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Empiricism as Mentalism

  Body and mind are seen as interacting with one another such that one may cause or control events in the other. An example of body affecting mind would be the activation of pain receptor in the body after being stuck with a pin, resulting in feeling of pain experienced in the mind. An example of mind affecting body would be deciding where to go following a sign post. All the mentalists will agree on the existence of mind and that humans have knowledge in the mind. What they do not agree on is how that knowledge got there. Are the ideas derived entirely from the experience (the Empiricist view), or are some ideas already in the mind at birth( the Rationalist view).

    The word Empiricism has developed two meanings. One, the more traditional, concerns the mentalistic philosophical school of which Aristotle(4th cent. B.C) and John Locke( 1690) were members. The other meaning involves that of placing a high value on facts and subordinating theory and speculation in accord with those facts, nothing is implied about mentalism. This sense is the one that Behaviorist theorists are considering when they use the word. While all the Empiricists agree that no ideas constituting knoledge are innate, they do not agree on whether any other sorts of ideas are innate. For Putnam(1967) ,a contemporary Empiricist, a general intelligence in the form of 'General Multi-Purpose Learning Strategies' is innate. One acquires knowledge through the use of this intelligence. For the more classic Locke, however, intelligence or reason was not innate but acquired. The contemporary psychologist, Piaget, follows in the Lockean tradition, preferring to derive intelligence from action and experience. Putnam. Hillary (1967) The 'innateness hypothesis'      

   Steinberg, D. (1999). Psycholinguistics: language, mind and world