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

  • Agnes Petocz


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.


Logical Constraint Disturbing Fact Identity Problem Experiential Meaning Scientific Psychology 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

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

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