Reasons, causes, and motives: Psychology’s illusive explanations of behavior

Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 11 (1):24-34 (1991)
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The efforts of psychologists as well as laypersons to identify causes and motives of behavior is examined from an existential-phenomenological perspective. The claim made by modern psychology that its epistemological ground consists of an objectively given realm of “facts” is called into question. Psychological explanation is presented as a system of discourse that has its own psychological “motivation.” The traditional concepts of “conditions,” “causes,” and “motives” are critiqued and alternative notions such as “meaning” and “project” are drawn from the literature of phenomenology as a basis for understanding rather than explaining human behavior. Verbal report data are used to illustrate and substantiate claims made about the illusive nature of explanation. 2012 APA, all rights reserved)



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Scott D. Churchill
University of Dallas

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Minds as Social Institutions.Cristiano Castelfranchi - 2014 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 13 (1):121-143.

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