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Intellectual Schisms in Philippine Psychology are Schisms of the Self: Meditations from an East-West Comparative Standpoint

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Critical reflection on the study of psychology situates both students and practitioners in a position to ponder upon not only the conceptual, methodological, and perhaps, theoretical advances within the discipline, but more so, in rediscovering what psychology is in the first place. The first part of this paper provides a discussion on how psychology can be remembered and studied within the backdrop of a condensed history of intellectual progression. Within this context, intellectual schisms can be understood as prompted by the value system held by members of a scientific community. Such a value system, therefore, is also attributable to the emergence of contending perspectives and systems that characterize psychology within a postmodern context. The second part of this paper argues that since psychology is the study of the self, then Eastern re flections have a place in situating Zen Buddhism as it correlates with Western postmodernism. The problem of the self in Eastern philosophy is a source of rich insight in arguing that the emptiness of the self is, in fact, due to its fluidity. Given this, I conclude in this paper that the fluidity of the self accounts for the fluidity of knowledge in psychology and the rest of the social sciences. I pose the challenge that the practice of psychology in the Philippines, as a science and profession, should take on a spiritual depth in consideration of the positive values espoused by postmodernism from an East-West comparative standpoint.


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