During the modernist period, you noticed a countercultural movement of romanticism and early existentialism. Explore the two major strands of early modernism – sensationalism and rationalism – along with the countercultural movement – romanticism and early existentialism. While British sensationalism also emerged during this period, it is more of a blending of sensationalism and rationalism. You’ll focus on the two more pure thought systems.
You’ve noticed that 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.
- 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?
- These three positions still do not dictate a view of human nature as fundamentally good or evil. There are variant positions within the perspectives. Discuss any implications you think exist for human nature in these perspectives.
- Finally, address the implications for therapy. Compare how you think these different philosophies would impact the way psychotherapy effectiveness should be determined