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Chapter 1

Chapter 1 notes

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Psychology: Philosophical roots of Psychology!
Chapter 1:
Rene Descartes (1596- 1650)
- Also called the father of modern philosophy and of a biological tradition led to modern
physiological psychology
- Believed humans and animals= machine affected by natural causes and producing natural
- Believed most action were automatic and did not require the brain (ex: touching hot stove t
immediately take hand away t he called these actions reflexes )
- Believed in dualism even though he was not the 1st one the propose the idea
- Suggested that casual link existed btw the mind and its physical housing
- His explanation of how the mind and the body caused reflexes was one of the 1st to use
technological device as a model of the nervous system
- Descartes model of the human body was mechanical, it was controlled, as we have seen, by a
non mechanical (in fact, non physical) mind
- He refused to deny a spiritual basis to human action
John Locke (1632-1704)
- Replaced Descartes rationalism (pursuit of truth through reason) by empiricism (pursuit of truth
through observation and experience)
- Said that all knowledge must come from experience; its empirically derived
- ,]u}o}(Zu]vÁµo}^ovo_t meaning were all born with empty
George Berkeley (1685- 1753)
- Suggested that our knowledge of events in the world also requires inferences based on the
accumulation of past experiences
James Mill (1773- 1836)
- Speculated about the mind completed an intellectual swing from animism (physical matter
animated by spirits) to materialism ( mind composed entirely by matter)
o Materialism= is the belief that reality can be known only through an understanding of
the physical world, of which the mind is a part.
- Did not invent materialism but developed it into a system for looking at human nature
- Believed that humans and animals were fundamentally the same
- Believed that the mind, no less than the body was a machine
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