Darwin, o Grande Psicólogo

CORONADO, CALIFÓRNIA – A maioria das pessoas não pensa em Charles Darwin como um psicólogo. Na verdade, o seu trabalho revolucionou o campo da psicologia. Antes de Darwin, a forma como entendíamos a psicologia era moldada pela especulação filosófica. Contudo, mesmo os grandes filósofos como Platão, Aristóteles, Hobbes, Hume, Locke, Kant, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, e outros apenas conseguiam descrever os eventos mentais e os comportamentos actuais, não sendo capazes de explicar as suas causas.

Darwin forneceu uma compreensão aprofundada sobre o facto de a evolução ter influenciado o modelo das nossas mentes com a mesma intensidade com que influenciou a forma do nosso corpo. Tendo em conta que os seres humanos evoluíram do mesmo antepassado primata que os actuais chimpanzés ou os gorilas, Darwin sugeriu que se podia aprender mais através da comparação entre os instintos, emoções e comportamentos dos humanos e dos animais, do que através de conclusões baseadas na especulação subjectiva. Darwin afirmava que, "aquele que compreender o babuíno contribuirá mais para a metafísica do que Locke."

A filosofia é inadequada para compreender as raízes da psicologia humana, porque a auto-reflexão não nos torna conscientes das forças que norteiam a maioria das nossas reacções ao ambiente. Pelo contrário, estamos sujeitos a tendências inatas, que se desenvolvem através das forças reciprocamente influentes da selecção natural e sexual.

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