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Psychotherapy: Sensationalists, Rationalists, and Romantics

The three groups, the sensationalists, the rationalists, and the romantics, have very different epistemologies. The sensationalists trusted the senses or sense experience to determine truth. While many of them also used reason to some degree, they placed a greater trust in the senses. The rationalists, while giving some credence to the senses, primarily trusted reason as the best guide to knowing truth. The romantics took a more phenomenological approach and placed greater emphasis on emotions in the process of determining how to live; they weren't as concerned with the issue of truth.

1. How do these epistemologies impact ethics and morals? Particularly with the romantics, you begin to notice there is a potential to separate ethics, or what is right, from values, or the individual's ideals. What do you think is the significance of this separation?

2. These three positions still do not dictate a view of human nature as fundamentally good or evil. There are variant positions within the perspectives. What are the implications you think exist for human nature in these perspectives?

3. Address their implications for therapy. Compare how you think these different philosophies would impact the way psychotherapy effectiveness should be determined.

Solution Preview

1. How these epistemologies impact ethics and morals? Particularly with the romantics, you begin to notice there is a potential to separate ethics, or what is right, from values, or the individual's ideals. What do you think is the significance of this separation?

- Romanticism may be defined as a pattern of thoughts, attitudes and beliefs associated with a movement in the arts as a way of answering questions men faced about the world (Campbell. 1983).
- From this perspective it affected all of Western Europe from 1750-1850 coinciding with the Industrial revolution.
- Romanticism was considered as a set of values biases, opting for feelings over cognition, reason, imagination over intellect. It. It was a movement which affected all the countries of Western Europe, especially France, Germany and England roughly in the century 1750-1850, a period which, it is important to note, coincides with the critical stage of the industrial revolution. Thus, romanticism can be considered as a distinct set of value biases and feelings over cognition; and imagination over intellect (Campbell, 1983, PP. 284-285).
- Romanticism was a reaction against the emphasis placed upon reason and science during The Enlightenment Period (Campbell, 1983).
- Romanticism was a rejection of classicism and the changing industrial and commercial world.
- The era of Romanticism emphasized such themes as the priority of feelings, the cult of the individual, a renewed appreciation for matters such as: (a) nature and the primitive, (b) the exploration of the unconscious and (c) a fascination with the supernatural (Abrams, 1971 as cited in Romanticism).
- Romantics were united in their opposition to the industrial revolution and its effects, "which they nearly all viewed as disastrous.
- They were more fundamentally were opposed to doctrines and modes of ...

Solution Summary

This solution examines the perspective of psychotherapy in light of different movements including the sensationalists, the rationalists, and the romantics.

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