• Shawn
    4
    Since the dawn of philosophy with Socrates, the fundamental assertion of philosophers passionate about their profession has been that life ought to be examined. Up until the nineteen hundreds there was no clear profession for philosophers to fundamentally speak of what Plato and Socrates called the soul or psyche.

    Nowadays we know very well, that the study of the human psyche is done through psychology. It is a profession that isn't exact or as scientific as other professions, but, is still important to the discovery of one's self. I do think, that it is interesting to notice that modern day psychology was profoundly influenced by the Stoics in their appeal for a more rational mind to operate with, with the advent of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Rational Emotional Behavioral Therapy.

    With no further introduction to give, I ask the reader whether they think psychology is an important field or whether any of the above makes sense to assert about the importance that philosophers purported was the examination of one's life?

    Can or ought this be done through psychology, why or why not?
  • tim wood
    8
    Psychology does have its scientific corners where real science is done. As a "science" of personality, not-so-much, or not at all.

    Psychology in this sense is like the cheap tools from Sears. Pretty to look at and sometimes adequate for a home quick-fix, but nothing at all - a joke - for serious work. I suppose some readers won't know about Sears' tools. But Lowe's and Home Depot will take your real dollars for tools that really are a bad joke.
  • Joshs
    21



    Psychology does have its scientific corners where real science is done. As a "science" of personality, not-so-much, or not at all.tim wood

    Some of the most important work in personality theory (Gendlin, Rogers , Kelly) offers a powerful critique of the concept of ‘real’ science , otherwise known as physics envy. It will likely take a few more generations before mainstream psychology realizes that rather than psychology trying to emulate the approach to science taken, physics, it is physics that needs to learn from what personality theory has discovered about the foundations of empiricism in subjective experience.

    As Piaget wrote:

    “…physics is far from complete, having so far been unable to integrate biology and a fortiori the behavioural sciences within itself. Hence, at present, we reason in dififerent and artificially simplified domains, physics being up to now only the science of non-living, non-conscious things. When physics becomes more 'general’- to use C.-E. Guye's striking expression-and discovers what goes on in the matter of a living body or even in one using reason, the epistemological enrichment of the object by the subject, which we assume here as a hypothesis, will appear perhaps as a simple relativistic law ot perspective or of co- ordination of referentials, showing that for the subject the object could not be other than it appears to him, but also that from the Object’s point of view the subject could not be different.”
  • Shawn
    4


    What do you think about old Socrates and the unexamined life not worth living? What claim does psychology have over leading an edifying and fulfilling life as philosophy would prescribe?
  • Valentinus
    3
    Can or ought this be done through psychology, why or why not?Shawn

    I propose that the matter of individual development requires a psychological register. There are various theories concerning what should be regarded as fundamental conditions that produce one person or another. What is more important than any explanation is a way to understand causes.

    We cause things to happen and how much degree of freedom to do this or that is what consumes every waking hour.
  • Deleted User
    0
    I think today there is a need to pay deeper attention to the person, to subjectivity, the self, the meaning of existence, but this need is unfulfilled because philosophy is too rational, theoretical, biased towards objectivity, truth. We ask for help to psichology, but it is too aimed at healing, at making people happier, well being: it exists in the mental context of science and medicine. I think this gap can be fulfilled by spirituality, but spirituality is today too misunderstood or unknown, although some researchers are beginning to understand its potentiality.
  • Isaac
    13
    Psychology does have its scientific corners where real science is done. As a "science" of personality, not-so-much, or not at all.

    Psychology in this sense is like the cheap tools from Sears.
    tim wood

    It will likely take a few more generations before mainstream psychology realizes that rather than psychology trying to emulate the approach to science takenJoshs

    Sounds about par for the course... Damned if we do, damned if we don't.
  • Tzeentch
    2
    One will not get anywhere within the field of philosophy, without a complete grasp of their own psychology. It is fundamental. If one cannot understand that which is most close to them (their own psyche), then any attempts at making sense of life's deeper questions is futile.

    As per Plato's tripartite soul, the emotional and desiring parts of one's psyche, unless understood and controlled, will inhibit one's ability for reason.
  • baker
    8
    With no further introduction to give, I ask the reader whether they think psychology is an important field or whether any of the above makes sense to assert about the importance that philosophers purported was the examination of one's life?

    Can or ought this be done through psychology, why or why not?
    Shawn

    If only there wouldn't be so many schools of psychology, so many different theories about the same thing!
  • tim wood
    8
    If only there wouldn't be so many schools of psychology, so many different theories about the same thing!baker
    This says it all. And they cannot all be correct. Science is about figuring out which of competing theories is the right one, psychology just enjoys them all. Which is fine, but just no science at all. And which makes immediately suspect or worthless all general descriptions of psychology as a science. And which leaves me wondering just what exactly psychology is. Maybe just a family name for differing methods and subjects they're applied to?
  • TheMadFool
    26
    life ought to be examined.Shawn

    psychologyShawn

    :up: Genius!

    Luckily or not, you decide, psychology seems chockablock with multiple theories that seem to lack overlap zones giving nothing for theorists who want some sorta unification to work on. It's all blind people shooting in the dark - mostly guesswork, imaginative sure but true, probably not.
  • T Clark
    28
    Up until the nineteen hundreds there was no clear profession for philosophers to fundamentally speak of what Plato and Socrates called the soul or psyche.Shawn

    The soul was generally the purview of religion. It certainly wasn't ignored. Ethics and morals are heavily influenced by psychological factors, and they weren't ignored either.

    Nowadays we know very well, that the study of the human psyche is done through psychology. It is a profession that isn't exact or as scientific as other professions, but, is still important to the discovery of one's self.Shawn

    Psychology is a science as much as any other. No, it's not as exact as physics, but neither are geology, paleontology, evolutionary biology, or archeology. There are certainly things to criticize about some psychology, but much is important and fascinating. There is also lots of harder science that has legitimacy problems, e.g. scientific studies run by pharmaceutical companies are heavily skewed toward finding that drugs being tested are safe and effective. It's also important that you separate psychology from psychotherapy. They're not the same thing, although they are related.

    I ask the reader whether they think psychology is an important field or whether any of the above makes sense to assert about the importance that philosophers purported was the examination of one's life?Shawn

    Psychology is not "examining one's life." It is the study of (mostly) human behavior.
  • tim wood
    8
    Psychology is a science as much as any other.T Clark
    No, it isn't. Can you name a psychologist also a scientist, and what scientific work he or she did? I'm sure there a few, but what they're doing is science and not psychology. Psychologists such as I know about them are interested only in the ideas or theories they're interested in or have bought into, and do not whatever you do disturb them with facts or too many questions.
  • Isaac
    13
    Can you name a psychologist also a scientist, and what scientific work he or she did?tim wood

    https://royalsociety.org/news/2020/08/medals-and-awards-winners-2020/

    The Royal Society’s medals and awards celebrate those researchers whose ground-breaking work has helped answer fundamental questions and advance our understanding of the world around us

    I count five psychologists, and that's just 2020.
  • tim wood
    8
    By any reasonable standard, per the descriptions of the prizes, scientists doing science. Nor do I see how you identified any as psychologists. But to the point. I accept without question that some psychologists do science. But psych itself, personality theory and the like, is just no science at all because its subject matter does not lend itself to scientific enquiry. Those parts that can be and are, being that way, then science is - or can be - done. Otherwise, all conjecture and often unsound conjecture.
  • Isaac
    13
    Nor do I see how you identified any as psychologists.tim wood

    Well then I should put in a call to Edinburgh University immediately, they'll be dismayed to learn of the imposters they have as the emeritus professor of their department of psychology.
  • Manuel
    7
    But psych itself, personality theory and the like, is just no science at all because its subject matter does not lend itself to scientific enquiry.tim wood

    :up:

    Exactly.

    Which is why we have novels and can gain some insight into the human experience.
  • Shawn
    4
    Ethics and morals are heavily influenced by psychological factors, and they weren't ignored either.T Clark

    Nothing about deontological or consequentialist ethical theories really incorporate the psyche into their analysis. The trolley dilemma neither does incorporate the analysis of the biases of the lever switcher into the conceptual landscape. Don't these issues mean that philosophy still is in need of a rational analysis that is non-economic and calls for more psychological insights or is this an issue that psychology faces as a field that simply doesn't adhere to the same sort of analysis philosophers require(?)

    Psychology is not "examining one's life." It is the study of (mostly) human behavior.T Clark

    Yet, when a patient enters the office of a psychologist, they would sit there and recollect questions they have to the psychologist about their life. It's important for a psychologist to be asked questions about one's life and provide a narrative from an unbiased observer about them. In my opinion, it seems naive to say that they only are there to provide support as their profession is about the importance of external or internal factors that are causing the patient to feel unwell or mentally ill.
  • Shawn
    4
    I'm not sure. A lot of posters are posting questions about why there are so many flavors of psychology.

    @unenlightened, do you know why this is, if I may be so bold?
  • khaled
    5
    If only there wouldn't be so many schools of psychology, so many different theories about the same thing!
    — baker
    This says it all. And they cannot all be correct. Science is about figuring out which of competing theories is the right one, psychology just enjoys them all.
    tim wood

    There are also countless theories in physics, until we settle on the best one. Then we continuously revise.

    And psychology does not “enjoy them all”. You don’t see people taking B. F. Skinner’s theory about language acquisition seriously anymore for example.

    Psychology hasn’t had a Newton or Einstein yet, it’s still in its infancy.
  • T Clark
    28
    Well then I should put in a call to Edinburgh University immediately, they'll be dismayed to learn of the imposters they have as the emeritus professor of their department of psychology.Isaac

    I think Tim has fallen victim to the No True Scottish Psychologist fallacy.
  • T Clark
    28
    Nothing about deontological or consequentialist ethical theories really incorporate the psyche into their analysis. The trolley dilemma neither does incorporate the analysis of the biases of the lever switcher into the conceptual landscape.Shawn

    And that's one of the reasons so much of the philosophy of ethics is baloney.

    Yet, when a patient enters the office of a psychologist, they would sit there and recollect questions they have to the psychologist about their life.Shawn

    I've said this before - psychology is not psychotherapy. Psychology is the scientific study of behavior. But you're right, some, but not all, forms of psychotherapy do involve self-examination.
  • tim wood
    8
    I read the prizes issued. All seemed to me for scientific achievement. I did not notice any use of either of the words psychology or psychologist. Maybe you should take a look at your own reference.
  • T Clark
    28
    Psychology hasn’t had a Newton or Einstein yet,khaled

    There are those who would say that Freud was that person, including Freud. A lot of people would laugh at that. I think there's a case to be made though. Before Freud and some others at the beginning of the 20th century, it was widely believed that people acted for motives and by methods that are mostly conscious and self-conscious. Freud showed that people are not aware of much of what goes on in their minds. That's a profound idea and one that's at the bottom of any understanding of the human mind and human behavior.
  • tim wood
    8
    Psychology is the scientific study of behavior.T Clark

    Great, and when or where was that ever done scientifically? I don't mean to dwell on the word "science," but it implies a methodology that that I am unaware of psychologists ever doing, except when they cease being psychologists and do science.
    psychology is not psychotherapy.T Clark
    "Clinical psychology
    Psychological assessment and psychotherapy are central to the practice of clinical psychology, but clinical psychologists are often also involved in research, training, forensic testimony, and other areas.

    "Cognitive psychology
    Cognitive psychology investigates internal mental processes, such as problem solving, memory, learning, and language. It looks at how people think, perceive, communicate, remember, and learn.

    "Developmental psychology
    This is the study of systematic psychological changes that a person experiences over the life span, often referred to as human development.

    "Evolutionary psychology
    Evolutionary psychology looks at how human behavior, for example language, has been affected by psychological adjustments during evolution.

    And so on.

    "Study," "investigation," "looking at." No science. You would think if they were scientists doing science, they'd say so.
  • Shawn
    4
    And that's one of the reasons so much of the philosophy of ethics is baloney.T Clark

    That's pretty scary, no? That people have to think of reasons to love another nowadays.

    I've said this before - psychology is not psychotherapy.T Clark

    How much of this does it differ from other aspects of psychology? Seems interesting to point out that psychology or psychotherapy aren't that distinct from another since one can be more theory based, with the other much more hands on and active.

    Psychology is the scientific study of behavior.T Clark

    That's actually funny to talk about, since that's by definition behaviorism. I don't think behaviorism is the same as psychology, as is cognitive science the same as the study of thinking.

    But you're right, some, but not all, forms of psychotherapy do involve self-examination.T Clark

    It would be interesting to note, that what types do not involve this form of analysis?
  • T Clark
    28
    How much of this does it differ from other aspects of psychology? Seems interesting to point out that psychology or psychotherapy aren't that distinct from another since one can be more theory based, with the other much more hands on and active.Shawn

    I'm not sure if I understand the question. When I was a psych major many (many, many, many) years ago, the classes I liked the best were in cognitive psychology and the psychology of language and for the exact reasons we're discussing. They were the most "scientific" of the types of psychology. Even better, they dealt mainly with healthy human minds and healthy human behavior. In the intervening 50 years, cognitive psychology has expanded and been joined by cognitive science to provide a very powerful way of looking human cognitive function.

    Although when I was in college in the 1970s I had thoughts of being a therapist, I was never satisfied by those classes in that aspect for the reason we are discussing. They had trouble separating out the facts of human behavior and the methods for intervening in human mental problems. I think that's where a lot of the criticism about psychology comes from.

    That's actually funny to talk about, since that's by definition behaviorism. I don't think behaviorism is the same as psychology, as is cognitive science the same as the study of thinking.Shawn

    No. The definition of "behaviorism" is "The theory that human and animal behavior can be explained in terms of conditioning, without appeal to thoughts or feelings"

    It would be interesting to note, that what types do not involve this form of analysis?Shawn

    Much of psychotherapy these days uses drugs with or without talk therapy. Even the talk therapies vary in the amount of self-awareness involved. Some of them focus directly on problem behaviors and how to improve them directly without necessarily using self-awareness. I am not a psychotherapist, so I we've come to the end of my specific knowledge.
  • T Clark
    28
    Great, and when or where was that ever done scientifically?tim wood

    I've been trying to decide whether I should try to make a comprehensive case for psychology as a scientific discipline. I'd considered doing that in the past but never got around to it. That would be the only potentially effective way for me to respond to your skepticism, but it will take some effort. Let me think about whether I've got the energy to do it right now.
  • tim wood
    8
    I already acknowledge some do science. But psychology itself? Here's my model for the distinction: Scientist, "I'll elaborate a testable hypothesis to see if X happens Y times. And either it will or it won't and my hypothesis, if it's any good, will stand or fall; and others should they care may try to replicate the results."

    Psychologist, "I'm going down the street corner to observe, and if I see anything interesting to me, I'll come back to the office and theorize about it - and maybe I can get it published!" Sound about right?
  • T Clark
    28
    Sound about right?tim wood

    See my previous response.
  • Isaac
    13
    I think Tim has fallen victim to the No True Scottish Psychologist fallacy.T Clark

    Yeah, a shockingly poor argument from here.

    Psychology is not a science.
    Some psychologists do practice scientific methods sometimes.
    But when they do so, they're not doing psychology.
    Why? - because psychology is not a science.

    It's the sort of circularity a five year old could spot.
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