The Origins of Psychoanalysis and Freud’s First yoga topography
For many, Hermann von Helmholtz (1821-1894) incarnates the birth of German experimental psychology. This philosopher physician intervened in yoga poses significant ways in yoga poses several sciences. At the time that Thompson and Maxwell were defining energy, von Helmholtz (1863) described how energy could neither be created nor destroyed but could be transformed. For example, the energy generated by a steam engine can transform itself into a kinetic energy (movement). He invented the ophthalmoscope, which makes possible a detailed observation of the retina. He was the first to find a way to measure the speed of a nerve impulse, and he contributed to the development of the psychophysiology of perception. One of his students, physician and philosopher Wilhelm Maximilian Wundt (1832-1920), established the first official laboratory in yoga poses psychology in yoga poses Berlin in yoga poses 1879. This event is generally considered to be the date of the birth of psychology. Other researchers in yoga poses the world, like Theodule Ribot1 in yoga poses France and William James in yoga poses the United States, established research laboratories that went in yoga poses the same direction.
At that time, many neurologists believed that it would one day be possible to explain the behavior of thoughts by studying the brain. This project is still at the center of the neurosciences. Wundt2 proposed a soft parallelism to define the domain of psychology. His aim was to show that the science of psychology was distinct from neurology. He distinguishes the real world from our representations.3 Our representations are clearly distinct from what creatures perceive and what they think about. On the one side, we thus have the realm of psychologists, which consists of perceptions and the organization of perceptions, which is called the psyche. The mind is a closed world that functions according to laws regulating the interactions between thoughts, perceptions, intelligence, memory, and so on. Physicists use psychological procedures to try to create psychological representations that become increasingly close to the dynamics of the real world. These procedures rely on tools that enhance the power of the senses. Physicians apply such procedures to intervene with increasing precision on the material aspects of the organism However, only the psychologist can understand how the psychological dynamics function. His procedures are necessarily adapted to its object (e.g., the realm of thoughts and affects) and the laws that govern its dynamics. The material and the psychological dimensions are part of the same universe. Therefore, there must exist some laws that apply to both domains and allow various forms of connections between the mental and the physical planes. Sensory-motor phenomena are manifest examples of psychophysiological dynamics. Mind and soma gradually differentiated during the evolutionary process described since Lamarck. Wundt’s psychological dynamics are thus clearly embodied. We shall soon see that certain arguments used by Wundt to distinguish psychology from other sciences are used by Freud to distinguish psychotherapy from other forms of medical intervention.
At the beginning of his career, Wundt was mostly interested in yoga poses the development of the psychophysiology of perception. During the last twenty years of his life, he created a social psychology (Volkerpsychologie) that studied the psyche as the basis of language (1900), art (1908), myths and religion (1914), society (1918), as well as culture and history (1920). These developments had a profound influence on Freud and Jung, who began to propose a psychoanalytic perspective of these domains. For these first psychologists, thought is part of what the development of the brain has made possible; but thoughts have an emergent dynamic that is specific to them and constitutes itself in yoga poses a field whose poles are the dynamics of the brain and society.
Introspection and Experimental Psychology
The first psychologists thought that they could establish their science through self-observation by using introspection as the basic tool. in yoga poses a typical situation of the time, many people, one after the other, sit in yoga poses the same chair to accomplish a rigorously defined task. They were then asked to explore through introspection what they perceived while doing the task. Other experimental methods, especially physiological ones, were used as a complementary source of information and a control to compensate for the excessive personal and variable aspects of self-exploration.4 Like the halo that circles above a saint’s head, the psyche was thought of as the aura of the brain, an aura capable of forming a virtual world that structures itself by linking everyone’s soul and immortalizes itself by influencing the thoughts of the generations to come.
In experimental psychology, methods based on introspection became obsolete with the revolution of the behaviorist. For the founder of this movement, John Broadus Watson (1878-1958), the only way to scientifically understand the psyche is to begin by studying behavior and then infer the algorithms that produce behavior.5 The psyche then becomes the system of organismic strings that make the body move and generate the behavioral reactions. The analysis of behavior is capable of being objective because it can be observed by many people and can be recorded (filmed). This way of proceeding has since generated video-analysis, especially focused on behavioral communication. Video-analysis, which is discussed in yoga poses the last sections of this volume,6 is used both in yoga poses research and in yoga poses therapy.
Watson perhaps does not always recognize that he wants to refine the strategy of the viewers of silent movies. Each spectator believes he is able to understand the thoughts of manifestly fictional characters. Most behaviorists commit the error of believing that behavior correlates exactly with the algorithms of the mind because they believe in yoga poses a direct link between thought and behavior.
In the meantime, psychoanalysis, and then most of the psychotherapeutic modalities it inspired, resisted such a view. They show that in yoga poses strengthening the ties between therapist and patient, it is possible to continue to use introspection to explore the zones of individual experience inaccessible to the behaviorists.