Psychological laws

Erkenntnis 58 (3):275-302 (2003)
  John McDowell claims that the propositional attitudes, and our conceptual abilities in general, are not appropriate topics for inquiry of the sort that is done in natural science. He characterizes the natural sciences as making phenomena intelligible in terms of their place in the realm of laws of nature. He claims that this way of making phenomena intelligible contrasts crucially with essential features of our understanding of propositional attitudes and conceptual abilities. In this article I show that scientific work of the sort McDowell claims cannot be done is in fact being done, and that this work presents strong evidence that there are psychological laws. The research I discuss is that by the psychologist Norman H. Anderson and his colleagues. I also argue that the considerations McDowell presents in defense of his claims do not constitute a significant challenge to the research that Anderson and his colleagues have done. It will be noted in the article that Anderson's work is relevant not just to McDowell's writings, but also to several much discussed issues in philosophy of cognitive science: the above two issues of whether there can be a science of ordinary psychological phenomena, higher cognition, comparable to that of the natural sciences and whether such a science would present laws, and also the issue of whether in such a science, and its laws, notions of folk psychology would play crucial constitutive roles. Anderson's work presents strong grounds for affirmative answers to all of these questions
Keywords Cognition  Laws  Propositional Attitudes  Psychology  Science  Anderson, N  Mcdowell, J
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1022666700490
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 27,606
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
An “Empirical Science” of Literature.Edmund Nierlich - 2005 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 36 (2):351 - 376.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Anomalous Monism, Ceteris Paribus, and Psychological Explanation.Robert Klee - 1992 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 43 (3):389-403.
Natural Laws in Scientific Practice.Marc Lange - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
Horgan and Tienson on Ceteris Paribus Laws.Marcello Guarini - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (2):301-315.
In Defense of Psychological Laws.Martin Carrier - 1998 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 12 (3):217 – 232.
Psychological Laws.William G. Lycan - 1981 - Philosophical Topics 12 (3):9-38.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

158 ( #29,409 of 2,168,630 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #346,816 of 2,168,630 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums