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"We cannot escape from philosophy: it is behind psychology and even cinema".

The researcher Carlos Beltramo has published a book where he proposes a comprehensive analysis of the most important human phenomena according to the classical Philosophy and psychology.

26 | 01 | 2022

"We cannot escape from the Philosophy: it is behind every explanation, also the psychological ones, including the cinema". This is what Carlos Beltramo, researcher of the group 'Education ' of affectivity and human sexuality' of the Institute for Culture and Society (ICS) of the University of Navarra, in the framework of the publication of his last book 'Philosophy for restless psychologists'.

According to the expert, Philosophy is at the heart of explanations of all aspects of human life and, for this reason, he considers it essential for a psychologist to know the philosophical theories that underpin psychology. "When you have a better philosophical understanding of the person, you can embrace new developments in therapy, psychology, research, etc. without becoming an eclectic," he says. For researcher, studying Philosophy allows psychologists to expand their field without getting lost.

To illustrate this, in his book he offers examples from cinema and pop culture. In films such as the Matrix, for example, a problem arises between Aristotle's hylemorphism and the radical Cartesian division: can the mind really be separated from the body?

He warns that we must be aware that, behind every product, there are always philosophical ideas and that, sometimes, cinema is a disseminator of these ideas, which in the end have repercussions on professional practices such as psychology. "In order to enjoy a film, you have to accept its assumptions, even if they clash with the sense of reality," he says. The point is to what extent that message influences one's own ideas about life, says researcher. Beltramo admits to being a fan of watching fantasy films, but at the same time, he stresses the importance of "developing a clear conception of reality" in order to avoid ideological impositions.

Seeing the person from a philosophical point of view

With this publication, the expert tries to awaken psychologists' interest in what Philosophy is behind the psychology of therapies, research and teaching. The researcher considers the book to be a roadmap to locate the most important human phenomena according to the classical Philosophy .

For Beltramo, one of the main concepts to which Philosophy can contribute is that of the person, for example, when differentiating between the self and the personality. The researcher states that an entity can be described by its effects, but it is necessary to go beyond this in order to understand it. Thus, he regrets that psychologists who focus only on behaviours, but do not delve into aspects of the person's being, end up having far fewer tools to understand their own field of action.

"The philosophical idea of what the person is does not limit you as a psychologist, but expands you," he says. He assures that the philosophical knowledge can help to understand the scope and possible consequences of some therapies, being a factor to make better decisions as a therapist. Finally, Beltramo advocates a reconciliation between Philosophy and psychology to be able to give a better response to concepts such as the self, emotions, report, transhumanism, among others.