CC 300 GX: History and Systems of Psychology

CC 300 GX: History and Systems of Psychology

3 Credits
Professor Nelson
TR 3:00-4:15 pm
Crosslisted with PSY 360

Who are we?  What does it mean to be a human person?  Many thinkers and more recently modern psychologists have asked these questions.  In this class we will look at some of the main answers to this vital topic found in the Western tradition, and consider outstanding current and historical writers who have sought to answer the question, who are we?

Four systems of thought have developed in Western thought around the question who are we?  Some writers think we are blank slates, victims of fate or products of our culture and environment.  Others see us as relational beings who find our selfhood in community.  A third group sees us as minds or machines, rational beings who process information and make judgments.  Finally a fourth group looks beyond these answers and sees us as spiritual or religious beings that find our meaning in a relationship with the transcendent or sacred.  In the class we will read a prominent modern psychologist who represents each of these perspectives, and then see how their positions have developed from prior ideas in philosophy, science and theology that are deeply embedded in Western intellectual history.  After studying, analyzing and discussing these views, each student will be invited to develop and present a paper on their own answer to the question, who are we?

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