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Philosophical Influences on Psychology

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Huey-harn Chen

on 9 September 2013

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Transcript of Philosophical Influences on Psychology

Chapter 2:
Philosophical Influences on Psychology

The Defecating Duck and the Glory of France
Inventor, Jacques de Vaucanson
mechanical imitation duck in 1739
The great public interest in the French duck was part of a new found fascination with all sorts of machines that were being invented and perfected for use in science, industry, and entertainment.
The Spirit of Mechanism
The spirit of mechanism= "the image of the universe as a great machine"
Idea of mechanism originated from physics
Everything that existed in the universe was assumed to be composed of particles of matter in motion.
Scholars attempted to define and describe every phenomenon by assigning it a numerical value, a process that was vital to the study of the machine-like universe.
The Clockwork Universe
Mechanical clock was the ideal metaphor for the 17th century spirit of mechanism.
punctuality became part of daily life
Determinism and Reductionism
Determinism definition
We can predict the changes that will occur in the operation of the clock-as well in the universe-because we understand the order and regularity with which its parts function
Reductionism definition
The workings of machines such as clocks could be understood by reducing them to their basic components
More sophisticated mechanical contraptions, built to imitate human movement and action, were offered for popular entertainment= automata
Two of the most complex European automata
People as Machines
Not only was the universe a clockwork machine, so too were its people.
The 17th to the 19th centuries includes the conception of humans operating as machines, along with the scientific method by which human functioning could be investigated.
The Calculating Engine
Charles Babbage (1791-1871) "the programmer"
"the difference machine"
The Beginnings of Modern Science
The past
empiricism definition
René Descartes symbolized the transition to the modern era of science, and he applied the idea of the clockwork mechanism to the human body
René Descartes (1596-1650)
interested in applying scientific knowledge to practical concerns
The Contributions of Descartes: Mechanism and the Mind-Body Problem
mind-body problem: the question of the distinction between mental and physical qualities
Descartes's take: the mind influences the body but the body exerts a greater influence on the mind than previously supposed.
The Nature of the Body
Descartes describing the operation of the human body
undulatio reflexa- a movement not supervised or determined by a conscious will to move
Notion that human behavior is predictable
The Mind-Body Interaction
The mind is nonmaterial--it lacks physical substance--but it is capable of thought and other cognitive processes
The mind thinks, perceives, and wills--it must somehow influence and be influenced by the body.
The Doctrine of Ideas
Mind produces two kinds of ideas:
Philosophical Foundations of the New Psychology: Positivism, Materialism, and Empiricism
Auguste Comte (1798-1857)
New spirit: positivism- term/concept are the work are the work of Auguste Comte
Positivism definition
Other ideas supporting Anti-metaphysical positivism
materialism definition
3rd group of philosophers, advocated empiricism.
John Locke (1632-1704)
concerned about religious freedom and the right of people to govern themselves
"champion of liberalism in government"
how the mind acquires knowledge
cognitive functioning; tabula rasa
Sensation and reflection
Simple and complex ideas
The theory of association; "learning"
Primary and secondary qualities
George Berkeley (1685-1753)
Perception is the only reality
mentalism definition
The association of sensations
visual depth perception
David Hartley (1705-1757)
Association by contiguity and repetition
repetition definition
The influence of mechanism
James Mill (1773-1836)
most important contribution to psychology is Analysis of the Phenomena of the Human Mind
The mind as a machine
sensations and ideas are the only kinds of mental elements
the mind had no creative function
John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)
James Mill's Son
Mental chemistry
the mind played an active role in the association of ideas
Complex ideas are not just the summation of simple ideas through the process of association.
creative synthesis definition
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