History of PsychologyPsychology is now defined as the science of behavior and the physiological and cognitive processes that underlie it. However, psychology has evolved from its philosophical roots into the diverse scientific field of psychology that we know today. Philosophers such as Rene Descartes and JohnLockebegan to examine the philosophy of the mind in the 1600’s. Descartes was interested in making a distinction between the mind and the body. He argued that the body is constrained by physical laws but the mind is not. In other words there is a division (or dualism) between the two. According to Descartes, a person’s mind naturally imposes a certain order on the understanding the person has about the world. In contrast, Locke suggested that all thoughts and mental processes come from experience. According to Locke, a person’s mind is like a blank slate (tabula rasa) at birth, and the experiences that the person has are then “etched” onto the slate, and the mind is the accumulation of all those experiences.
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