Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Philosophical Psychology

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION The study-unit aims at introducing students to the history of Western thought and how it influenced the development of psychology. It will position psychology in its historical, philosophical and socio-cultural contexts. The study-unit will highlight the relevance of particular situations and events together with the contributions of key personalities within the fields of philosophy and psychology. The meaning of ‘History’ and its significance within the confines of psychology will be discussed. Key philosophical positions which gave rise to different psychological schools of thought will be presented. These will include the development of moral philosophy, rationalism, positivism, constructivism and post modernism.

Study-unit Aims:

- A historical overview of the development of Psychology;
- Introduction of Psychology and its foundations;
- Introduction to philosophy, its development through history and its influence on psychology;
- Introduction to moral philosophy, professional ethics and philosophy of action;
- Introduction to the various psychological schools of thought and their philosophical underpinnings.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- understand the development of psychology through history;
- understand key issues in psychology;
- appreciate the importance of key figures and events in the development of psychology;
- be aware and appreciate the different schools of thought and how these gave birth to different psychological approaches.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- differentiate between different psychological positions, and to discuss them critically;
- position himself/herself professionally through a thorough discussion of ethical dilemmas, principle ethics and virtue ethics. Discuss ethical issues and dilemmas as well as ethical principles and virtues leading to ethical positioning within professional ethics.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Required Texts:

- Hergenhahn, B.R. (2005). An Introduction to the History of Psychology. (5th Ed) Brooks/Cole, CA.

Reading List:

- Benjamin, L.T. (1997). A history of psychology: original sources and contemporary research. (2nd Ed) NY: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
- Hock, R.R. (1999). Forty studies that changed psychology. (3ed) Prentice-Hall, NJ.
- Santrock, J.W. (2000). Psychology. (6th ed.) McGraw Hill.
- Watson, R.I. (1979). Basic writings in the history of psychology. Oxford University Press, NY.
- Goodwin, J. (2008). A history of modern psychology (3rd Ed). Wiley and Son.
- Heil, J. (2004). A contemporary introduction to the philosophy of mind. Routledge.

A reading pack will be provided.

ADDITIONAL NOTES This study-unit is only offered to students with Psychology as an area of study.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Multiple Choice Questions Examination (2 Hours) See note below Yes 100%
Note: Assessment due will vary according to the study-unit availability.


The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2021/2. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.