Psychology And Philosophy: Inquiries Into The Soul From Late Scholasticism To Ontemporary Thought


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An encyclopedia of philosophy articles written by professional philosophers.

In , he was elevated to Cardinal Priest of S. Pietro in Vincoli by Pope St. Pius X. Volume two covers:. The aim of Psychology is not to construct a new, original system of psychology, but to resuscitate and make better known to English readers a psychology that has already survived for centuries and had more influence on human thought and language than all other psychologies together—and that still commands a far greater number of adherents than any rival doctrine.

Maher not only expounds but expands on this old system; not only defends its assured truths, but tests, develops, and applies them to modern problems. After an introductory chapter on the difference between natural and dogmatic theology, the author divides his work into three books: the first on the existence of God, the second on the divine attributes, the third on the action of God upon this world. Bernard Boedder was professor of natural theology at St. The names political economy, economics, and economic science, which are all three used as equivalents, express one of the moral or ethical sciences, and thus have as their subject matter the free actions of men.

In this volume, Devas covers production and consumption, exchange, distribution, public finance, and more. Devas also includes two chapters on the scope and method of economic science and the history of economic science. Charles S. Devas — was educated at Eton and Balliol College, Oxford. In simple language and from a philosophical basis, Francis Aveling states the natural proofs by which the existence of God is demonstrated. The first four chapters are concerned with certain preliminary considerations necessitated by the nature of the arguments themselves.

Therefore, these introductory chapters treat the general principles, method, and distinctions separately in order that the actual arguments might not be cumbered with explanations that might draw attention from the main point. From chapter five onward, the scholastic proofs are set out in order with little extraneous matter.

Francis Aveling — was president of the British Psychological Society from until Ming compares the purely materialistic system of ethics with the Christian ethics that it professes to have supplanted and cast aside. He compares them, not from the point of view of theology—that comparison would be of no interest to unbelievers—but from the point of view of philosophy and reason.

In , he moved to the United States and taught at several colleges. His aim is to show that, in the warfare with infidelity, the age-old arguments are as available at present as in any period of the past, and that as weapons of defense they need only be refurbished anew that they may be perfectly well fitted for modern use. Maurice Ronayne taught at St.

Format: Digital. Be the first to rate this. Overview Neo-Scholasticism was a philosophical and theological school of thought that arose in the mid—nineteenth century as a revival of medieval scholasticism, especially of the thought of St. Why Is This Collection Important? Many of the key theological texts leading up to the Reformation were written within this philosophical framework. About Scholasticism Scholasticism was preeminent throughout the high and late Middle Ages, displaced only with the rise of humanism during the Renaissance.

Key Features Over 10, pages of reference material covering scholasticism and Neo-Scholasticism Topics including metaphysics, logic, ethics, psychology, and more Numerous philosophical studies on the existence of God. Clarke writes with the grace and force of a cultured scholar. He draws out the essentials of ethics. These he presents with excellent method. His defintions are clear, brief, adequate; his explanations full enough for his scope; his illustrations apt; his style concise yet lucid. Father Coppens, we think, has produced a book which will meet al the requirements of the English student of philosophy.

It embodies a thorough course of Logic and Metaphysics, expressed in clear, concise language. This book will give him the necessary knowledge, and will also increase his pleasure in reading really able arguments. The Metaphysics of the School, vol. Publication Date: Pages: Sample Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7. Although Father Harper disclaims originality, the simple justice must be done him by remarking, that he has shown considerable skill in the production of apt illustrations, and in dealing with the modern temper.

We shall be curious to watch the fate of this unusual metaphysical venture. He has contributed not only to the science but the more literary and excursive aspect of the subject. Volume two is divided into two sections: Principles of Being Causes of Being, part 1. It is a book full of courage and full of ability.

In order that the reader may understand his polemic, our author leads up to it by a review of Descartes, and a more lengthened examination of Hume.

Suárez’s Psychology

He evidently knows the authors he criticizes at first hand, and especially to Hume and Kant he has given no ordinary share of attention. Harper is richly endowed with metaphysical acumen. To say nothing of his own speculative power, the care and labor he bestows on the general exposition of the scholastic doctrines are truly astonishing. The author manages to make the rather difficult subject of the scholastic philosophy intelligible to the general world. Everyone who reads it will read it again. No one now will have the assurance to say that the scholastic philosophy is still unintelligible to English students.

Father Harper continues to show the same close acquaintance with his authors, the same wise patience and careful analysis, the same persistent determination to get at the essential meaning amid the hundredfold refinements. Setting aside crowds of distracting minutiae, he gets at the core of meaning and intention, and it is hardly too much to say that a more complete and masterly analysis of the metaphysical writings of Thomas Aquinas does not exist than that which is to be found here.

He is certainly successful in throwing light upon an obscure corner in the history of philosophy. He also vindicates the schoolmen from the charge of having been unduly influenced by the Aristotelian discipline. In 13 pregnant chapters, and in fascinating literary style, Brother Azarias works out his theme, showing the influence of the mighty Greek in the West and in the East, among the Arabs, in the Church, and in the university.

A clear understanding of the relations between faith and reason, thus so admirably sketched, would give relief, we feel sure, to many perplexed consciences. We have set forth in clear and vigorous English the doctrine of knowledge and the principles of reasoning taught by the learned and subtle Aquinas in the thirteenth century, but adapted to the needs of students and controversialists of the nineteenth century by teachers who, like St. Thomas himself, are able to discuss doubts without doubting, to converse with skeptics of every school, and still to hold to the faith. He expounds the idea of Being with its nature, existence, and attributes, and other notions less general, as substance, causality, space, and time.

He ought to succeed in dissipating the common prejudice that metaphysics is mere cobweb spinning. The style of the book is bright and easy. The manual will be welcome on all sides as a sound, original, and fairly complete English treaty on the groundwork of morality. Many of the sections are supplied with lists of passages for reading, selected from such authors as Plato, Aristotle, St. Thomas Aquinas, Paley, and Mr. It should be specified also as one of the features in the book, that it keeps close on the track of Aristotle, and is careful to expound his pregnant but perplexing epigrams.

And there are many true and valuable statements in most parts of the book. This is a most excellent work, and a great boon for all Catholic students of philosophy. It is a great matter for Catholic students to have a work on this subject of high literary merit, and at the same time one on which they can safely depend. While the book is rather formidable as a handbook there is scarcely a paragraph or page that is dull.

And this is due to the skillful arrangement of the material and to the easy flow of the clear English sentences. As the reader proceeds from the Hellenic Roman to the medieval period, he finds a wealth of material upon which the author has drawn for his elaborate expositions not only of the philosophy of the Christian schoolmen, but for those of the contemporary Arabian and Jewish scholars. Brother Louis was subdirector of the Boarding School of Beziers. The Physical System of St. A Manual of Modern Scholastic Philosophy, vol. It supplies just what Catholic students have long needed, both as an aid to their own culturing, and as a work which they may confidently recommend to non-Catholics, as containing a fully developed, admirably arranged, and clearly written presentation of a system of psychology that is in accordance at once with Christian revelation, sound reason, and the facts and legitimate inferences of experimental science.

Because many movements of the body can be executed without conscious intentions, Descartes assumed that these could be explained in the same way as the movements of the hydraulic men. He has thus been credited with the discovery of reflex actions. He thought that all animal behavior could be explained in this way. Second, Descartes believed in the principle of conservation of energy. The quantity of motion imparted to and conserved in a system being constant, there could be no extra source of energy deriving from volition. Thus, the relationship between body and mind had to be conceived in a way that was consistent with this principle.

Third, Descartes held that scientific explanation consisted of making deductions from relations grasped between clear and distinct ideas. Clear and distinct ideas were available of the simple natures of body for example, extension, figure, motion and of mind thinking, willing but not of the relation between them. Descartes held fast to the obvious fact that body and mind interact for when I will, it is my arm that moves; I feel pain when my body falls and not when a stone falls.

But we have only a confused idea of this interaction. His account of the relationship between them was therefore only a likely story with which he was not really satisfied. It only narrowed down the point at which the crucial philosophical difficulties occurred. Descartes knew that muscles operate in opposing pairs and that nerves are necessary for sensation and movement. He pictured nerves as tubes along which animal spirits flow. Changes in the motion of these animal spirits cause them to open some pores in the brain rather than others.

When this happens, the spirits are deflected into muscles that move the body by being distended laterally and, thus, shortened. At the level of instinct and habit this process is purely mechanical. At the level of conscious intention, however, something more had to be postulated, the impact of mind on body at the crucial switching point of the spirits, the pineal gland. Descartes supposed that in sensation motion was transmitted from the stimulus object through a medium to the sense organ and thence along the spirits in the nerves to the pineal gland in the center of the brain, where an impression was made like that of a seal on wax.

This was a material image that stimulated the soul to produce a corresponding idea. Descartes gave a similar account of passions in the narrow sense of emotions and organically initiated disturbances, which have their source in the agitation of the spirits. By passions in a general sense, Descartes meant all things that happen to minds, including sensations, lower forms of memory, feelings, emotions, and other disturbances of reason.

These he contrasted with the mind's activity. All such incoming stimuli generally give rise to an act of will. Willing again makes contact with the body at the pineal gland, and a chain of events is started in the body terminating with the movement of the muscles, which produces voluntary action. The soul is like a pilot in a ship in that it can effect the direction but not the amount of bodily movement. Thus, Aristotle's image of active reason could be reconciled with the principle of the conservation of energy.

Descartes's hypothesis that interaction between body and mind occurred at the pineal gland did nothing to dispel the philosophical perplexity about how this interaction could be conceived, and then the pineal gland later was shown to be nothing more than an obsolescent eye. Descartes was attached to this idea because the pineal gland was the only part of the brain that was not duplicated in both halves of the brain. He was convinced that the soul, being unitary, could not affect the body at two points. His hypothesis enabled him to keep his mechanistic account of the body intact. For a long time it has been fashionable to deride Descartes's rather disastrous form of dualism and even to suggest that he created the body-mind problem.

This is a piece of intellectual insularity. Descartes was perhaps the first thinker to formulate the problem at all clearly. It would be possible to deny his basic assumption that body and mind are qualitatively distinct substances and still to claim that apart from this metaphysical extravagance his statement of the problem brought out at least two cardinal points that are involved in it.

First, he obviously saw the logical incongruity of explaining mental processes, such as geometric reasoning and deliberating before action, in mechanical terms. There is a logical gap between the types of explanation used, as Aristotle had pointed out in his criticisms of the mechanists who held that the soul was moved. Descartes, in his account of the transactions that were alleged to take place at the pineal gland, must have thought that motion at this point is somehow identical or correlated with the mental activity involved in producing an idea or making an act of will.

His hypothesis did much to draw attention to this logical disparity between the two types of description. Second, Descartes's account did much to establish privacy, rather than Aristotle's criterion of purpose with plans and rules superimposed at the level of the rational soul, as the main hallmark of the mental. As has been indicated, Descartes's theory in this respect marked the culmination of a trend that can be traced back through Augustine and Plotinus to Philo. To attribute mind to something is not just to say that men act in accordance with rules and that their movements persist toward ends.

It is to say that they act like this because of their knowledge of rules and because they are conscious of ends. Consciousness is crucial for picking out the obvious respect in which men differ from cunningly contrived machines. Descartes must be credited with the clearheadedness to have stood firm on this cardinal point. Benedict de Spinoza's system was a consequence of pushing Descartes's assumptions to their logical conclusions.

Descartes had accepted the traditional notion of substance as that which is a cause of itself, can be conceived through itself, and needs only itself in order to exist. Spinoza — argued that if this is the definition of substance and if there is such a substance, there can be only one such substance, which can be called either nature or God. Nature, so conceived, must have infinite attributes, but we know only two of them, thought and extension. God is therefore "the place of the world and the whole system of thinking. Thus, nothing can be adequately explained unless its occurrence can be deduced from principles applying to the system as a whole.

Explanation is deductive in character and accords with mechanical principles. Unlike Descartes, Spinoza envisaged a science of psychology in which mental as well as physical phenomena could be deduced from quantitatively expressed laws. Emotions, he argued, must obey laws just as lines, planes, and bodies do. Human beings, as part of nature, must exhibit the general characteristics of all modifications of God or nature.

They must be determined within a system; they must have a mental and a physical aspect; and they must exhibit conatus, or the striving to persist within their own being. These characteristics must now be considered in turn. In stating that human behavior was determined within a system, Spinoza wished to oppose what he considered to be two basic illusions that human beings had with respect to themselves.

The first of these was the illusion of free will. People are convinced that they have free will , he argued, because they are conscious of their actions but ignorant of their causes; thus, they conclude that they are uncaused. If stones were conscious, they, too, would believe in free will. Yet human behavior can be explained just as can the movements of stones.

In both cases the explanation will consist in deducing what occurs from the laws of the system of which they both are part, ultimately the system of nature as a whole. The human body is a system of simpler elements maintained in an equilibrium, but this system is part of a broader system, not a self-contained isolable system.

Adequate explanation is seeing events as part of the whole system of nature; in this system there are no final causes. Nature just is, like a vast, timeless machine. How then was the body-mind relation to be conceived? Spinoza was one of the first to point to the difficulties in Descartes's pineal gland hypothesis. Spinoza's solution was to suggest that interaction does not take place for the very good reason that body and mind are correlated attributes of the same underlying substance, not distinct substances.

Indeed, Spinoza says that the mind is the idea of the body. This is obvious enough at the level of immediate confused ideas that are of bodily states. But the changes in a man's body are part of a larger system, which includes the properties of the food absorbed in nutrition. A wider knowledge of the events in a man's stomach is possible for a physiologist who can understand the laws governing them.

He would see these events as part of an ever widening network of events which constitute nature. The man's feeling of stomachache, on the other hand, would be confused, fragmentary, and inadequate, an idea of an effect cut loose from its causes. This illustrates the difference between what Spinoza called the first and second grades of knowledge. The materials of the first grade are the confused ideas of bodily states that we call feelings and sensations. These ideas are connected only by principles of association. This is the level of sense perception and imagery, of uncritical beliefs founded on animal instinct, association, and hearsay.

The second grade of knowledge is rational insight. At this level rational connections are grasped as general notions develop that connect an ever widening system of events. The more abstract and general thought becomes, the nearer it approaches the thought of the Cartesian physicist and, ultimately, God's thought. There is also a third grade of knowledge, called scientia intuitiva by Spinoza, which is more mystical. It is a return from the abstract laws of the scientist to a grasp of the particular as illuminated by such laws.

The role of the body, as that which is correlated with mind and of which mind is an idea, seemed to recede when Spinoza passed to reason, or the second grade of knowledge. Mind as the idea of the body becomes at this point almost as difficult a notion as Descartes's notion of mental activity somehow mirroring movement in the brain, for thinking is not of or about body or brain states any more than it is a form of movement which is similar to or identical with brain states.

Spinoza's account of mental phenomena was much less intellectualistic than that of Descartes. Indeed, in certain respects he reverted to Aristotle's emphasis on teleology and self-maintenance. Spinoza held that the most important characteristic of every modification of nature was its conatus, its striving to persist in its own essence. In man, as in every other natural modification, there is an inherent tendency to react to all changes in a way that maintains its characteristic unity and equilibrium.

A person differs from animals in being self-conscious in this endeavor. Descartes had paid particular attention to the causal influence of animal spirits and had left rather vague the part played by the cognitive grasp of the situation, though he generally put forward an ideomotor theory. Spinoza evinced little interest in the physiology of the matter. Instead, he developed a theory of motivation by harnessing Descartes's passions to his own homeostatic principle.

He postulated that whenever a body is acted on by another body, its vitality may be increased, may be diminished, or may remain constant. The awareness of these occurrences is the mental aspect of the psychophysical states which are called emotions. There are thus three primary emotions corresponding to increase, diminution, or maintenance of bodily vitality. These are joy laetitia , grief tristitia , and desire cupiditas. As a result of experience people tend to keep before them what will increase their vitality and remove what will decrease it.

Spinoza drew a sharp distinction between the passive emotions which characterize the first grade of knowledge and the active ones which mark the second and third grades. People are passive when the cause of changes in them lies outside them. In this state of human bondage the emotions that accompany confused, fragmentary ideas are thrust on people; they tend to be sporadic, inordinate, unpredictable, and obsessive. Individuals are subject to panic, jealousy, and overmastering loves and hates.

When a man passes to the second grade of knowledge, however, his vitality is increased, and there is a distinctive form of joy that goes with the use of reason. The explanation of human conduct is now to be sought within him, in his clear understanding of the world and of his relation to it. By understanding himself, including his own emotions and history, as part of the system of nature, a man can attain a kind of freedom, which depends upon his acceptance of his own nature.

He is then capable of rational self-love and rational benevolence and can attain glimmerings of the greatest good which he can possess — "the knowledge of the union which the mind has with the rest of nature. In making suggestions for attaining this state of blessedness, Spinoza in many respects anticipated later psychoanalytic techniques, as well as the general psychoanalytic aim of replacing subservience to irrational promptings by rational control based on self-knowledge.

He thought, for instance, that many irrational reactions could be traced back to an early reaction to an object to which the present object had become associated by irrelevant similarities. Scientific understanding of this might help to dissociate the emotion from the irrelevant stimulus. He was not so naive, however, as to suppose that mere intellectual understanding could free an individual from the obsessiveness of emotion.

It takes an emotion to master an emotion. And Spinoza thought that seeing things "under the aspect of eternity" had a specific emotional accompaniment. Hence, the psychological shrewdness as well as the ethical profundity of his remark, "Blessedness is not the reward of right living; it is the right living itself. Nor do we delight in blessedness because we restrain our desires. On the contrary it is because we delight in it that we restrain them. Hobbes — already subscribed to the deductive model of geometry when he visited Galileo in He returned replete with concepts and laws that were to form the foundation of his psychology.

For the idea had dawned on him, perhaps suggested by Galileo, of applying the new natural philosophy to human behavior. Of course, Epicurus had long ago sketched a mechanical theory of mind, but it was very general. Galileo had worked out the details of a new theory of motion.

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Could not still further consequences be deduced from the law of inertia? Harvey had deduced the theory of the circulation of the blood from mechanical postulates. Could not Hobbes apply the details of this new theory of motion to psychology and politics? Hobbes did not really see any particular problem about the relationship between body and mind because for him everything was body. Even God must have a body if he exists, for "substance incorporeal" is a contradiction in terms. Thus, "conceptions and apparitions are nothing really but motions in some internal substance of the head.

In truth, Hobbes was not much worried by such philosophical niceties as whether, according to his theory, mental phenomena like thinking were being postulated as identical with or merely causally dependent on motions in the head. He was much more interested in working out a mechanical explanation of these phenomena. This is what makes his psychology of absorbing interest. It represents just about the first attempt in the history of psychology to put forward in any detail something that begins to look like a scientific theory. According to Hobbes, in sensation the sense organs were agitated by external motions without which there could be no discrimination and, hence, no sensation.

The selectivity of perception was explained by suggesting that while a sense organ retains motion from one object it cannot react to another; similarly, in attention the motion from the root of the nerves persists "contumaciously" and makes the sense organ impervious to the registering of other motions. Imagination was explained by a strict deduction from the law of inertia: "When a body is once in motion, it moveth, unless something else hinder it, eternally; … so also it happeneth in that motion, which is made in the internal parts of man, then, when he sees, dreams, etc.

It comes about because the sense organs are moved by other objects. This explains why dreams are so vivid, for in sleep there are no competing motions from the outside world. Thus, the longer the time that elapses after sensing an object, the weaker the imagination. Memory is imagination with a sense of pastness added to it. This was an exciting and an ingenious theory. The difficulty about it is that the type of distinction implied in the explicanda cannot really be deduced from the mechanical postulates of the theory, for the differences between perceiving, imagining, and remembering are basically epistemological ones implying standards and criteria different from those that might be attributed to mere movements.

Hobbes never faced the basic difficulties that Aristotle first formulated in his opposition to the theory that the soul was itself moved. Nevertheless, Hobbes did produce something that looked like a scientific theory.

CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Philosophy

Its conceptual difficulties attend all psychological theories that attempt to translate epistemological distinctions into differences of process. In the theory of action Hobbes attempted to get rid of final causes and to substitute efficient causes for them. To do this, he had to introduce the concept of endeavor, which was very different from Spinoza's conatus. He used the term endeavor to designate infinitely small motions, which he postulated as occurring in the medium between the object and the sense organ, between the sense organ and the brain, and heart.

His theory of motivation was that external objects transmit motions by a medium to the sense organs and from there to the brain and to the heart; this results not only in the production of images but also in some alteration or diversion of vital motions round the heart. When these incoming motions help the circulation of vital motions, it appears to us as pleasure, and the body is guided to preserve the motions by staying in the presence of the stimulating object; and conversely with pain. Appetite and aversion are thus the first endeavors of animal motion. They are succeeded by the flow of animal spirits into some receptacle near the "original" of the nerves which brings about a swelling and relaxation of the muscles causing contraction and extension of the limbs, which is animal motion.

Hobbes thought this mechanical account of action was quite consistent with ascribing a central role to consciousness, for in Hobbes's view all action was voluntary in the very strong sense that it is preceded by the thought of an end to be attained. He also claimed that the only way to develop a science of human nature was to look into ourselves and analyze what we find there. Hobbes found two basic motions of the mind, "the one arising from the concupiscible part, which desires to appropriate to itself the use of those things in which all others have a joint interest; the other proceeding from the rational that teaches every man to fly a contra-natural dissolution, as the greatest mischief that can arrive to nature.

Conflict between manifestations of these basic motions of the mind leads to deliberation. In this "alternate succession of appetite and fear" the one that emerges triumphant is called "will. On top of this mechanical ground plan Hobbes superimposed an account of the passions taken largely from Aristotle's Rhetoric. They are to be distinguished by reference to the objects of appetite and aversion as well as by our opinion of attaining such objects. Ambition, for instance, is desire for office; hope is appetite with an opinion of attaining.

Individual differences are due, in the main, to differences in the mobility and agility of the animal spirits. Dullness, for instance, derives from "a grossness and difficulty of the motion of the spirits about the heart. Hobbes assigned a special place in his theory of the passions to curiosity, which, together with the ability to name things and hence to reason deductively, distinguishes humans from animals.

Hobbes's account of the passions was unusual in that it was so positive. For him passions were not, as for the Stoics, imperfect reasonings; they were a particular case of motion in the natural world on which his account of human nature was erected. Nevertheless, when he dealt with what was distinctive of man, his reason, Hobbes parted company with both naturalism and mechanical theory.

The type of reason, called prudence, which enables man to satisfy his desires more efficiently, on the basis of experience, must be sharply distinguished from the reason by means of which men are able to arrive at the universal truths of geometry and philosophy. This is not the place to enter into the tortuous details of Hobbes's nominalist theory of meaning or his conventionist theory of truth.

It is important to note, however, that in dealing with these specifically human facets of behavior, just as in his treatment of the foundations of civil society, Hobbes defended a position that stressed above all the role of artifice and convention. He even put forward a kind of contract theory of definition to parallel his social contract theory of government. These accounts were underpinned by a very crude causal theory of signs as well as by a mechanical theory of human nature. But no clear connection was ever made between the conventionist and naturalistic elements.

David Hume later tried to make such a connection by suggesting that reason was a wonderful and unintelligible instinct in human nature. Hobbes, however, more or less ignored his own mechanical theory when he dealt with geometry, law, logic, and other such artificial creations of human reason. Thus, although Hobbes was the first thinker to develop in any detail a mechanical theory of mind, he also, more or less unwittingly, exhibited the glaring difficulties in such an undertaking. Indeed, the things in which he was most interested, apart from politics, were precisely those things which it is very difficult to accommodate within a mechanical theory.

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz — understood much better than Hobbes the new natural philosophy; indeed, his discovery of the infinitesimal calculus contributed considerably to it. However, he resisted its mechanistic implications. Descartes had viewed nature, the animal world, and bodies as machines but had stopped short at mind; Hobbes had mechanized mind as well.

Leibniz went to the other extreme and mentalized nature. In many respects he reverted to Aristotle. The Monadology was a brilliant synthesis of Aristotelian logic taken seriously and a variety of trends in the natural sciences. The whole Cartesian philosophy presupposed the subject-predicate view of judgment in which every proposition, when reduced to logical form, has a subject and a predicate. Moreover, the predicate was thought to be contained in the subject.

The Aristotelians thought that this common structure of language mirrored a world of substances composed of various attributes. Leibniz, like Spinoza, took the definition of substance seriously; he thought that it was the cause of itself, could be conceived by itself, and needed only itself in order to exist. But where Spinoza concluded that if this was the definition of substance, there could be only one — namely, God or nature — Leibniz concluded that the world must be composed of countless substances all exhibiting the features picked out in their definition.

These monads develop according to an immanent principle that is their force or essence. Everything that will ever happen to them, their predicates, is included in their original notion. The principle of sufficient reason explains the succession of these states in time, the identity of a substance at different times being recognized by "the persistence of the same law of the series. What I know about myself must in general be a paradigm for the basic structure of all substances. But no two substances are alike.

In perception they all mirror the universe from a particular point of view. There is no interaction, however. Each monad is windowless and develops because of its own immanent principle, not because of external causal influences. The monads seem to influence one another only because of the preestablished harmony of their immanent development. This bizarre application of an ancient logical doctrine to the world accorded nicely with various new developments in the sciences.

Leibniz naturally regarded it as consistent with his discovery of the infinitesimal calculus, the guiding idea of which was that a succession of states develops according to a law governing the series. The successive states of a monad flow into one another like a series of terms differing infinitesimally, their development being defined by the law of the series.

This fitted well with the law of continuity, which held that natura non facit saltus "nature makes no leaps". Change is a summation of infinitesimal degrees of change. Furthermore, the recent discovery of the microscope revealed that if a piece of cheese or a seemingly empty pool is examined, each will be found to be teeming with life.

Psychology, Philosophy & the Task of Thinking

Could not all nature, therefore, be alive — a vast system of monads at varying levels of development? In embryology, too, the doctrine of preformation was in vogue. The assumption that all the characteristics of an adult animal exist in embryonic form from the moment of generation supported Leibniz's view that from the original notion of the monad all its later states and characteristics could be deduced. His conception of the essence of monads being force or activity was connected, too, with his contribution to the dispute in dynamics about the relationship between force and mass.

Leibniz held that his concept of vis viva or activity directed toward the future states of the monad was required by his discovery of the conservation of momentum. The synthesis of Aristotelian logic and these trends in science made Leibniz utterly opposed to the mechanistic picture of nature and of man in which the real world was a world of bodies in motion having only primary qualities whose changes were to be explained only by reference to efficient causes. What is real, he claimed, is not what is mathematically measurable but our experience of activity and perceiving.

Nature, as well as man, is characterized by appetition and perception. Final causes are reconciled with the laws of motion by the principle of sufficient reason, which governs the unfolding of the immanent nature of the monads. The difference between substances is only one of degree of clarity in perception and of self-consciousness in appetition. Bare monads have a minimum of perception and appetition. Their perception is confused, and their appetition is blind. Souls, or conscious monads, have memory, feeling, and attention.

Animals, or, rather, the dominant monads of animals, are examples. Rational souls, or spirits, are self-conscious; unlike brutes, which are "empirics" and are aware only of particulars, they can reason and understand necessary truths. Extension is only an appearance, the way in which low-grade monads appear to us; the laws of motion are just appearances of the laws of appetition which depend ultimately on God's choice of what is best. Aristotle and Galileo are reconciled, but Galileo's and Isaac Newton's laws are, at best, laws of appearances.

Leibniz's concept of mind or soul was articulated in what he said about perception and appetition. He regarded perception as marvelous because it cannot be conceived of as an action of the object on the percipient, for the monads are windowless. Perception is better regarded as the expression of a plurality in a unity. One thing may be said to express another when there is a constant and regular relation between what can be said about the one and about the other.

It is thus that a projection in perspective expresses its original. The monads are perspectives of the universe from different points of view. Expression is thus the genus of which perception, animal feeling, and intellectual knowledge are species. Leibniz combined this highly metaphysical account of perception with some shrewd objections to John Locke 's tabula rasa theory of the mind. He held that the senses provide us only with instances and by themselves cannot provide the sort of universal knowledge that we have in science. The mind is active and categorizes experience by means of which it interprets the testimony of the senses.

The proper analogy for the mind is not a tabula rasa but a block of veined marble. In this doctrine Leibniz harked back to Aristotle's active reason and laid the foundation for Immanuel Kant 's categories. Locke, he argued, had in fact tacitly admitted this in postulating mental operations that are known by reflection. Leibniz maintained that Locke was wrong in saying that the mind does not always think. We have an infinite number of perceptions of which we are not aware. Habituation and wandering attention, as well as the smallness of the perceptions, explain our failure to notice them.

Our attention is often drawn to a sound that has just occurred and that we would not otherwise have consciously noticed, although we registered it. They explain decisions that seem arbitrary to us, like turning to the left rather than to the right; they explain frequent feelings of uneasiness which are not intense enough to be felt as pain.

These insensible perceptions, he argued, are "as much use in pneumatics as is the insensible corpuscle in physics. Since "nature makes no leaps," these insensible perceptions must accord with the law of continuity. Although Leibniz confused some rather different things in this doctrine — for example, unconscious perceptions, minute perceptions that summate like the noise of waves in the roar of the sea, and confused perceptions — he prepared the ground for the concept of unconscious mental processes which was to prove so important in nineteenth-century thought, and he anticipated later investigations of subliminal perception and "determining tendencies.

Leibniz's emphasis on appetition as the other main characteristic of monads was a welcome change from the intellectualism of Descartes and Locke. However, Leibniz made no detailed empirical derivations from this notion to match the derivations made from his concept of perception. It had more affinities with Spinoza's "conatus" than with Hobbes's "endeavor," although it was really the Aristotelian conception of the formal and final cause brought up to date and made compatible with dynamic theory.

His concept can best be elucidated by quoting him; he calls his concept by the Aristotelian term "entelechy," which is "a power mediating between the simple faculty of acting and the definite or effected act.


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It contains and includes effort. It is self-determined to action, not requiring to be aided, but only requiring not to be inhibited. The illustration of a weight which stretches the cord it is attached to, or of a bent bow, may elucidate the notion. Leibniz believed that every living creature is composed of a vast number of special organic structures each developing in its own characteristic way; they are all so coordinated and mutually complementary, however, that together they act as an individual.

The unity is the soul or the dominant monad; the multiplicity is the body or assemblage of bare monads. The monads of the body all have their own activity, and they are represented or mirrored in the perceptions of the dominant monad or mind. The mind has no power to interfere with or penetrate the forces that it seems to direct.


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The activities of the monads of the body subserve the dominant activity of the mind as the players of an orchestra, each playing independent parts, subserve the performance of the symphony, and the symphony is the resultant harmony, which has been preestablished. The manifold activities of the bare monads thus combine to bring about the end of the dominant monad. The body depends on the mind in the sense that the reason of what happens in the body is to be found in the mind compare to Aristotle's view of soul and body. Thus, Leibniz reverted to a view of mind and nature which was basically Aristotelian, but he transformed the Aristotelian entelechy by giving it the basic hallmarks of Cartesian mind — thinking and willing as experienced from within.

Furthermore, he pressed the emphasis on privacy much further than Descartes by claiming that the monads are windowless and that everything that will ever happen to them is contained in their original notion. There was, however, another radically different concept of mind which developed out of Descartes's stress on privacy and incorrigibility as the hallmarks of mental states. This was that of British empiricism, which culminated in Hume and the associationists.

The contribution of Hume — to psychology was not very extensive in its details because his theorizing about the mind, like that of George Berkeley and Locke, was mainly a way of doing epistemology. And there were special reasons, deriving from his epistemological position, for his eschewing speculation about the relationship between mind and body and the general status of mind in nature.

Nevertheless, his general concept of mind was of considerable historical importance. It was the first thoroughgoing attempt to eliminate spiritual substance altogether, and it was the first theory to make reason subservient to the passions and to extol the importance of instinct and habit. It was also the first attempt to develop a Newtonian theory of mind and to erect the principles of the association of ideas into scientific postulates — an undertaking which considerably influenced David Hartley and hence the course of associationist psychology. John Locke — took from Descartes the assumption that we are confronted with our own ideas, not with things, and that some kind of certainty is both desirable and attainable.

He rejected, however, Descartes's doctrine of innate ideas and adopted a Baconian version of empiricism. He postulated simple ideas of sense that made their imprint on the passive tabula rasa of the mind. Once ideas got into the mind, Locke's theory more or less followed Descartes's, for he believed that the active spiritual substance within intuits relations between ideas, the relations which form the foundations of knowledge. Locke, however, did not stick consistently to his "way of ideas. They are material substances that support "powers" to produce in us ideas of primary qualities, which are real properties of the things in question, and secondary qualities which are not real.

George Berkeley — stuck more consistently to the way of ideas and eliminated material substance, of which we have and could have no idea because it is a logical absurdity; the representative theory of perception; and the distinction between primary and secondary qualities. He claimed, however, that we have "notions," rather than ideas, of ourselves as active agents and of other minds, including God. We also have a notion of our own causal activity.

Berkeley relied on this notion to distinguish ideas of sense from ideas of imagination, for having eliminated the concept of a thing independent of our perceptions, Berkeley had to have a criterion for distinguishing what are commonly called things from the mere coexistence of qualities; imaginary objects, for instance, appear to us as clusters of coexisting qualities.

Thus, he claimed that when we see objects, it is God talking the divine sense language and producing ideas in our minds; when we imagine objects, we are doing the producing ourselves and have a notion of our own agency in so doing. Berkeley's stress on the activity of the mind contrasted strongly with Locke's tabula rasa. Hume simply stuck rigorously to the way of ideas and eliminated Berkeley's "notions. All that was left, therefore, as genuine components of the mind were ideas themselves and certain links between them.

Hume likened the mind to a theater "where several perceptions successively make their appearances, pass, repass, glide away," and to a political organization in which the members come and go but the principles of organization — the principles of the association of ideas — persist. Hume was the first to attempt an explicit distinction between images, which he called impressions, and what we would now call sensations — he called them ideas.

He regarded them as two sorts of perceptions. Impressions could not be distinguished from ideas in a Lockian way by their relation to an external object. For Hume, following the way of ideas, disclaimed any possibility of knowledge of a world of objects existing independently of our perceptions. And, because he ruled out notions, Berkeley's appeal to awareness of our causal agency in producing ideas of imagination was not open to him. Of course, like Berkeley, Hume agreed that what we call things exhibit a certain constancy and coherence; they resemble past clusters of qualities.

We assume independent existence in order to connect past with present perceptions. But, he argued, we can no more demonstrate the existence of a world independent of us than we can demonstrate that pleasure is preferable to pain. There are, however, subjective criteria for making the distinction between images and sensations, which is all that remains once belief in a world of independent objects has been ruled out. These are the criteria of vividness and order.

Hume suggested that ideas could be picked out because they were faint copies of previous impressions. In other words, impressions are both more vivid than ideas and prior to them. But he gave counterexamples to both these criteria — those of vivid ideas in fever or madness and of forming an idea of a color that had never previously been presented as an impression.

In the case of fever or madness Hume suggested that the imagination transfers the vividness of an impression to an idea.


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  8. Similarly, our belief in an external world is a work of the imagination. Hume's recourse to the imagination was of cardinal importance in his account of the mind because it linked his theory of knowledge with his rehabilitation of feeling. It has often been remarked that one of the main features of Hume's philosophy was a reversal of the roles hitherto ascribed to reason and feeling. He brought over into epistemology his ethical theory, which he adapted from Francis Hutcheson 's theory of moral sense, that moral judgments are based on feeling.

    Reasoning is "nothing but a wonderful and unintelligible instinct in our souls. Hume stressed facets of human nature that had been largely neglected since Aristotle. He postulated an original fabric of human nature consisting of various propensities not unlike that of later instinct theorists. He also extolled the place of habit in conduct, not simply in explaining such developed forms of behavior as obedience to government but also in explaining the origin of some indemonstrable beliefs.

    For instance, he held that the idea of causal connection could be analyzed into the elements of priority in time of event A to event B and constant conjunction of event A with event B , together with a conviction of the necessity that B must follow A. As there was no impression of this necessity given in experience, Hume attributed our belief in it to habit or a "determination of the mind" brought about by experience of such constant conjunction and the force of the imagination.

    Appropriately enough, the details of Hume's psychology consisted mainly of an elaborate and highly complex theory of the passions, stated in Book 2 of his Treatise of Human Nature. One of Hume's tasks was to rehabilitate the passions, the natural feelings of decent people, from the Puritans' distrust and the rationalists' disregard. He also had to demolish sophisticated theories, deriving from Hobbes, in which all passions were regarded as forms of self-love.

    Whereas Bishop Butler attacked psychological hedonism in order to establish the supremacy of conscience, Hume refuted the hypothesis of self-love in order to make way for his rival hypothesis of innate benevolence and sympathy. He also regarded the sensations of pleasure and pain as part of the original fabric. In a passion one of these sensations is accompanied by an affection. The direct affections include desire and aversion, joy and grief, hope and fear.

    The difference between these depends on the character of the expectation of good or evil. Desire is for present good, joy for assured good in the future, and hope for probable though remote good in the future. Hume thought that through experience these affections, together with the sensation of pleasure or pain associated with them, can become associated with an object. This generates such indirect passions as pride and humility, when the object is ourselves, or love and hate, when the object is other people. Benevolence and malevolence, however, are not derived from love and hate.

    Hume classed them as direct and instinctive. Sympathy occupied a role in Hume's theory of passions somewhat similar to imagination in his theory of belief. The idea of another person's feeling is said to be associated with the idea of oneself, and the required liveliness is thus imparted to the otherwise neutral conception of another person's joy or sorrow. The idea of the self played an important part in Hume's intricate account of the passions. Like the idea of causality, it presented a serious problem for analysis, for we believe strongly in the reality of both of them.

    Yet, Hume argued, there was no simple impression of sense from which these ideas derived. Introspection revealed only "some particular perception or other, of heat or cold, light or shade, love or hatred, pain or pleasure. Another apt analogy is the self-maintained unity of a political association.

    But Hume maintained that the unity of this bundle, which makes it a "connected heap," is associative, not real; there are no grounds for ascribing to it the simplicity and permanence which are required for real unity. Perceptions are loose, separate, perishing existences. There can be no real links between them. The problem is to explain how we come to believe that there are.

    Hume made the same type of move in relation to the idea of self that he made in the case of causality. He demonstrated that if the way of ideas is followed, there is no ground in experience for believing in the reality of the self; he then embarked upon some speculative psychology to explain how we come to have this belief.

    He suggested that members of the bundle are related to one another in a specific way in time, the order being preserved by memory. The members have the relations of resemblance and cause and effect between them. But cause and effect is not a real relation; thus, no real unity characterizes the self. We come to believe in it because of the "felt smoothness" with which we pass from one idea to another once the associative links have been established. Although Hume's adherence to the way of ideas ruled out wide speculations about the place of mind in nature, there was a highly imaginative idea behind his positivistic system.

    Systematic Philosophy of Mind

    Hume regarded himself as the Newton of the sciences of humankind. He made frequent references to his pursuit of the experimental method and thought his rigorous interpretation of the way of ideas to be thoroughly consistent with Newton's methodological canons of economy and simplicity in explanation, testability of hypotheses, and refusal to postulate occult causes. Hume stressed that once we have arrived at the original fabric of human nature, it is futile to attempt to satisfy any further our intemperate desire to search for other causes.

    But Hume did not emulate Newton merely in his methodology. He also regarded his concepts in the psychological sphere as parallel to Newton's concepts in the physical. His simple impressions were the equivalent of Newtonian atoms, and his principles of association were likened to the "gentle force" of Newton's principles of gravitational attraction. Indeed, Hume regarded imagination and, perhaps, sympathy as cohesive forces. When imagination works according to the associative principles of resemblance, contiguity, and cause and effect, the result is what Hume called the understanding.

    When it works capriciously, the result is fancy. Of course, the principles of association were as old as Aristotle, though Aristotle's principles were not the same as Hume's. Hobbes, too, had made use of them, though he believed that thought which was guided by desire or which exhibited a plan was more important. However, in Hume's system for the first time they were looked upon as important scientific principles governing the working of the mind. This conception was taken up by Hartley in his theory of vibrations and developed into the associationist school of psychology.

    Hume's theory was also important in the history of psychology because it firmly established psychology as the science of the contents of consciousness. Although Descartes's first certainty was rejected in relation to its content, what persisted was the assumption that a man has some incorrigible sort of knowledge about his own mental states.

    Hume rejected Descartes's search for simple natures, which appear to the mind as clear and distinct ideas, as the foundations of science. Instead, he postulated simple impressions of sense, perishing existences about which we can be certain provided that we make no inferences beyond them. Because Hume, like Locke, consistently confused psychology with epistemology, two parallel traditions developed from his work. On one hand, there was the search in epistemology for sense data which could provide an incorrigible basis for a system of knowledge; on the other hand, there was the development of introspective psychology whose task was envisaged as cataloguing the contents of the mind, analyzing them into simple units, and attempting generalizations about the links between these units which explained the generation of complex ideas and states.

    Hume, understandably enough, had little to say about the relationship between mind and body. Body, according to his theory, stood for another bundle of impressions. He did not even connect the idea of self with impressions of bodily states, which might have been an obvious move if he had looked seriously for specific impressions, from which the idea of self is derived. In the Humean tradition William James , for instance, later suggested that the idea of self was intimately connected with impressions of breathing, cephalic movements, and the like. But Hume made no such suggestion.

    He noted the inexplicability of the fact that "the motion of our body follows upon the command of our will. But we simply have to accept these de facto connections between events. To speculate further would be to postulate occult causes and thus to sin against both Newtonian methodology and the way of ideas. It would be very difficult to sketch the contribution of Kant — to psychology within the framework previously used, partly because he made very little direct and explicit contribution to psychology and partly because his Copernican revolution in philosophy involved a radical reformulation of questions asked under such a framework.

    Furthermore, though Kant's concept of mind may, in fact, be extremely important insofar as it delimits the sphere of empirical psychology, those who developed empirical psychology in fact paid little heed to the implications of Kant's position. Perhaps that was a pity, for Kant made a sustained effort to separate epistemology from empirical psychology, and until these two are clearly distinguished, there will continue to be confusion in this area, as is demonstrated in the genetic psychology of Jean Piaget.

    Nevertheless, Kant's influence on psychology was largely negative and indirect; thus, only a short exposition will be given of those parts of his critical philosophy which seem relevant to psychology. First and foremost, Kant rejected the notion of the empiricists that what is called mind could be explained as the product of ideas arising from experience and systematizing themselves according to laws of association.

    Kant maintained that the mind must be regarded as a structure regulated by principles of its own activity. These principles could not be arrived at empirically, for they were presupposed by any empirical investigation, including psychology. They could be arrived at only by critical philosophy, which asked the question "What must be presupposed for our experience to be possible?

    Kant was particularly interested in two realms of experience — Newtonian science and the autonomous morality of thinkers of the French Revolution. Kant attempted to reconcile the rationalism of Christian Wolff and Leibniz with the empiricist position of Hume by postulating an active mind whose nature was to impose a structure on experience to make it intelligible. This structure was composed of the categories used by scientists, such as substance, cause and effect, and continuity, which Hume had assigned to the imagination; Kant attributed the structure to reason, which synthesizes the data of sense.

    Psychology And Philosophy: Inquiries Into The Soul From Late Scholasticism To Ontemporary Thought Psychology And Philosophy: Inquiries Into The Soul From Late Scholasticism To Ontemporary Thought
    Psychology And Philosophy: Inquiries Into The Soul From Late Scholasticism To Ontemporary Thought Psychology And Philosophy: Inquiries Into The Soul From Late Scholasticism To Ontemporary Thought
    Psychology And Philosophy: Inquiries Into The Soul From Late Scholasticism To Ontemporary Thought Psychology And Philosophy: Inquiries Into The Soul From Late Scholasticism To Ontemporary Thought
    Psychology And Philosophy: Inquiries Into The Soul From Late Scholasticism To Ontemporary Thought Psychology And Philosophy: Inquiries Into The Soul From Late Scholasticism To Ontemporary Thought
    Psychology And Philosophy: Inquiries Into The Soul From Late Scholasticism To Ontemporary Thought Psychology And Philosophy: Inquiries Into The Soul From Late Scholasticism To Ontemporary Thought

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