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PSYC85H3 (138)
Chapter 3

CHAPTER 3.doc

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC85H3
Professor
Gerald Cupchik
Semester
Fall

Description
CHAPTER 3: FROM DESCARTES TO DARWIN • Descartes believes mind possessed innate ideas • Locke, Berekely, Hume disagreed with Decartes: ideas product of experience • Renaissance: “rebirth”, renewal of interest in questioning attitudes, criticism, doubting RENE DESCARTES (1596) • Beliefs are result of process of development, lacks clear plan • Truths: clear and distinct ideas that can’t be doubted—treated as premises which conclusion can be drawn by reasoning: Rationalism • I think therefore I am; cogito, ero sum • Innate ideas: to know without learning—clear and distinct ideas come from god • Mind is separate from body—dualism • Each person is a conscious being capable of mental acts, interacts with body, but is different in nature from body • Interactionism: mind-body relationship viewed like a ghost in a machine Mind and body are separate mind operates according to won rules-god, not same physical rules body abides by we know our mind b/c of introspection (act of looking inward and examining mental experience) • Should be able to build body as a machine if it is a machine ,so people tried to build machines to understand human body Decartes’ didn’t believe that a machine could mimic human beh • Believed that animals didn’t possess souls, not conscious or feelings, so they were no different from machines ISAAC NEWTON (1642) • Alchemy, chemistry, etc. • Law: basic rule or truth • Laws of motion: continue in state of rest/uniform/straight line ,until forces act upon it • Mathematical laws generalized to psychology: Motion of organisms’ behaviour is what psychology tires to understand organism’s will to not move unless a force is applies to it, forces acting on organism must be at a certain level before organism will act—only then will organism change its behaviour Below threshold: nothing happens, above threshold (limen): will change behaviour BRITISH EMPIRICISTS (1630-1711) • Opposite of the rationalism (reason for truth) of Decartes • Empiricsm relies on evidence by senses\ JOHN LOCK • No innate principles of mind • Idea: object of understanding when someone thinks • We get ideas from 2 diff sources: Sensory experience: gives us experiences to have ideas=sensible qualities (e.g., yellow, white, cold, soft)  Reflection: perception of operations of our own mind (e.g., thinking, believing, reasoning, willing) • Understanding is product of experiences, not reason • Simple ideas: cannot be reduced (cold, hard) • Complex ideas: compounded simple ideas can more abstract ideas (army, universe) • Association of ideas: sequence of ideas kept together, united, inseparable • Beliefs and attitudes we have are result of how our ideas have become associated Primary and Secondary qualities: • Objects have qualities: power to produce idea in our mine Primary quality: in object itself (e.g., moving, size, number) Objects have ability to produce experiences in us(e.g., colours, sounds, taste) Secondary qualities: don’t correspond to experience they give rise to (tickle is in you, not feather) GEORGE BERKELEY • Argued that there we no clear visual cues to the spatial location of objects • Visual pyramid: surfaces at different distances can look ask if same distance from observer • Sense of touch: provides important information that supplements visual information • Size consistency: we remember how far to travel to reach an object because is associated with previous experience (a car is driving away does not get smaller, just distance) •
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