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PSYC 306 Chapter 6
Terms in this set (27)
What are the characteristics of a rational philosophy?
Rationalism emphasizes a priori knowledge, most often postulate an active mind that acts upon incoming sensory information, emphasize deductive arguments using logic to demonstrate that the premises of an argument provide definitive grounds for the conclusion. A is B, therefore B is A.
What is the "theory of an active" mind in terms of rationalism?
The theory is that an active mind interacts with the senses and gains information through the interaction, and that gives it meaning that it otherwise wouldn't have.
Compare inductive and deductive reasoning.
Stressed by empiricists, induction is the acquisition of knowledge through sensory experience and the generalizations from it. Rationalists stress deduction, which is when given certain sensory data and certain rules of thought, certain conclusions must follow.
What major contribution did Leibniz make to mathematics?
Inferential and integral calculus at the same time but independently from Newton
Explain Leibniz's theory of monadology.
Monodology is a system in which indivisible units of existence (monads) moved in parallel in a pre-established harmony without interacting (i.e. psychophysical parallelism). He proposed that the mind and body work in parallel to each other, kept in a "pre-established harmony," by the hand of God. Within this, although monads do not interact with one another, they may combine in experience. Rational monads formed the essence of the human mind and account for consciousness. Sentient monads are found in all living beings that were not human, and simple monads make up physical reality.
According to Leibniz, consciousness is a continuum. Explain.
Leibniz called perceptions that occurred below the level of awareness petites perceptions (little perceptions). As petites perceptions accumulate, their combined force is eventually enough to cause conscious awareness, or what Leibniz called apperception. Therefore, a continuum exists between unconscious sensation and conscious perception. Leibniz was perhaps the first philosopher then to clearly postulate an unconscious mind.
What is a limen?
Leibniz also introduced the concept of limen, or threshold, into psychology. We are aware of experiences above a certain aggregate of petites perceptions, but experiences below that aggregate (threshold) remain unconscious. Also called a liminal point, a limen is a threshold of a psychological or physiological response
Explain or give examples of petites perceptions, perception, and apperception.
Apperception is complete focus in the highest level of awareness in which we focus our attention on some information, apprehend it fully, and make it personally meaningful. Perception is partial focus and an awareness of something, but it is not as sharp as in apperception. Petites-perception is not enough to be noticed and is below the level of awareness, but ultimately essential for enabling higher levels of perception to occur, such as how we would never hear individual drops of water, but they are necessary once they come together for us to perceive the apperceive the larger reality of the ocean wave
What is psychophysical parallelism? How is the world set into a preestablished harmony?
Leibniz believed that the entire universe was created by God to be in perfect harmony, and yet nothing in the universe actually influences anything else. There is a correspondence between each monad's perceptual state and the conditions external to it, but those perceptions can be said only to "mirror" the external events rather than be cause b them. Similarly, the monads that make up the mind and those that make up the body are always in agreement because God planned it that way, not because they are causally related.
How is the concept of uniformintarianism related to the concept of evolution?
Change is gradual and takes place over long periods of time
How does Leibniz theory of innate properties of mind relate to his example of veins in marble?
He uses the analogy of how a block of marble might be veined in such a way as to have a sculpture of Hercules ready to be shaped from it, whereas a neutral block without the veins could produce anything. He says that "this is how ideas and truths are innate in us -- as inclinations, dispositions, tendencies, or natural potentialities."
What is Thomas Reid's commonsense philosophy?
He argued that because all humans were convinced of the existence of physical reality, it must exist. We can trust our impressions of the physical world because it makes common sense to do so. We are naturally endowed with the abilities to deal with and make sense out of the world.
What did Thomas Reid mean by direct realism?
Direct realism is the belief that the world is as we immediately experience it.
Explain what faculty psychology is.
Faculty psychology is the belief that the mind consists of several powers, or faculties. It denoted simply a "power" or "ability" to perform a given sort of action (such as perceiving or remembering), but it DID NOT denote an agent or substance, and it had no explanatory value. However, Reid thought that mental faculties were active powers of the mind, and that they actually existed and influenced individuals' thoughts and behavior.
What a priori knowledge did Kant believe had to exist and why?
Innate categories of understanding, such as time and space, to make sense of our sensory experiences
Why have some writers called Kant the great compromiser?
He attempts to reconciles empiricism and rationalism
Explain Kant's theory of moral development. Include the terms autonomy and heteronomy.
He argued that humans are caught in the tension between heteronomy (government from the outside) and autonomy (self-government). That is, goodness based on punishments and rewards from the outside versus goodness based on moral autonomy.
Explain Herbart's position on whether or not psychology could be a science. Could psychology be an experimental science?
Psychology could never be an experimental science, but he believed that the activities of the mind could be expressed mathematically; in that sense, psychology could be a science. Not according to Herbart.
Herbart had an interesting philosophy of psychic mechanics. Give a brief overview of this idea.
He believed that ideas had the power to either attract of repel other ideas, depending on their capability. Ideas tend to attract similar or compatible ideas, thus forming complex ideas. Similarly, ideas expend energy repelling dissimilar or incompatible ideas, thus attempting to avoid conflict.
Herbart saw the mind as a battlefield for ideas. Briefly describe what he meant
All ideas struggle to gain expression in consciousness, and compete to do so. When an idea loses its battle with other ideas, rather than being destroyed, it momentarily loses some of its intensity (clarity) and sinks into the unconscious
Why do some writers say Herbart's view of an idea was similar to Leibniz's view of monads?
An idea was like an atom with energy and a consciousness of its own
What is an apperceptive mass?
At any given moment compatible ideas gather in consciousness and form a group. This group of compatible ideas constitutes the apperceptive mass. Contains all the idea we are attending (paying attention to).
Herbart discussed repression of ideas and how they can force their way into consciousness. How might this relate to Freud's idea of repression?
Herbart said that if enough similar ideas are repressed into the unconscious, they could combine their energy and force their way into consciousness thereby displacing the existing apperceptive mass. This is similar to Freud in the sense that repressed memories can sometimes be brought forward by certain triggers.
Why would Herbart be interested in quantifying mental phenomena with mathematics?
It was Herbart's goal to mathematically express the relationships among the apperceptive mass, the limen, and the conflict among ideas. He wanted to explain the mind in mathematical terms as Newton described the physical world.
How can the idea of the apperceptive mass be used in teaching or education?
By using the term apperceptive mass in place of Piaget's cognitive structure, we can describe effective teaching as starting with what a student can assimilate into his or her cognitive structure/apperceptive mass
List the similarities between Herbart's ideas and Freud's.
-The unconscious, repression and conflict
-His belief that ideas continue to exist intact even when we are not conscious of them
-Unconscious ideas seeking conscious expression will be met with resistance if they are incompatible with ideas already in consciousness
What do rationalists and empiricists claim about sense experience?
Rationalists claim that there are significant ways in which our concepts and knowledge are gained independently of sense experience. Empiricists claim that sense experience is the ultimate source of all our concepts and knowledge
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