Near the beginning of Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche writes that “psychology is once again the path to the fundamental problems” (BGE 23). This raises a number of questions. What are these “fundamental problems” that psychology helps us to answer? How exactly does psychology bear on philosophy? In this conference paper, I provide a partial answer to these questions by focusing upon the way in which psychology informs Nietzsche’s account of value. I argue that Nietzsche’s ethical (...) theory is based upon the idea that power has a privileged normative status: power is the one value in terms of which all others values are to be assessed. If this is the correct interpretation of Nietzsche’s ethical theory, though, it raises a question: how could power have a privileged status, given that Nietzsche denies that there are any objective facts about what is valuable? I argue that Nietzsche’s account of psychology provides the answer: he grounds power’s privileged status in facts about the nature of human motivation. In particular, Nietzsche’s account of drives entails that human beings are ineluctably committed to valuing power. So Nietzsche’s ethical theory follows from his philosophicalpsychology. (shrink)
Contemporary caution against anachronism in intellectual history, and the currently momentous theoretical emphasis on subjectivity in the philosophy of mind, are two prevailing conditions that set puzzling constraints for studies in the history of philosophicalpsychology. The former urges against assuming ideas, motives, and concepts that are alien to the historical intellectual setting under study, and combined with the latter suggests caution in relying on our intuitions regarding subjectivity due to the historically contingent characterizations it has attained in (...) contemporary philosophy of mind. In the face of these conditions, our paper raises a question of what we call non-textual (as opposed to contextual) standards of interpretation of historical texts, and proceeds to explore subjectivity as such a standard. Non-textual standards are defined as (heuristic) postulations of features of the world or our experience of it that we must suppose to be immune to historical variation in order to understand a historical text. Although the postulation of such standards is often so obvious that the fact of our doing so is not noticed at all, we argue that the problems in certain special cases, such as that of subjectivity, force us to pay attention to the methodological questions involved. Taking into account both recent methodological discussion and the problems inherent in two de facto denials of the relevance of subjectivity for historical theories, we argue that there are good grounds for the adoption of subjectivity as a non-textual standard for historical work in philosophicalpsychology. (shrink)
Freud claimed that the concept of drive is "at once the most important and the most obscure element of psychological research." It is hard to think of a better proof of Freud's claim than the work of Nietzsche, which provides ample support for the idea that the drive concept is both tremendously important and terribly obscure. Although Nietzsche's accounts of agency and value everywhere appeal to drives, the concept has not been adequately explicated. I remedy this situation by providing an (...) account of drives. I argue that Nietzschean drives are dispositions that generate evaluative orientations, in part by affecting perceptual saliences. In addition, I show that drive psychology has important implications for contemporary accounts of reflective agency. Contemporary philosophers often endorse a claim that has its origins in Locke and Kant: self-conscious agents are capable of reflecting on and thereby achieving a distance from their motives; therefore, these motives do not determine what the agent will do. Nietzsche's drive psychology shows that the inference in the preceding sentence is illegitimate. The drive psychology articulates a way in which motives can determine the agent's action by influencing the course of the agent's reflective deliberations. An agent who reflects on a motive and decides whether to act on it may, all the while, be surreptitiously guided by the very motive upon which he is reflecting. I show how this point complicates traditional models of the role of reflection in agency. (shrink)
In rounded terms and modem dress a theory of intentionality is a theory about how humans take in information via the senses and in the very process of taking it in understand it and, most often, make subsequent use of it in guiding human behaviour. The problem of intentionality in this century has been the problem of providing an adequate explanation of how a purely physical causal system, the brain, can both receive information and at the same time understand it, (...) that is, to put it even more briefly, how a brain can have semantic content. In these two articles, one in this issue of the journal and one in the next, I engage in a critical examination of the two most thoroughly canvassed approaches to the theory and problem of intentionality in philosophicalpsychology over the last hundred years. In the first article, entitled 'The modern reduction of intentionality, ' I examine the approach pioneered by Carnap and reaching its apotheosis in the work of Daniel Dennett. In the second article, entitled 'The return to representation, 'I examine the approach which can be traced back to the work of Noam Chomsky but which has been given its canonical treatment in the work of Jerry Fodor. (shrink)
This article is the sequel to 'Intentionality and Modern philosophicalpsychology, I. The modern reduction of intentionality,' (PhilosophicalPsychology, 3 (2), 1990) which examined the view of intentionality pioneered by Carnap and reaching its apotheosis in the work of Daniel Dennett. In 'Intentionality and modem philosophicalpsychology, II. The return to representation' (PhilosophicalPsychology, 4(1), 1991) I examined the approach to intentionality which can be traced back to the work of Noam Chomsky (...) but which has been given its canonical treatment in the work of Jerry Fodor. In this article, the last in the series, I explore a very recent approach to intentionality which has been associated especially with the work of Ruth Garrett Millikan and Colin McGinn, and might, if the phrase were not so rebarbative, be called “the biologizing of intentionality'. (shrink)
Perhaps there are some more practical courses of action which, while retaining our traditional emphasis on the nature and resolution of problems in theoretical and philosophicalpsychology, show some promise of increasing our educational impact on other psychologists. Our purpose here is to suggest several such courses of action which might be undertaken by interested members of our division. 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
Historiography of science faces a preliminary question of strategy. A continuist conception of the history of science poses research problems different from those of a dynamic conception, which acknowledges that not only our theoretical knowledge but also the explananda themselves may change under the influence of new scientific insights. Whereas continuist historiography may advance our understanding of (the historical background of) current theoretical problems, dynamic historiography may also make a creative contribution to the progress of present-day research. This f act (...) is illustrated in a discussion of the various treatments of paradigmatic episodes in the history of philosophicalpsychology collected in the book under review, ranging from Socratic and Platonic sources of cognitivism, through medieval and modem views on mental language, representation and consciousness, to such 20th-century contributions as those of Husserl, Titchener, and analytic philosophy. (shrink)
Abstract In rounded terms and modern dress a theory of intentionality is a theory about how humans take in information via the senses and in the very process of taking it in understand it and, most often, make subsequent use of it in guiding human behaviour. The problem of intentionality in this century has been the problem of providing an adequate explanation of how a purely physical causal system, the brain, can both receive information and at the same time understand (...) it, that is, to put it even more briefly, how a brain can have semantic content. In two articles, one in the previous number of the journal and this present one, I engage in a critical examination of the two most thoroughly canvassed approaches to the theory and problem of intentionality in philosophicalpsychology over the last 100 years. In the first article, subtitled ?The modern reduction of intentionality?, I examined the reductive approach pioneered by Carnap and reaching its apotheosis in the work of Daniel Dennett. In this second article, subtitled ?The return to representation?, I examine the approach which can be traced back to the work of Noam Chomsky but which has been given its canonical treatment in the work of Jerry Fodor. (shrink)
A perspective on unifying culture and psychology is presented. Following a brief discussion of universalist perspectives , the current lack of unification is considered. Some necessary presuppositions are proposed for a unifying perspective, which are then pursued through the concepts and texts of the philosopher John Searle, particularly his concept of Background. Culture may be seen as a pattern of Background. How Background cultural patterns arise constitutes the major question challenging any unifying perspective. An example of how the question (...) can be addressed is proposed, by an articulation of the four levels of causation, phylogenesis, ethnogenesis, ontogenesis, and microgenesis . Finally, an empirical study of cross-cultural differences understood within this unifying perspective is described. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
Merleau-ponty's phenomenology of the intentional arc uniting body and world is viewed as grounded in the meaningfulness and materiality of both. the genetic constitution of the interrelated meaning and physicality of body and world is sketched in a phenomenological interpretation of jean piaget's ``the origin of intelligence in children''. from this sketch emerges an assertion of the priority of action over perception in prepredicative experience.
This book introduces a new metaphysics which deals with the psycho-physical problem in philosophicalpsychology, as well as with problems in the scientific standing of psychoanalysis and chaos theory, the feminine psyche, the possibility of cinematic illusion, meaningful madness, and why machines cannot think.
"Hegel’s PhilosophicalPsychology" draws attention to a largely overlooked piece of Hegel’s philosophy: his substantial and philosophically rich treatment of psychology at the end of the 'Philosophy of Subjective Spirit', which itself belongs to his main work, the "Encyclopaedia of the Philosophical Sciences". This volume makes the case that Hegel’s approach to philosophy of mind as developed within this text can make an important contribution to current discussions about mind and subjectivity, and can help clarify the (...) notion of spirit within Hegel’s larger philosophical project. Scholars from different schools of Hegelian thought provide a multifaceted overview of Hegel’s 'Psychology': Part I begins with an overview of Hegel’s 'Philosophy of Subjective Spirit', which outlines both its historical context and its systematic context within Hegel’s philosophy of subjective spirit. Parts II and III then investigate the individual chapters of the sections on psychology: the theoretical mind and the practical and free mind. The volume concludes by examining the challenges which Hegel’s 'Psychology' poses for contemporary epistemological debates and the philosophy of psychology. Throughout, the volume brings Hegel’s views into dialogue with 20th- and 21st-century thinkers such as Bergson, Bourdieu, Brandom, Chomsky, Davidson, Freud, McDowell, Sellars, Wittgenstein, and Wollheim. (shrink)
Bernard Williams’ “Nietzsche’s Minimalist Moral Psychology”, replete with provocative and insightful claims, has been extremely influential in Nietzsche scholarship. In the two decades since its publication, much of the most interesting and philosophically sophisticated work on Nietzsche has focused on exactly the topics that Williams addresses: Nietzsche’s moral psychology, his account of action, his naturalistic commitments, and the way in which these topics interact with his critique of traditional morality. While Williams’ pronouncements on these topics are brief and (...) at times oracular, and although many important details are not addressed, he manages to identify some of the richest veins in Nietzsche’s texts. In this response, I focus on the four central claims in Williams’ article. Sections One and Two address the claim that Nietzsche is a naturalist and an advocate of “minimalist moral psychology,” respectively. Sections Three and Four examine Williams’ interpretations of Nietzsche on the will and agency. Finally, Section Five critiques Williams’ claim that Nietzsche cannot be a source of philosophical theories. (shrink)
The chapter gives a general description of philosophicalpsychology as it was practiced and taught in the sixteenth century at three of the most important universities of the time, the universities of Erfurt, Padua, and Bologna. Contrary to received notions of the Renaissance it argues that the sixteenth-century philosophicalpsychology was tightly bound to the Aristotelian tradition. At the University of Erfurt, philosophicalpsychology was developed with strong adherence to the basic doctrines of Buridanian (...) via moderna, as it had been taught for over a century. The Buridanian approach dominated especially discussions on the metaphysical nature of the human soul and disputes about universal realism versus nominalism. The situation was somewhat different at the universities of Bologna and Padua. The connections between these two universities were close, and they can be seen as developing one and the same Aristotelian tradition. Although the works produced were rather eclectic in nature, they shared research topics as well as conceptual and methodological frameworks which contributed to the unity of the school. In Bologna and Padua, Averroës had a central position as an authority cited and criticized; and philosophical questions concerning the immortality of the soul and the nature of the intellectual species attracted continuous interest. The development of philosophicalpsychology was also influenced by the special organizational situation of these universities: theology had a relatively unimportant position, and medicine instead had continuous impact on teaching. (shrink)
Highlights of a difficult history -- The preliminary identification of our topic -- Approaches -- Bradley's protest -- James's disjunctive theory -- The source of Bradley's dissatisfaction -- Behaviourism and after -- Heirs of Bradley in the twentieth century -- The underlying metaphysical issue -- Explanatory tactics -- The basic distinction -- Metaphysical categories and taxonomies -- Adverbialism, multiple realizability, and natural kinds -- Adverbialism and levels of explanation -- Taxonomies and supervenience relations -- Rejecting the process : first view (...) -- Supervenience-failure -- The modal commitments of the process : first view -- The interference argument : a putative problem for adverbialist accounts -- Cognitive unison -- The problem with attitude based adverbialism -- Gilbert Ryle and Alan White -- White's argument against disposition-based adverbialism -- The cognitive unison theory -- Tasks -- Cognitive processes -- Potential service of a task -- Superordinate tasks -- Some features of the theory -- Divided attention -- Degrees of attention and merely partial attention -- The causal life of attention -- Mental causation -- How to respond to mental causation objections -- The causal role of attention -- Attention as an enabling condition -- Counterfactuals -- The causal relevance of attention per se -- Counterfactuals and causally relevant properties -- Objections to counterfactual analysis of causation and of causal relevance -- The extrinsicness of unison -- The privative character of unison and the problem of absence causation -- Causal exclusion -- Consequences for cognitive psychology -- Psychology and metaphysics -- The metaphysical commitments of the process-identifying project -- The diverse explanatory construals of current psychological results -- Reasons for deflation -- Inductively unreliable properties -- Questions without answers -- The positive payoff -- Philosophical work for the theory of attention -- Putting attention to philosophical work -- Attention and reference -- Attention and consciousness -- Prospects for optimism. (shrink)
Contemporary caution of anachronism in intellectual history on the one hand, and currently momentous theoretical emphasis on subjectivity on the other, are two prevailing circumstances that set puzzling constraints for studies in the history of philosophicalpsychology. Together these circumstances call for heightened awareness of our own interpretive presuppositions as historians: the former urges against assuming ideas, motives, and concepts that may be alien in the historical intellectual setting under study and the latter suggests caution in relying on (...) our intuitions regarding subjectivity due to the specific and historicallycontingent characterisations subjectivity has attained in the contemporary philosophy of mind. In face of these enticements our paper explores subjectivity as a non-textual standard of interpretation. Taking into account recent methodological discussion and examples of denials of the relevance of subjectivity for historical theories, we argue that historical work should be conceived as a reflective investigation into what is and what is not genuinely historical. In particular, we show how subjectivity can function as a pre-conceptualized feature of the world that has an effect on our concept formation. (shrink)
Sharon M. Kaye - Passions in William Ockham's PhilosophicalPsychology - Journal of the History of Philosophy 45:2 Journal of the History of Philosophy 45.2 330-332 Muse Search Journals This Journal Contents Reviewed by Sharon Kaye John Carroll University Vesa Hirvonen. Passions in William Ockham's PhilosophicalPsychology. Studies in the History and Philosophy of Mind, 2. Dordrecht: Kluwer, 2004. Pp. ix + 212. Cloth, €96.30. This volume is the second in a series aiming to produce monographs (...) that "are historically reliable as well as congenial to the contemporary reader" by providing "original insights into central contemporary problems" . The aim of this series is ambitious, yet sorely needed in scholarship today. As modern technology catapults our understanding of ourselves and the world into the future, history seems.. (shrink)
In the dissertation I explore three central issues in Plotinus' philosophicalpsychology: The fall of the soul, the relationships of soul and body, and the concept of the ego. ;Chapter 1 introduces the issues. Chapter 2 argues for a dual-aspect theory about the soul's fall. Chapter 3 characterizes the relationships between soul and body. Much of the chapter is devoted to distancing Plotinus' dualism from Cartesian dualism. The chapter ends with a discussion of Plotinus on perception. Chapter 4 (...) investigates the concept of the ego, the function of the ego in union with the One, and the relationship between the ego and the other powers of the soul. (shrink)
Contemporary caution against anachronism in intellectual history, and the currently momentous theoretical emphasis on subjectivity in the philosophy of mind, are two prevailing conditions that set puzzling constraints for studies in the history of philosophicalpsychology. The former urges against assuming ideas, motives, and concepts that are alien to the historical intellectual setting under study, and combined with the latter suggests caution in relying on our intuitions regarding subjectivity due to the historically contingent characterizations it has attained in (...) contemporary philosophy of mind. In the face of these conditions, our paper raises a question of what we call non-textual standards of interpretation of historical texts, and proceeds to explore subjectivity as such a standard. Non-textual standards are defined as postulations of features of the world or our experience of it that we must suppose to be immune to historical variation in order to understand a historical text. Although the postulation of such standards is often so obvious that the fact of our doing so is not noticed at all, we argue that the problems in certain special cases, such as that of subjectivity, force us to pay attention to the methodological questions involved. Taking into account both recent methodological discussion and the problems inherent in two de facto denials of the relevance of subjectivity for historical theories, we argue that there are good grounds for the adoption of subjectivity as a nontextual standard for historical work in philosophicalpsychology. (shrink)
Mark Platts' influential first book Ways of Meaning argued within the context of the philosophy of language that a `realist' account of moral thought was possible. Moral Realities defends the same possibility from the perspective of the philosophy of psychology. Moral Realities engages the classical moral philosophies of Hume, Mandeville and Nietzsche, and tackles the powerful arguments of the contemporary moral relativists. Platts uses an existing critique of philosophical notions of desire and value to present a descriptive metaphysics (...) of morals--clarifying both what morality is and what it is not. He also employs a classification of desire that articulates a general theory of value and valuing which is distinguished by a cognitive approach given to certain kinds of moral valuing. The possibility of applying this approach to moral valuings is defended against the persuasive criticisms of both the Humean subjectivist and the contemporary moral relativist. This is a challenging book which illuminates many of the major issues of contemporary moral philosophy including: the practical nature of moral thought, free will and choice, morality and religious belief, and the pragmatics of moral discourse. (shrink)
The author was invited to discuss "the extent and character of the theoretical and philosophical aspects" of educational psychology. His own work in educational psychology, however, is concerned primarily with research methodology, measurement, and statistical analyses as applied in educational research methods, and his major tie to philosophy has been in the philosophy of science. Therefore, he touches on topics such as behaviorism, logical positivism, cause-and-effect relationships, objectivity and subjectivity, relationships among variables, and Evolutionary Critical-Realism. 2012 APA, (...) all rights reserved). (shrink)
In preparing to address the question posed to the various divisions regarding the extent and character of theoretical and philosophical concerns in the various areas of psychology, I informally solicited input from about 20 Division 14 members. Almost without exception I received the same response: the observation that philosophical issues are not central to the daily activities of most I/O psychologists. After a bit more thought, most were able to identify areas or issues within I/O psychology (...) to which philosophical issues are relevant. In the comments which follow, I will make no attempt to be systematic or complete in presenting the philosophical/theoretical issues facing I/O psychology. I will present examples of different types of issues facing the field. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
Counseling Psychologists have often reflected upon the special perspectives and philosophical aspects of their specialty. From the variance of our roots to the diversity of our current activities through the conflicts of contemporary psychology there is a certain stability of purpose and unity of belief about the crucial aspects of our area. Our view of human action sees persons as agents capable of managing and enhancing their inner selves, important commitments, interpersonal relationships and their world of work. This (...) view doesn't prevail because we are segregated from or unaware of the biological determinism of Freudian thought or the environmental determinism of Skinner and other behaviorists. We have not chosen to ignore these traditions which are so much a part of psychology's history; rather, we seek in science and practice to know more about the multiplicity of influences that enter into the origins of human actions so that the exercise of agency and the possibilities for choice are enhanced. Our scientist-professional model allows us to test our theories in actual everyday situations, and return to our laboratories and classrooms with practical wisdom. This model also permits us to put theory and science at the disposal of those we serve. Whatever our future holds, at the present time we enjoy the best of two worlds as careful science and expert practice continue to inform our views of human action. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
From his return to Cambridge in 1929 to his death in 1951, Ludwig Wittgenstein, who published only one work in his lifetime, influenced philosophy almost exclusively through teaching and discussion. These lecture notes, therefore, are an important record of the development of Wittgenstein's thought; they indicate the interests he maintained in his later years and signal what he considered the salient features of his thinking. Further, the notes from an enlightening addition to his posthumously published writings. P. T. Geach, A. (...) C. Jackson, and K. J. Shah kept meticulous notes from the last formal course that Wittgenstein taught at Cambridge. In order to reconstruct as accurately as possible the words of Wittgenstein, this volume compiles all three sets of notes with no attempt to conflate or edit them beyond rendering them into lucid English. Topics covered by the notes in this volume include the private language argument, the grammar of sensation statements, certainty and experimentation in psychology, and, in general, the same set of concerns as are to be found in his Last Writings and Remarks on the Philosophy of Psychology . The source material provided in these lecture notes is vital to Wittgenstein scholarship. (shrink)
Introducing the concept of tradition and its importance for critical-intellectual development, traditions of radical philosophy and psychology are presented. Emphasizing the role of Marxist and post-Marxist thought in various critical approaches, critical programs are presented as theoretical endeavors that share the critique of ideology. These approaches examine knowledge production and knowledge biases in the sciences and psychology from the perspective of social categories or in terms of power. It is suggested that critical thinking in psychology could benefit (...) from incorporating categories from this tradition. Consequences for critical thinking in psychology are discussed. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
A relatively detailed review (~ 4000 words) of Christopher Mole's (2010) book "Attention is Cognitive Unison". I suggest that Mole makes a good case against many types of reductivist accounts of attention, using the right kind of methodology. Yet, I argue that his adverbialist theory is not the best articulation of the crucial anti-reductivist insight. The distinction between adverbial and process-first phenomena he draws remains unclear, anti-reductivist process theories can escapte his arguments, and finally I provide an argument for why (...) no personal level adverbialism can provide a complete and unified theory of attention. Despite my disagreements, I have learned a lot from engaging with Mole's book. It's a central contribution to the new philosophical literature on attention. (shrink)
Collection of original essays on the theory of desire by Robert Audi, Annette Baier, Wayne Davis, Ronald de Sousa, Robert Gordon, O.H. Green, Joel Marks, Dennis Stampe, Mitchell Staude, Michael Stocker, and C.C.W. Taylor.
Kristján Kristjánsson's new book is the first detailed treatment of positive psychology from a philosophical perspective (at least as far as I am aware). Kristjánsson has been an active contributor to a number of debates in recent years at the intersection of moral philosophy, psychology, and education, and brings his vast familiarity with the relevant literature to bear in engaging with this movement. The result is a book that raises a number of good questions and concerns about (...) positive psychology, but in a way that is sympathetic to the movement and aimed at ultimately supporting and refining the work that these psychologists are doing. (shrink)