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This paper clarifies several sources of the epistemological confusion that currently characterize the field of clinical psychology. Using a constructivist framework, it is argued that much of this confusion can be traced to a traditional failure to distinguish among levels of analysis when evaluating and comparing clinical psychology theories. By recognizing certain distinctions among levels of analysis, it becomes clear that efforts to provide epistemological legitimacy for clinical psychology theories have often conflated not only theories with epistemology, but also epistemologies that reside at different levels of analysis. Recognition of these distinctions also permits a more precise definition of the role for which the received view of a natural science epistemology and hermeneutics are competing. This role should be defined as a "superordinate" epistemology. It is demonstrated how this concept provides some of the terms necessary for settling the debate between advocates of the received view and advocates of hermeneutics. 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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DOI 10.1037/h0091506
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