8 Descartes (1596-1650) Flashcards Preview

3023 History and philosophy of psychology and psychiatry > 8 Descartes (1596-1650) > Flashcards

Flashcards in 8 Descartes (1596-1650) Deck (35)
Loading flashcards...
1

What is the idea of Aristotle's substance metaphysics?

That everything that exists is a substance.

2

What is the Pythagorean view of metaphysics?

That all physical features are quantitative despite appearing to be otherwise.

3

The world consists of two kinds of substance, says Descartes. Which?

1. The physical
2. The mental

4

What characterises physical substances, selon Descartes?

Physical substances are characterised by extension: the measurable, spatial properties of things, e.g. length, area, volume

5

What characterises mental substances, selon Descartes?

Thinking – perception, cognition, memory, etc.

6

What is Descartes' dualism?

The idea that the world is made up of two fundamentally distinct types of substance - the mental and the physical.

7

Apart from the mental and physical, what other substances are there in Descartes' world?

None. That's it.

8

What is dualism, conceptually?

The idea that X is composed of two fundamentally distinct types.

9

What are the six propositions of the Cogito?

1. He could doubt anything other than fact he is thinking, because doubting is thought.

2. So he could doubt he possessed a body.

3. So thinking is independent of extension.

4. So there must be two different kinds of substance.

5. Everything we can envisage is either thinking (mind) or extension (matter).

6. So mind and matter exhaust the universe.

10

Why is the argument contained in the first three propositions of the Cogito invalid?

1. He could doubt anything other than fact he is thinking, because doubting is thought.

2. So he could doubt he possessed a body.

3. So thinking is independent of extension.

Doubting you possess a body does not imply that you don't have a body. It may be the body – or some part of it – that is doing the thinking.

11

In what way do the first two propositions of the Cogito demonstrate the logical independence of the body and thinking?

1. He could doubt anything other than fact he is thinking, because doubting is thought.

2. So he could doubt he possessed a body.

The fact that he is thinking does not entail he has a body, and the fact that he has a body does not entail he is thinking.

12

What is logical independence?

Let s be a sentence and let T be a set of sentences in a formal language. Informally, s is independent of T if T does not determine the truth-value of s. In other words, s is independent of T if s is not a logical consequence of T and the negation of s is not a logical consequence of T (some authors omit the last clause). In particular, s is deductively independent of T if neither s nor the negation of s can be deduced from T.

13

What's the problem with Descartes' idea that thinking is the essence of mind?

Thinking is what the brain does, so it can't also be the essence – a property – of the brain.

14

In what way are believing, desiring, thinking etc. 'intentional'?

They take an object?

15

What is the idea of intentionality?

That certain mental acts are ABOUT something. This aboutness is intentionality.

16

In relational psychology, how is the mind defined?

The mind is a spatio-temporally extended relation between organisms and environmental situations.

17

According to relational psychology, where does the psychological – thinking, remembering, perceiving – occur?

It's a relation between the subject and the environment.

18

In relational psychology, is the brain a necessary and sufficient condition for thinking?

No, the brain is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for thinking.

19

What are the four logical constraints of relational psychology?

1. Any relation requires at least two items (terms).

2. Each term is a real existent independently of its role in a relational situation

3. No two terms can be collapsed into each other.

4. The relation cannot be a property of either term. (i.e. cannot be something inside the subject).

20

How did Descartes believe the analogy of the machine applied to the mind and body?

Bodies work like machines – causal and explicable in terms of their parts. But minds are not machines – and have capacity for free choice.

21

Why was keeping idea of free will important to Descartes?

Because without free will there can be no moral responsibility, no right or wrong, no sin or virtue.

22

Why is psychology impossible as a science according to a Cartesian theory of mind?

Because if the mind is not causal, there will be no regularities of the kind seen in the other sciences. If psychology is to be science, its subject matter must be part of the same world as other natural phenomena.

23

What causes mental events in the Cartesian view?

'Giving or withholding assent.' Doesn't make a lot of sense.

24

According to determinism, the state of something at any given moment is completely determined by ___________ ___________.

According to determinism, the state of something at any given moment is completely determined by antecedent conditions.

25

Why does dualism not withstand critical analysis?

Because for two things to constitute another thing, they must be somehow related in the same space-time region. If they interact, they're not distinct. The dualism collapses.

26

In a relational view, what does thinking consist of?

The mind (or thinker) that does the thinking and the object (proposition) that is being thought about. Thinking is the relation itself.

27

Why cannot thinking be a property of mind?

Because thinking is an activity the mind engages in. A thing cannot be the same as its activities. If a mind thinks about something, then it must have a character independent of thinking. It cannot be defined by its relations.

28

Why do most people thinking of mental activities as properties of the mind, rather than relations?

Who knows? But there seems to be some kind of in-built bias.

29

If matter is quantitative, selon Descartes, and mind is completely different material. Can mind be quantitative?

Nope.

30

Descartes' dualism was not only a dualism with respect to substance (mind versus matter), but also with respect to...?

... the way things come about – the free versus the determined.