Descartes ' Philosophy And Physiology Essay

Descartes ' Philosophy And Physiology Essay

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Philosophy and Physiology joined in an entangled romance of the mind to breed and nurture a new science called Psychology. Of the many pursuits and endeavors or Philosophers and Physiologists they probably did not intend to influence a new science in the way that they did. The beginning of psychology started with the debates of mind and body. Psychology was forming from the work of philosophers like Rene Descartes, and Physiologists like Hermann Helmholtz, and was developing its own prevalence in the world.
For instance one very influential philosopher of the new psychology was Rene Descartes. Descartes took on the mind and body controversy. Descartes held that everything should be doubted until tested and proven. While Descartes did not bring about an empirical movement he did turn the future in its direction. Scientists accepted the mind and body as two entities separate from each other (Schultz & Schultz, 2012). Through the multiple works of Descartes as a mathematician and philosopher he worked through the physical and the mental world. Descartes held that Consciousness, a mental element, took place in the brain, a physical element, but was unable to determine how they influenced each other (Sansom, 2013). He knew that they influenced each other, and gave certain attributes to the mind such as cognitive processes. His contributions to psychology came from his work with the mind and body. An important philosophy of Descartes was the reflex action theory. An external stimulus could bring on an uncontrolled non conscious physical response (Schultz & Schultz, 2012). His work was a precursor for future work done empirically to find these connections and determine the role of the mind and the body. The physiologists would take t...


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...ombined, progressed, and contributed to the coming field. Descartes separated the mind and the body. Helmholtz applied his empirical views and theories of machine comparison to test and prove measurements of neural sensors. Wundt and Thitchener dove into the measurements of sensory and physical stimuli to break the consciousness into elements. Darwin and Galton turned attention to evolution, the necessity of adaption and survival of the fittest. William James and his colleagues changed the direction of research on the consciousness to relate to how it adapts and continually flows. Like a family tree, psychology has its roots in philosophy and physiology and its branches have spanned the lengths of many schools, uses, and theories. A family tree that can continue to grow and nurture new ideas and research due to the roots so firmly planted in the soil of its history.

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