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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

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)
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…
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