Empiricism

I would argue that one of the most important things that you should leave this course knowing is how the two epistemologies (Empiricism and Rationalism) paved the way for the creation of modern psychology and still structures its theories and methods. The image above, with apologies to any fantasy gamers, illustrates (in order) the following differences that you should be mindful of:

The origin of the ideas; where the ideas flourished; associated philosophers and proto-psychologists; early psychological supporters; how the mind is understood; the “flow” of information; and what current/classic aspects of psychology endorse such an epistemology.

To get started, answer the following…

1) When we talk about “tabula rasa,” what are we trying to explain about Locke’s theory of knowledge acquisition? 2) What do you make of Locke’s “basins” demonstration? 3) How would Berkeley answer the question “If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around, does it still make a sound?” 4) Provide a summary of David Hume and his contributions. 5) Provide a summary of British Associationism from David Hartley through Alexander Bain. 6) Would you support Hume, or Hartley, or Bain as the first actual psychologist? Which? And why? or Why not any of them? 7) Explain how Le Mettrie can be understood as saying what Descartes likely meant.

After you’ve read the section on Bentham, watch this clip. Trust me…

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