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Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology - Vol 34, Iss 3

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Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology The Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology is devoted to fostering discussion at the interface of psychology, philosophy, and metatheory. The Journal addresses ontological, epistemological, ethical, and critical issues in psychological theory and inquiry as well as the implications of psychological theory and inquiry for philosophical issues.
Copyright 2014 American Psychological Association
  • The metaphysical basis of a process psychology.
    Much of the literature concerned about Psychology’s conceptual disarray and disunity remains unaware of, or disinclined to consider, the essential role that metaphysics has in addressing these matters. Properly understood, metaphysics involves what it is to be and to become, that is, what must be involved for anything to occur. Accordingly, metaphysics belongs to the phenomena that psychologists study. If we take the constituents of reality to be complex networks of situations that change over time through the dynamic interplay of parties, it is possible to derive a set of metaphysical categories that constitute the ontological conditions necessary for anything to occur, including bio-psycho-social processes. These conditions of existence are the placeholders for knowledge generally and they entail excluders for conceptual errors, that is, there is a logic to the metaphysical categories which any theory, model, or method in Psychology should observe. This logic bears heavily on relationality, and it is evident that beneath Psychology’s surface of “progress-being-made,” many conceptualize a range of topics in ways that are at odds with the logic of relations. These topics include types of dependence and the concept of constitution, representational cognition, reification, meaning, the “measurement imperative,” qualitative research, and causation. In short, if Psychology were to take metaphysics seriously, it would begin not with method (as has historically been the case) but with the conditions of existence. They provide the ontological justification for hermeneutic inquiry and qualitative research in Psychology; they are the fundamental counterpoint to conceptual disarray and disciplinary fragmentation—they unify. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Realism, reification, and monism.
    In her important article Fiona Hibberd (2014, pp. 161–186) makes a compelling case on behalf of the necessity of a metaphysical foundation for a realist, coherent psychological science. In this commentary I focus on 3 seminal topics: (a) realism, constitutive relations, and logical versus causal dependence; (b) reification and functionalism; and (c) monism versus dualism, especially as they pertain to claims about “levels of reality” and “emergence.” (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Process without foundations.
    The attempt to provide a grounding and unifying metaphysics for psychological science is both innovative and ambitious. Whether to embrace Hibberd’s proposal, or indeed any foundational metaphysics, is subject to question. In this reply, I focus on the severe limitations inherent in Hibberd’s analysis, and propose, in contrast, that psychology flourishes more fully without a grounding rationale. Finally, on pragmatic grounds, I argue in support of a process metaphysics, but conclude that Hibberd’s account is insufficiently radical to achieve the potential benefits. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Losing the person: A metaphysical foundation versus a convincing philosophical anthropology.
    What follows is a response to Fiona Hibberd’s (2014, pp. 161–186) “The Metaphysical Basis of a Process Psychology.” There is nothing necessarily wrong with insisting that everything in the world conforms to the same foundational metaphysics. However, the manner in which this insistence is played out by Fiona Hibberd leaves little room for a clear conceptualization and treatment of “the person acting in worldly context” as a focus of psychological inquiry. A comparison of Hibberd’s metaphysics to Peter Hacker’s philosophical anthropology of the person illuminates the shortcomings of the former. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • A juggernaut in the philosophy of psychology: Reply to Martin, Gergen, and Held.
    The demise of 20th-century positivism has breathed new life into the subject Metaphysics. But, unfortunately, Psychology’s animus toward that subject continues. Martin’s (2014) and Gergen’s (2014) commentaries, though different in many respects, attest to Psychology’s deep-rooted difficulty in shedding the subtle effects of positivism. I criticize the assumption that inquiry into language replaces metaphysics. Held’s (2014) realism affords a very different commentary. In response, I correct some of my loose talk and enlarge upon reification, “levels of reality,” and the concepts of emergence and causal powers. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • News and notes.
    Presents news and notes relating to the Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)
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