chapter one - study guide

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19 Dec 2010
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CHAPTER1 INTRODUCTION
EARLY PHILOSOPHY OF PERCEPTION
Heraclitus- can never experience the same thing again, not ever the same, even if,
perceiver knows
Adaptation- a reduction in response caused by prior or continuing stimulation ex odor
detection. Ex. if u stare at the male face on the right then look at the mid then it will look
like a female. If u stare at the female and then look at the middle then it will look like a
male to u
Democritius- unlike Plato, he has complete trust in senses, world is made up of atoms that
collide without another, believe that sensations are caused by atoms leaving objects and
making contact with our sense organs. So our senses are in direct contact with outside
world. Mistake: light usually reflected from an object allowing us to see it, no atomic films
peeling off of object. Closest is taste and olfaction for theory, chemical sense. According to
theory primary qualities tat can be directly perceived ie weight, texture. Secondary
qualities that require interaction /b/ atoms from objects and atoms in perceiver
Sensation- how info from world is picked up by sense organs and detected by person
Sensory transducer- receptor that converts physical energy from the environment into
neural activity. From sense organ to the brain
Perception- interpretation (mainly retrieved from experience and sensory receptors) of
neural signals.
NATIVISM AND EMPIRICISM
Nativism- idea that mind produces ideas that are not derived from external sources, and
that we have abilities that are innate and not learned VS. empiricism (experience). Plato
believed mind and body separate, that certain mental ability is innate, as is Rene
Descartes dualism- idea that both mind and body exist. He argues that only humans
have minds, it not take up space (immaterial mind vs material body), has no substance,
separate from body, survives death of body (ie soul), believe all ideas must come from the
mind, not trust his senses. Believe that his thinking mind (not experiences) defines and
proves his existence. I think, therefore I am.
Dualism- idea that both mind and body exist separately, opposite= Monism= idea that
mind and matter are formed from, or reducible to, a single ultimate substance or principle
of being. So humans and rest of the universe are made up of only one kind of stuff, this
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concept is divided into 1) materialism- idea that physical matter is the only reality and
everything including the mind can be explained in terms of matter and physical phenomena
2) mentalism- idea that mind is the true reality and objects exist only as aspects of minds
awareness 3) . Ex of monism = Solipsism = belief that only ones mind exist and others mind
not exist itz an extreme form is idealism, maybe infants have this.
Mind body dualism- Descartes- 2 distinct principles of being in universe: spirit/soul and
matter/body. Philosophers still struggle to answer how does mind, having no substance,
occupying no space, have any effect on physical body?
Empiricism- idea that experience from sense is the only source of knowledge
Hobbes empiricist viewed all mental activity as consequence of experience ex
imagination is noting but decaying sense
Locke- tabula rasa, we have simple ideas ie primary qualities and cant be divided. If we
perceive a cat, our experience is the combination of diff simple ideas ie the colour, smell,
noise of cat. Believe that ppl who born w/o sight and then later gain ability to see, will not
be able to recognize objects they previously been expose to via touch/noise. But not entirely
true, they do have some problems ie cues to depth
George Berkeley- everything must come from our sensory experience ie telling how far A
is to B we use visual cues. Most important part of perception was experience w/world, if no
one was there to hear or see the tree, it never existed
David Hume- reliability refers to consistency of measurement. Validity refers to
relationship of the measurement to what is measured. Our senses portray world as real cuz
itz reliable, same answer each time
DAWN OF PSYCHOPHYSICS
Gustav Fechner founder of experimental psych/Wilhelm Wundt. Panpsychism- idea
that all matter has consciousness, aka mind, including animals and inanimate objects.
Psychophysics- the science of defining quantitative relationships /b/ physical and
psychological (subjective) events, science of defining relationship /b/ mind and matter, aka
measuring subjective events
Weber- tested our accuracy of our sense of touch. Measured smallest distance /b/ 2 pts that
was required for a person to feel 2 pts instead of 1 = two-pt touch threshold = distance /b/
the pts. Found that ability to detect diff /b/ standard and comparison weights depended
greatly on weight of the standard. When standard was light, ppl better at detecting small
diff when they lifted comparison weight. When standard was heavier, ppl needed a bigger
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Document Summary

Heraclitus- can never experience the same thing again, not ever the same, even if, perceiver knows. Adaptation- a reduction in response caused by prior or continuing stimulation ex odor detection. Ex. if u stare at the male face on the right then look at the mid then it will look like a female. If u stare at the female and then look at the middle then it will look like a male to u. Democritius- unlike plato, he has complete trust in senses, world is made up of atoms that collide without another, believe that sensations are caused by atoms leaving objects and making contact with our sense organs. So our senses are in direct contact with outside world. Mistake: light usually reflected from an object allowing us to see it, no atomic films peeling off of object. Closest is taste and olfaction for theory, chemical sense. According to theory primary qualities tat can be directly perceived ie weight, texture.

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