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1

Age of enlightenment

Period where autonomous thinking + observation became advocated as the primary sources of knowledge

--> no reliance on authority
--> 18th century

2

Positivism

Movement that promoted the view that knowledge can only be obtained by means of the scientific method

3

August Comte

Founder of sociology + positivism

--> advanced the hypothesis that civilizations pass through 3 progressive stages called the "Law of three stages"

4

Law of 3 stages of society
(Comte)

1. Theocratic stage
--> Gods + spirits dominate the culture

2. Metaphysical stage
--> Philosophical explanations dominated

3. Positivistic stage
--> explanations were provided by natural sciences

=> as society reaches its maturity when scientific explanations become the MOTOR OF PROGRESS

5

Metaphysics

Refers to a branch of philosophy that aims to explain the fundamental nature of the world and the human being

--> "What is really here ?"

6

Why did the Age of enlightenment lead to the outbreak of the american war of independence + the french revolution ?

Both were intended to release the ruling powers by a more reasonable government inspired by the scientific method

7

How did Positivists justify their opinion that scientific knowledge should be the motor of all progress

Science is always right because.

1. It is based on observation + experimentation

2. Their theories are summaries of observations

--> therefore science must decide all choices to be made

8

Why did the Roman catholic church react negatively to the growing popularity of science ?

In their opinion, Scientific knowledge is dangerous if not guided by religious morals

9

Why did the Protestant churches react negatively to the growing popularity of science ?

In their opinion, Science still had to be guided by religion

--> BUT: many saw science as an ally rather than an adversary

10

Many protestant churches enjoyed good relationships with scientists and with Science in general.

Why did this stop in the 1870s?

Several books + journals were published, where scientific findings (great breakthroughs) didn't go along with the beliefs of the church

--> this raised suspicion about the extent to which scientific progress has been hindered by religion

11

Humanities

Academic disciplines that continued the traditional study of the ancient classics, supplemented with contemporary literature + art

e.g.: literature, culture, art, history etc

12

Why did Edmund burke think that the French revolution was rather counterproductive to the evolution of societies/civilizations?

According to him, a drastic breach in traditions will tear apart the existing social tissue which will lead to a feeling of unsettlement among humans

--> one will risk destroying century long growth + evolution when existing costumes are changed too often + too drastically

13

Romantic movement

Movement that saw the universe as a changing organism, which is why it cannot be understood as a machine

--> the mind is free and spontaneous
--> late 18th, early 19th century

=> against mechanistic worldview
e.g.: individual, irrational, etc

14

What did the term "Two cultures" mean in the 20th century ?

Snow used it to stress that the divide between science + humanities/religion had led to a split of the intellectual life of the whole western society into 2 polar groups

--> he thought the divide was a loss for society because their interaction could be beneficial

15

(Cartesian) Dualism
(Descartes)

Refers to a distinction between the immaterial mind + the material body

--> the soul is separate, divine + independent of everything else

"Cogito ergo sum" = I think, therefore I am

16

Mechanistic view

Everything in the universe can be understood as a perfectly designed machine, made to function independently so God doesn't have to attend to it

--> as the soul is divine it cannot be studied
--> counterargument to the teleological explanation

17

How did Newton resolve the question of why the earth is orbiting the sun ?

By using 3 mathematical laws that adequately described the movement if the copernican universe

--> suggested that scientific knowledge could be summarized in mathematical laws

18

Principia mathematica

Newtons book in which he presented his laws of physics

--> considered to be the primary reason for the increased status of science

19

Individualisation

Refers to a greater focus by individuals on themselves than not the groups they belong to

--> looser social relations
--> characteristic of current western society

20

What are the main contributors of individualization ?

1. Increased complexity of society
--> w/ urbanisation people felt a greater need to compete with others

2. Increased control by the state
--> more monitoring by the state, led to a feeling of standing out

3. Individuality promoted christianity
--> private state of faith + relation to god

4. Mirrors, books, letters
--> emotions

21

Epistemology

Focused finding out the nature of knowledge, how do you construct it

e.g.: What is knowledge, how is it developed etc.

--> branch of philosophy
--> goes even deeper than introspection

22

Rationalism

Knowledge is obtained by means of deductive reasoning on the basis of INNATE knowledge

--> traditional view of understanding in philosophy
(Plato, Descartes)

23

Empiricism

Knowledge is obtained by means of perceptual experiences + inductive reasoning

--> there is no innate knowledge to start with

=> rise of empiricism lead to questioning of the rationalist view

(Locke, Berkley, Hume, Bacon)

24

Idealism
(Berkeley + Hume)

View that human knowledge is a construction of the mind + doesn't necessarily correspond to an outside world

--> usually contrasted to realism

25

Realism
(Kant)

Assumes that every event has a cause due to the existence of cause-effect relationships in the outside world

--> knowledge is determined by its correspondence with the outside world

ex.: we think that the sun is the cause of light because the experiences of sun + light coincide

26

What is Kants view on the mind and its importance on knowledge ?

Sought to reconcile rationalism + empiricism by arguing that THE MIND

1. Imposes structure on the incoming sensory experiences

2. Requires a coherent + constant input to make sense of the input

27

On which points did Kant agree/disagree with Hume + Berkeley ?

Agree:

We cannot have direct knowledge of the outside reality through perception

Disagreed:

Perception is much richer than suggested
--> its consciously perceived + thought about
--> combination of senses are formed into perception

28

What are the 4 parts in metaphysics ?

1. Ontology
--> universe + its entities

2. Natural theology
--> God(s)

3. Universal science
--> axioms + demonstrations on which theoretical knowledge is based

4. Psychology
--> added later

29

Rational psychology
(Wolff)

Psychology is based on axioms + deductions

--> approach that guarantees true conclusions about the human soul
--> allows for more involvement than mere observations

30

Introspection

Research method where a person looks inwards and reports what he or she is experiencing