Ch02 - Philosophical Influences on Psychology The Universe...

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Philosophical Influences on Psychology The Universe follows physical laws The beginnings of modern science Philosophical foundations of psychology
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The Spirit of Mechanism 17 th to 19 th century zeitgeist reflected in: Amusement with mechanical figures The universe as a enormous machine Mechanism : all natural processes are mechanically determined
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Beginnings of Modern Science and Physics (natural philosophy) Bacon: Methodological unity of science Galileo: Matter is comprised of atoms that affect one another by direct contact Newton: Planets moved by invisible forces, not by contact Newton (1643-1747) Galileo (1564-1642) Bacon (1561-1626)
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Distinguishing Features of Science Observation Experimentation Measurement If scientists could grasp the laws by which the world functioned, they could determine its future course
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The Clockwork Universe Clock as metaphor for mechanism Produced in quantity and variety Clocks were Available to all people Regular Predictable Precise
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Determinism and Reductionism Determinism: acts are caused by past events For the universe as with a clock, Its parts function with order and regularity We can understand its functions and functioning We can predict changes that will occur from its past and present characteristics
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Determinism and Reductionism Reductionism : If you break it down, it can be understood Reduce a clock to its components such as springs and wheels to understand its functioning Analyzing or reducing the universe to its simplest parts will produce understanding Characteristic of every science
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Automata Designs were mimicking human behavior and cognitive function Vaucanson's Flute-Player (1738) Babbage’s Calculator (1820s)
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The Beginnings of Modern Science The pursuit of knowledge through observation and sensory experience Replaced dogma and church doctrine as ruling forces of inquiry Descartes : symbol of the transition to free scientific inquiry and forerunner of modern psychology
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René Decartes (1596-1650) Born in France Inherited wealth allowed him to travel and pursue intellectual and scientific interests Attracted to applied research
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Decartes (continued) Had life-changing dreams “Spirit of truth” convinced him that mathematical principles can be
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This note was uploaded on 03/23/2011 for the course PSY 502 taught by Professor S during the Spring '11 term at S. Connecticut.

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Ch02 - Philosophical Influences on Psychology The Universe...

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