VII. Philosophical and physiological Theory:
A. Philosophical theory is derived from notions about what
constitutes human nature that was very much a part of Greed
Eg, Aristotle propose: the soul ( mind) is free ( to make a choice, free
mind = indeterminism), thus free will; and the mind is a blank slate
at birth. Hence, experience and learning determines in part the mind‟s
- contrary to Aristotle‟s position is Determinism: all action is
caused by antecedent variables.
- In the nature-nurture controversy, Aristotle is on the side of
1. Descartes: a dualistic theory of human nature, whereby
human behaviour is partly the result of a free, rational soul
(cognitive functions) and partly the result of automatic (non-
rational) processes of the body, as evidenced by instincts. (animal
don‟t choose to do this do that but human do).
-Descartes‟ approach suggests a mechanical view of human nature
as in automatic reactions to stimuli and a cognitive view of the
mind‟s capacity to think and reason.
-Nature-nurture controversy is an outgrowth of Aristotle and
Descartes‟ competing views.
2. Locke introduced 2 imp ideas for psychology:
I) role of sensory experience in determining contents of mind
since mind at birth is a blank slate, a “tabula rasa” (ex
Aristotle‟ position) and
II) Association of ideas in which sensation is converted into
ideas, the basic units of the mind.
- From sensation to perception of „what is‟ and thru reflection
the mind gains knowledge of its own operations.
- Complex ideas may be reduced to simple ideas and it is the
mind‟s capacity to associate one idea with another that accounts
for the formation of concepts and knowledge. Functional autonomy of motives: motives become independent
– autonomous- of their origin biological sources. (associate by
continuity – 2 item appear close together if associate by time /
space) (learn taste aversion)
- for ex, working to survive may come independent of the origin
biological necessity to (provide food and shelter to satisfy needs. Work
for its „own sake‟ so as to „achieve‟ may become separated from its
orig biological source. It becomes an independent motive and forms
the basis of achievement motivation or effectance motivation.(I
work, I get food. But now I work also for enjoyment of work)