6 RATIONALISM - 6 RATIONALISM Passive mind A mind whose...

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6 RATIONALISM Passive mind: A mind whose contents are determined by sensory experience. It contains a few mechanistic principles that organize, store, and generalize sensory experiences. The British empiricists and the French sensationalists tended to postulate such a mind. Active mind: A mind equipped with categories or operations that are used to analyze, organize, or modify sensory information and to discover abstract concepts or principles not contained within sensory experience. The rationalists postulated such a mind. For the rationalist, the mind added something to sensory data rather than simply passively organizing and storing it in memory. Rationalism : The philosophical position postulating an active mind that transforms sensory information and is capable of understanding abstract principles or concepts not attainable from sensory information alone. BARUCH SPINOZA (1632–1677): Also known as Benedict, Equated God with nature and said that everything in nature, including humans, consisted of both matter and consciousness. Spinoza's proposed solution to the mind—body problem is called double aspectism. The most pleasurable life, according to Spinoza, is one lived in accordance with the laws of nature. Emotional experience is desirable because it is controlled by reason; passionate experience is undesirable because it is not. Spinoza's deterministic view of human cognition, activity, and emotion did much to facilitate the development of scientific psychology. o Pantheism: The belief that God is present everywhere and in everything. Mind—Body Relationship A. Spinoza escaped the difficulties experienced by both dualists and materialists by assuming that the mind and body were two aspects of the same thing—the living human being. B. For Spinoza, the mind and the body were like two sides of a coin. Even though the two sides are different, they are two aspects of the same coin. C. Thus, the mind and body are inseparable; anything happening to the body is experienced as emotions and thoughts; and emotions and thoughts influence the body.
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Double Aspectism : Spinoza's contention that material substance and consciousness are two inseparable aspects of everything in the universe, including humans. Also called psychophysical double aspectism and double aspect monism. D. Spinoza's position on the mind—body relationship followed necessarily from his concept of God. God's own nature is characterized by both extension (matter) and thought (which is nonextended), and because God is nature, all of nature is characterized by both extension and thought. Denial of Free Will: God is nature, and nature is lawful. Humans are part of nature, and therefore human thoughts and behavior are lawful; that is, they are determined. Although humans may believe that they are free to act and think any way they choose, in reality they cannot.
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