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Psych - Lecture 1.doc

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Steve Joordens

September 12, 2012 Psychology A01: Lecture 1.1: There’s no soul in Psychology • Extremely young science –progress is slower because of its complexity • At the end of 1895, psychology began • Why is it so young? – It’s all about the soul. • To pursue something scientifically one must first assume that the behaviour of that thing conforms to some sort of natural laws, laws that can eventually be understood, specified, and used to predict future behaviour. • “Souls” are spiritual entities and they DO NOT conform to natural laws. Trying to understand them via a scientific process is impossible. • Other physical objects follow the laws, they are predictable in every manner • Science finds religion is useless; because it is not open to scientific investigation- we are not open to scientific investigation. • What changed that, why did we start scientifically investigating ourselves? Back in the day, we strongly believed in souls. They believed everything is composed of earth, air, fire, and water. Eg. The rock will fall from the air because it doesn’t belong in the air; it desired to be with the earth. This suggestion that something has a soul is called animism. • Volcano Bound Virgins- Throw virgins down a volcano to make the gods less angry and cause peaceful weather. • Magicians- If you see an illusionist do a trick and you know what they’re doing, it’s no longer magic. You see skill, talent, but no magic. When you see something you don’t understand, you consider it magic. • The concept of souls, we don’t understand. If we did understand the complexity, we wouldn’t call it a soul. • If a computer can do what a human can do, is the machine intelligent? Or is the human not? And what about soul? Algorithms, search engines and information is stored. It is not intelligent. It’s not so great because we know of its intelligence. However, humans are considered intelligent. If we understood where the intelligence underlies, we wouldn’t be intelligent. • William James and Rene Decartes prove to be intelligent people, had a hard time as young people. They suffered from mental health issues, incapable of functioning in real world. They both attempted to find themselves through travelling. • When the statues moves, he found out liquid hydraulics caused it. Humans controlled it. The Neptune statue blocked his path to Diana statue. He considered all items that moved and whether they had intention. • He believed animals have no souls; they are machines. Others researched by torturing animals (mental
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