Free Essay Comparing and Contrasting the Stoic, Buddhist, and Modern Psychological Perspectives

Published: 2022-10-04
Free Essay Comparing and Contrasting the Stoic, Buddhist, and Modern Psychological Perspectives
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Psychology Philosophy
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1803 words
16 min read


Psychological perspectives have one broader similarity of studying the minds, emotions and functional perspective of human thoughts and feelings. Different perspectives provides different viewpoints on how human beings functions and render judgement to the conditions and emotions. This is to help understand why certain things take place on earth but not the other way round. Besides analyzing occurrences and perceptions, perspectives also make it possible to understand actions in form of right or evil, ethical or unethical, godly or evil among other categories which can be thought of (Machek, 2015). It is important in analyzing how people perceive suffering, pleasure or any other actions. The perspectives also play an important role in understanding human and emotional developments. The aim of this paper is therefore is compare and contrast stoic, Buddhist and modern psychological perspectives and to provide a position on the perspective that leads to better judgment. It is, therefore, a compare and contrast paper for the three psychological perspectives mentioned in this part.

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Stoic Perspective

Stoic perspective believes in nature and that everything taking place on people mind are due to acts of nature. The perspective mentions that good and virtue mostly relies on the knowledge and reason but have no relationship at all with the pain, suffering, joy, and pleasure which someone has gone through. The perspective is considered to be totally immune to the accidents and unpleasant or pleasant experiences. The perspective relies on five major principles. These are natural, the law of reason, virtue, Wisdom, and Apathea (WKU, 2017). The five principles help in understanding how nature always takes its course in the mindset and actions of a human being and how human beings uses the opportunity to perceive their experiences in life. Therefore, the perspective clearly explains the psychological aspects. In this case, nature is taken as the primary course of everything that takes place in the mindset and actions that human beings engage in life.

The stoic perspective in its principles of analyzing the emotions and actions from the natural point of view. In nature principle, it believes that nature is rational to each and every person. It also believes that the universe through the second principle of the law of reasoning claims that the universe is always governed by reasoning. In the third principle, nature is considered to be rationally virtuous. The wisdom is seen as the root of nature (Machek, 2015). Then apathea describes passion as an irrational perspective. It provides a powerful argument that pleasure is neither good nor bad as long as it has no effect on our quest so is to evil. Then it is our duty to sort out the virtues as part of our duty not to please or hurt anyone. Therefore, it believes that one can only control happiness or frustrations by controlling things which surrounds and have a similar view to things which are out of our powers as human beings.

Buddhist Perspective

Buddhist perspective holds a strong belief that actions, thought and behavior are always influenced by our emotions. That is, if we are happy and pleased then we might end up engaging in wise activities or actions and the opposite, upset might make us engage in evil activities like revenge or immoral activities. Buddhist through, Sukha believes that there are some emotions which are conducive to genuine and enduring happiness whereas others are not at all (Paul Ekman, 2015). Sukha is therefore described in Buddhist perspective as a form of happiness which originates from mental balance or mind which is at the state of equilibrium. Similarly, Dukkha is also a crucial concept in which Buddhists view as not only unpleasant or suffering but also vulnerability to pain and suffering. The Buddhist perspective believes that it is possible to achieve sukha through continuous training on how to accept pain and suffering. This is to help in controlling emotions.

Modern Psychology Perspectives

Modern psychology looks at various ways of describing or defining human behavior. The modern perspective helps in analyzing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of human beings. Modern psychology incorporates various schools of thought which tend to describe or shed light on the behavior of human beings (Nussbaum, 2015). The modern schools of thoughts include psychodynamic perspectives, which focuses on the effects of early childhood experiences, unconscious behavior. It splits nonconscious behavior into the id, the ego, and the superego. The second perspective in modern psychology is the behavioral perspective which concentrates majorly on the observable traits of every individual than the internal perspectives. The third perspective relies on the human's cognitive perspective which relies on memory, thoughts, problem-solving, language, decision making among others (McRae, 2015). Others include cross-cultural perspective, biological perspective, revolutionary perspective and humanistic perspective. This makes modern psychological perspective to involve a number of schools of thoughts which looks at all the dimensions of human beings life and how that affects the psychology, emotions, thoughts, feelings or behavior of someone. It, therefore, incorporates several approaches to studying human behavior other than just focusing on one simple approach or perspective.

Comparing Stoic, Buddhist and Modern Psychological Perspectives

All the psychological perspectives agree that emotions, feelings, and actions have the origin. A stoic perspective which tends to analyze the sources of emotions, actions and behavior relate them to nature by arguing that everything is natural and we can have control over them or not. Buddhist perspective relates actions to emotions as the source of happiness pleasure or sufferings as the sources emotions and the modern psychology perspectives views different aspects like experience, biological, behavioral, cross-cultural among other perspectives as the sources of emotions, thoughts, and feelings among others (McRae, 2015). This converges to one agreement that no emotion can ever occur or result from nothing but must have its source which is either natural or not. Natural ones we cannot have control over whereas artificial ones we can. This provides one simple argument that we either have powers on what is taking place in our lives or we can just agree with them if we have no powers over the causes of emotions. Therefore, all the three psychological perspectives agree that emotions results from some experiences and they can influence our actions.

It is also notable that stoic, Buddhist, and modern psychological perspectives agree that our emotions influence our actions. All hold to the same ideology that emotions might result from experiences one has in life and this can either hurt or please one (Nikolajeva, 2015). They also agree that reasoning is what leads to the actions or behavior which one has, stoic claims that everything being done by human beings on the universe is controlled by reasoning and knowledge. It is the factors that affect emotions which differ from perspective to perspective. The convergence point, however, is on the fact that emotions are influenced by various factors which might be natural, experience, biological or others. However once, the emotions are triggered, they then influence the actions and behaviors of an individual in the society. This indicates that all perspectives agree that environment plays an important role in taming the emotions of someone through providing pleasant or unpleasant conditions for the individual. Therefore, similarity on the triggers of emotions is well agreed on from both perspectives that they are caused by various factors, knowledge and experience and emotions depending on the reasoning guides what actions should be taken.

The contrast between Stoic, Buddhist and Modern psychological Perspective

Even though stoic, Buddhists and modern psychological perspectives describe how emotions are triggered in human beings and how emotions affect actions and behavior, there is a clear difference between the three perspectives. The overall difference is in the views being held by different perspectives in that stoic theory holds to the fact that everything affecting emotions, actions and behaviors are all natural. Buddhists on the other side do not touch on the origin or factors that influence emotions but only recognize that emotions affect thoughts, actions, feelings, and behaviors (Wegela, 2015). Last, modern psychological perspective combines various, around seven schools of thoughts to help in guiding how psychologists argue with the origin of emotions, its impact on actions and behavior. This is a clear indication that a modern psychological perspective looks at different sub perspectives of explaining emotions, thoughts, feelings, actions, and behavior. In general, the point of view for all perspectives is quite diverse even though all tend to analyze the fact that emotions control the behavior of people.

Stoic brings the notion of virtue, happiness and relates it to knowledge and reasoning rather than experience. Stoic believes that nothing accidental can influence someone's actions or feelings. Buddhists on another side claims that emotions are critical in influencing human actions in that one can do beautiful or pleasing things to others and have virtuous behavior. Something which is very contrary to stoic who believes that virtue comes as a result of wisdom, rationale, and reasonableness (Nussbaum, 2015). On the part modern psychology perspective, actions are linked with general behavior, experiences, level of ego, cultural factors among other factors outlined in the schools of thoughts incorporated in the perspective. This brings a totally different dimension of looking at emotions, actions, and feelings by arguing that a number of factors can contribute to the behavior or actions of someone rather than narrowing down to one major route of explaining the one's psychology. In this scenario, the difference between the psychological perspectives comes out clear on their views on the relationship between emotions, actions, and behavior.

My Position

After comparing and contrasting the Stoic, Buddhist, and modern psychological perspectives, I hold to the belief that modern psychological perspectives provide an accurate and important judgment on the actions and behavior of an individual. It provides comprehensive and adequate factors to consider when looking at analyzing someone's traits. The factors are picked from different schools of thoughts that help in providing different theories or views about emotions, feelings, actions and thought of an individual. Due to the fact that views are drawn from factors which define human beings from biological, psychodynamic, behavioral, cross-cultural among other factors which influence the experience and behavior of an individual makes it more effective and reliable in judging an individual's behavior. Having several factors or dimensions to act as a point of reference, limits options to be chosen from minimizes generalization on the traits hence leaving one with the best option which best describes the behavior or trait under study or discussion than making a judgment from one perspective (James, 2015). As such, having a wider dimension with factors blended from various sources and schools of thoughts brings some reliability on the final judgment made on the trait or psychological feature hence making it easier to trust the judgment made. Therefore, according to the assessment I did on stoic, Buddhists and modern psychological perspectives, I trust a modern psychological perspective as the most reliable in making psychological judgments.

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