The relationship between scientific psychology and common-sense psychology

Synthese 89 (October):15-39 (1991)
  This paper explores the relationship between common-sense psychology (CSP) and scientific psychology (SP) — which we could call the mind-mind problem. CSP has come under much attack recently, most of which is thought to be unjust or misguided. This paper's first section examines the many differences between the aims, interests, explananda, explanantia, methodology, conceptual frameworks, and relationships to the neurosciences, that divide CSP and SP. Each of the two is valid within its own territory, and there is no competition between them — primarily because CSP is not, and has no interest in being, a scientific theory. In the second section some implications are drawn. First, neither CSP nor SP has the mind-body problem in its familiar form. Second, CSP, for excellent reasons, is not equipped to handle irrational or non-rational behaviour; there are some grounds for believing that this can and should be the task of SP. Third, philosophical psychology, or armchair theories of action, perception, etc., are doomed to failure. And, fourth, the realm of the psychological is so heterogeneous that no single model for either CSP or SP is likely to succeed
Keywords Methodology  Mind  Neurobiology  Psychology  Science
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DOI 10.1007/BF00413797
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James W. McAllister (1997). Laws of Nature, Natural History, and the Description of the World. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 11 (3):245 – 258.

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