Psychology in the Twenty-First Century: Closing the Gap between Science and the Symbol

  • Agnes Petocz
Chapter

Summary

Contemporary psychology remains hampered by its failure to resolve its identity problem vis-à-vis its status as a science, its neglect of the human being as animal symbolicum, and its continued acceptance of an impassable gulf between “science” and “meaning”. This gulf has become particularly prominent as a result of the impact of various postmodernist movements and their critique of the empiricist foundationalism of traditional scientific psychology. Unfortunately, however, many of these movements have succeeded in further entrenching scientific psychology’s own pre-existing misconceptions both of “science” and of “meaning”, misconceptions which have received scattered attention but which are now in need of more extensive scrutiny. Such scrutiny opens the way for a rigorous and systematic elucidation of the concept of “meaning” from the perspective of the logical and psychological requirements by which that concept is demonstrably constrained, thus re-locating the symbol appropriately within scientific psychology.

Keywords

Logical Constraint Disturbing Fact Identity Problem Experiential Meaning Scientific Psychology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bertalanffy, L. von (1981). A systems view of man. Colorado: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  2. Bickhard, M.H. (1992). Myths of science. Theory and Psychology, 2 (3), 321–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cassirer, E. (1944). An essay on man. New Haven CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Chomsky, N. (1959). A Review of B.F. Skinner’s Verbal behavior. Reprinted in J.A. Fodor and J.J. Katz (1964). The structure of language. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  5. Cohen, M.R. and Nagel, E. (1934). An introduction to logic and scientific method. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  6. Corradi-Fiumara, G. (1992). The symbolic function. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  7. Crombie, A.C. (1994). Styles of scientific thinking in the european tradition. London: Duckworth.Google Scholar
  8. Eysenck, H.J. (1985). Decline and fall of the Freudian empire. Middlesex: Viking.Google Scholar
  9. Fodor, J.A. (1985). Fodor’s guide to mental representation: the intelligent auntie’s Vade-Mecum. Mind, 90, 76–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Friedman, M. (1998). On the sociology of scientific knowledge and its philosophical agenda. Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science, 29, (2) 239–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gergen, K.J. (1991). Emerging challenges for theory and psychology. Theory and Psychology, 1 (1), 13–35.Google Scholar
  12. Green, C.D. (1992). Of immortal mythological beasts. Theory and Psychology, 2 (3), 291–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Greenwood, J.D. (1992). Realism, empiricism and social constructionism. Theory and Psychology, 2 (2), 131–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hibberd, F. J. (in press, a). Gergen’s social constructionism, logical positivism, and the continuity of error. Part 1: Conventionalism. Theory and Psychology.Google Scholar
  15. Hibberd, F. J. (in press, b). Gergen’s social constructionism, logical positivism, and the continuity of error. Part 2: Meaning as use. Theory and Psychology.Google Scholar
  16. Ibanez, T. (1991). Social psychology and the rhetoric of truth. Theory and Psychology, 1 (2), 187–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kristeva, J. (1973). The system and the speaking subject.-In The tell-tale sign: a survey of semiotics II. Times Literary Supplement, 12 October, 1249–50.Google Scholar
  18. Kuhn, T.S. (1962). The structure of scientific revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  19. Lévi-Strauss, C. (1978). Myth and meaning. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Michell, J. (1999). Measurement in psychology. Cambridge: Cambridge University press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Packer, M.J. (1985). Hermeneutic inquiry in the study of human conduct. American Psychologist, 40, 1081–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Petocz, A. (1999). Freud, psychoanalysis and symbolism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Valentine, E.R. (1982). Conceptual issues in psychology. London: George Allen and Unwin.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Agnes Petocz
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Western SydneyMacarthurAustralia

Personalised recommendations