St. Augustine (First Developmental Psychologist?)greenspun.com : LUSENET : History & Theory of Psychology : One Thread
Okay, i'm doing a research paper for one of my classes and we are looking at Saint Augustine and the impact he had on the history of psychology. I'm kind of looking for a starting point and i'm running into snags. Would he be considered one of the first developmental psychologists. I was thinking this because developmental psychology is all about how a person becomes who they are from birth to death. Now Saint Augustine believed that people had an internal sense and if they didn't follow the "path of God", this internal sense would fill them with guilt. Well, i would think that it could be postulated that this guilt, that could ultimately fester inside a person, would have a major impact in determining as how that person becomes who they are. Am I just stretching or does this seem like a logical argument? Oh yes, by the way, does anyone have some helpful sites or areas that i could visit that would give me information that would be acceptable in a 400 level college course? Any help that anyone could give me would be greatly appreciated.
-- Rick (T_Bonz_75@hotmail.com), September 06, 2003
Most history textbooks include some discussion of Augustine, but you'll find especially helpful treatment in Dan Robinson's An Intellectual History of Psychology, in D. B. Klein's A History of Scientific Psychology, and in Robert Watson's The Great Psychologists. You'll find that Augustine was a developmental psychologist among many other things. For the material on guilt you might want to look at Augustine as a psychologist or religion.
There are also various treatments of Augustine in two special issues of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion:
Bakan, D. (1965). Some thoughts on reading Augustine's Confessions. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 5, 149-152.
Clark, W. H. (1965). Depth and rationality in Augustine's Confessions. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 5, 144- 148.
Dittes, J. E. (1965). Continuities between the life and thought of Augustine. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 5, 130-140.
Havens, J. (1965). Notes on Augustine's Confessions. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 5, 141-143.
Pruyser, P. W. (1966). Psychological examination: Augustine. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 5, 284-289.
Woolcott, P. (1966). Some considerations of creativity and religious experience in St. Augustine of Hippo. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 5, 273-283.
You might also consult
Morgan, J. (1932). The psychological teaching of St. Augustine. London: E. Stock.
Bryn, T. W. (1935). The psychology of conversion: with special reference to saint Augustine. London: Allenson.
Morgan, J. (1932). The psychological teaching of Saint Augustine. London: E. Stock.
Henry, P. (1960). Saint Augustine on personality. New York: Macmillan.
Cole, W. G. (1955) Sex in Christianity and psychoanalysis. New York: Oxford University Press. Includes material on Augustine and others.
-- Hendrika Vande Kemp (email@example.com), September 08, 2003.
Rick, One of my Honours students is currently researching Augustine's notion of an "inner sense" as well, and is asking how this has been received by modern psychology and concepts of self. Our 'hypothesis' is that this is connected to what we, today, would call "self-esteem", or a person's own feelings about who they are. More specifically, we're wondering if Augustine has identified a kind of 'moral space' where reflexivity and the existing cultural context create evaluations of conduct. Today, we evaluate ourselves according to very different criteria--largely because the language of moral discourse if very different--but we perhaps perform some functionally similar cognitive processes. So, we end up with 'low self-esteem' whereas Augustine ended up with 'eternal damnation'(?)...or something similar. I mention this somewhat tenuously, but I think Augustine is on to something that, once we get past the specifics of the content, the 'phenomenology' of the experience is basically the same. As of yet, I don't know of anyone who has taken his "inner sense" and connected it in this way.(?)
-- Scott Greer (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 16, 2003.