This book examines the origins, presence, and implications of scientistic thinking in psychology. Scientism embodies the claim that only knowledge attained by means of natural scientific methods counts as valid and valuable. This perspective increasingly dominates thinking and practice in psychology and is seldom acknowledged as anything other than standard scientific practice. This book seeks to make this intellectual movement explicit and to detail the very real limits in both role and reach of science in psychology. The critical chapters in this volume present an alternative perspective to the scholarly mainstreams of the discipline and will be of value to scholars and students interested in the scientific status and the philosophical bases of psychology as a discipline.
‘Gantt and Williams's edited volume brings together a stellar cast of contributors, all of whom seek to show, in their own distinctive ways, that the reigning, largely "scientistic," view of psychological inquiry is but one view among many possible ones. By alerting us to the parochial nature of the dominant view, they pave the way toward fashioning not only a broader, more inclusive perspective on what psychological inquiry might be but a vastly expanded, more humanly adequate, vision of the discipline itself.’ —Mark Freeman, Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Society, College of the Holy Cross, USA
'Kierkegaard once criticized theology for selling off its authority in order to buy stock in "rationality" from the philosophers. "Theology sits rouged at the window," he mocked, "and courts philosophy's favor, offering to sell her charms to it." One could worry psychology has done the same: it has sold off the soul in order to purchase a claim to "science." This volume is a careful, thoughtful challenge to such reductionism, offered for the sake of both science and psychology.' —James K.A. Smith, Professor of Philosophy, Calvin College, USA
Series Editor’s Foreword
Brent D. Slife
Foreword A Science of Psychology
Daniel N. Robinson
Introduction Science, Scientism, Psychology, and Psychologism
Richard N. Williams and Edwin E. Gantt
Chapter 1 Epistemology and the Boundaries between Phenomena and Conventions
Daniel N. Robinson
Chapter 2 Hayek and Hempel on the Nature, Role, and Limitations of Science
Richard N. Williams
Chapter 3 On Scientism in Psychology: Some Observations of Historical Relevance
James T. Lamiell
Chapter 4 Why Science Needs Intuition
Lisa M. Osbeck
Chapter 5 Scientism and Saturation: Evolutionary Psychology, Human Experience, and the
Phenomenology of Jean-Luc Marion
Edwin E. Gantt
Chapter 6 Psychotherapy and Scientism
Brent D. Slife, Eric A. Ghelfi, and Sheilagh T. Fox
Chapter 7 Science and Society: Effects, Reactions, and a Call for Reformation
Jeffrey S. Reber
Chapter 8 Beyond Scientism: Reaches in Psychology Toward a Science of Consciousness
Frederick J. Wertz
The founders of psychology — thinkers such as Wundt, Freud, and Spencer — recognized the importance of psychologists formulating for themselves the conceptual foundations of the discipline. These parents of psychology not only did their own theorizing, in cooperation with many others; they realized the significance of constantly re-examining these theories and philosophies, including the theories and philosophies of psychology’s methods.
The Advances in Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology series is dedicated to this examining and re-examining. It identifies the pivotal and problematic non-empirical issues that face the discipline and addresses these issues in the tradition of the theorists of natural science — uncovering the implicit concepts and hidden assumptions of programs of research and strategies of practice to compare them to concepts and assumptions that might be better.
To learn more about the series or to propose a title, please contact Brent Slife (email@example.com) and Christina Chronister (Christina.Chronister@taylorandfrancis.com).