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Sioux Falls Feminists endorse The Great Ideas of Psychology
for a thorough review of psychology's history
and the classical ideas it developed.

The Great Ideas of Psychology
Lectures by Professor Daniel N. Robinson

The Great Ideas of Psychology (1997) - 48 lectures, 24 hours
The Great Ideas of Psychology at

If you've ever wanted to delve more deeply into the mysteries of human emotion, perception, and cognition, and of why we do what we do, this course offers a superb place to start. As you hear these lectures, you hear the entire history of psychology unfold. And you learn that the subject most of us today associate with names like Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, and B. F. Skinner really began thousands of years earlier.

In the hands of Professor Daniel N. Robinson, this course roams far and wide, encompassing ideas, speculations, and point-blank moral questions that might just dismantle and rebuild everything you once thought you knew about psychology.

Witness the Debate over Psychology's Very Existence

In fact, you not only learn what psychology is, but even if it is, as Professor Robinson discusses the constantly shifting debate over the nature of psychology itself.

You see one school of thought after another enter the fray, trying to determine how this strange thing called the human "mind" is to be understood, studied, and treated:

  • Are we an entity that simply perceives an external world and piles one experience upon another in order to learn?
  • Could such a process even happen without an intervening rationality to make sense of it all?
  • Or is "mind" itself merely an unobservable illusion, leaving the science of psychology with little more to study than the actual physical realities of body and brain?

It's a debate that has raged for centuries, and to take this course is to see the question and its implications with a new clarity.

Professor Daniel N. Robinson is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Georgetown University and a member of the philosophy faculty at Oxford University. He has also taught at other universities, including Columbia and Princeton. Among the more than 40 distinguished books to his credit is An Intellectual History of Psychology. The former president of two divisions of the American Psychological Association, he was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from its History of Psychology division.

48 Lectures - 30 minutes each

1: Defining the Subject 25: Psychobiology - Nineteenth-Century Foundations
2: Ancient Foundations - Greek Philosophers and Physicians 26: Language and the Brain
3: Minds Possessed - Witchery and the Search for Explanations 27: Rationality, Problem-Solving, and Brain Function
4: The Emergence of Modern Science - Locke's "Newtonian" Theory of Mind 28: The "Emotional" Brain - The Limbic System
5: Three Enduring "Isms" - Empiricism, Rationalism, Materialism 29: Violence and the Brain
6: Sensation and Perception 30: Psychopathology - The Medical Model
7: The Visual Process 31: Artificial Intelligence and the Neurocognitive Revolution
8: Hearing 32: Is Artificial Intelligence "Intelligent"?
9: Signal-Detection Theory 33: What Makes an Event "Social"?
10: Perceptual Constancies and Illusions 34: Socialization - Darwin and the "Natural History" Method
11: Learning and Memory: Associationism - Aristotle to Ebbinghaus 35: Freud's Debt to Darwin
12: Pavlov and the Conditioned Reflex 36: Freud, Breuer, and the Theory of Repression
13: Watson and American Behaviorism 37: Freud's Theory of Psychosexual Development
14: B.F. Skinner and Modern Behaviorism 38: Critiques of Freudian Theory
15: B.F. Skinner and the Engineering of Society 39: What Is "Personality"?
16: Language 40: Obedience and Conformity
17: The Integration of Experience 41: Altruism
18: Perception and Attention 42: Prejudice and Self-Deception
19: Cognitive "Maps," "Insight," and Animal Minds 43: On Being Sane in Insane Places
20: Memory Revisited - Mnemonics and Context 44: Intelligence
21: Piaget's Stage Theory of Cognitive Development 45: Personality Traits and the Problem of Assessment
22: The Development of Moral Reasoning 46: Genetic Psychology and "The Bell Curve"
23: Knowledge, Thinking, and Understanding 47: Psychological and Biological Determinism
24: Comprehending the World of Experience - Cognition Summarized 48: Civic Development - Psychology, the Person, and the Polis


The Great Ideas of Psychology
Lectures by Professor Daniel N. Robinson

Sioux Falls Feminists endorse The Great Ideas of Psychology
for a thorough review of psychology's history
and the classical ideas it developed.