The poverty of modern psychology

Having finished what could be called Thomas psychology (questions 6 to 17 of the Ia IIae) one can only wonder at how we got from this extremely detailed analysis of the way the human souls functions, how decisions are made and in what sense acta are volontary or involontary to the early modern notion that the soul consists of ”reason” and perhaps some emotions. Thomas analyses how circumstances, will, enjoyment, intention, choice, councel consent, and use take place with regard to an act.

I realize that a lot of things happened between Thomas and Kant, but what this makes clear is the motivation for the modern (or late medieval) construction of the boogeyman called ”scolasticism”. Of course this understanding of the human being is extremely complex and thus difficult to work with, but I can’t say that it is metaphysical (in the ”swedish” sense) or that it gets lost in pointless details. Of course parts of it is problematic, mainly I think the notion of the ”irrational animals” as a stable ”other” used for comparison in all the above mentioned cases.

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