Reactions of the Human Machine



Das Buch „Reactions of the Human Machine“ erschien erstmals im Jahr 1936. Der Autor war der englische Arzt John Yerbury Dent (1888 bis 1962), der vor allem in London wirkte. Auf den ersten Seiten seines Buches legt Yerbury Dent in knapp und in klaren Worten seine materialstische, mechanistische und deterministische Weltsicht dar: der Mensch ist eine Maschine, die ausschließlich nach den Gesetzen der Bewegung funktioniert. Alles Subjektive und jede Idee von etwas Seelischem sind nicht wissenschaftlich. Dazu stehen hier einige Zitate.

Der Autor über den Titel des Buches

"The Title of this book has been chosen to make plain to my readers and also to keep before myself the fact that it is an attempt at an objective description of human behaviour. A purely objective description is not yet possible; the showman cannot help being part of the show...[1, Seite 7]"

Appell an eine materialistische Sicht der Welt

"It is a plea for many different things, but especially for the physiological, material attitude of patients and doctors towards life and its discomforts and for the exclusion of magic and the supernatural from the treatment of the human machine[1, Seite 7]." Siehe auch Materialismus ↗

Die Götter weichen dem Objektivismus

"Only as the gods become less and less personal, and finally evaporate, does the objective viewpoint become possible[1, Seite 12]." Siehe auch Objektivismus ↗

Subjekt nicht Gegenstand von Wissenschaft

"But I will try whenever possible to be objective, and I ask my readers to be objective too, and to feel that they are on firmer ground when they are standing outside the subject, viewing it as dispassionately as possible. The only thing which our brains cannot view objectively or experiment with, therefore possibly the only absolutely unknowable thing, is the working of our own brains.[1, Seite 17]". Siehe auch Subjektivismus ↗

Wissenschaft muss kausal, nicht teleologisch sein

"The logical system based on this objective approach is science. It is not teleological like religion. It is not an enquirey into purposes, but into causes ... effects follow causes and depend entirely upon them ...[1, Seite 12 und 13]". Siehe auch Kausalprinzip ↗

Formeln und Statistiken als Sprache der Wissenschaft

"Science must be written in prose, in objective language, and its literature will ultimately be a collection of formulae and statistics[1, Seite 14]." Siehe auch Wissenschaft ↗

Nur Messbares gilt

"... so the egocentric, subjective physiology and psychology are still taught, and their concepts still accepted, being more easily understood, though it is now realised that the subjective attitude cannot be scientific; the results of its experiments cannot be measured.[1, Seite 15]". Siehe auch Objektivierung ↗

Klassisch mechanisch: alles nur Bewegung

"... as we cannot conceive any movements except as the product and resultant of other movements ...[1, Seite 17]" Dieses Denken geht bis auf die Antike zurück und stellt die Frage, nach dem Beginn jeder Bewegung. Siehe dazu auch Erster Beweger ↗

Die Seele, ganz unwissenschaftlich

"Lately, with the growth of a semi-educated public, with but lightly disciplined modes of thought and brought up with a reverence for the word-made-flesh, there have developed many animistic philosophies, expressed and propagated by an enormous semi-scientific literature, into which the concept "soul" has crept back.[1, Seite 17]" Sowie: "The search for the possible seat of the soul is drawing to an end in the same way as did the search for the earthly paradise. With every new discovery we find places where it is not.[1, Seite 19]" Siehe auch Seele ↗

Alles ist nur Reiz und Reflex: Behaviorismus

"Psychoanalysts "explain" behaviour by saying that it is motivated and controlled by various urges and repressions which they have exalted into spiritual entities - the Libido, the Censor. They are apparently content with having done this. They do not enquire further. If they did, they would find nothing but the structure of the organism and its responses to its environment.[1, Seite 18]" Die Idee, dass menschliches Verhalten ganz auf Reize und Antworten darauf reduziert werden kann nennt man heute Behaviorismus ↗

Alles nur Physiologie, kein Freier Wille

"The more is learnt about the physiology of any action, the less it is seen to depend upon "Will"[1, Seite 19]". Der Freie Wille scheint Dent zufolge eine Täuschung oder Illusion zu sein. Siehe dazu auch Freier Wille ↗

Dualismus ist nicht haltbar

"Except for the pure idealist, belief in Free Will necessitates a belief in a duality, a belief in what can be called material and what can be called immaterial. It also involves the belief that these can affect each other. Whatever his conception of matter, whether in terms of wave or particle, a scientist cannot conceive it as being affected - that is, its motion as being initiated, stopped or deflected - by something other than matter. Such an occurrence would be in the class of miracles, and on a level with that which Joshua performed in causing the sun to stand still; in fact it would be even more miraculous, because Joshua was not immaterial and he did exert some material force; he spoke to the sun.[1, Seite 20]". Siehe auch Geist-Materie-Problem ↗

Determinismus und Freier Wille

"... though science has been built upon determinism, religion, politics and law are based on Free Will[1, Seite 21]" In Verbindung mit seinen vorherigen Aussagen deutet Dent hier an, dass Religion und die Juristerei auf der Illusion eines Freien Willens fußen. Wissenschaft hingegen fußt auf dem Determinismus ↗