Author: Natsoulas, Thomas
Affiliation: U California, Davis
Title: Gustav Bergmann's psychophysiological parallelism.
Source: Behaviorism, 1984 Spr, 1984. 12 (1): p.41-69Reference.
Language: English
Subjects: Thesaurus terms: Behaviorism Psychophysiology Theories
Added Keywords: idea of psychophysiological parallelism of G. Bergmann, 1953-81
Classification Code: History & Systems (2140)
Population Terms: Human
Abstract: Discusses G. Bergmann's idea of psychophysiological parallelism developed in his work from 1953 to 1981, using the materialist point of view as a point of comparison and contrast. Bergmann rejected the concept ofmaterialism, holding that individual access to and awareness of mental episodes shows that they are mental vs physical. According to Bergmann, psychophysiological parallelism best describes how the mental and physical are related. Whenever a person experiences a certain mental episode, the brain goes through a corresponding physical episode; however, the 2 events are not causally related. Psychophysiological parallelism is aligned with materialism in certain ways: Both frameworks agree that psychology can proceed in principle in terms of physical variables. The demand for an exclusively physicalistic scientific language was not considered by Bergmann to be wrong in principle. Two arguments leveled by Bergmann against materialism, which led him to prefer the dualism of the mental and physical, are discussed. These involve the direct awareness of mentality and the problem of intentionality. Additional topics of discussion include an explanation of the link between mental and physical in psychophysiological parallelism and causal effectiveness of the mental. (94 ref) ((c) 1999 APA/PsycINFO, all rights reserved)