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Directed to scholars and senior-level graduate students, this book is an iconoclastic survey of the history of dualism and its impact on contemporary cognitive psychology. It argues that much of modern cognitive or mentalist psychology is built upon a cryptodualism--the idea that the mind and brain can be thought of as independent entities. This dualism pervades so much of society that it covertly influences many aspects of modern science, particularly psychology. To support the argument, the history of dualism is extended over 100,000 years--from the Paleolithic times until modern philosophical and psychological thinking. The questions regarding this topic that are answered in the book are: 1) Does dualism influence the scientific theories of psychology? 2) If so, should dualism be put aside in the search for a more objective analysis of human mentation?
Ontological materialism, in its various forms, has become the orthodox view in contemporary philosophy of mind. This book provides a variety of defenses of mind-body dualism, and shows (explicitly or implicitly) that a thoroughgoing ontological materialism cannot be sustained. The contributions are intended to show that, at the very least, ontological dualism (as contrasted with a dualism that is merely linguistic or epistemic) constitutes a philosophically respectable alternative to the monistic views that currently dominate thought about the mind-body (or, perhaps more appropriately, person-body) relation.
Utilizing a Pro versus Con presentation, this introductory text is structured around fundamental philosophical questions and covers many different philosophers.
Is psychology a science? Unlike Darwinian theory in biology or relativity and quantum theory in physics, psychology lacks the basic quantitative or conceptual foundation for a consensus view about how the mind works. Is psychology on the verge of developing such a foundation? "Probably not," answers psychologist William R. Uttal in this iconoclastic and critical examination of psychology’s underlying principles, assumptions, and concepts. In five in-depth chapters and one appendix, he explores the following key issues: What do we mean by "science" and can psychology be legitimately described as a science? What are the general principles that should be applied to any science? What is the role of mathematics in psychology? Given the current fragmented state of the discipline, is it possible to identify the general principles of a scientific psychology? Is experimental psychology just applied epistemology and not really scientific? Uttal comes to the conclusion that psychology is a science only to the extent that it is behaviorist in orientation. By comparing his discipline to other sciences, he identifies its limits, establishes a set of principles that help to define psychology as a science, and suggests plausible future developments.
Psychology deals with the most complex subject matter of any science. As such, it is subject to misunderstandings, artifacts, and just simple errors of data, logic, and interpretation. This book teases out the details of some of the sources of these errors. It considers errors in psychological data and theories that arise from confusing endogenous and exogenous causal forces in perceptual research, misinterpreting the effects of inevitable natural laws as psychological phenomena, improper application of statistics and measurement, and flawed assumptions. Examples of each of these sources of error are presented and discussed. Finally, the book concludes that a return to a revitalized kind of behaviorism is preferred, rather than continuing on the current cognitive path.
First published in 1949, Gilbert Ryle’s The Concept of Mind is one of the classics of twentieth-century philosophy. Described by Ryle as a ‘sustained piece of analytical hatchet-work’ on Cartesian dualism, The Concept of Mind is a radical and controversial attempt to jettison once and for all what Ryle called ‘the ghost in the machine’: Descartes’ argument that mind and body are two separate entities. This sixtieth anniversary edition includes a substantial commentary by Julia Tanney and is essential reading for new readers interested not only in the history of analytic philosophy but in its power to challenge major currents in philosophy of mind and language today.