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Philosophical Influences in Psychology. Mechanism The doctrine that natural processes are mechanically determined and capable of explanation by the laws.

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Presentation on theme: "Philosophical Influences in Psychology. Mechanism The doctrine that natural processes are mechanically determined and capable of explanation by the laws."— Presentation transcript:

1 Philosophical Influences in Psychology

2 Mechanism The doctrine that natural processes are mechanically determined and capable of explanation by the laws of physics and chemistry.

3 Determinism and Reductionism the doctrine that acts are determined by past events the doctrine that acts are determined by past events The doctrine that explains phenomena on one level (such as complex ideas) in terms of phenomena on another level (such as simple ideas)

4 Are people like machines? Can we predict behavior just as we would with a mechanism?

5 Charles Babbage ( ) Babbage created the first analytical computer. Also disliked organ grinders Ada, the Countess of Lovelace (not a porn star)

6 The Beginnings of Modern Science Empiricism: the pursuit of knowledge through the observation of nature and the attribution of all knowledge to experience. Empiricism: the pursuit of knowledge through the observation of nature and the attribution of all knowledge to experience. Rene Descartes (nativist) Rene Descartes (nativist) “Cogito ergo sum.” “Cogito ergo sum.”

7 Rene Descartes Mechanism Mind-Body problem –The question of the distinction between mental and physical qualities. Reflex-Action Theory –The idea that an external object (a stimulus) can bring about an involuntary response. Mind-body Interaction Doctrine of Ideas –Derived ideas: are produced by the direct application of an external stimulus; innate ideas arise from the mind or consciousness, independent of sensory experiences or external stimuli.

8 Auguste Comte ( ) Positivism: The doctrine that recognizes only natural phenomena or facts that are objectively observable Positivism: The doctrine that recognizes only natural phenomena or facts that are objectively observable Materialism: the doctrine that considers the facts of the universe to be sufficiently explained in physical terms by the existence and nature of matter. Materialism: the doctrine that considers the facts of the universe to be sufficiently explained in physical terms by the existence and nature of matter.

9 British Empiricists

10 John Locke ( ) An Essay Concerning Human Understanding Tabula Rasa Sensation and Reflection Simple vs. complex ideas Primary Vs. Secondary Qualities

11 George Berkeley ( ) Perception is the only reality Taken from owers/berkeley.html Group Alliances: "Brutal" British Empiricists "Infamous" Idealists Catholic Church AKA: Shark-ley Berkeley No Holds Barred-keley Da Bishop George "You're Berking Up the Wrong Tree" Berkeley Powers: God on his side (not a unique power among Moderns), ninja stealth skills Weaknesses: eye-closing defense is vulnerable to Samuel Johnson's™ Rock-Kicking® attack.

12 David Hume ( ) Nationality: Scottish Group Alliances: "Brutal" British Empiricists "Scary" Skeptics AKA: Boomin' Hume The Hume-an Time Bomb Doom Hume To Hume Am I Speaking? The Inductor Powers: Scottish Karate, local skepticism Weaknesses: Never really sure about anything other than the contents of his own experience Notes: Look! Hume's pants are the missing shade of blue! Nationality: Scottish Group Alliances: "Brutal" British Empiricists "Scary" Skeptics AKA: Boomin' Hume The Hume-an Time Bomb Doom Hume To Hume Am I Speaking? The Inductor Powers: Scottish Karate, local skepticism Weaknesses: Never really sure about anything other than the contents of his own experience Notes: Look! Hume's pants are the missing shade of blue!

13 David Hartley Association by contiguity and repetition Association by contiguity and repetition Looked at physiological as well as mental processes Looked at physiological as well as mental processes Doctrine of vibrations Doctrine of vibrations

14 James Mill ( ) Scottish No one understands my sermons The mind as a machine

15 John Stuart Mill ( ) Creative synthesis: the notion that complex ideas formed from simple ideas take on new qualities; the combination of the mental elements creates something greater than or different from the sum of the original elements. I heart Harriet Taylor

16 How Did Empiricism Influence Psychology? A. Methods of Approach: Atomistic, mechanistic Positivistic B. Emphases of Empiricism -primary role of sensation -analysis of conscious experience into elements -synthesis of elements through association -focus on conscious processes C. Mid-19th Century: Philosophy augmented by the methods of experimental physiology


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