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There are a standard number of replies to the riddle of induction, none of which has gained ascendency. It seems that a new approach is needed that concedes less to the Humean dialectic. Humeans, both traditional and contemporary, unwittingly play on the ambiguity of the phrase “change in the course of nature,” and that is why 'C · ~E' appears to be self-consistent, though in fact it is not. I provide an analysis of 'cause' and ‘natural necessity’ which gives inductive inference that internal warrant we assume it to have in ordinary and scientific thinking and rebut in advance contemporary Humean objections based on the erroneous assumption that ‘x is necessary’ and ‘x is a priori‘ are materially equivalent.
A number of authors recently have pointed out what they think are enlightening similarities between psychoanalysis and history. In stressing such similarities they are usually trying to justify their own particular characterization of psychoanalysis. I show wherein I think these characterizations go wrong and at the same time try my own hand at clarifying the nature of psychoanalytic propositions.
Professor Boring is best known for his work in the history of psychology and for good reason: his History of Experimental Psychology and his Sensation and Perception in the History of Experimental Psychology are truly impressive works. However, he has also written numerous articles in the philosophy of science, the psychology of scientific discovery, and the sociology of scientific production, but unfortunately this material has not heretofore been readily accessible. This deficiency, however, has been corrected efficiently by the recent publication of Boring's History, Psychology, and Science: Selected Papers, edited by Robert I. Watson and Donald T. Campbell. The essays in this book represent the whole range of Boring's interests and make essential reading for any serious student of the philosophy of science. Of especial value to philosophers are the essays listed under the titles “The Scientific Method” and “The Mind-Body Problem.” Since the groupings overlap, however, the following essays in other categories are also crucial: “The Nature and History of Experimental Control,” “William James and the Psychology of the Present,” and “The Influence of Evolutionary Theory Upon American Psychological Thought.” All of these essays are interesting but the ones on operationism and theory in psychology, and the one on evolutionary notions in American psychology, are classics and worth very careful consideration and comment.
Most philosophers of science nowadays hold a network or postulational view of the meaning of theoretical words. However, there are many nuances to this view, and after explicitly separating them, we show what we take to be wrong with each one. While we reject the postulational view we do not defend its traditional alternatives either; rather we show the pointlessness of insisting on a single source for the meaning of theoretical words. We also point out the shortcomings of Carnap's newest meaning criterion which depends upon a network view. But, again, we suggest not only that this new rendition of the criterion is faulty but also that there is something misguided about any search at all for such a criterion.
While I do not accept any current analysis of theoretical terms I also reject certain criticisms of them. Specifically, I reject the criticism that the paradoxes of material implication and the counterfactual problem eliminate the explicit definition view; and I also reject the criticism that explicitly defined theoretical terms do not refer to anything which “really exists” or do not have “excess meaning.” I do argue, however, that the explicit definition view confuses and conflates the concepts of criterion and meaning analysis. I also defend reduction sentences against the counterfactual difficulty, but show, too, how this view is already logically committed to the network or postulational view of meaning. Finally, I show how the concept of reduction sentences confuses in several ways the concepts of criterion and meaning analysis—although not in quite the same way as explicit definitions do.
Probability and Frequency. Aristotle frequently used the concept of probability, but apparently he did not make any persistent effort to clarify or analyze it. His description of a fortiori argument in The Topics (115a, 6–14), e.g., depends upon “the more or less likely or probable,” but he does not explore this notion. In The Rhetoric, where he applies himself to a puzzle about probability which the Sophists had advanced (1402a, 5–30), he comes closer to an analysis of probability. Aristotle quotes Agathon,
One might perchance say this was probable—
That things improbable oft will hap to men,
and elaborates thusly: “For what is improbable does happen [often], and therefore it is probable that improbable things will happen. Granted this, one might argue that ‘what is improbable is probable.’ “(1402a, 10–15.) Aristotle believes that one can avoid this imposture by distinguishing between “general” and “specific” probability, and apparently intends by the former the statistical sense of frequent occurrence; but he does not establish what he might mean by the probability of an individual event and so leaves the notion of “specific probability” unclear.
In this paper we propose to characterize Chauncey Wright's empirical psychology, or “psychozoology” as he called it, from a methodological standpoint. By a methodological characterization of any science we mean an analysis of its structure as distinguished from its actual findings. We mean, for example, a description of the kind or type of variable and law in any science as distinguished from the actual particular content of any defined variable or discovered law. This distinction between variables and the laws which obtain between them is, as a matter of fact, itself a methodological description of the findings of science. Wright, it is true, did not discuss the subject matter of psychology from a methodological point of view, perhaps because he was involved in developing the body of knowledge itself. On the other hand, his discussions of physics and chemistry, areas in which the subject matter was well developed, took a methodological turn (9, pp. 201, 43–96). Regardless of Wright's own practice, however, the methodological implications of his contribution in actual theory to “empirical” psychology remain, and drawing these implications is one means by which we will show the significance of his work relative to the development of psychological concepts and laws. We will consider what specific ways his position is similar to, and different from, the later American functionalists' views on these matters and on the problem of causal interaction between physical and phenomenal events. Any similarity will perhaps gain in significance if, as it is further claimed, there is an actual historical influence of Wright on Dewey, the most noted functionalist.
Although the point of departure for Gestalt theory has been for the most part psychological investigation, nevertheless Gestalt theory is more inclusive than Gestalt psychology. Within psychology Gestalt theory claims to be the basis of the only scientific theory that can explain the empirical facts of psychology, but on a more general level Gestalt theory comprehends a philosophy of science, and positions in epistemology, metaphysics, and value theory. According to Wertheimer, Gestalt theory is “a palpable convergence of problems ranging throughout the sciences and the various philosophic standpoints of modern times” (1: 3). He also asserts that Gestalt theory was the result of concrete work done in psychology, logic, and epistemology (1: 1). In this paper we will be concerned only with the Gestaltist interpretations of and claims for the method and structure of science in general.
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