HPSC3023 - History and Philosophy of Psychology and Psychiatry

Semester 1


Prerequisites: Either [(HPSC2100,HPSC2901 and HPSC2101/2901) OR (a CR or above in HPSC2100/2900 OR HPSC2101.2901) ] OR [12 intermediate credit points in psychology]
6 credit points
2x 1-hour lectures, plus 1x 2-hour tutorial per week (see timetable)
Assessment: tutorial work, essay, exam, tutorial participation


Psychiatry and Psychology: Science of the Mind, the Brain, or Behaviour?

Is Mental Illness a Disease?

Is Psychology a Science?



This course examines one of the most interesting developments in the history of science: it deals with the sciences that make human beings their object of study. We will examine the ways in which psychologists and psychiatrists have investigated human nature, what kinds of experimental approaches they have developed to that end, the major controversies in this field, and the basic philosophical assumptions that have been made in the sciences of human nature. We investigate the developments of psychological theories and investigative methods as well as the development of psychiatric theory, treatment methods, and institutions.


In This Course We Will Discuss:

  • The Origins of the Mental Hospital
  • The Nature of Mental Illness
  • Psychoanalysis and Psychopharmacology
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Psychology as a Science
  • The Philosophy of Mind
  • Philosophical Assumptions of Psychologists and Psychiatrists