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Mechanism and biology.docx

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Simon Fraser University
Cognitive Science
COGS 100
Michael Picard

Mechanism and biology - Although substance dualism came under widespread attach (since arguments for it were largely a priori) the other half of Descarte‟s dualism proposed: matter as machine. Mechanization of the European worldview was consolidated by Newton‟s Law of Motion, which were algorithmic (=solvable by step- by-step procedures) The mechanical spirit was thive and well in chemistry and physiology, especially in the 19 C, and especially in Germany. - Darwin was the father of ecology: evolution. - However, in bio mechanism made few inroads. Fewer still in PSYC, where mentalistic/humanistic explanations could not be replaces and were not eliminated. - Darwin‟s Theory of Natural Selection gave an account of the origin of species and provided and framework for a theory of the evolution of the human mind For specied-specific characteristics of the human race. It also sparked off many approaches to animal minds/intelligence. - A Biographical Sketch of an Infant (1840, published in 1877) Darwin kept a diary of his infant son, recording his development-published in 1877 in the British journal mind. - The Decent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex (1871) - The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1872) - There was little PSYC in the Origins of Species (1859) - Descartes: animals are machines; Darwin: animals have emotions. Charles Darwin (1809-1882) - Born in a wealthy family. Grandfather, Erasmus Darwin was a supported of Lamarck‟s theory of evolution. - Edinburgh, he briefly studied medicine (learning taxidermy), but was turned off by the sight of blood. - He studied for priesthood at Cambridge, but was not a distinguished student; He preferred to spend time hunting, collecting biological specimens (beetles), playing cards and drinking clubs. - He made contacts with leading scientists of the day, and was even befriended by some. - Darwin‟s voyage (1831-1836) All over including Galapagos Island South America. He had Charles Lyell‟s (1797-1875) Principles of Geology, which promoted uniformitarianism (the earth‟s features result from slow, gradual processes ex: wind blows a few things just a few but over time…) rather than catastrophism (sudden events were predominant ex: volcanoes or events), consistent with the Bible. Darwin’s biological discoveries - Sent many amazing specimens, including extinct creatures. - He also studied living animals and tried to discover the function or utility or add features of behaviours. Usually explained b
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