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Psychology | Clinical Psychology and the Philosophy of Science

Clinical Psychology and the Philosophy of Science

O'Donohue, William

2013, VIII, 144 p. 2 illus.

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  • ​Informs psychologists about the most important aspects of the philosophy of science
  • Presents an overview of current schools of thought in the philosophy of science that is accessible to non-specialists
  • Presents updated information on the philosophy of science

Is psychology really a science? If it is not a science as physics or chemistry is, can it be a science of another kind? Does the discipline play by valid scientific rules? Can we prove this? These questions have been debated for over a century, and clear-cut answers have yet to find consensus.

Proposing provocative new directions in critical thinking, Clinical Psychology and the Philosophy of Science asks readers to revisit what they know--and especially how they came to know it. Offering a concise guide to the central concepts philosophy uses to make sense of science, this readable treatise persuades philosophers of science to look critically at the foundational problems of psychology, and clinicians to re-examine the theories and assumptions that fuel their approaches to their work. The author makes a robust case for multiple viewpoints as not only a necessity, but also a source of strength befitting living schools of thought. The book argues that the ongoing tensions between psychology and philosophy benefit both sides as it: 

  • Identifies the major methods of philosophical inquiry.
  • Sets out key questions in the philosophy of science of relevance to psychology.
  • Explains the contemporary role of epistemology.
  • Analyzes the impact on psychological inquiry of Popper, Kuhn, and their critics.
  • Dissects Skinner's behavioral theory of science.
  • Considers philosophical problems in the APA's code of ethics.

For professionals in both disciplines, Clinical Psychology and the Philosophy of Science is an elegant vehicle for their intimately related fields to meet each other halfway, and a springboard for the continued evolution of both.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » APA's Ethical Code 61 - B.F. Skinner - Duhem-Quine Thesis - Popper's Political Philosophy - clinical psychology - epistemology - evolutionary theory - history of science - logical positivism - philosophical methods - philosophy of science - radical behaviorism

Related subjects » Epistemology & Philosophy of Science - Psychology

Table of contents 

Introduction.- Special Topic: What are philosophical methods?.-  The Major Problems of the Philosophy of Science and Clinical Psychology.-  Special Topic: The relationship between the history of science and the philosophy of science.-  Epistemology and Logical Positivism.-  Special Topic I: Logical Positivism and Radical Behaviorism.-  Special Topic II:  Epistemic and Philosophical Problems of the APA’s Ethical Code 61.- Popper: Conjectures and Refutations.- Special Topic I: Three Other Key Evolutionary Epistemologists: Campbell, Quine and Skinner.- Special Topic II: Popper’s Political Philosophy.- The Spell of Kuhn on Psychology.- Four Other Major Philosophers of Science.-  Special Topic: A Fifth Account of Science: The B.F. Skinner’s Indigenous, Behavioral Account of Science.- Post-Modernism, Social Constructionist, and the Science Wars.- The Complexity of Science Studies:  Multiple Perspectives on a Human. 

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