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5 Dec 2010
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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
effects
- 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
minds
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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Document Summary

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 effects. Believed most action were automatic and did not require the brain (ex: touching hot stove j immediately take hand away j he called these actions reflexes ) Believed in dualism even though he was not the 1st one the propose the idea. His explanation of how the mind and the body caused reflexes was one of the 1st to use. Suggested that casual link existed btw the mind and its physical housing 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.

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