Connective conceptual analysis and psychology

Theory and Psychology 22 (3):310-323 (2012)
Conceptual analysis, like any exclusively theoretical activity, is far from overrated in current psychology. Such a situation can be related both to the contingent influences of contextual and historical character and to the more essential metatheoretical reasons. After a short discussion of the latter it is argued that even within a strictly empirical psychology there are non-trivial tasks that can be attached to well-defined and methodologically reliable, conceptual work. This kind of method, inspired by the ideas of Ludwig Wittgenstein, Peter Strawson (conceptual grammar), and Gilbert Ryle (conceptual geography), is proposed and formally depicted as being holistic, descriptive, and connective. Finally, the newly presented framework of connective conceptual analysis is defended against the “Charge from Psychology,” in a version developed by William Ramsey, claiming that conceptual analysis is based on psychological assumptions that have already been refuted by empirical psychology.
Keywords connective analysis  conceptual analysis  Wittgenstein  Strawson
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