Charles Darwin's Influence on Psychology Analytical Essay by Master Researcher

Charles Darwin's Influence on Psychology
An analysis of the importance of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution to psychology.
# 43492 | 1,400 words | 3 sources | APA | 2002 | US
Published on Oct 26, 2003 in Philosophy (Religion) , Psychology (General)

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This paper examines and analyzes how Charles Darwin's theory of evolution and idea of natural selection traits became important to psychology. The paper finds that the influence of Charles Darwin on the field of psychology has been profound; the paper explains that if the old explanations for human behavior that were based primarily upon religious teachings were no longer valid, then a definitive new science, psychology, would have to emerge to explain human behavior.

From the Paper:

"In terms of psychology, before Charles Darwin published his theories of natural selection in 1859, the prevailing view among philosophers and scientists had been that the human mind resembled a blank slate, and was virtually free of content until written on by the hand of experience. Essentially, there was nothing in the human intellect which was not previously in the senses. Working within this framework, the Empiricists and their successors produced elaborate theories about how human experience, refracted through a small handful of innate mental procedures, inscribed content onto the mental slate.
"Well-versed in such theories but confident in his own, Darwin was very aware of the monumental impact his new discoveries regarding evolution and natural selection traits would have upon other scientific fields, especially the study of human psychology. His awareness is evident in the first edition of his monumental 1859 work, Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection, for according to Bowler (1990) Darwin informed his readers that, "in the distant future I see open fields for far more important researches. Psychology will be based on a new foundation, that of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation. Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history.""

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