By Edmund V. Sullivan
If the reader will excuse a quick anecdote from my very own highbrow background, i need to take advantage of it as an advent to this booklet. In 1957, i used to be a sophomore at an undergraduate liberal arts university significant ing in medieval background. This was once the yr that we have been receiving our first advent to classes in philosophy, and that i took to this learn with a fondness. In pursuing philosophy, i found the world referred to as "philosophical psychology," which used to be a Thomistic classification of inquiry. For me, "philosophical psychology" intended a extra intimate examine of the soul (psyche), and that i instantly concluded that psychology as a self-discipline has to be approximately this pursuit. This philosophical curiosity led me to join my first introductory psychology direction. Our textual content for this direction was once the 1st variation of Ernest Hilgaard's advent to Psychology. My purposes for coming into this path have been expected within the introductory bankruptcy of Hilgaard's booklet, the place the self-discipline and its barriers have been mentioned, and this advent was once to disabuse me of my unique purpose for enrolling within the path. i used to be to profit that, within the twentieth century, those who referred to as themselves psychologists have been now not attracted to perennial philosophical questions on the human psyche or individual. in truth, those philosophical questions have been thought of to be obscurantist and passe. Psychology used to be now the "scientific" research of human habit. This definition of psychology by means of Hilgaard was once in no way idiosyncratic to this introductory textbook.
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Additional info for A Critical Psychology: Interpretation of the Personal World
The second was to divide each difficulty I should examine into as many parts as possible, and as would be required the better to solve it. The third was to conduct my thoughts in an orderly fashion, starting with what was simplest and easiest to know, and rising little by little to the knowledge of the most complex, even supposing an order where there is no natural precedence among the objects of knowledge. The last rule was to make so complete an enumeration of the links in an argument, and to pass them all so thoroughly under review, that I could be sure I missed nothing.
In fact, psychology as a discipline is unique from all other social science disciplines in that it completely lacks a critical perspective. Sociology, anthropology, p~litical science, theology, and so on have substantial scholarly interests that support what I would label "critically interpretative" inquiry. Because of this vacuum in the psychological disciplines, I risk the possibility of being written out of most of the discipline's consensus. Many will say I am doing anthropology, sociology, political science, and so forth.
In Knowledge and Human Interests (Habermas, 1972), the traditional conception of rationality as "value neutrality" is challenged and put in historical context. In this field of inquiry, which is so close to practice, the concept of value-freedom (or ethical neutrality) has simply reaffirmed the ethos that modern science owes to the beginnings of theoretical thought in Greek Philosophy. Psychologically an unconditional commitment to theory and epistemologically the severance of knowledge from interest.