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Newton and psychology Thanks to Newton, scientists and philosophers know that the world is controlled by absolute natural laws, so the inconsistencies.

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Presentation on theme: "Newton and psychology Thanks to Newton, scientists and philosophers know that the world is controlled by absolute natural laws, so the inconsistencies."— Presentation transcript:

1 Newton and psychology Thanks to Newton, scientists and philosophers know that the world is controlled by absolute natural laws, so the inconsistencies and abnormalities are to be found within their theories and conclusions. Rise of Deism – Newton’s laws also inspired the theological belief that God does not intervene in the world (Hence, “God’s will” was no longer needed to explain natural events).

2 Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) Kant’s work set the tone for German rationalist philosophy and psychology for generations to come (Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Weber, etc.). Kant’s Great Works: – Critique of Pure Reason (1781) – Critique of Practical Reason (1788)

3 Immanuel Kant (continued) As noted in your text, Immanuel Kant sought a middle ground between empiricism and rationalism. a) distinguished between analytic a priori statements that are tautologies and synthetic a priori statements that contain new information about the world. b) believed that knowledge begins with sensory experience but that the mind uses innate categories of understanding to make our experience intelligible. c) provides a basic social psychology, arguing that humans are caught in the tension between heteronomy (government from the outside) and autonomy (self- government). For Kant, self-government also plays a role in our ability to act in a moral manner.

4 Kant and Hume Kant was strongly influenced by the British empiricist David Hume For Hume, all statements about the physical world or about morality come from impressions, ideas, and feelings aroused and how they were organized by the “Laws of Association” (Law of resemblance, contiguity, and cause and effect). In other words, Hume believed truth is subjective – different people have different experiences and thus different truths.

5 Kant and Hume (2) Kant disagreed with Hume’s proposal that all truth is subjective (in the eye of the beholder). – Believed that some truths could not be subjective, and were “certain truths.” – For example, causal relationships were “certain truths” because they could not be understood solely on the basis of interpretation of experience.

6 Kant’s Categories of Thought If “certain truths” could not come from experience, Kant proposed that they must be “a priori” (coming from innate reasoning) He proposed Categories of Thought - “a priori” categories - independent of experience. Examples: Unity, Totality, Reality, Time, Space, Cause-effect, Quantity, Quality, Negation

7 Kant’s Model of Thought

8 Locke verses Kant Rigid hierarchy Every part of experience has its place Abstract connections Some of our experiences may have no meaning

9 Mental Experience Causes of Mental Experience – Our sensory impressions are structured by the Categories of Thought – Our phenomenology is the result of interaction between sensation and the Categories of Thought. Bipolarity of Meaning – Possibility-Impossibility – Existence-Nonexistence

10 Perception of Time Notions of time such as “long age”, “just recently”, “only yesterday”, “be back momentarily”… can not come from experience; attached meanings provided by the a priori category of time. “Experience of time” is a creation of the mind. The concept of time and passing-of- time is added to sensory information. The same applies to the concept of space.

11 Perception of Time Notions of time and space are very basic since they provide THE CONTEXT OF MENTAL PHENOMENA, including cause-effect relationship (before & after) If Kant knew Einstein, Kant might have said time and space are relative to the experiences within our mind. Each minute does not seem equal and distinguishable, but seems to be joined with the experiences of the “observer.”

12 The Categorical Imperative According to Kant, the rational principle that governs moral behavior was the Categorical Imperative. (universal laws of morality, innate human virtues?) “Do what’s decent and proper.” “The Golden Rule” “The right thing to do” But, the idea of moral responsibility was useless unless rationality and free will could be assumed.

13 Other Rationalists Johann Friedrich Herbart took a psychological approach to educational problems and attempts to quantify phenomena in psychology. Herbart studied apperception, mental operations more complex than sense perception, and he claimed that the goal of education was to build the apperceptive mass. Education, for Herbart, must also be moral education. Thomas Reid advocated common sense philosophy. He rejected any philosophical positions that were counter- intuitive or did violence to human experience of the world. He was frustrated with the counter-intuitive claims of Berkeley and Hume. Reid argued for first principles, propositions that could not be doubted without violating common sense. For example, one first principle requires the belief in the external world.

14 Final Note: Empiricism v. Rationalism While the rationalists and the empiricists disagreed in several ways, they acknowledged the importance of enfranchising curiosity and letting inquiry run its course. Despite Biblical and authoritative injunctions against curiosity, Bacon and others found theological and natural supports for allowing human curiosity to run unchecked.

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