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Conceptual and Historical Issues in Psychology

Conceptual and Historical Issues in Psychology

First Edition
Additional resources:

March 2017 | 384 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
This book covers key movements that helped to shape psychology – from the early philosophical debate between rationalism and empiricism or realists and antirealists through to the emergence of psychology as a science and the ongoing debates about ‘objectivity’ and ‘truth’ and what a science of psychology should be. 

Often nuanced and complex, the author examines major conceptual issues in the history of psychology that continue to be debated and influence public policy and lay understanding. The latter stages of the book explore notions of individuality, hereditarianism, critical psychology, and feminist perspectives. While deeply rooted in human history, it is made clear that psychology, how it is conceived and practiced, has a bearing on our understanding of what it is to be human.

Accessible, objective and above all comprehensive, this book will help students locate psychology in the wider field of science and understand the forces that continue to shape and define it.

Chapter 1 - Psychological Inquiry as an Evolving Human Practice
Chapter 2 - Historical Conceptual Issues
Chapter 3 - Science and Psychology
Chapter 4 - Physiology and Phenomenology
Chapter 5 - Nature and Nurture
Chapter 6 - The Mind-Body Problem
Chapter 7 - Philosophy of Science
Chapter 8 - Mainstream and its Critics
Chapter 9 - Critical Psychology and Feminist Psychology
Chapter 10 - Psychological Methods and Practice
Chapter 11 - The Cognitive Revolution
Chapter 12 - Free Will Versus determinism

Students will find this text a thoroughly engaging journey into Psychology’s history and foundational assumptions.

Fiona Hibberd
University of Sydney Australia

Brad Piekkola grapples with cognitive and biological histories rarely considered in the conceptual considerations of psychology in such a way that allows students to be critical and mindful of today's practises within the discipline. 

Katherine Hubbard
University of Surrey

Conceptual and Historical Issues in Psychology offers an interesting overview of some key conceptual issues that psychology has grappled with throughout its history. This book will be particularly useful for students of psychology who wish to explore the epistemological foundations of the discipline.

Eleni Andreouli
Open University

Conceptual and Historical Issues in Psychology by Brad Piekkola provides the student with the backdrop against which the discipline of psychology has emerged, including its most challenging conceptualisations: mind and body, nature and nurture, free will and determinism.  The narrative account from past to present and the engagement with approaches from dominant to critical is expertly balanced for those students keen to understand how psychology has developed across diverse contexts. Whilst providing a comprehensive overview, the themes, topics and tools covered are fundamental to a nuanced understanding of the discipline.  It invites the reader to grapple with the theoretical underpinnings of psychology and the challenges it faces including, importantly, contemporary challenges such as postmodern and feminist approaches.  With this book, and its supporting material, the student is provided with the opportunity to think through the role of psychology within the context of history, philosophy, science and the world in which we live.

Rose Capdevila
Open University

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 2: Historical Conceptual Issues

Sage College Publishing

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