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Fig 5.16 – Radical Empiricism

Text: Pages 180 and 181

John Locke (1643–1704) continued the application of science to society. He believed that experience, not innate or abstract theoretical principles, provided the framework of the mind. He argued that one should think for oneself and not blindly accept the teachings of the Church or state and helped spark the French and American Revolutions. His philosophy provided inspiration to the founding fathers as they wrote the Declaration of Independence and continues to inspire American conservativism.

Since Locke believed in a tabula rasa psychology, he left the legacy of viewing the mind as purely physical. Matter has no soul and no innate purpose. Nonphysical exploration has no place in science. Since the mind is physical, psychology can be a science. Lockean principles influenced behavioral psychology, which rejects metaphysical understanding of human consciousness.

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