History and Epistemology of Psychology (251042)

Learning Outcomes

Psychology has, for a long time, a preponderant role in society, being considered a science in constant evolution. In fact, this discipline has made important advances that have helped to better understand people's behavior and thought processes.
Assuming an integrated and systemic perspective, this discipline seeks to stimulate a reflection on the internal world, on interpersonal relationships and on social reality.  It seeks to have an impact on how the future psychologist looks at the profession and its role in the world in which he lives.
The understanding of the History of Psychology and the History of Ideas allows the development of the critical spirit and enables epistemologically founded and autonomous choices within the diversity of the great systems of Psychology.
UC seeks to make known several currents, several schools, various models, several authors. Describes the development of the main areas or fields of research and intervention of Psychology. At the same time, it seeks to develop an integrative and reflective view of the discipline.

Study Program

1.    Brief overview of the History of Psychology: the look on the past, the present and the future - influence of the historical and social moment.
2.    The usefulness of Epistemology in critical reflection on psychological knowledge. Epistemology and Gnosiology.
3.    From mythological to philosophical thought.
4.    From Ancient Greece to post-Renaissance.
5.    From Philosophy to Physiology, from Psychophysics to Contemporary Psychology.
6.    Science demarcation criteria and the importance of Epistemology in the formation of the scientific spirit:    
a.    Empiricism
b.    Rationalism
7.    Scientific and non-scientific knowledge.
8.    The influence of positivism on the development of Psychology as a science.
9.    The structure and development of science according to the main epistemological theories (reference to Comte, Bachelard, Popper, Kuhn and Foucault).
10.    The contribution of Wundt and Fechner.
11.    Psychology, its Unity and its Autonomy - Establishment of Psychology as an autonomous discipline and evolution of psychological knowledge in different countries.
12.    Description of the classical areas of organization of Psychology; description of the main theoretical currents. Reference to the main authors:
a.    Structuralism
b.    Functionalism
c.    Behaviorism
d.    Psychology of Gestalt
e.    Psychoanalysis
f.    Humanist Psychology
g.    Cognitive psychology.
h.    Constructivism and Social Constructionism.
13.    The emergence of Psychology in Portugal: Faria de Vasconcelos and Aurélio da Costa Ferreira.
14.    Recurring themes in the History of Psychology:
a.    The body/mind relationship
b.    Consciousness
c.    The unconscious
d.    External influence versus internal influence of behavior
15.    Integrative and reflective vision of Psychology,
16.    Psychology today: challenges and trends.
17.    Disciplinarity, interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity in the sciences today.



Alexander, B. K. & Shelton, C. K. (2014) A history of psychology in western civilization. Cambridge University Press    
Braunstein, J-F. & Pewzner, E. (2003). História da psicologia. Instituto Piaget.     
Caparros, A. (1999). História da psicologia. Plátano Edições Técnicas.    
Hothersall, D. (2006). História da psicologia. McGraw Hill-Artmed.     
Mueller, F-L. (2001). História da psicologia I – Da antiguidade a Bergson. Publicações Europa-América. 
Mueller, F-L. (2001). História da psicologia II`- A psicologia contemporânea. Publicações Europa-América. 
Neves de Jesus, S. (2003). Psicologia em Portugal: Balanço e perspetivas. Quarteto Editora.