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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.
For many years behaviorism was criticized because it rejected the study of perception. This rejection was based on the extreme view that percepts were internal subjective experiences and thus not subject to examination. This book argues that this logic is incorrect and shows how visual perception, particularized in the study of form recognition, can be carried out from the behavioral point of view if certain constraints and limitations are understood and accepted. The book discusses the idea of representation of forms, considers the major historical neural, psychological, and computational theories of form recognition, and then concludes by presenting a modern approach to the problem. In this book, William Uttal continues his critical analysis of the foundations of modern psychology. He is particularly concerned with the logical and conceptual foundations of visual perception and uses form recognition as a vehicle to rationalize the discrepancies between classic behaviorism and what we now appreciate are legitimate research areas.

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