Clinical Psychology and the Philosophy of Science

  • William O'Donohue

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. William O’Donohue
    Pages 1-11
  3. William O’Donohue
    Pages 23-42
  4. William O’Donohue
    Pages 43-76
  5. William O’Donohue
    Pages 77-97
  6. William O’Donohue
    Pages 99-117
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 143-144

About this book


Is psychology really a science? If it is not a science as physics or chemistry is, can it be a science of another kind? Does the discipline play by valid scientific rules? Can we prove this? These questions have been debated for over a century, and clear-cut answers have yet to find consensus.

Proposing provocative new directions in critical thinking, Clinical Psychology and the Philosophy of Science asks readers to revisit what they know--and especially how they came to know it. Offering a concise guide to the central concepts philosophy uses to make sense of science, this readable treatise persuades philosophers of science to look critically at the foundational problems of psychology, and clinicians to re-examine the theories and assumptions that fuel their approaches to their work. The author makes a robust case for multiple viewpoints as not only a necessity, but also a source of strength befitting living schools of thought. The book argues that the ongoing tensions between psychology and philosophy benefit both sides as it: 

  • Identifies the major methods of philosophical inquiry.
  • Sets out key questions in the philosophy of science of relevance to psychology.
  • Explains the contemporary role of epistemology.
  • Analyzes the impact on psychological inquiry of Popper, Kuhn, and their critics.
  • Dissects Skinner's behavioral theory of science.
  • Considers philosophical problems in the APA's code of ethics.

For professionals in both disciplines, Clinical Psychology and the Philosophy of Science is an elegant vehicle for their intimately related fields to meet each other halfway, and a springboard for the continued evolution of both.


APA's Ethical Code 61 B.F. Skinner Duhem-Quine Thesis Popper's Political Philosophy clinical psychology epistemology evolutionary theory history of science logical positivism philosophical methods philosophy of science radical behaviorism

Authors and affiliations

  • William O'Donohue
    • 1
  1. 1., Department of PsychologyUniversity of Nevada, RenoRenoUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2013
  • Publisher Name Springer, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Behavioral Science
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-00184-5
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-00185-2
  • Buy this book on publisher's site