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Western University
Psychology 3950F/G
Mark Cole

CHAPTER 1: GREEK INFLUENCE  Term „psychology‟ comes from the combination of 2 Greek words: o Psyche: soul, spirit, mind o Logos: an explanation, account o Psychology: and explanation or account of the soul or spirit THE PHYSICIANS Alcmaeon of Croton  One of the first physicians to be psychological about medicine (vs. spiritual)  Prior to Alcmaeon, the soul was thought to have 2 parts: o Thymos:  Concerned with thought/memory  Mortal – directly connected to the body  Conscious; depended on experience  Located in lungs; conveyed out of body as words (pneuma – air) o Psyche:  Immortal aspect of soul – may survive death, but won‟t be recognizable (doesn‟t involve consciousness/memories)  Unconscious; not dependent on experience  Located in the brain  Unified the two aspects of the soul – focused on thymos, but considered the soul unified o Mover or animator o Aminus: active soul  Realized there were direct pathways from the sensory systems to the brain  veins (nerves) o Appeared to be hollow tubes with substances running through it  vital spirits/animal spirits  The active eye – first to undertake examinations of the eye o Realized the eye was an active organ (vs. passive) o Believed that it transmitted beams of light Hippocrates  “Hippocratic oath” of physicians – do no harm  Responsible for humor theory of disease: the body contains 4 crucial substances (humors); associated with elements o Black bile (earth) o Yellow bile (air) o Blood (fire) o Phlegm (water)  Connections between the humors and disease – must remain at equilibrium Galen  Believed the soul is located in the brain  Located 7 of the 12 cranial nerves  First to note the contralateral representation of the neural system  First to distinguish between motor and sensory nerves  Pineal and pituitary glands  Ventricles housed animals spirits  Corpus callosum  Early theory of personality: o Blood: sanguine (impulsive) o Black bile: melancholy (depressed) o Yellow bile: choleric (ill tempered) o Phlegm: phlegmatic (slow moving)  Formed the backbone of modern medicine THE PHILOSOPHERS  2 streams based on the prevailing religious views o Olympian religion  Gods (Zeus, Athena, etc.) lived on Mount Olympus  Aloof – messed with people‟s lives with no empathy  If the soul survived the body, it did do without previous memories  Followed by upper class  Characterized by order, rationality, changelessness o Dionysian/Orphic religion  Followed by lower class  Believed in transmission of the soul – your soul survives with intact memories  Soul passed around from organism to organism depending on how you lived your previous life  Characterized by chaos and feelings  Idealism: focuses on the world if „ideas‟, denies the existence of a material world Pythagoras  Truth laid in mathematics  Pythagorean theorem: a + b = c 2 Parmenides  Statistics  The physical world is unchanging, we just have faulty sensory systems Zeno  Illusion of motion  Argues motion is impossible using paradoxes (Achilles vs. tortoise) Plato  Major figure in philosophy and the history of psychology  Sensory data is untrustworthy; truth can only be found by searching your soul (rationalism)  Pure forms and ideas only exist in the mind, but working on uncovering them would better one‟s self o E.g., The Golden Section: AC/AB = AB/BC  seen as an example of perfection o The problem of irrational numbers: as you go down the Fibonocci series you get closer to the ratio but never get there  Cave analogy o Trying to point out the insufficiency of the sensory world o You must experience truth for yourself; not good enough for someone else to explain it to you  Nativism: knowledge is inherent (nature rather than nurture) o „Learning‟ is actually uncovering memories God has already placed in your head – learning through reminiscence o E.g., Jowett’s Meno  Soul and body fundamentally different; the soul is more important than the body  The soul is located in the head, because it is: o Sphere-like o Closest part of body to heaven o Semen-like  The Tripartite Soul o Appetite (compelling) o Reason o Spirit – argued different from reason because animals and children don‟t have reason but have spirit o Metaphor of horses pulling a chariot  Appetite: black horse  Reason: chariot driver  Spirit: white horse o The horses are the main source of power, the chariot driver controls them Democritus  Most famous materialist  Atomism: everything is made of atoms; atoms constitute matter o Even the human body and soul are made of atoms  Behaviourism: the mind and the body are connected; not distinct from one another o Avoided the mind body problem: how something not made of matter (soul) can interact with something that is (body)  Threshold of perception: the point at which you perceive a stimulus  Air copy: perceptions are copied of the item being perceived Aristotle  The soul (psyche) is a unity; not a collection of parts o Part of the body; not distinct/more important o All living beings capable of movement possess a soul  Vitalist: living things are distinct from non-living things  Form and matter are inseparable o Soul cannot be immortal; part of the body  Psyche is a process; has different forms encapsulated around each other o Nutritive psyche: nutrition and reproduction; all living things o Sensitive psyche: ability to sense (touch is special); all animals  Threshold of stimulation  Common sensible: mythical sense that tied the senses together o Desiring and reacting psyche: sensing  pleasure or pain  desire  approach/avoid; all animals o Rational psyche: ability to think rationally; still connected to the body but given special status – never deteriorates; only humans  Laws of association that help us with memory o Similairity o Contrast o Contiguity o Mnemonic techniques (method of loci)  Thinking the epitome of the rational soul o Major difference between Aristotle and Plato:  Plato: sensory data faulty; thinking always accurate  Aristotle: thinking can be mistaken CHAPTER 2: DESCARTES  The Dark Ages (400-1000 AD): little focus on intellectual matters  Renaissance (1450-1600): flourished in growth of art and science  Modern Era began with Descartes Descartes  “The method”: mathematical reason was the basis of all knowledge o Mathematical  Invented analytic geometry: combination of geometry and algebra o Deductive  Starting with clear and simple truths will lead to complex truths through deduction o Procedural  Provided rules for deduction:  Don‟t assume anything to be true  Divide each problem into as many parts as possible  Start with the easiest problem  Make numerations complete and reviews general so you don‟t miss anything o Rationalistic  Truth can be known through reason  Truth is the equalizer of all people  First deconstructionist o Applied his method to see what could be doubted o Cogito ego sum: I think, therefore I must exist  Du
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