Philosophical Positions of Animism, Dualism and the Modern View Held by Most Physiological Psychologists
Animism is a unique concept holds strong to the belief that all moving objects hold within them, animated spirits that caused their mobility (Carlson, 2). This perception of life can be seen from the earliest of times. Animism was centralized around the idea that there was a purpose to every movement generated by a spirit. This spirit within allowed people to achieve their movement throughout their lifetime. They were able to travel by means of the spirit that guided from within.
The question, though, was if this spirit were in control of our bodies, was it a physical being or hidden within (Carlson 2). Opposite to animism, is a different approach known as dualism. In a way, dualism is actually similar to animism in the belief that humans held a strong, almost unexplainable, sense. However, this idea stated more specifically that humans possessed a unique mind that was not integrated with the law of the universe (Carlson, p. 7). Within the concept of Dualism exists the belief in two powerful objects, mind and matter.
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Mind and matter can then be translated into soul and body. Dualism initiates through our senses where information is delivered to the mind. The mind is then capable of controlling our bodily movement. According to Carlson this fascinating interaction occurs in the pineal body located on the top of the brain stem. Modern view supports some of the ideas from the past; those of Muller and Descartes. The behavioral neuroscience of today is rooted in important developments of the past (Carlson 10).
We have accepted that there is absolutely a connection between psychology(mind) and physiology(body). The understanding of how the information is transmitted to the mind ignites the process of messages sent through nerves between the brain, sensory organs, and muscles, was based off of Galvani’s experiments (Carlson, p. 10). Muller then found that there are indeed specific pathways of nerve energies through designated parts of the brain. This finding further enhanced modern research in studying the functions of specific areas of the brain.