• Yohan
    5
    Naming something from mythology is not the same as relying on it produce an explanatory hypothesis.TheMadFool
    Sorry to keep harping on this but how about Albert Camus and the myth of Sisyphus? Will you call out philosophy as being a mythology?
  • TheMadFool
    26
    Sorry to keep harping on this but how about Albert Camus and the myth of Sisyphus? Will you call out philosophy as being a mythology?Yohan

    Camus' myth of sisyphis is an illustration. Freud's Oedipus complex is an explantion.
  • Isaac
    13
    Sometimes it just makes sense to give up.T Clark

    You're absolutely right, of course, but I did ask him to look at the papers (though I should not have), so feel obliged to, so...

    What wild accusations?tim wood

    You claimed psychology is not a science, yes? Or did I misinterpret that? Such a claim is contrary to conclusion of almost every university in the world, The UK Royal society (the oldest scientific institution in the world), the US National Academy of Sciences, as well as those of almost every country in Europe.

    So yes, it's a wild accusation. To be honest, too much time has already been spent dismissing such a ludicrous notion in the light of the disagreement of virtually every science institution in world.

    Please, you're embarrassing yourself.... It's not fucking yellow either is it? Moron. — Isaac

    You're the one who wrote the above.
    tim wood

    Seriously? "I know you are, but what am I?", might have worked if I was five. You made an analogy that because psychology mixed unscientific and scientific methods it could not be called 'scientific' (was not all blue so could not be called 'blue'). Exactly the same applies to the term unscientific. it's not all yellow so can't be called 'yellow' either. It was a stupid analogy and it's revealing of the blinding bias in your assessment that you didn't notice it. I called that out.

    I have taken some care to qualify my remarks about psychologytim wood

    You've done no such thing at all. You've asserted that in order for a field to qualify as a science, every activity done under the name has to be completely scientific. You've offered us not even so much as a sentence justifying that assertion.

    whatever the results, they are specific and non-replicabletim wood

    Why?

    even if many studies were done on different groups, how do you control for group variability.tim wood

    Ahh, the classic - I don't understand how a thing can be done, therefore it can't be done. Shall I point you in the direction of the appropriate textbook, or are you looking to enrol on a degree course?

    "These results suggest...". Plausibly.tim wood

    Have you ever read a scientific paper? You think none ever produce results which only suggest?

    It's time for you to say what science is.tim wood

    Can't beat the Susan Haack definition already given (thanks @Tom Storm).

    science is the application of the scientific method and where not applied, then not science. And this would seem obvioustim wood

    Ten how do you explain the position of almost every academy and school of science in the world? Are they all wrong and only you right?

    If psych. is to be all science, then all of it must be science.tim wood

    Again, offered without any justification at all.

    ___

    But as T Clark has already warned, there's little point in continuing to bang my head against blind prejudice.
  • Isaac
    13
    That seems like a good description of the Boulder Model, which is the basis for training "scientist-practitioners." From what I have heard from clinical psychologists, many institutions handle cases as teams, consisting of a number of disciplines to develop diagnosis and response. Taking responsibility for treatment is a demanding and complicated process.Valentinus

    An interesting connection I've not made before. There are a number of issues with the Boulder Method which I think would run counter to the model as well though, such as the slightly reductionist view of the research>practice routes, but overall, I can see the link.
  • Yohan
    5
    Camus' myth of sisyphis is an illustration. Freud's Oedipus complex is an explantionTheMadFool
    Myths are illustrative, yeah. I don't agree Freud would think myths are more than that. But I'll let it go.
  • TheMadFool
    26
    Myths are illustrative, yeah. I don't agree Freud would think myths are more than that. But I'll let it go.Yohan

    I deeply appreciate your kind gesture to "...let it go..." but Freud's theory is, as I've now repeated for the umpteenth time, based off of Oedipus and his rather, to put it mildly "unconventional" relationship with his mother. To state the obvious, Oedipus is the index case of the so-called Oedipus complex.

    Camus' Sisyphus on the other hand is merely an analogy employed to illustrate the futile nature of human existence.

    Do you see the difference now?
  • Yohan
    5
    Freud's theory is, as I've now repeated for the umpteenth time, based off of OedipusTheMadFool
    Even if the theory is based on the myth, which I doubt, I don't see how that makes it a myth nor reliant on the myth. I don't get you at all.
    The Oedipus complex and the Oedipus Myth describe the same thing, that's all. The myth doesn't explain the theory, it describes it. (Although technically description is a preliminary step in the explanation process)

    Camus' Sisyphus on the other hand is merely an analogy employed to illustrate the futile nature of human existence.TheMadFool
    The myth of Sisyphus is a metaphor.
    The myth explains why human life is futile. It doesn't just fit a description, it explains the reason.
    Camus explanation of WHY human life is futile is analogous with the explanation of the futility of Sisyphus' predicament.

    Do you see the difference now?TheMadFool
    Oedipus complex ≠ Myth of Oedipus
    Human futility ≠ Myth of Sisyphus
    This is why I asked what the difference is.
  • tim wood
    8
    Then how do you explain the position of almost every academy and school of science in the world? Are they all wrong and only you right?Isaac

    No. My psych. professor said, and I quote exactly, "Psychology is not a science."

    Let's set aside for the moment the question about psychology and consider a more fundamental question: what makes something be what it is? For example, a car in a field lacking its engine can be called a car but it really isn't one, and its engine by itself isn't a car. So it's reasonable to ask - not that it comes up often - just what is the without-which-not, the sine qua non, of a car?

    We agree that some psychology is science, i.e., the steps of the scientific method identified, along with their being carried out to a conclusion that itself qualifies as scientific. That's some. What's the status of the rest? Well, if there is a rest, then it's not entirely scientific, and is not scientific to the degree that it is not. Is there any such activity in psychology that falls into this category? And how big a category is it?

    I find a definition of psychology here: https://www.verywellmind.com/psychology-4014660
    "Psychology is the study of mind and behavior."

    With such a subject matter, how is a full program of science carried out? One can observe - although observation itself becomes very problematic; e.g., who is being observed? Observed, counted/measured, although this too problematic in determining if what is said to be counted/measured is indeed being counted/measured.

    And observed, counted/measured, described. What then? People theorize. And this of no small value, but not science. In science are scientific conclusions, the results of experiments designed to either ground the conclusion or disqualify it. In psych, the theory is the end product, and people like it or don't.

    So it seems to me that a big part of psychology just is not science. And considering the subject matter, that's not a criticism so much as an acknowledgment of a reality. The wishful thinking of psychologists and some others notwithstanding.

    To establish the understanding that psychology is a science, it would be enough imo to demonstrate that non-scientific aspects were minimal, and that in the main the conduct of psychologists was that of scientists doing science. Which is done immediately by showing that "the study of mind and behavior" is reducible to scientific method and practice, with scientific conclusions as results.



    .
  • Isaac
    13
    The wishful thinking of psychologists and some otherstim wood

    Until you correct this there's no point in further discussion. Virtually every university in the world offers psychology (or some cognitive equivalent) as a bachelor of science where it is offered at all. The Royal Society lists psychology as a science. The US National Academy of Sciences list psychology as a science. The German, French and Swedish Academies all list psychology as a science (those were the one's I bothered to look up), psychology papers are published in the journal 'Science', by the American Academy for the Advancement of Science, psychologists win awards for science awarded by academies to support science, I get grants from the government's science research funding...

    The only relevant question for you to be asking is where your error is, not where the error is in every university, academy, research institute and funding initiative in the world. If they're all using 'science' in such a way as to include psychology, it's you who've misunderstood what the word means, not they who are remiss in not consulting you before using it.

    Let's set aside for the moment the question about psychology and consider a more fundamental question: what makes something be what it is? For example, a car in a field lacking its engine can be called a car but it really isn't one, and its engine by itself isn't a car. So it's reasonable to ask - not that it comes up often - just what is the without-which-not, the sine qua non, of a car?tim wood

    Use. Use. Use. It is the threshold of where we would commonly use the word 'car' and where we would not. There's no God-given dictionary in the sky which tells us what words 'really' mean in advance of us using them. They mean exactly what they are used to mean. As above, 'science' is clearly used in such a way as to include psychology. So you're either mistaken about psychology, or mistaken about the meaning of the word 'science'.
  • T Clark
    28
    My psych. professor said, and I quote exactly, "Psychology is not a science."tim wood

    @Isaac - I reiterate my advice to you. Time to give up.
  • TheMadFool
    26
    Even if the theory is based on the myth, which I doubt, I don't see how that makes it a myth nor reliant on the myth. I don't get you at all.
    The Oedipus complex and the Oedipus Myth describe the same thing, that's all. The myth doesn't explain the theory, it describes it. (Although technically description is a preliminary step in the explanation process)
    Yohan

    I'm not saying the Oedipus myth explains the Oedipus complex. I'm saying it is the Oedipus complex and thus serves as the explanation for so-called psychological issues people have. In other words, the Oedipus myth can be used in and of itself to conduct a Freudian analysis if that's what it's called without having to read even a single word of what Freud wrote about it. Freud's work is in that sense superfluous and redundant. In other words Freud's theory is simply the Oedipus myth retold.

    The myth of Sisyphus is a metaphor.
    The myth explains why human life is futile. It doesn't just fit a description, it explains the reason.
    Camus explanation of WHY human life is futile is analogous with the explanation of the futility of Sisyphus' predicament.
    Yohan

    So, now you're changing tack. The "metaphor" explains the human condition. Do you get a kick out of this? I ask because you really aren't making any sense here.
  • T Clark
    28


    I'll give you the same advice I gave Isaac. It's time to give up. You'll never convince TMF.
  • tim wood
    8
    Use. Use. Use.... They mean exactly what they are used to mean.Isaac
    What's your problem then? I use, use, use (and not alone) psychology to mean an enterprise, when being done, that is not scientific or not altogether scientific, science being the enterprise of following the scientific method.

    But let's try this. If we grant that a degree in psychology is needed to be a psychologist - which I am unable to verify* - and that degree (at least) a BS, then, according to you, all psychologists are scientists. To the test then. Do you represent without further qualification that what psychologists are doing, when they're doing psychology, is science? Not in virtue of the title, but the work taken substantively and compared with what scientists do as scientists? And for present purpose, let's neglect bad psychologists and bad psychology, as well as bad science and bad scientists, as well as extremes of these.

    This implies we can pretty much and for the most part evaluate as science what a scientist is doing, which evaluation I ground in the scientific method and falsifiability of conclusions - that is, in an enterprise that aspires to achieve knowledge and certainty through its practices.

    Consider Erik Erikson and his eight stages of development. Regarded as a psychologist, his work considered highly relevant. Science? Yes? No?

    *I find that in order to do certain things that require a license, a degree in psychology is required. But nowhere do I find the requirement for a degree to be one - or more accurately, to say that one is one..
  • Isaac
    13
    I reiterate my advice to you. Time to give up.T Clark

    You're right. Nothing here but constantly shifting ground and a willful ignorance of what psychology actually entails. But the essence is this...

    I use, use, use (and not alone) psychology to mean an enterprise, when being done, that is not scientific or not altogether scientific, science being the enterprise of following the scientific method.tim wood

    If you create an unusual, idiosyncratic (and self-immunised) definition of a word, then it's going to yield unusual, idiosyncratic consequences. I can't see why they'd be of any interest to anyone outside of your esoteric cabal of language users.
  • tim wood
    8
    Nothing here but constantly shifting groundIsaac
    Show me shifting ground and I'll concede! Show me cabalistic language use and I'll concede! But all you apparently care about is the title on the door! And for that you claim but do not demonstrate. Even a simple question about Erik Erikson baffles you, apparently, or is too threatening to answer!

    But you've won your point. No more unless substantive. May all the science you may need in your life come from psychologists!
  • TheMadFool
    26
    @Yohan @Isaac @tim wood

    Here's my personal take on psychology for your consideration.

    Psychology is the study of mind and behavior according to Wikipedia and that's, to my reckoning, answering two important questions:

    1. How do people think/behave? Seeking patterns in thoughts and deeds much like how physicists extract the so-called laws of nature from observation. Answering this question will lead to laws of thinking/acting. Just as the laws of nature help us plan and manipulate our environment, the laws of thinking/acting too will prove to be of utmost value in "manipulating" people :down: & :up: but more :down: than :up: I suppose.


    2. Why people think/act the way they do? This level of explanation is missing in physics (or is it?). Newton after developing his theory of gravity famously declared, hypotheses non fingo when asked, I'm guessing, why there's gravity? Albert Einstein, 300 years later, provided one explanation for gravity - mass causing spatial curvature.

    However, as you would've already noticed, this leads to an infinite regress of explanations. Why does mass cause space to curve?, is the next thing that requires an explanation, so on and so forth. Thus, the extreme but palpable reluctance among physicists to provide explanations for the laws of nature.

    Coming to psychology, let's suppose a theory X exists that explains,why people think/act the way they do? Not only have the laws of thinking/acting been discovered and enumerated in detail, now we also know why there are such laws at all. Is theory X possible/impossible? Is this question even the right one to ask? Even if it were possible, the specter of infinite regress looms over our heads - theory X explains the laws of thinking/acting asserting, say, that it's because of, if you'll permit me to simplify for the sake of convenience, sexual issues (Freud) but this itself needs further explanation, right? Why do sexual issues cause the laws of thinking/acting to be as they are?

    Psychology is doomed if it devotes any amount of time and energy trying to answer question 2. why people think/act the way do? This, if I'm not mistaken, is exactly the question psychology wants answered and thus marks the point it diverges from physics (note I'm using physics as the best representative for science). In this sense psychology isn't science - it brushes aside the infinite regress of explanations problem that all scientists know all too well to get sucked into.

    Another thing is...

    Psychology, from what I've gathered, is the study of human nature. What are humans like (the laws of thinking/acting)? Why are they like that (the theory that attempts to explain the laws of thinking/acting)? Setting aside the fact that controversy surrounding human nature - does it even exist? - psychologists can, at the very least, say that almost all/most people think/act in a certain way in a specified situation. This, as you know, is a statistical claim and this particular strain of knowledge is notorious for its uncertainty - even if 90% of Indians are Hindus, it doesn't necessarily mean that the Indian you met at a friend's house-warming party is a Hindu. It's likely, yes, but not certain and therein lies the rub.

    Science is certain, ignoring the problem of induction, about the laws of nature - they're inviolable and if they're broken, it's back to the drawing board.

    Statistical claims like those found in psychology tolerate errors in prediction - if 90% of people would donate to charity and I find out you don't, it isn't an issue at all because you could be one of the 10%. Return now to the theory X I talked about earlier - it has to explain both why 90% donate to charity and why 10% don't. Immediately we come to the realization that X has to be compatible with both a random person Y donating to charity and also refusing to do that. If so, Y's thoughts/actions have no effect on theory X - whatever Y does, the theory X remains unmolested which, in Popper's universe, means theory X is unfalsifiable and ergo, is unscientific for that reason. Another way to understand this Gordian knot in psychology is that exceptions (the 10% who don't donate to charity) are exceptions precisely because the theory that explains the majority behavior (90% who donate to charity) can't explain them.

    That's as far as I could get with the little that I know.
  • T Clark
    28
    Here's my personal take on psychology for your consideration.TheMadFool

    You often have interesting and useful things to say on the subjects we talk about on this forum. On the other hand, it makes no sense for you and me to continue discussing this issue.
  • TheMadFool
    26
    You often have interesting and useful things to say on the subjects we talk about on this forum. On the other hand, the only reasonable way to deal with your opinions on this subject is not to participate in the discussionT Clark

    @tim wood

    I won't object to that. Different strokes for different folks. Who knows, there must be a psychologist out there, either a forum member or not, who's mining forum threads like this one and others for information they could use. How do I think? How do you think? How do other members think? Valuable data as far as I can tell. As to what conclusions they draw, I'm uncertain but one thing's for sure, there's just too much disagreement insofar as this thread is concerned for any pattern in our thinking to be discernible. No pattern, no human nature, no psychology. :lol:
  • bongo fury
    1
    What would you replace that power with. Criminals all get treated the same regardless of their mental health?Isaac

    There's a YouTube link in my psyche. Can't insert it here as media so that it starts at the right place, but

    https://youtu.be/rLmMchi2aAQ?t=220

    The source is even more genius than the reappropriation. Extract only, but the audio will be familiar to some (losers).

  • magritte
    2
    Psychology is the study of mind and behavior according to WikipediaTheMadFool

    And what's the definition of philosophy according to Wikipedia? "Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental questions", which ought to answer two other questions?

    So if psychologists can't give a definition then they can't know any psychology but are just technicians following a custom? Where have I heard that argument before?

    OK
    Leaving definitions to Socrates,
    1. Psychology is what psychologists do
    2. Psychology is a range of professions from theoretical, experimental, to applied areas like clinicians and industrial administrators. Which one is in question?
    3. If psychology is a science then what is a science? Is it just some dogma curricular for high schools and wikis or is there specialized education and trained practice to be learned and certified? Why isn't an economist or archeologist a psychologist?
  • T Clark
    28
    I won't object to that. Different strokes for different folks.TheMadFool

    I went back and changed what I wrote after I first posted it to this:

    You often have interesting and useful things to say on the subjects we talk about on this forum. On the other hand, it makes no sense for you and me to continue discussing this issue.

    The way I originally wrote it, the way you quoted it in your post, was unnecessarily snotty.

    I do think it's more than different strokes for different folks. I think you and I have a fundamentally different idea of what it takes to justify an argument.
  • TheMadFool
    26
    And what's the definition of philosophy according to Wikipedia?magritte

    "Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental questions", which ought to answer two other questions?magritte

    So if psychologists can't give a definition then they can't know any psychology but are just technicians following a custom?magritte

    Where have I heard that argument before?magritte

    Which one is in question?magritte

    If psychology is a science then what is a science? Is it just some dogma curricular for high schools and wikis or is there specialized education and trained practice to be learned and certified? Why isn't an economist or archeologist a psychologist?magritte



  • TheMadFool
    26
    I think you and I have a fundamentally different idea of what it takes to justify an argumentT Clark

    I'm curious, how many different ways to justify are there that we don't see eye to eye?
  • magritte
    2
    Psychology, from what I've gathered, is the study of human nature.TheMadFool
    It is not and never was. Because
    human nature - does it even exist?TheMadFool
    is a bullshit question, being neither philosophy nor psychology.

    Science is certainTheMadFool
    is just ignorant. No science is certain, nor can any science ever be certain.
    Statistical claims like those found in psychology tolerate errors in predictionTheMadFool
    Same as for all science. Even the strongest laws of physics are statistical when applied to the world.
  • TheMadFool
    26
    It is not and never wasmagritte

    Let's just agree to disagree. To each his own.

    human nature - does it even exist?
    — TheMadFool
    is a bullshit question, being neither philosophy nor psychology.
    magritte

    I'm afraid you're mistaken. Please visit the relevant websites.

    Science is certain
    — TheMadFool
    is just ignorant. No science is certain, nor can any science ever be certain.
    magritte

    You've quoted me out of context.

    Statistical claims like those found in psychology tolerate errors in prediction
    — TheMadFool
    Same as for all science. Even the strongest laws of physics are statistical when applied to the world.
    magritte

    So, sometimes rivers flow upwards. What utter nonsense!
  • magritte
    2
    "human nature"TheMadFool
    is a loose essentialist construct that has gotten a lot of clicks. Examples of thrashings about in attempts to make sense of it can be found in Hume's foundational A Treatise of Human Nature and the online SEP article. I'll leave to you to say what 'human nature' is if you can say what your human nature is concisely without reference to examples of your daily habits.

    For its part, psychology has no essential definition because definitions in psychology are ultimately not conventional or even philosophical. Psychological concepts are defined 'operationally' by their specific methods of measurement to convert them to public scientific observables.
  • TheMadFool
    26
    For its part, psychology has no essential definition because definitions in psychology are ultimately not conventional or even philosophical.magritte

    WTF? :chin:
  • baker
    8
    I think some people have seen movies like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest too many times.Tom Storm
    Oh Jesus.

    For example, I once trained to be a school teacher. I got to see from up close the way school psychologists treat children. Yes, I understand there is not enough time, they are understaffed, and so on, but their professional ethics should be better than that of a witch hunter.
  • baker
    8
    "These results suggest...". Plausibly.tim wood

    That's the thing: Scientific studies usually give suggestions in terms of probability, plausibility, not in terms of certainty.

    What makes the difference is the way public discourse of the topic at hand turns that probability, plausibility into certainty, treating it as if it were a fact, and using it as grounds to stigmatize anyone who doesn't fit in to those prospects.

    For example, the summary finding of a scientific study says something like "Listening to music can improve productivity".

    Public discourse turns this into "Listening to music improves productivity" and "In order to be more productive, listen to music while working!" And there we go, some smartass turns on the radio while we work, and accuses us of refusing to be productive if we don't like it.


    One of the biggest banes of psychology is that it has so little power over its devotees. But what is more, psychologists seem to prefer to idly stand by and let it happen.
  • baker
    8
    But to my knowledge, there's not one school out there which thinks it can 'see' psychological processes directlyIsaac
    *aww*
    The confidence with which they speak suggests otherwise.


    That's what I do with psychologists! I poke them and watch them squirm.
    — unenlightened

    That's what I do with everyone...is that not normal...
    Not when you're on the other side -- when you're the one in position of less power.
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