Empiricism and the Foundations of Psychology

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Intended for philosophically minded psychologists and psychologically minded philosophers, this book identifies the ways that psychology has hobbled itself by adhering too strictly to empiricism, this being the doctrine that all knowledge is observation-based. In the first part of this two-part work, we show that empiricism is false. In the second part, we identify the psychology-relevant consequences of this fact. Five of these are of special importance: (i) Whereas some psychopathologies (e.g. obsessive-compulsive disorder) corrupt the activity mediated by one’s psychological architecture, others (e.g. sociopathy) corrupt that architecture itself. <br /> (ii) The basic tenets of psychoanalysis are coherent.<br /> (iii) All propositional attitudes are beliefs. <br />(iv) Selves are minds that self-evaluate. <br />And: <br />(v) It is by giving our thoughts a perceptible form that we enable ourselves to evaluate them, and it is by expressing ourselves in language and art that we give our thoughts a perceptible form. (Series A)

Subjects: Semantics; Cognition and language; Cognitive psychology

  • Affiliations: 1: Virginia Commonwealth University

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