Direct and indirect realism
The question of direct or naïve realism, as opposed to indirect or representational realism, arises in the philosophy of perception and of mind out of the debate over the nature of conscious experience. Naïve realism is known as direct realism when developed to counter indirect or representative realism known as epistemological dualism, the philosophical position that our conscious experience is not of the real world itself but of an internal representation, a miniature virtual-reality replica of the world. Indirect realism is broadly equivalent to the accepted view of perception in natural science that states that we do not and cannot perceive the external world as it is but know only our ideas and interpretations of the way the world is. Representationalism is one of the key assumptions of cognitivism in psychology; the representational realist would deny that "first-hand knowledge" is a coherent concept, since knowledge is always via some means. Our ideas of the world are interpretations of sensory input derived from an external world, real.
The main alternative to representationalism is anti-representationalism, the view according to which perception is not a process of constructing internal representations. Aristotle was the first to provide a description of direct realism. In On the Soul he describes how a see-er is informed of the object itself by way of the hylomorphic form carried over the intervening material continuum with which the eye is impressed. In medieval philosophy, direct realism was defended by Thomas Aquinas. Indirect realism was popular with several early modern philosophers, including René Descartes, John Locke, G. W. Leibniz, George Berkeley, David Hume. Locke categorized qualities as follows: Primary qualities are qualities which are "explanatorily basic" –, to say, they can be referred to as the explanation for other qualities or phenomena without requiring explanation themselves – and they are distinct in that our sensory experience of them resembles them in reality. Primary qualities cannot be removed by either thought or physical action, include mass, and, solidity.
Secondary qualities are qualities. Secondary qualities include colour and taste. Thomas Reid, a notable member of the Scottish common sense realism was a proponent of direct realism. Direct realist views have been attributed to Baruch Spinoza. Immanuel Kant's empirical realism has been interpreted as a form of direct realism. Late modern philosophers, J. G. Fichte and G. W. F. Hegel followed Kant in adopting empirical realism. On the other hand, Gottlob Frege subscribed to indirect realism. In contemporary philosophy, indirect realism has been defended by Edmund Husserl and Bertrand Russell Direct realism has been defended by Hilary Putnam, John McDowell, Galen Strawson, John R. Searle. However, epistemological dualism has come under sustained attack by other contemporary philosophers, such as Ludwig Wittgenstein and Wilfrid Sellars in his seminal essay "Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind". Indirect realism is argued to be problematical because of Ryle's regress and the homunculus argument. Reliance on the private language argument and the "homunculus objection" has itself come under attack.
It can be argued that those who argue for "inner presence", to use Antti Revonsuo's term, are not proposing a private "referent", with the application of language to it being "private" and thus unshareable, but a private use of public language. There is no doubt that each of us has a private understanding of public language, a notion, experimentally supported; the question has to be put how a collective use of language can go on when, not only do we have differing understandings of the words we use, but our sensory registrations differ. This argument was "first offered in a more or less explicit form in Berkeley." It is referred to as the problem of conflicting appearances. It has been argued that "informed commonsense" indicates that perceptions depend on organs of perception. For example, humans would receive visual information differently if they, like flies, had compound eyes, may not be able to imagine how things would appear with different sense organs such as infra-red detectors or echo-location devices.
Furthermore, perception systems can misrepresent objects when in full working order, as shown, for example, by optical illusions like the Müller-Lyer illusion. More sometimes people perceive things which are not there at all, which can be termed instances of "hallucination" or "perceptual delusion"; the argument from illusion shows the need to posit sense-data as the immediate objects of perception. In cases of illusion or hallucination, the object has qualities that no
Ontology is the philosophical study of being. More broadly, it studies concepts that directly relate to being, in particular becoming, reality, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations. Traditionally listed as a part of the major branch of philosophy known as metaphysics, ontology deals with questions concerning what entities exist or may be said to exist and how such entities may be grouped, related within a hierarchy, subdivided according to similarities and differences; the compound word ontology combines onto- and -logia. See classical compounds for this type of word formation. While the etymology is Greek, the oldest extant record of the word itself, the New Latin form ontologia, appeared in 1606 in the work Ogdoas Scholastica by Jacob Lorhard and in 1613 in the Lexicon philosophicum by Rudolf Göckel; the first occurrence in English of ontology as recorded by the OED came in a work by Gideon Harvey: Archelogia philosophica nova. Containing Philosophy in general, Metaphysicks or Ontology, Dynamilogy or a Discourse of Power, Religio Philosophi or Natural Theology, Physicks or Natural philosophy, Thomson, 1663.
The word was first used in its Latin form by philosophers based on the Latin roots, which themselves are based on the Greek. Leibniz is the only one of the great philosophers of the 17th century to have used the term ontology; some philosophers, notably in the traditions of the Platonic school, contend that all nouns refer to existent entities. Other philosophers contend that nouns do not always name entities, but that some provide a kind of shorthand for reference to a collection either of objects or of events. In this latter view, instead of referring to an entity, refers to a collection of mental events experienced by a person. Between these poles of realism and nominalism stand a variety of other positions. Principal questions of ontology include: "What can be said to exist?" "What is a thing?" "Into what categories, if any, can we sort existing things?" "What are the meanings of being?" "What are the various modes of being of entities?"Various philosophers have provided different answers to these questions.
One common approach involves dividing the extant subjects and predicates into groups called categories. Such lists of categories differ from one another, it is through the co-ordination of different categorical schemes that ontology relates to such fields as library science and artificial intelligence; such an understanding of ontological categories, however, is taxonomic, classificatory. Aristotle's categories are the ways in which a being may be addressed as a being, such as: what it is how it is how much it is where it is Further examples of ontological questions include: What is existence, i.e. what does it mean for a being to be? Is existence a property? Is existence a genus or general class, divided up by specific differences? Which entities, if any, are fundamental? Are all entities objects? How do the properties of an object relate to the object itself? Do physical properties exist? What features are the essential, as opposed to accidental attributes of a given object? How many levels of existence or ontological levels are there?
And what constitutes a "level"? What is a physical object? Can one give an account of what it means to say that a physical object exists? Can one give an account of what it means to say that a non-physical entity exists? What constitutes the identity of an object? When does an object go out of existence, as opposed to changing? Do beings exist other than in the modes of objectivity and subjectivity, i.e. is the subject/object split of modern philosophy inevitable? Essential ontological dichotomies include: universals and particulars substance and accident abstract and concrete objects essence and existence determinism and indeterminism monism and dualism idealism and materialism Philosophers can classify ontologies in various ways, using criteria such as the degree of abstraction and field of application: Upper ontology: concepts supporting development of an ontology, meta-ontology Domain ontology: concepts relevant to a particular topic, domain of discourse, or area of interest, for example, to information technology or to computer languages, or to particular branches of science Interface ontology: concepts relevant to the juncture of two disciplines Process ontology: inputs, constraints, sequencing information, involved in business or engineering processes Ontology features in the Samkhya school of Hindu philosophy from the first millennium BCE.
The concept of guṇa which describes the three properties present in differing proportions in all existing things, is a notable concept of this school. In the Greek philosophical tradition, Parmenides was among the first to propose an ontological characterization of the fundamental nature of existence. In the prologue or proem to his poem On Nature he describes two views of existence. Our opinions about truth must be false and deceitful. Most of western philosophy — including the fundamental concepts of falsifiability — has emerged from this view; this posits that
Gilbert Ryle was a British philosopher. He was a representative of the generation of British ordinary language philosophers who shared Ludwig Wittgenstein's approach to philosophical problems, is principally known for his critique of Cartesian dualism, for which he coined the phrase "the ghost in the machine." Some of his ideas in the philosophy of mind have been referred to as "behaviourist". Ryle's best known book is The Concept of Mind, in which he writes that the "general trend of this book will undoubtedly, harmlessly, be stigmatised as'behaviourist'." Ryle, having engaged in detailed study of the key works of Bernard Bolzano, Franz Brentano, Alexius Meinong, Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, himself suggested instead that the book "could be described as a sustained essay in phenomenology, if you are at home with that label." Ryle was born in Brighton, England, in 1900, grew up in an environment of learning. His father, Reginald John Ryle, was a Brighton doctor, a generalist who had interests in philosophy and astronomy, passed on to his children an impressive library.
He was a son of first Anglican Bishop of Liverpool. The Ryle family were Cheshire, their ancestor, John Ryle, a silk merchant, was a friend of the theologian and evangelist John Wesley. Gilbert Ryle's mother, was daughter of Samuel King Scott by his wife Georgina, daughter of William Hulme Bodley, M. D. and sister of architect George Frederick Bodley, himself a student of Sir George Gilbert Scott. Cousins of the Ryle family thus included the haematologist Ronald Bodley Scott, architect George Gilbert Scott Jr. founder of Watts & Co. and his son, Giles Gilbert Scott, designer of the Battersea Power Station. Ryle was educated at Brighton College, in 1919 he went up to The Queen's College at Oxford to study classics but was drawn to philosophy, he graduated with a "triple first": first-class honours in classical honour moderations, literae humaniores, philosophy and economics, was appointed as lecturer in philosophy at Christ Church, Oxford, in 1925. A year he became a Student and tutor at Christ Church, where he remained until 1940.
In the Second World War he was commissioned in the Welsh Guards. A capable linguist, he was recruited into intelligence work and by the end of the war had been promoted to the rank of Major. After the war he returned to Oxford and was elected Waynflete Professor of Metaphysical Philosophy and Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, he published his principal work, The Concept of Mind in 1949. He was President of the Aristotelian Society from 1945 to 1946, editor of the philosophical journal Mind from 1947 to 1971. Ryle died on 6 October 1976 at North Yorkshire, his brothers John Alfred and George Bodley, both educated at Brighton College as well had eminent careers. John became Regius Professor of Physic at the University of Cambridge 1935–1945 and physician to King George V. George, after serving as Director of Forestry first for Wales and England, was Deputy-Director of the Forestry Commission 1963–1965 and appointed a CBE. In The Concept of Mind, Ryle argues that dualism involves category mistakes and philosophical nonsense.
Category mistakes and nonsense as philosophical topics continued to inform Ryle's work. Students in his 1967-8 Oxford audience would be asked rhetorically what was wrong with saying that there are three things in a field: two cows and a pair of cows, they were invited to ponder whether the bung-hole of a beer barrel is part of the barrel or not. Ryle thought it was no longer possible to believe that it was a philosopher's task to study mental as opposed to physical objects. However, in its place, Ryle saw the tendency of philosophers to search for objects whose nature was neither physical nor mental. Ryle believed, that "philosophical problems are problems of a certain sort. Competent speakers of a language, Ryle believes, are to a philosopher what ordinary villagers are to a mapmaker; the ordinary villager has a competent grasp of his village, is familiar with its inhabitants and geography. However, when asked to interpret a map for the same knowledge he has the villager will have difficulty until he is able to translate his practical knowledge into universal cartographal terms.
The villager thinks of the village in personal and practical terms, while the mapmaker thinks of the village in neutral, cartographical terms. By "mapping" the words and phrases of a particular statement, philosophers are able to generate what Ryle calls "implication threads." In other words, each word or phrase of a statement contributes to the statement in that, if the words or phrases were changed, the statement would have a different implication. The philosopher must show the directions and limits of different implication threads that a "concept contributes to the statements in which it occurs." To show this, he must be "tugging" at neighbouring threads, which, in turn, must be "tugging." Philosophy searches for the meaning of these implication threads in the statements in which they are used. A distinction deployed in The Concept of Mind, between knowing-how and knowing-that, has attracted independent interest. T
Lateral geniculate nucleus
The lateral geniculate nucleus is a relay center in the thalamus for the visual pathway. It receives a major sensory input from the retina; the LGN is the main central connection for the optic nerve to the occipital lobe the primary visual cortex. In humans, each LGN has six layers of neurons alternating with optic fibers; the LGN is a small, ventral projection at the termination of the optic tract on each side of the brain. The LGN and the medial geniculate nucleus which deals with auditory information are both thalamic nuclei and so are present in both hemispheres; the LGN receives information directly from the ascending retinal ganglion cells via the optic tract and from the reticular activating system. Neurons of the LGN send their axons through the optic radiation, a direct pathway to the primary visual cortex. In addition, the LGN receives many strong feedback connections from the primary visual cortex. In humans as well as other mammals, the two strongest pathways linking the eye to the brain are those projecting to the dorsal part of the LGN in the thalamus, to the superior colliculus.
Both the left and right hemisphere of the brain have a lateral geniculate nucleus, named after its resemblance to a bent knee. In humans as well as in many other primates, the LGN has layers of magnocellular cells and parvocellular cells that are interleaved with layers of koniocellular cells. In humans the LGN is described as having six distinctive layers; the inner two layers, are magnocellular layers, while the outer four layers, are parvocellular layers. An additional set of neurons, known as the koniocellular layers, are found ventral to each of the magnocellular and parvocellular layers; this layering is variable between primate species, extra leafleting is variable within species. Size relates to cell body, dendritic tree and receptive fieldThe magnocellular and koniocellular layers of the LGN correspond with the named types of retinal ganglion cells. Retinal P ganglion cells send axons to a parvocellular layer, M ganglion cells send axons to a magnocellular layer, K ganglion cells send axons to a koniocellular layer.
Koniocellular cells are functionally and neurochemically distinct from M and P cells and provide a third channel to the visual cortex. They project their axons between the layers of the lateral geniculate nucleus where M and P cells project, their role in visual perception is presently unclear. The parvo- and magnocellular fibers were thought to dominate the Ungerleider–Mishkin ventral stream and dorsal stream, respectively. However, new evidence has accumulated showing that the two streams appear to feed on a more mixture of different types of nerve fibers; the other major retino–cortical visual pathway is the tectopulvinar pathway, routing through the superior colliculus and thalamic pulvinar nucleus onto posterior parietal cortex and visual area MT. Layer 1, 2 Large cells, called magnocellular pathways Input from Y-ganglion cells Very rapid conduction Colour blind systemLayer 3–6 Parvocellular Input from X- ganglion cells Colour vision Moderate velocity. Both the LGN in the right hemisphere and the LGN in the left hemisphere receive input from each eye.
However, each LGN only receives information from one half of the visual field. This occurs due to axons of the ganglion cells from the inner halves of the retina decussating through the optic chiasma; the axons of the ganglion cells from the outer half of the retina remain on the same side of the brain. Therefore, the right hemisphere receives visual information from the left visual field, the left hemisphere receives visual information from the right visual field. Within one LGN, the visual information is divided among the various layers as follows: the eye on the same side sends information to layers 2, 3 and 5 the eye on the opposite side sends information to layers 1, 4 and 6; this description applies to the LGN of many primates, but not all. The sequence of layers receiving information from the ipsilateral and contralateral eyes is different in the tarsier; some neuroscientists suggested that "this apparent difference distinguishes tarsiers from all other primates, reinforcing the view that they arose in an early, independent line of primate evolution".
In visual perception, the right eye gets information from the right side of the world, as well as the left side of the world. You can confirm this by covering your left eye: the right eye still sees to your left and right, although on the left side your field of view may be blocked by your nose; the LGN receives input from the retina. In some species, such as rodents, the principle neurons in the LGN receive strong inputs from the retina. However, the retina only accounts for a small percentage of LGN input in these cases; as much as 95% of input in the LGN comes from the visual cortex, superior colliculus, thalamic reticular nuclei, local LGN interneurons. Regions in the brainstem that are not involved in visual perception project to the LGN, such as the mesencephalic reticular formation, dorsal raphe nucleus, periaqueuctal grey matter, the locus coeruleus; the LGN receives some inputs from the optic tectum. These non-reti
Subjective idealism, or empirical idealism, is the monistic metaphysical doctrine that only minds and mental contents exist. It entails and is identified or associated with immaterialism, the doctrine that material things do not exist. Subjective idealism rejects dualism, neutral monism, materialism. Subjective idealism is a fusion of phenomenalism or empiricism, which confers special status upon the perceived, with idealism, which confers special status upon the mental. Idealism denies the knowability or existence of the non-mental, while phenomenalism serves to restrict the mental to the empirical. Subjective idealism thus identifies its mental reality with the world of ordinary experience, rather than appealing to the unitary world-spirit of pantheism or absolute idealism; this form of idealism is "subjective" not because it denies that there is an objective reality, but because it asserts that this reality is dependent upon the minds of the subjects that perceive it. The earliest thinkers identifiable as subjective idealists were certain members of the Yogācāra school of Indian Buddhism, who reduced the world of experience to a stream of subjective perceptions.
Subjective idealism made its mark in Europe in the 18th-century writings of George Berkeley, who argued that the idea of mind-independent reality is incoherent, concluding that the world consists of the minds of humans and of God. Subsequent writers have continuously grappled with Berkeley's skeptical arguments. Immanuel Kant responded by rejecting Berkeley's immaterialism and replacing it with transcendental idealism, which views the mind-independent world as existent but incognizable in itself. Since Kant, true immaterialism has remained a rarity, but is survived by overlapping movements such as phenomenalism and perspectivism. Thinkers such as Plato and Augustine of Hippo anticipated idealism's antimaterialism with their views of the inferior or derivative reality of matter. However, these Platonists did not make Berkeley's turn toward subjectivity. Indeed, Plato rationalistically condemned sense-experience, whereas subjective idealism presupposed empiricism and the irreducible reality of sense data.
A more subjectivist methodology could be found in the Pyrrhonists' emphasis on the world of appearance, but their skepticism precluded the drawing of any ontological conclusions from the epistemic primacy of phenomena. The first mature articulations of idealism arise in Yogacarin thinkers such as the 7th-century epistemologist Dharmakīrti, who identified ultimate reality with sense-perception; the most famous proponent of subjective idealism in the Western world was the 18th-century Irish philosopher George Berkeley, although Berkeley's term for his theory was immaterialism. From the point of view of subjective idealism, the material world does not exist, the phenomenal world is dependent on humans. Hence the fundamental idea of this philosophical system is that things are complexes of ideas or sensations, only subjects and objects of perceptions exist. Berkeley summarized his theory with the motto "esse est percipi", but went on to elaborate it with God as the source of consensus reality and other particulars.
According to Berkeley, an object has real being as long. God, being omniscient perceives everything perceivable, thus all real beings exist in the mind of God. However, it is evident that each of us has free will and understanding upon self-reflection, our senses and ideas suggest that other people possess these qualities as well. According to Berkeley there is no material universe, in fact he has no idea what that could mean. To theorize about a universe, composed of insensible matter is not a sensible thing to do; this matters because there is no positive account for a material universe, only speculation about things that are by fiat outside of our minds. Berkeley's assessment of immaterialism was criticized by Samuel Johnson, as recorded by James Boswell. Responding to the theory, Dr. Johnson exclaimed "I refute it thus!" while kicking a rock with "mighty force". This episode is alluded to by Stephen Dedalus in chapter three. Reflecting on the "ineluctable modality of the visible", Dedalus conjures the image of Johnson's refutation and carries it forth in conjunction with Aristotle's expositions on the nature of the senses as described in Sense and Sensibilia.
Aristotle held that while visual perception suffered a compromised authenticity because it passed through the diaphanous liquid of the inner eye before being observed and the experience of hearing were not thus diluted. Dedalus experiments with the concept in the development of his aesthetic ideal. Subjective idealism is featured prominently in the Norwegian novel Sophie's World, in which "Sophie's world" exists in fact only in the pages of a book. A parable of subjective idealism can be found in Jorge Luis Borges' short story Tlön, Orbis Tertius, which mentions Berkeley. Acosmism Antimaterialism Appeal to the stone Consensus reality Divided line Empirical realism First cause Incorporeal Seventh Letter Substantial form Subjective idealism – Britannica.com
Gestalt psychology or gestaltism is a philosophy of mind of the Berlin School of experimental psychology. Gestalt psychology is an attempt to understand the laws behind the ability to acquire and maintain meaningful perceptions in an chaotic world; the central principle of gestalt psychology is that the mind forms a global whole with self-organizing tendencies. This principle maintains that when the human mind forms a percept or "gestalt", the whole has a reality of its own, independent of the parts; the original famous phrase of Gestalt psychologist Kurt Koffka, "the whole is something else than the sum of its parts" is incorrectly translated as "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts", thus used when explaining gestalt theory, further incorrectly applied to systems theory. Koffka did not like the translation, he corrected students who replaced "other" with "greater". "This is not a principle of addition" he said. The whole has an independent existence. In the study of perception, Gestalt psychologists stipulate that perceptions are the products of complex interactions among various stimuli.
Contrary to the behaviorist approach to focusing on stimulus and response, gestalt psychologists sought to understand the organization of cognitive processes. Our brain is capable of generating whole forms with respect to the visual recognition of global figures instead of just collections of simpler and unrelated elements. In psychology, gestaltism is opposed to structuralism. Gestalt theory, it is proposed, allows for the deconstruction of the whole situation into its elements; the concept of gestalt was first introduced in philosophy and psychology in 1890 by Christian von Ehrenfels. The idea of gestalt has its roots in theories by David Hume, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Immanuel Kant, David Hartley, Ernst Mach. Max Wertheimer's unique contribution was to insist that the "gestalt" is perceptually primary, defining the parts it was composed from, rather than being a secondary quality that emerges from those parts, as von Ehrenfels's earlier Gestalt-Qualität had been. Both von Ehrenfels and Edmund Husserl seem to have been inspired by Mach's work Beiträge zur Analyse der Empfindungen, in formulating their similar concepts of gestalt and figural moment, respectively.
On the philosophical foundations of these ideas see Foundations of Gestalt Theory. Early 20th century theorists, such as Kurt Koffka, Max Wertheimer, Wolfgang Köhler saw objects as perceived within an environment according to all of their elements taken together as a global construct. This'gestalt' or'whole form' approach sought to define principles of perception—seemingly innate mental laws that determined the way objects were perceived, it is based on the here and now, in the way things are seen. Images can be divided into ground; the question is what is perceived at first glance: the background. These laws took several forms, such as the grouping of similar, or proximate, objects together, within this global process. Although gestalt has been criticized for being descriptive, it has formed the basis of much further research into the perception of patterns and objects, of research into behavior, problem solving and psychopathology; the founders of Gestalt therapy and Laura Perls, had worked with Kurt Goldstein, a neurologist who had applied principles of Gestalt psychology to the functioning of the organism.
Laura Perls had been a Gestalt psychologist before she became a psychoanalyst and before she began developing Gestalt therapy together with Fritz Perls. The extent to which Gestalt psychology influenced Gestalt therapy is disputed, however. In any case it is not identical with Gestalt psychology. On the one hand, Laura Perls preferred not to use the term "Gestalt" to name the emerging new therapy, because she thought that the gestalt psychologists would object to it. Thus, though recognizing the historical connection and the influence, most gestalt psychologists emphasize that gestalt therapy is not a form of gestalt psychology. Mary Henle noted in her presidential address to Division 24 at the meeting of the American Psychological Association: "What Perls has done has been to take a few terms from Gestalt psychology, stretch their meaning beyond recognition, mix them with notions—often unclear and incompatible—from the depth psychologies and common sense, he has called the whole mixture gestalt therapy.
His work has no substantive relation to scientific Gestalt psychology. To use his own language, Fritz Perls has done'his thing'. There have been clinical applications of Gestalt psychology in the psychotherapeutic field long before Perls'ian Gestalt therapy, in group psychoanalysis, Adlerian individual psychology, by Gestalt psychologists in psychotherapy like Erwin Levy, Abraham S. Luchins, by Gestalt psychologically oriented psychoanalysts in Italy, there have been newer developments foremost in Europe, e.g. Gestalt theoretical psychotherapy; the school of gestalt practiced a series of theoretical and methodological principles that attempted to redefine the approach to psychological research. This is in contrast to invest
John B. Watson
John Broadus Watson was an American psychologist who established the psychological school of behaviorism. Watson promoted a change in psychology through his address Psychology as the Behaviorist Views it, given at Columbia University in 1913. Through his behaviorist approach, Watson conducted research on animal behavior, child rearing, advertising. In addition, he conducted the Kerplunk experiment. Watson popularized the use of the scientific theory with behaviorism, he was editor of Psychological Review from 1910 to 1915. A Review of General Psychology survey, published in 2002, ranked Watson as the 17th most cited psychologist of the 20th century. Watson was born in South Carolina, to Pickens Butler and Emma Kesiah Watson, his mother, Emma Watson, a religious woman who adhered to prohibitions against drinking and dancing, named Watson after a prominent Baptist minister in hopes that it would help him receive the call to preach the Gospel. In bringing him up, she subjected Watson to harsh religious training that led him to develop a lifelong antipathy toward all forms of religion and to become an atheist.
His alcoholic father left the family to live with two Indian women. In an attempt to escape poverty, Watson's mother sold their farm and brought Watson to Greenville, South Carolina, to provide him a better opportunity for success. Moving from an isolated, rural location to the large village of Greenville proved to be important for Watson by providing him the opportunity to experience a variety of different types of people, which he used to cultivate his theories on psychology. Watson understood that college was important to his success as an individual: "I know now that I can never amount to anything in the educational world unless I have better preparation at a real university."Despite his poor academic performance and having been arrested twice during high school, Watson was able to use his mother's connections to gain admission to Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. Watson considered himself to be a poor student. Others called him a quiet kid and insubordinate. Watson did not excel.
He struggled to make the transition from a rural to an urban area, expressed through his weak social skills. A precocious student, he entered college at the age of 16, left with a master's degree at the age of 21. Watson made his way through college with significant effort, succeeding in classes that other students failed, he held a few jobs on campus to pay for his college expenses. He made few friends. After graduating, he spent a year at "Batesburg Institute", the name he gave to a one-room school in Greenville, he was principal and handyman for the entire school. After petitioning the President of the University of Chicago, Watson entered the university, his successful petition to the president of the University of Chicago was central to his ascent in to the psychology world. He began studying philosophy under John Dewey on the recommendation of Furman professor, Gordon Moore; the combined influence of Dewey, James Rowland Angell, Henry Herbert Donaldson, Jacques Loeb led Watson to develop a descriptive, objective approach to the analysis of behavior that he would call "behaviorism."
In Watson's college experience, he met professors and colleagues that would assist him on his journey to becoming a well-known psychologist. These peers played an important role in his success in developing psychology into a credible field of study and his understanding of behaviorism. To Watson, behaviorism was a declaration of faith, it was based on the idea. He wanted to make psychology more scientifically acceptable. Watson became interested in the work of Ivan Pavlov, included a simplified version of Pavlov's principles in his popular works. Watson earned his Ph. D. from the University of Chicago in 1903. In his dissertation, "Animal Education: An Experimental Study on the Psychical Development of the White Rat, Correlated with the Growth of its Nervous System", he described the relationship between brain myelination and learning ability in rats at different ages. Watson showed that the degree of myelination was related to wand learning, he discovered that the kinesthetic sense controlled the behavior of rats running in mazes.
In 1908, Watson was offered and accepted a faculty position at Johns Hopkins University and was promoted to chair of the psychology department. John B. Watson married a sister of Harold L. Ickes, while he was in graduate school, they had two children named John and Mary Ickes Watson. The younger Mary's husband was Paul Hartley, their daughter is the actress, bipolar disorder advocate, founder of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Mariette Hartley. John B. Watson's wife Mary sought divorce due to his ongoing affair with his student, Rosalie Rayner. Watson's affair had become front-page news during divorce proceedings in the Baltimore newspapers. Mary Ickes Watson, his wife, had searched Rayner's bedroom, she discovered love letters. In October 1920, Johns Hopkins University asked Watson to leave his faculty position because of publicity surrounding the affair. After the divorce was finalized and Rayner married in 1920 in New Jersey, they remained together until her death in 1935. John and Rosalie had two children, William Rayner Wat