Materialism and dualism


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  • Our modern definition of psychology doesn’t end disagreements on the existence of both a soul/mind and the presence of freewill in behavior
  • Materialism and dualism

    1. 1. Do people have freewill? Decide!
    2. 2. Psychology Debate:Materialism vs. DualismDeterminism vs. Freewill
    3. 3. The debate then & now Psychology still wrestles with the old philosophical debate of freewill vs. determinism , which grew out of an even older debate over the soul called materialism vs. dualism
    4. 4. Dualism: Each human being consists of two distinct but conjoined entities, a material body and an immaterial soul – The body is part of the natural world – The soul is supernatural
    5. 5. René Descartes (1596-1650) Dualist Believed that the body is a machine and can operate without the soul- the bodies of animals are soulless machines Said that thoughts are the one function of the soul because humans, and not animals, have them Equated the idea of soul with the idea of a mind
    6. 6. Materialism Each human being consists of nothing more than a physical body. There is no limit to what can be physically studied
    7. 7. Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) Materialist Said that the spirit, or soul, is a meaningless concept and nothing exists but matter and energy All the seemingly voluntary choices we make are actually physical processes of the body Conscious thought is purely a product of the brain’s machinery
    8. 8. Freewill Humans are free to choose their behavior Can reject influences (biological or environmental) at will
    9. 9. Determinism Every physical event is caused, and, since human behavior is a physical event, it follows that it too is caused by preceding factors If perfect knowledge is gained of the current state of the universe, then future events are entirely predictable
    10. 10. Freewill Pros - Cons Used in Humanistic and  Pure freewill is cognitive psychology incompatible with the Introspection on our assumptions of science decisions seems to  It is difficult to define indicate freewill what freewill is and Even if humans do not what the self is that have freewill, the fact does the choosing that they think they do  The evidence of the has many implications existence of freewill is for behavior mostly subjective
    11. 11. Determinism Pros - Cons Used in Behaviorism,  Determinism is sociocultural, inconsistent with psychodynamic and society’s ideas for self biological psychology control and Mental disorders seem responsibility to indicate a lack of  Can never lead to freewill complete prediction Determinism is a key  Is unfalsifiable since it assumption of science- always assumes a which seeks laws of cause exists, even if cause and effect one has not been found yet