Wundt founded the first experimental laboratory and journal for psychology. Experiments in his laboratory were fashioned after the methodology used in the physiological studies of his time. Although Wundt recognized the importance of observable physiological reactions in his experiments (e.g., for mearuing reaction time, attention, etc.), he also believe the inner psychological processes (which were unobservable) could be measured through careful analytical introspection. Perhaps, Wundt’s most important contribution to psychology was his desire to development psychology into a legitimate science through the development of psychological laboratory, in which psychological process could be measure via experimentation.
Mueller went even further and found that there were different nerves for each type of sensory function. That is, he found that there were different nerves responsible for visual sensations, hearing, smelling, etc. What is more, it did not matter how these different nerves were stimulated, as they would always result in the same type of sensory experience. These findings are known as Mueller’s Doctrine of Specific Nerve Energies.
There are similarities between Mueller’s doctrine and Berkeley’s idea of the object. Berkeley held that we do really experience the world, but rather we experience our sensory perceptions. In other words, we experience the world via our senses—our nerves, not the world per se, determine our experience. Mueller’s discoveries basically give physiologically proof to Berkeley’s more or less philosophical standpoint on how experience the world.
LaMettrie believed that environmental factors outside the human machine could affect its performance. For example, cold, drugs, injury, or disease could affect the performance of the human machine. Perhaps, LaMettrie’s best evidence for the human body as a machine were his own experiences. While experiencing a fever, LaMettrie concluded that his sickness resulted in a mental disturbance for himself. This led LaMettrie to believe that his mind was simply a part of his body. When his body was not functioning optimally (due to sickness) it would then be expected that his mental state would also experience problems. As stated above, all parts of the machine must function if the machine is to run optimally.
Titchener’s “point of view” best explains how he saw psychology fitting in as a fundamental science. “Point of view” was described by Titchener as how one chooses the view phenomenon in the world. That is, one can view the same phenomenon for many different perspectives (e.g., as a biologist, psychologist or physicist), with no particular perspective be more accurate or inaccurate than the other—simply different.
These divergent perspectives naturally carry over into how functionalists and structuralists view consciousness. Structuralists sought to understand consciousness as it was, not for what it did for us. For structuralists, the goal of analyzing consciousness was to understand its true nature, not to for understanding its purpose.
It could be said that the functionalist standpoint on consciusness was just the opposite