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Investigating The Psychological World

Author: Brian D. Haig
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262027364
Size: 66.44 MB
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A broad theory of research methodology for psychology and the behavioral sciences that offers a coherent treatment of a range of behavioral research methods.

Rock Bone And Ruin

Author: Adrian Currie
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262037262
Size: 75.96 MB
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"The Earth's deep past is a fascinating place to visit, both disturbingly alien and hauntingly familiar. In its life, the Earth has frozen solid, supported enormous animals (themselves sporting enormous fleas!), accommodated a diversity of cultures, and a diversity of ways-of-living. Rock, Bone & Ruin asks how much we can know about the deep past. To answer this, we need to understand the resources at our disposal: how do historical scientists like paleontologists, archaeologists and geologists learn about prehistory? Most people think of simple relationships--such as that between a fossilized bone and its long-dead owner--when they consider historical evidence. However, I argue that such scientists are best understood as 'methodological omnivores': they are creative, opportunistic and use a variety of different strategies and techniques. The reasoning used by historical scientists is much more diverse and complex than we have previously realized. And this supports optimism about our capacity to discover the deep past: our knowledge of it shall continue to grow. Along the way, we critically examine philosophical and scientific reflection on the relationship between the past and the present, the nature of evidence, contingency, scientific progress and scientific. Further, I provide suggestions about the value of knowledge about the past--including how it can inform us in the present and into the future--and how such sciences are best supported. The argument draws on fascinating examples from across paleontology, geology and archaeology"--

What S Left Of Human Nature

Author: Maria Kronfeldner
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262038412
Size: 12.83 MB
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A philosophical account of human nature that defends the concept against dehumanization, Darwinian, and developmentalist challenges. Human nature has always been a foundational issue for philosophy. What does it mean to have a human nature? Is the concept the relic of a bygone age? What is the use of such a concept? What are the epistemic and ontological commitments people make when they use the concept? In What's Left of Human Nature? Maria Kronfeldner offers a philosophical account of human nature that defends the concept against contemporary criticism. In particular, she takes on challenges related to social misuse of the concept that dehumanizes those regarded as lacking human nature (the dehumanization challenge); the conflict between Darwinian thinking and essentialist concepts of human nature (the Darwinian challenge); and the consensus that evolution, heredity, and ontogenetic development result from nurture and nature. After answering each of these challenges, Kronfeldner presents a revisionist account of human nature that minimizes dehumanization and does not fall back on outdated biological ideas. Her account is post-essentialist because it eliminates the concept of an essence of being human; pluralist in that it argues that there are different things in the world that correspond to three different post-essentialist concepts of human nature; and interactive because it understands nature and nurture as interacting at the developmental, epigenetic, and evolutionary levels. On the basis of this, she introduces a dialectical concept of an ever-changing and “looping” human nature. Finally, noting the essentially contested character of the concept and the ambiguity and redundancy of the terminology, she wonders if we should simply eliminate the term “human nature” altogether.

A Mark Of The Mental

Author: Karen Neander
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262036142
Size: 62.11 MB
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In A Mark of the Mental, Karen Neander considers the representational power of mental states -- described by the cognitive scientist Zenon Pylyshyn as the "second hardest puzzle" of philosophy of mind (the first being consciousness). The puzzle at the heart of the book is sometimes called "the problem of mental content," "Brentano's problem," or "the problem of intentionality." Its motivating mystery is how neurobiological states can have semantic properties such as meaning or reference. Neander proposes a naturalistic account for sensory-perceptual (nonconceptual) representations. Neander draws on insights from state-space semantics (which appeals to relations of second-order similarity between representing and represented domains), causal theories of reference (which claim the reference relation is a causal one), and teleosemantic theories (which claim that semantic norms, at their simplest, depend on functional norms). She proposes and defends an intuitive, theoretically well-motivated but highly controversial thesis: sensory-perceptual systems have the function to produce inner state changes that are the analogs of as well as caused by their referents. Neander shows that the three main elements -- functions, causal-information relations, and relations of second-order similarity -- complement rather than conflict with each other. After developing an argument for teleosemantics by examining the nature of explanation in the mind and brain sciences, she develops a theory of mental content and defends it against six main content-determinacy challenges to a naturalized semantics.

Beyond Versus

Author: James Tabery
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262027372
Size: 19.98 MB
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Why the "nature versus nurture" debate persists despite widespread recognition that human traits arise from the interaction of nature and nurture.

Mind In The Balance

Author: B. Alan Wallace
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231519702
Size: 54.16 MB
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By establishing a dialogue in which the meditative practices of Buddhism and Christianity speak to the theories of modern philosophy and science, B. Alan Wallace reveals the theoretical similarities underlying these disparate disciplines and their unified approach to making sense of the objective world. Wallace begins by exploring the relationship between Christian and Buddhist meditative practices. He outlines a sequence of meditations the reader can undertake, showing that, though Buddhism and Christianity differ in their belief systems, their methods of cognitive inquiry provide similar insight into the nature and origins of consciousness. From this convergence Wallace then connects the approaches of contemporary cognitive science, quantum mechanics, and the philosophy of the mind. He links Buddhist and Christian views to the provocative philosophical theories of Hilary Putnam, Charles Taylor, and Bas van Fraassen, and he seamlessly incorporates the work of such physicists as Anton Zeilinger, John Wheeler, and Stephen Hawking. Combining a concrete analysis of conceptions of consciousness with a guide to cultivating mindfulness and profound contemplative practice, Wallace takes the scientific and intellectual mapping of the mind in exciting new directions.

Existential Phenomenological Perspectives In Psychology

Author: Ronald S. Valle
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 1461569893
Size: 42.90 MB
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When I began to study psychology a half century ago, it was defined as "the study of behavior and experience." By the time I completed my doctorate, shortly after the end of World War II, the last two words were fading rapidly. In one of my first graduate classes, a course in statistics, the professor announced on the first day, "Whatever exists, exists in some number." We dutifully wrote that into our notes and did not pause to recognize that thereby all that makes life meaningful was being consigned to oblivion. This bland restructuring-perhaps more accurately, destruction-of the world was typical of its time, 1940. The influence of a narrow scientistic attitude was already spreading throughout the learned disciplines. In the next two decades it would invade and tyrannize the "social sciences," education, and even philosophy. To be sure, quantification is a powerful tool, selectively employed, but too often it has been made into an executioner's axe to deny actuality to all that does not yield to its procrustean demands.

Psychology As The Science Of Human Being

Author: Jaan Valsiner
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319210947
Size: 67.89 MB
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This book brings together a group of scholars from around the world who view psychology as the science of human ways of being. Being refers to the process of existing - through construction of the human world – here, rather than to an ontological state. This collection includes work that has the goal to establish the newly developed area of cultural psychology as the science of specifically human ways of existence. It comes as a next step after the “behaviorist turn” that has dominated psychology over most of the 20th century, and like its successor in the form of “cognitivism”, kept psychology away from addressing issues of specifically human ways of relating with their worlds. Such linking takes place through intentional human actions: through the creation of complex tools for living, entertainment, and work. Human beings construct tools to make other tools. Human beings invent religious systems, notions of economic rationality and legal systems; they enter into aesthetic enjoyment of various aspects of life in art, music, and literature; they have the capability of inventing national identities that can be summoned to legitimate one’s killing of one’s neighbors or being killed oneself. The contributions to this volume focus on the central goal of demonstrating that psychology as a science needs to start from the phenomena of higher psychological functions and then look at how their lower counterparts are re-organized from above. That kind of investigation is inevitably interdisciplinary - it links psychology with anthropology, philosophy, sociology, history and developmental biology. Various contributions to this volume are based on the work of Lev Vygotsky, George Herbert Mead, Henri Bergson and on traditions of Ganzheitspsychologie and Gestalt psychology. Psychology as the Science of Human Being is a valuable resource to psychologists, sociologists, philosophers, biologists and anthropologists alike.​

Neuroscience And Social Science

Author: Agustín Ibáñez
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319684213
Size: 78.16 MB
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This book seeks to build bridges between neuroscience and social science empirical researchers and theorists working around the world, integrating perspectives from both fields, separating real from spurious divides between them and delineating new challenges for future investigation. Since its inception in the early 2000s, multilevel social neuroscience has dramatically reshaped our understanding of the affective and cultural dimensions of neurocognition. Thanks to its explanatory pluralism, this field has moved beyond long standing dichotomies and reductionisms, offering a neurobiological perspective on topics classically monopolized by non-scientific traditions, such as consciousness, subjectivity, and intersubjectivity. Moreover, it has forged new paths for dialogue with disciplines which directly address societal dynamics, such as economics, law, education, public policy making and sociology. At the same time, beyond internal changes in the field of neuroscience, new problems emerge in the dialogue with other disciplines. Neuroscience and Social Science – The Missing Link puts together contributions by experts interested in the convergences, divergences, and controversies across these fields. The volume presents empirical studies on the interplay between relevant levels of inquiry (neural, psychological, social), chapters rooted in specific scholarly traditions (neuroscience, sociology, philosophy of science, public policy making), as well as proposals of new theoretical foundations to enhance the rapprochement in question. By putting neuroscientists and social scientists face to face, the book promotes new reflections on this much needed marriage while opening opportunities for social neuroscience to plunge from the laboratory into the core of social life. This transdisciplinary approach makes Neuroscience and Social Science – The Missing Link an important resource for students, teachers, and researchers interested in the social dimension of human mind working in different fields, such as social neuroscience, social sciences, cognitive science, psychology, behavioral science, linguistics, and philosophy.