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Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology - Vol 37, Iss 2

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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 2017 American Psychological Association
  • In defense of teleological behaviorism.
    Teleological behaviorism (TEB) is a behavioral identity theory that denies what seems to be the intuitively obvious notion that our minds are contained in our bodies—more specifically, in our brains. TEB holds, instead, that our minds are identical with abstract, temporally, and socially extended patterns in our overt behavior. TEB depends not on efficient causes but on a wide (or inclusive) version of final causes. This article illustrates how TEB accounts for mental acts and defends it against other theories of mind such as neural identity theory and double-aspect theories. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • What is a person? What is the self? Formulations for a science of psychology.
    This article offers solutions to two historically unresolved subject matter problems in psychology: (a) What is a “person”? And, (b) what is the “self”? Part 1 of the article presents Peter Ossorio’s (2006) Descriptive Psychologically based answer to the first of these questions, an answer that comprises a paradigm case formulation of the concept “person” itself, as well as a parametric analysis for describing individual persons. Part 2 of the article presents a new solution to the second question. The solution is a disarmingly simple one in which “self” or “I,” consistent with actual usage, means simply and essentially “this person”—this holistically considered, embodied, conscious, deliberate actor that I intend when I use the terms “I” or “me” or “myself”—as opposed to “that person,” the specific individual I intend when I say “he” or “she” or “herself.” The ways in which this formulation (a) uniquely possesses an empirical grounding, (b) avoids many historical problems that have arisen in trying to delineate the nature of the self, and (c) integrates the field of self psychology, are all demonstrated. The article provides logical and empirical arguments in support of both of its formulations, as well as for the importance of the science of psychology possessing such formulations of its core subject matter. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Fostering client autonomy in addiction rehabilitative practice: The role of therapeutic “presence”.
    Addiction is a pathology that progressively and insidiously undermines one’s autonomy—manifested, among other ways, in the experience of a sense of alienation from oneself and others. Therefore, in seeking to overcome addiction, the rehabilitative journey must facilitate the fostering of autonomy. Here, in as much as autonomy is a socially embedded capacity, so must the therapeutic process—within this context, the client–counselor relationship—be grounded in an attentiveness to and facilitation of autonomy’s dialogical antecedents. One such means of achieving this is through the counselor attending to and expressing their “presence,” in which they are engaged in a “person-to-person” therapeutic alliance underpinned by a collaborative dynamic. Here, the healthy interpersonal dyad between client and counselor can provide an environment through which the client may more fully recognize their autonomous resources and exercise such resources in a way that enables them to embark on the rehabilitative journey, and, attendant to this, autonomous living. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Personhood and first-personal experience.
    There is a gap between the first-person and third-person perspectives resulting in a tension experienced between psychological science, ‘experimental psychology,’ and applied consulting psychological practice, ‘clinical psychology.’ This is an exploration of that ‘gap’ and its resulting tension. First-person perspective is proposed as an important aspect of psychological reality in conjunction with the related perspectival aspects of second- and third-person perspectives. These 3 aspects taken ‘wholistically’ constitute a perspectival diffusion grate through which psychological reality is discerned. The reductionistic naturalism of scientifically apprehended reality is examined for the powerful resistances that impedite utilizing perspective in psychological investigations with consequences for our understanding of psychological reality. The impediments constructed by Quine, Sellars, Dennett, Metzinger, and cognitive psychology are all examined for their robust intractability to first-person perspective or anything that might seem similar. The conclusion suggested is that they all result from a ‘scientific near-sightedness’ of a strict naturalism. The result is that any intentionally dependent objects that are real in the lives of persons are eliminated as not real with no ontological significance. The assertion is that ordinary things such as car keys and employment are real and are ontologically significant. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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  • Science fundamentalism and the moral hermeneutic of research.
    Reviews the book, Scientism: The New Orthodoxy edited by Richard N. Williams and Daniel N. Robinson (2015). Although the text is not really programmatic, some clear themes emerge, the most salient of which is the notion of scientism as “a kind of fundamentalism” (Principe, 2015, p. 51). Across multiple contributions, the authors describe a dominant science discourse that is closed to interpretation and so immune to the kinds of critique so often applied and so little heeded in the history of science (and psychology). In this edited volume, all of the contributors are at great pains to separate this kind of dogmatism about science from science itself. The general tone of the contributions is “to praise Caesar, not to bury him” (Hacker, 2015, p. 97), with science cast as an important, laudable achievement of culture and scientism as a betrayal of that achievement. So much has been said and ignored often enough, but the contributions in this book shed valuable light on why such critiques may have become unhearable. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
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