Philosophers and Scientists in Psychology Essay

2416 Words Sep 18th, 2010 10 Pages
Much of the intellectual history of psychology has involved the attempt to come to grips with the problem of mind and body and how they interact. While the philosophical distinction between mind and body can be traced back to the Greeks, it is due to the work of René Descartes. When Descartes' friend, Marin Mersenne, wrote to him of Galileo's fate at the hands of the Inquisition, Descartes immediately suppressed his own treatise. As a result, the world's first extended essay on physiological psychology was published only well after its author's death. Descarte was the first to talk about mind/body interactions, and had a great influence in later psychologists and thinkers. He proposed that not only body can influence mind, but that mind …show more content…
Claiming to have witnessed men making mistakes in reasoning (for example, in mathematical calculations), he decides to further discount all existing ideas or arguments. Finally, he declares that the same experiences can be felt whilst awake or asleep, and attributes all his experiences hitherto as illusions. Descartes discovers a truth , that in order for all his arguments to emerge he must have been thinking. Because of the nature of thought, you cannot doubt that you are thinking; for that is a thought in itself. Even if all the information from his senses concerning the world was falsely fed by an evil demon, the very fact that he was being deceived shows he is some existing thinking thing and exists to be deceived. He considered the mind of this subject as completely distinct from all matter, including the body, although the mind and body are connected and can affect each other. This theory is the famous Cartesian "mind-body split," although the division of the soul and the body into two separate essences was a traditional distinction that preceded Descartes. Therefore; Descartes had to locate the actual point where the body and mind interact.

He also states that because the research had shown that sensations travel to the brain and movement generates inside the brain, it has to have occurred inside the brain. Descartes suggested that the body works like a machine, that it has the material properties of extension and

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