PS381 Lecture Notes - Aristotle, Psych, Neurosis

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31 Jan 2013

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Class 2: September 12, 2012
The History of Western Ideas and Practices of Mental Health
The History of Mental Health Practices in Canada
Alleged Origins of Clinical Psychology
-larger historical context
-unfounded claim Clinical Psych is at the peek of a triangle that starts at Greek Medicine
and Roman Science PROBLEM
Clinical Psychology is a 20th century invention, there was no clinical psychology before that
time, Western civilization, primarily but not exclusively Capitalist Nations
Historical “Tree of Knowledge”
The metaphor of a “Tree of Knowledge,” – unbroken line from Ancient Greeks till now, false
Ancient Greeks never had a term for psychology, doesn’t mean they never thought
psychological thoughts but they didn’t use the concepts or language that we’re familiar
Origins of Ideas and Practices re: Mental Health
Antigone is accused of being crazy because she dared to defy
People have been talking about crazy behaviour for millennia
Aristole and Hippocrates (ca. 400 BCE)
-both provided Naturalistic explanations on how people behaved based on observation
-they talked about mental health, not in our language and the way we understand it, but
their ideas were very influential on Western culture
-Hippocratic Oath: Ethical Norm physicians take this oath
Galen (129-198 CE)
-built on the understanding of human nature by advancing the notion of a ‘humour’ –
unobservable 4 counterparts: earth, air , fire and water. Keeps us balanced to maintain
mental health.
-Promoted humane treatment for persons coping with psychosis how to treat people
-treat people the way you wish to be treated
Avicenna (980-1037)
-Emphasized environmental and psychological causes of mental disorders
Middle Ages in Europe
Turned the church for solace
Demonic Possession therapy consists of getting Satan out, people were physically abused
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