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zeitgeist of the 17-19th centuries
- originated in physics
- Gallileo and Newton
- 17th century spirit of the mechanism was represented by the metaphor of the mechanical clock
- Like the clock
- The belief that every act is determined or caused by past events.
- We can predict changes that will occur in the operation of the clock, as well as in the universe, because we understand the order and regularity with which its parts function
Reducing to basic components
- Devices like clocks and other mechanical contraptions referred to as automata because they were capable of performing marvelous and amusic feats with precision and regularity
- Defecating duck, animated flute player
- adopted automata as models for humans
- "for what is the heart but a spring, and the nerves but so many strings..."
- On the movement of animals
- Explained animal movement in terms of mechanical principles
Julien de La Mettrie
Physician had a hallucination during a high fever than humans were just enlightened machines.
- Duplicated human thinking processes
- 17th century
- pursuit of knowledge through observation and experimentation
- Born 1596
- Conditioned dogs waaaay before Pavlov (Whipped dogs to the sound of a violin to elicit conditioning to the sound of a violin)
- Doubted all but which could be resolved to be certain.
- Mind-body problem-dualism, interaction, pineal gland
- precursor to S-R theory (undulatio reflexa, reflex action theory)
- Some nativistic ideas
Descartes two kind of ideas
- Derived ideas: arise from the direct application of an external stimulus. Products of experiences of the senses.
- Innate ideas: Develop from the mind or consciousness (God, the self, perfection, infinity).
- Recognizes only natural phenomena or facts that are directly observable
Facts of the universe could be explained in physical terms and explained by the properties of matter and energy
- An essay concerning human understanding: book was the formal beginning of British Empiricism
- Rejected innate ideas as proposed by Descartes
- Believed in tabula rasa like Aristotle
Locke: simple ideas and complex ideas
- Simple ideas arise from sensation and reflection but cannot be reduced to simpler ideas
- Complex ideas are formed from the combination of many simple ideas and can be reduced
Locke Primary and Secondary Qualities
- Primary Quality: exists in an object regardles of the observer like shape and size
- Secondary Quality: depends on the perceiver such as smell, color, sound and taste
Who else descriped primary and secondary qualities?
Galileo and Descartes
- Believed putrefactopm was the only sure sign of death
- Agreed with Locke that all knowledge of external world comes from experience but diagreed with distinction between primary and secondary qualities.
- Perception is the only reality
- God is the permanent perceiver (to explain the constancy of objects)
- anticipated modern view of depth perception, accommodation and convergence
- Supported Locke's ideas of compounding simple ideas into complex ideas
- Clarified theory of association
- Agreed with Berkely that material world did not exist until it was perceived
- Asked what would happen if the notion of God was omitted from Berkely's explanation.
- Argued there would be no way of knowing whether there was anthing outside of our own mind if all knowledge of the outside world is in our own ideas.
Hume: Impressions and Ideas
- Impressions: basic elements of mental life, sensations and perceptions
- Ideas: mental experiences that we have in the absence of any immediately present stimulus--image.
Hume: resemblance, contiguity
similarity, and contiguity in time or space, cause and effect.
repetition is necessary for learning
- Mind mothing more than a machine
- No free will
- Later--B.F. Skinner
- Mind is passive, no creative function.
- Tabula rasa like Locke
John Stuart Mill
- Father (James Mill) wanted to condition him to excel
- At age 3 could read Plato in original Greek
- Essay on women and their rights
- Father thought mind was passive
- JSM thought mind played an active role in association of ideas
- Complex ideas not just sum of simple but more than the sum of parts
- mental chemistry
- creative synthesis: complex ideas formed from simple ideas take on new qualities
- created "ethology"
- brought about the idea of individual differences and error in measurement, role of human observer
- Specific energy of nerves
- advocated the use of the experimental method
- Reflex behavior
- Voluntary movement depends on the cerebrum
First electrical stimulation
- Gustab Fritsch and Eduard Hitzig
- rabbits and dogs
Franz Josef Gall
- Dissected brains of deceased animals
- white and gray matter in brain, fibers connecting both halves of brain
- species with larger heads more intelligent
- Criticism of phrenology: Flourens
Who began experimental method?
Von Helmholtz, Weber, Fechner, Wundt
- invented the opthalmoscope
- made possible the treatment and identification of retinal disorders
- Contributed indirectly to wireless telegraphy and radio
- wine soaked ham to cure the neurosis/depression
- pleasure principle that later influenced Freud
- absolute threshold
- differential threshold