Subject Matter, Methods And The Making Of A New Science

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Josmary Lopez
PSY 329
Chapter 3- Subject Matter, Methods and the Making of a New Science
-Can the (mind, soul, consciousness) ever be study scientifically?
William James –psychology as a Natural Science.
Immanuel Kant- noumenal /phenomenal world, the mind structures our experiences. * “Intuitions”- time and space, 12 categories in the mind that organize phenomena. * Can’t study one’s own mind. * 3 figures who took up Kant’s challenge of making psychology mathematical were Johann Friederich, Ernst Heinrich and Gustav Theodore Fechner (level of sensation) they created psychophysics = physical measurement and quantification of psychological phenomena.
Heinrich Weber (1795-1878)- just noticeable differences (jnd). Most notable, reliable and constant.
Gustav Fechner (1801-1887)- level of sensation – Weber’s law= Fechner’s law. Germany Universities system reformation which was the divorce from philosophy and religion.
Wilhelm Wundt (1832- 1920)- thought meter, experimental introspection (separating subject from the object), self- observation didn’t work.
G. Stanley Hall (1844-1924)- James student, one of the first Americans to study in Wundt’s laboratory back in Germany. Hall ultimately open the first formal laboratory in the U.S for psychology research at the John Hopkins in 1883.
Wilhelm Dilthey (1833-1911) – (German scholar) Critic Wundt’s work on experimental psychology, he was mostly interested in studying the content of the mind rather than structure.
Edmund Husserl (1859-1938)- created petition in Germany to eliminate the hiring of any experimental psychology at the time.
Psychology in Britain and France
Theodule Ribot (1839-1916) founder of scientific psychology in France.
Associationism- content of consciousness were built from elementary sensations through several laws of association such as contiguity, contrast and cause/effect.
German and French traditions focused on understanding the human mind. England, Galton’s focused on the distribution of psychology characteristics of individuals in a population. enforced sterilization.
The New Psychology in America
William James (1842-1910) * Mechanism – all natural phenomena can be explained in terms of causal interactions among material particles. * The principles of Psychology (book)- psychology as a natural science- “science of mental life” which included explanations of different states of consciousness (ability to study conscious process objectively) * Functionalism: uncovering the functions of the mind, not its content or structure.
Charles Peirce (1839-1914) * Pragmatism: position that scientific ideas and knowledge can never be certain therefore should be judge by the work they