The Role of Philosophy and Physiology in Personal Development

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“Philosophy can be defined as the study of nature, knowledge, values and logical reasoning. Physiology can be defined as the body’s response to behavior and the action it can produce (Schultz & Schultz, 2016).

Philosophy and physiology both play a big factor in human interactions today and have influenced psychological thoughts. Still using these techniques today, there is a better understanding of how the mind works.

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One philosopher who has made a major contribution is Rene Descartes. Descartes has contributed to the mechanistic conception of the body, the theory of reflex action, the mind-body interaction, the localization of mental functions in the brain, and the doctrine of innate ideas. One of the things that is best in is the mind-body theory. According to Schultz, Descartes’s was trying to resolve the controversy regarding the mind-body problem (Schultz & Schultz, 2016). Descartes wanted people to see the distinction between the mind and body. Could these two entities be acting in different ways even though they are one? For example, there is a basketball player who was sidelined due to an ankle injury. While the body wanted to quit because of the pain, the mind had other ideas. The mind wants to block out the pain and carry on. While others tried to discredit Descartes ideas he wanted scholors to see there is a difference between subjective to objective. It is now believed that even though the mind and body are two separate components they can act as one unit. In the words of Descartes, “the mind can influence the body and the body can influence the mind” (Schultz & Schultz, 2016, p. 31). To this day, one physiologist who has made a major contribution is Gustav Fecher. Gustav Fechner contributed to psychology by showing the relationship between psychological sensation and the physical intensity of a stimulus. He came up with the equation S=Klog R. For example, one would rely on perception and sensation. When one sees a baby crying our next step is to pick up the child and comfort them. Our brain helps us react to the things going on around us.

Philosophy and physiology have influenced psychology by showing different theories throughout time. Even though philosophers depend on answers from observation and logic and physiologists study human thoughts and behaviors they have become intertwined. It now seems we depend on both to come to conclusions for dealing with the mind, body, and spirit. We all believe in something, philosophy and physiology help with figuring it out. This world would not be where it is today without the help of Wundt, Descartes, Fechner, and many others.

This week’s topic centered on a woman who has been abused for many years. The sad thing is her two children have witnessed this abuse for years. They are picking up on the habits of what they have seen from their father, and now the mother’s boyfriend. If Descartes were to assess this case he would believe the mind could help the body from continuing this abusive behavior. For the children who are now picking up on their environment and acting out, Descartes would suggested that while the body would act out in violence the mind would tell the body to stop. We can change the person who we are becoming as the mind can help fight that temptation to lash out. Descartes would say the woman would have to tell her mind that she is stronger than this and she can survive. He would have her mind and body work as one and leave. Fechner relates things to stimuli and/or sensation. Fechner would assess this case as a person who just needs love. People can benefit from a human touch or feeling some type of affection. If the mother lavished the boys love they would not see the world from only one lens. While the mother is still being abused the boys would know what love actually is and that might be the one thing that would prevent the children from becoming abusers as well. In fact, the children might become protective of the mother and that may give her the encouragement to leave.”

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