dialogue)

  • Any limited truth (thesis) calls forth its opposite (antithesis).

  • From the dialogue between opposites (dialectics) comes a fuller truth (synthesis).

  • A fundamentally optimistic theory: things get better and better.


Reality as knowledge

Reality as Knowledge

  • Social, political, economic systems, individual psychological development etc. all are ways through which people become progressively more aware of reality.

  • Hegel would say: the Idea becomes conscious of itself in the world.


Reality as knowledge 2

Reality as Knowledge (2)

  • A Christian might say: we become more aware of the Word through which and in which everything was created (John 1)

    • 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

    • 2 He was with God in the beginning.

    • 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made..


Reality as knowledge 3

Reality as Knowledge (3)

  • The progression of events in our lives and in the events around us reflect the progress of our understanding.

  • History, economics, psychology etc… all follow the dialectical thesis-antithesis-synthesis.

  • This progressive development can also be found in areas such as biology (leading to the development of species)


The evolution paradigm

  • What are some examples that would illustrate the dialectic process?


Hegel and economics

Hegel and Economics

  • Left alone, economic systems will follow the thesis/antithesis/synthesis progression and become better overtime: capitalism.

  • Social change follows this same mechanism, class struggle leads to a better society: marxism


The evolution paradigm1

The Evolution paradigm

  • Continuity between species

  • Survival of the fittest (hence, interest in function: what helps you adapt)

  • Recapitulation theory

  • Use of the normal curve, statistics etc… Interest in individual differences.

  • Greater use of interdisciplinary data


Evolution paradigm and psychology 1

Evolution paradigm and Psychology (1)

  • The notion of continuity between the species:

  • Comparative psychology (ex: George John Romanes 1848-1894: notion of the "mental ladder")

  • Use of animals in experimentation

  • Growth of anthropometry, statistics, and the study of individual differences.


Evolution paradigm and psychology 2

Evolution paradigm and Psychology (2)

  • Theory of recapitulation (ontogeny repeats phylogeny) : in the course of development, the individual went through the various stages the species followed --an important but false theory..

  • The child of today, in his/her development, exemplifies modes of thinking existing in the simpler cultures that preceded.


Evolution paradigm and psychology 3

Evolution paradigm and Psychology(3)

  • The distribution of human traits follows the normal curve.

    • This led to the development of statistics and the whole tests and measurements area.

  • An emphasis on function rather than structure.

    • How do people adapt?

    • Behaviorism, functionalism…


That s all for now

That’s all for now…


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