Textbook Notes (369,035)
Canada (162,359)
Psychology (9,698)
PSYC85H3 (138)
Chapter 2

Chapter 2

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Michelle Hilscher

Chapter 2: Touchstones: The Origins of Psychological Thought Touchstones Touchstone originally referred to stone used to test quality of gold or silver because of mark it left upon them Came to mean any criterion by which the value of something is measured Pythagoras (570-495 BCE) One of most famous figures in Western intellectual tradition Very little known about certainty about his life Described as having miraculous powers Central features of Pythagorean myth is that he founded semi-secret society in Italy o Members of society supposed to have been able to attune themselves to harmony that ordered the universe First understood reality has an underlying mathematical order o Upon hearing sounds from black smiths hammers, he realized that pitch and hammers weight correlated- high sounds with light hammers Pythagoreans convinced of virtue of unity and all that this concept implies o Unity implies wholeness and oneness o Opposite of unity is undesirable, leading to chaos Problem felt by every person is how to reconcile that discordant state of affairs we normally experience with one that we value Pythagorean Cosmology Many see universe as initially a unity that becomes differentiated into pairs of opposites o Opposites are then reunited or harmonized to generate various forms of life we witness Several features of Pythagorean world view o Nature of opposites o Importance of number in regulating phenomena The Pythagorean Opposites Pythagoreans believed that some pairs of opposites were particularly useful for describing our experience o Most important is limite vs. unlimited Crucial to process of creation The integration of opposites produces the limited We do not experience things that are unlimited Everything we experience has a limit o Union of unlimited and limited produces the world we experience When mixture of opposite tendencies is just right proportion, there is harmonious outcome, union of opposites that achieves unity and integrity we value Psyche or soul seeks harmony Things we overlook are those harmonies developing out of the interplay of opposites Limit is positive, unlimited is negative o Unlimited is out of balance, lacking proportion o Positive: odd, unity, square o Negative: even, plurality, oblong Pythagorean Mathematics Gnomon o Literally, refers to carpenters square o Figuratively, addition or subtraction of one figure from another figure of same shape o Example page 21 Numbers are responsible for uniting the opposites in harmonious manner www.notesolution.com
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