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Eureka! The Roots of Philosophy in Psychology PSYC540 History and Systems of Psychology.

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Presentation on theme: "Eureka! The Roots of Philosophy in Psychology PSYC540 History and Systems of Psychology."— Presentation transcript:

1 Eureka! The Roots of Philosophy in Psychology PSYC540 History and Systems of Psychology

2 The Game of Philosophy Click link in case of emergency

3 The Physicists Thales of Miletus ( BCE): –Water –Critical Tradition Question Everything Anaximander ( BCE) –Question Thales –Boundless –Evolution and Cannibalism Dont eat fish

4 More Physics Empedocles ( BCE) –The four elements –Eidola perception theory Heraclitus ( BCE) –The only constant is change –Fire –No man steps in the same river twice –No stability = no knowlege Parmenides of Elea (early 5 th century BCE) –All movement is an illusion (Zenos paradox) Democritus ( BCE) –Atoms

5 Hippocrates (Ca. 460BCE, Khios, Greece) Attacked the conventional ideas of illness Empedocles' 4-element idea with humors in the body –Earth: Black bile –Air: Yellow bile –Water: Phlegm –Fire: Blood The bodys natural healing process –Rest, diet, exercise, fresh air, baths, massages

6 Galen ( Ca. 140CE Rome) Hippocrates 4-humor idea extends to personalities –Blood: Sanguine –Phlegm: Phlegmatic –Black bile: Melancholic –Yellow bile: Choleric

7 Sophists Truth is in the mind of the beholder Rhetoric and logic teachers Protagoras ( BCE) –No single truth exists –In order to understand a persons actions or beliefs, one must understand the person Changes focus of philosophy from what is it all made up, to what can we know and how can we know it.

8 Socrates (Ca BCE) Not really a sophist There was an actual truth in there somewhere The purpose of life is to gain knowledge –The unexamined life is not worth living Inductive definition


10 In the Psyche Corner, Wearing Red Robes: PLATO! (Ca. 429–347 BCE) Everything in the everyday world is a manifestation of a pure form Interact with imperfect matter to make poor shadow The allegory of the cave Nothing is learned from experience; only remembered

11 Levels of Knowledge Physicality is an impediment to true understanding All those who attempt to gain knowledge by examining the physical world are doomed to ignorance, or at best, opinion.

12 Platos Tripartite Soul The Rational Soul (Reason) is immortal; all others are corruptible Must suppress bodily needs for the good of Reason Created a dualistic theory of the soul, which resulted in a very powerful religious dogma

13 And in the Soma corner, in blue robes and wielding a heavy book, ARISTOTLE! (Ca BCE) Rational thought is important Essences exist within nature, not apart from it In order to infer these essences, one must study their manifestations Therefore, the body is not a hindrance to enlightenment

14 Aristotles Tripartite Soul Vegetative (nutritive): Plants –Growth, reproduction, feeding Sensitive: Nonhuman animals –Above plus response to environment –Pleasure, pain, memory Rational: Human only –Above plus ability to engage in rational thought

15 Motivation, Emotion, and Memory We are happiest when doing that which comes naturally –Rational thought for humans Emotion serves to amplify existing tendencies Remembering is a spontaneous recollection of something previously experienced –Differs from Plato in that it is the result of sensory experience –Not nativisitic

16 Aristotle's Principles of Memory Contiguity Frequency Similarity Contrast

17 Now, Lets Jump to 17 th Century Europe!

18 The Spirit of Mechanism The idea that natural processes are mechanically determined and capable of explanation by laws of physics and chemistry Julien de La Mettrie –Fever-induced hallucination –People are enlightened machines –Human body is nothing more than a watch that winds itself. –Died of an overdose of truffles and pheasant

19 Doctrines du Jour Determinism: Acts are determined by past events –Set a clock in motion, and it becomes predictable Reductionism: Phenomena on one level (e.g., complex ideas) can be explained in terms of phenomena on another level (simple ideas) –A clock is explained in terms of gears and springs

20 Renee Descartes (aka Cartius) Born wealthy enough to pursue intellectual pursuits and travel –He who lives well, lives well hidden. Exceptional pupil at a Jesuit school –Mathematical prodigy

21 Its Good to be a Wealthy, Well-Connected Student Got special consideration from school director to arrange classes so that he could sleep until noon –Health reasons –Kept this habit up for most of his life Parisian Playboy –Exceptional gambler –Heavy drinker –Expert swordsman –One lasting romantic affiliation 3-year affair with an unknown Dutch woman Produced a daughter (?) who died at 5 The greatest sorrow of my life

22 One too many gambling debts, hangovers, or jealous others later… At around 21, served as gentleman volunteer –Holland –Bavaria –Hungary Spirit of Truth –Fever-induced dream –Devote his life to apply math to all of the sciences and produce certainty of knowledge

23 Application to Practical Concerns Returned to Paris, sold Dads property –Used the funds to live in comfort and solitude –Lived in 13 towns, 24 houses, kept his address secret –Always near a Roman Catholic church Used geometry (Cartesian) to improve maneuverability of wheelchairs Experiments to find ways to keep hair from going grey Prolific writer and questionable experimenter –I think therefore I lamb.

24 Descartes and the Mind- Body Problem Dualism vs Monism –The puppet with nothing to offer Versailles Gardens The soul (mind) and the pineal gland – Animal spirits –Hollow nerves Two-way interaction Reflex action –no mind involvement

25 Native Rene Nativism vs Empiricism –Plato vs Aristotle Descartes: Derived and Innate ideas –Break with plato Derived: Ideas that arise from external stimulus Innate: Ideas that develop of the mind alone –God –Self –Perfection –Infinity Will be inlfuential in the development of other theories (e.g., Gestalt) and will provide a springboard against others to rebel –John Locke

26 Perhaps Sleeping In is Good for the Health Got attention from 20-year- old Queen Christina of Sweden –Asked him to be personal tutor of philosophy –Declined, but she eventually won him over in 1649 Needed tutoring at 5:00 am Drafty castle, cold environment Descartes of pneumonia died within a year

27 A Problem With Mind/Body Dualism Too tall to fit in a coffin Cut off head to ship separately Ship with his body and skull sank just before docking Took 17 years to restore his notes Skull disappeared and resurfaced in private collections for years afterward

28 John Locke ( ) Will initiate British Empiricism Rejects any innate ideas Let us suppose the mind to be, as we say, white paper. Primary vs Secondary qualities –Primary: exist in an object independent of perception (e.g., size) –Secondary exist in perception (e.g., tickle of the feather) The Shaftesbury rebellion

29 Bishop George Berkeley ( ) Initiated Mentalism –Mental monist Taking Locke a step further –If there are two realities, one on the world and one in the mind…what is the difference? –We can only be sure of our perceptions –How, then can there be stability in the universe? Also 3D vision theorist –Accommodation

30 Berkeley and the Permanent Perceiver There was a young man who said "God, I find it exceedingly odd That this very tree Should continue to be When there is no one about in the quad. The Answer: "Young man, your question is odd. I am always about in the quad. And that's why this tree Continues to be" Signed by, yours faithfully, God.

31 David Hume ( ) Another Mental Monist Takes God from Berkeley If there is no permanent perceiver, we can only be sure of our own minds Solipsism –Nothing exists but the mind

32 Hume Anticipating the Functionalists Impressions –Basic elements of mental life (similar to perceptions) Ideas –Mental experiences in the absence of a stimulating object Very careful to leave out physiology or external stimuli Early associationism: –Similarity –Contiguity –Clear Aristotle influence!

33 David Hartley ( ) Added repetition to Humes laws of association As kids grow, a variety of sensory experiences and trains of associations of increasing complexity are established Thus, higher levels of thought can be reduced to simpler sensations First to apply laws of association to all types of mental activity Doctrine of specific vibrations

34 James Mill ( ) Ex-clergyman from Scotland No one could understand his sermons The Anti-Berkeley –Attempted to apply mechanism and destroy subjectivity Machines are no longer a metaphor for the mind –The mind IS a machine –A passive entity that automatically responds to stimuli

35 What If He Had a Son? Fill his head at an early age 5-h daily drills: –Classic languages –Mathematics –History –Politics Read Plato at 3 1 st scholarly paper at 11 Mastered standard univeristy curriculum at 12 Nervous Breakdown (Severe depression) at 21 –So analytical, I could not feel. –Poetry of Wordsworh helped

36 John Stewart Mill ( ) Mental chemistry Based on the discovery of H2O –Adding H and O to get water, something completely new –Mixing colored lights to get white, something completely new Creative synthesis –Complex ideas form from simple ones –Takes on new qualities not present in its pieces –The whole is greater than the sum of the parts?

37 Mechanism and Reductionism in the 19 th Century Mary Shelly Frankenstein (1818) Tik Tok Frank Baum (1914) Charles Babbage Babbages Brain (Harvested 1871) Analytical Engine (Babbage, 1833)

38 Philosophy is NOT for Everyone It STILL Doesn't work?

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