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Chapter 2

Chapter 2 Notes

10 Pages
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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC85H3
Professor
Michelle Hilscher

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Chapter 2: Touchstones: From Descartes to Darwin
Introduction
During Renaissance many ppl began questioning
Renaissance: renewed interest in classics of questioning
oi.e. Rebirth
Rene Descartes (1596-1650)
believed our beliefs grow without plan, and only way to find truth was to start over
again for oneself
Rationalism: Using un-doubtable ideas, get conclusions with simple reasoning
oCorrect premises allow us to use reason to find truth
First premise was we think. Therefore we are thinkers
Cogito, ergo sum: I am thinking, therefore I exist
oCartesian doubt: process needed to get Cogito
Use doubt to find truth
Believed un-doubtable ideas come from god
Innate ideas: Things people know w/o having to learn
Dualism: Mind and Body are separate
oCan interact but are different in nature
oMind is immortal, body is mechanical
Interacts at pineal gland (in brain)
Interactionism: Mind/body interaction
Ghost in a machine: View that mind was in the body
oMind and body are separate
oBodies have same laws, but mind has its own rules from God
oWe can see others bodies, but no minds. Mind is private, body is public
Introspection: Looking at experience and saying whats on the mind
oCartesian model suggests introspection is good psych. Method
The Body as a Machine
Thomas Hobbes:
oDescribed body in terms of machinery like springs and wheels
Influenced the idea that if bodies and machines are alike, we can make machines
that are like bodies
oWould show we understand bodies
Descartes didnt believe humans could be copied by machines
oWe are spontaneous and adapt
Believed animals and people were diff, but not animals and machines
oAnimals have no souls
Ideas bring questions
www.notesolution.com
oCan machines copy human behaviour?
oAre we different from other organisms
oDoes it matter what we do with animlals (in terms of research)?
Made contributions to perception
oE.g. perspectives in painting as analogy for thought
Isaac Newton (1642-1727)
Sir Isaac Newton
oSeen as greatest scientific genius of English world
Interests included alchemy
oPrescurson to chemistry
Most famous work was Principia, foundation for physics
The Laws of Motion
Laws is basic rule/truth
Laws of motion:
oFirst law said everything is at rest or moves in straight line unless forced to
do otherwise
oSecond law deals with acceleration, how much intensity is needed
used math to express laws, pinnacle of work started by Pythagoras
Can Newtons Laws be Generalized to Psychology?
Psychologists have tried to explain psychology in terms of physics with general laws
Relate physics emphasis on motion to psychology, the motion of behaviour
So like Newtons laws:
oOrganism wont move unless force is applied
oNeed specific intensities to move
once in motion different force is needed to change it
e.g. thresholds, need this much of drug to show effect
since we are trying to apply physics to psych, its like finding unity in variety
The Nature of Colour
did work on colour
work with prisms showed colours could be combined to make other colours
didnt believe there was such a thing as colour in light
physical properties of light dont describe experience of light
oelaborated by Wolfgang von Goethe
made good observations of perception but, misunderstood Newton
(thought colour was property of light)
www.notesolution.com
The British Empiricists: John Locke (1632-1704), George Berkeley (1685-1753), and David
Hume (1711-76)
British Empiricists had big influence on western psych.
oLocke, Berkeley and Hume
Empiricism: Use senses to truth, not reason
oOpposite of rationalism
www.notesolution.com

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Description
Chapter 2: Touchstones: From Descartes to Darwin Introduction During Renaissance many ppl began questioning Renaissance: renewed interest in classics of questioning o i.e. Rebirth Rene Descartes (1596-1650) believed our beliefs grow without plan, and only way to find truth was to start over again for oneself Rationalism: Using un-doubtable ideas, get conclusions with simple reasoning o Correct premises allow us to use reason to find truth First premise was we think. Therefore we are thinkers Cogito, ergo sum: I am thinking, therefore I exist o Cartesian doubt: process needed to get Cogito Use doubt to find truth Believed un-doubtable ideas come from god Innate ideas: Things people know wo having to learn Dualism: Mind and Body are separate o Can interact but are different in nature o Mind is immortal, body is mechanical Interacts at pineal gland (in brain) Interactionism: Mindbody interaction Ghost in a machine: View that mind was in the body o Mind and body are separate o Bodies have same laws, but mind has its own rules from God o We can see others bodies, but no minds. Mind is private, body is public Introspection: Looking at experience and saying whats on the mind o Cartesian model suggests introspection is good psych. Method The Body as a Machine Thomas Hobbes: o Described body in terms of machinery like springs and wheels Influenced the idea that if bodies and machines are alike, we can make machines that are like bodies o Would show we understand bodies Descartes didnt believe humans could be copied by machines o We are spontaneous and adapt Believed animals and people were diff, but not animals and machines o Animals have no souls Ideas bring questions www.notesolution.com
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