Psychology as a Moral Science

Perspectives on Normativity

Authors: Brinkmann, Svend

  • Promotes an ethical foundation of psychology
  • Unique integration of the philosophy of science and cultural critique
  • Unifies European and American philosophical traditions
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Softcover $169.00
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About this book

What does morality have to do with psychology in a value-neutral, postmodern world? According to a provocative new book, everything. Taking exception with current ideas in the mainstream (including cultural, evolutionary, and neuropsychology) as straying from the discipline’s ethical foundations, Psychology as a Moral Science argues that psychological phenomena are inherently moral, and that psychology, as prescriptive and interventive practice, reflects specific moral principles. The book cites normative moral standards, as far back as Aristotle, that give human thoughts, feelings, and actions meaning, and posits psychology as one of the critical methods of organizing normative values in society; at the same time it carefully notes the discipline’s history of being sidetracked by overemphasis on theoretical constructs and physical causes—what the author terms “the psychologizing of morality.” This synthesis of ideas brings an essential unity to what can sometimes appear as a fragmented area of inquiry at odds with itself. The book’s “interpretive-pragmatic approach”: • Revisits core psychological concepts as supporting normative value systems. • Traces how psychology has shaped society’s view of morality • Confronts the “naturalistic fallacy” in contemporary psychology. • Explains why moral science need not be separated from social science. • Addresses challenges and critiques to the author’s work from both formalist and relativist theories of morality. With its bold call to reason, Psychology as a Moral Science contains enough controversial ideas to spark great interest among researchers and scholars in psychology and the philosophy of science.

About the authors

Svend Brinkmann is Professor of Psychology in the Department of Communication and Psychology at the University of Aalborg, Denmark. His research areas are general psychology and qualitative methods, and he is co-director of the Center for Qualitative Studies at the University of Aalborg and also editor of the journal Qualitative Studies. Svend Brinkmann has published books in Danish about the mind, identity and the philosopher and psychologist John Dewey, and he is co-author (with Steinar Kvale) of the English language book InterViews. In addition, he has published several journal articles about the philosophy of psychology, qualitative methods, moral inquiry, and approaches to human science such as pragmatism, hermeneutics, and discourse analysis.

Reviews

“This provocative work seeks to provide a response to the question ‘What does morality have to do with psychology in a value-neutral, postmodern world?’ Arguing from an interpretive-pragmatic view, Brinkmann argues that psychology is fundamentally grounded in moral concern. … Brinkmann makes a case for understanding morality as fundamentally embedded in social practices; a case in which figures such as Aristotle, Dewey, Heidegger, MacIntyre, and Charles Taylor loom large in the background.” (Edwin E. Gantt, Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, Vol. 36 (1), 2016)


Table of contents (8 chapters)

  • Psychology and Morality: An Interpretive-Pragmatic View

    Brinkmann, Svend

    Pages 1-14

  • The Psychological Social Imaginary

    Brinkmann, Svend

    Pages 17-38

  • Changing Psychologies, Subjectivities, and Moralities

    Brinkmann, Svend

    Pages 39-56

  • How Psychology Makes Up People

    Brinkmann, Svend

    Pages 57-75

  • Facts, Values, and the Naturalistic Fallacy in Psychology

    Brinkmann, Svend

    Pages 79-93

Buy this book

eBook $129.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-4419-7067-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $169.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4419-7066-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $169.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4899-9014-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Psychology as a Moral Science
Book Subtitle
Perspectives on Normativity
Authors
Copyright
2011
Publisher
Springer-Verlag New York
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
eBook ISBN
978-1-4419-7067-1
DOI
10.1007/978-1-4419-7067-1
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-4419-7066-4
Softcover ISBN
978-1-4899-9014-3
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XV, 175
Topics