do you think psycology a science or just an art?
May 9, 2007 8:31am CST
Karl Popper said it is not scientific what you can't falsify: the scientist is called demonstrate his theories with facts and he has to show that there is a way to demonstrate the contrary on a rational basis. So how can we call science what has an "irrational" basis in its own definition? It's quite contradictory? Are acceptable arguments as: "FREUD said..., so it's true" Or do they look like arguments of faith in a sort of pagan religion based on a metaphysical 'subconscious'? Do we accept it just because we need to find someone with answers to our questions, and we don't care they are really based on facts and not just a fruit of our credulity? Even though there are biological basis to neurosciences, nonetheless there still remains what a psychologist called "a mysterious gap between mind and organism", so that they need a complete foundation to their theories... Remember the Peanuts (sorry for my translation): Lucy to Schroeder: I've formulated a theory that Beethoven's music would have been better whether he had been married. Schroeder while playing his piano: On what basis you founded such theory? Lucy: On the fact you can't demonstrate the contrary!!!
11 May 07
That experiment, in my humble opinion, simply showed that also animals can: expect something, foresee consequences from premises, and obviously they can learn... In a sentence, Pavlov showed us that animals can think even if they are wordless. So the interesting to me is that this scientist provided a sort of anticipate response (indeed a negative one) to Wittgenstein's famous argument which I would trivially synthesize as: the origin of men's thought comes from the possibility of speaking. I don't deny the possibility to learn by ourself from experience or from someone else's efforts (we gave the name of 'conditioning' to Pavlov's efforts), but I think, following in this the behavioristic point of view, that we can't say what happens in the black-box of our soul-mind, so we just have to consider facts, actions, premises and consequences. So we can't make forecasts really based on our knowledge of human mind, but just bet on qualitative phenomena deriving from a sort of collection of chronicles of human behavior, an approach I would like to define Humanistic and not really scientific. A qualitative, and sometimes arbitrary approach which can be only partially statistically based, giving very unpredictable results, since you have to combine so many variables and parameters risking to make a great mess... mathematically speaking. An approach which I would euphemistically define 'not completely scientific' in such methods, since it bases many of its conclusions not on a quantitative theory: just on descriptive statistics and on the criterion of analogy (!!!). Hamlet says words like these (which I quote on heart and back translate from my language, so --- forgive everything I'm going to lose in translation) : there are more things between sky and earth than all those your philosophy can only imagine...
26 Dec 08
hey this is a great discussion. you did a good discussion on poppers idea. The main problem with psychology as a science is the lack of a paradigm, a unifying idea that will structure the study of psychology in the same way that newtons and einsteins' theories did to physics. I believe this is mainly because a lot still entertain a dualistic view of human behaiovr, comprising of the mind , as something intangeble, and the brain, something tangible. It is the Mind that falls short of poppers falsifiablity criteria. Not the brain. In fact, psychology is replete of mind concepts (e.g. id, ego, super ego,thanatos, ero etc..) which lack emperical basis. However, when we begin viewing behavior as a product of brain activity, everything is reduced to a physical basis. I believe that only when we have reduced behavior into its physiologic origins will psychology be seen as a science