Dr. Lacewing’s paper is a very interesting one. We agree in part, but only in part. Lacewing (2012) rejects the general thesis that “causal inferences must always be justified on the basis of Mill’s canons” (p. 199). I agree, but so does his target, Adolf Grünbaum, as we shall see in a moment. But first there is a question about Grünbaum’s alleged reliance on Mill’s Methods of Agreement and Difference. This interpretation may not make a difference to Lacewing’s arguments, but (...) it is worth correcting, given that some philosophers criticize both methods and yet their criticisms have no direct bearing on any of Grünbaum’s arguments. When Grünbaum speaks of “Millian methods,” he is not necessarily talking .. (shrink)
Some psychologists have recently tried to develop new approaches to psychology incompatible with both natural-science views of the discipline and basic tenets of postmodernism. In her new book on psychology’s interpretative turn, Barbara Held refers to these thinkers as "middleground theorists" or MGTs. Most of the MGTs reject psychological laws, defend free choice and agency, stress the role of values in psychological inquiry, and argue for a hermeneutical methodology. Some reject scientific realism and embrace epistemological relativism. Both Held and I (...) express doubts about some of these views. (shrink)
It is argued that philosophers can contribute indirectly to the cure of psychopathology by helping to resolve problems that impede the development of effective treatments. Two such problems are discussed. The first arises because different schools of therapy use conflicting criteria in evaluating therapeutic outcomes. A theory of Defective Desires is developed to deal with this problem. The second issue, which divides the field of psychotherapy, concerns the need for experiments, especially in validating claims of therapeutic efficacy. An epistemological foundation (...) is developed to support the need for experiments. (shrink)
In this commentary, I agree with Chow's treatment of null hypothesis significance testing as a noninferential procedure. However, I dispute his reconstruction of the logic of theory corroboration. I also challenge recent criticisms of NHSTP based on power analysis and meta-analysis.
John Greenwood (this issue) claims that neglect of an important methodological distinction has contributed directly to the "epistemic impoverishment" of empirical studies of all forms of professional psychotherapy. I challenge this claim, as well as other important claims he makes about the efficacy of psychoanalysis and other forms of psychotherapy.
tries to elucidate some of the rational considerations that determine the standing and value of psychoanalysis. He is sceptical about much of the positive evidence, but he also tries to provide some support for Freudian doctrines. I examine his supporting arguments and try to show that they have serious weaknesses.