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intro and research methods

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University of Toronto St. George
Michael Inzlicht

Lec2 PSY Jan 18 History of Psychology Issues of psychology have been discussed for long periods of time. People always questioned such issues as what is mindconsciousnessWhere mind resides? Science has always been contextualized in a larger set of societalhistoricalpolitical ideologicaleconomic processes.. E.g., Theologicalreligious barriers impeded the progress of physiological sciences (and therefore psychology): - direct study of human body was forbidden - doctrines regarding human exemptionalism (i.e., therefore, impossible to learn about human biology through animal studies). Humans are the only species to have mindconsciousness. Philosophy and medicinephysiology gave rise to psychology. The Rise of Mechanism Descartes : 1600s - an extremely intense, unbalanced, driven personality - proposed a systematic account of the body as a machine; physiological processes described in terms of mechanistic interactions, controlled by hydraulics (fluids) and mechanics (levers) thus, human and animal bodies were complicated machines, consistent with the mechanistic zeitgeist ( ) -of the time; e.g., water statues, clocks But the soul is not a mechanized machine. It is more complicated. Descartes set the mind apart from the body Mind-Body Dualism - however, what set humans apart from animals was the MIND, which was non-physical but able (somehow..) to interact with the body - Descartes believed the mind-body nexus ( ) was the pineal gland But the question still remained how the material body interacts with the immaterial mind. - this splitting of the mind & body still plagues us. We either have to accept that the body (brain) IS the mind, in which case humans are just (soulless) animals, i.e., bio- gunk; or we have to figure out how it is that a more-than-physical mind could exist, what its substrate ( ) is, and how it could interact with a physical body. Much of the rest of the history of psychology can be described as a struggle to answer questions that emerge from this dualism. - e.g., Is the Mind simply a complicated, but deterministic machine, or do we have free will? Can we do anything creative, or are we merely stimulus- response machines? - How can we study the mind scientifically? How does it work? What are the connections between mind and body? Can we learn to control the mind and use it more effectively? If the mind is immaterial and the body is material? What is the relation between them.
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