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Progress in Psychology.

Feest, Uljana (2022) Progress in Psychology. [Preprint]

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Abstract

This chapter focuses on conceptual (as opposed to theoretical) developments in psychology and inquires into the criteria by which such developments constitute progress. The chapter distinguishes between the issue of (a) what are units of psychological analysis, and (b) what are objects of psychological research, positing that the units of analysis are human (and animal) individuals and that the objects of research are (cognitive, behavioral, and experiential) capacities, which are often individuated by means of folk-psychological terms. While this suggests that conceptual progress occurs when concepts provide improved descriptions of the objects in their extension, the chapter raises some doubts regarding the (seemingly intuitive) notion that are natural and/or ahistorical facts of the matter that settle what psychological concepts “really” refer to. It concludes by arguing that (1) conceptual progress occurs when concepts track their (potentially changing) objects, and (2) such efforts rely on the availability of epistemic resources, which include both propositional and non-propositional knowledge. Regarding this latter point, the chapter articulates a broad conception of progress in psychology as the accumulation of epistemic resources and argues that the history of psychology provides us with a trove of such resources.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Feest, Uljanafeest@philos.uni-hannover.de0000-0001-5004-9679
Additional Information: Forthcoming in Shan, Yafeng (ed.): New Philosophical Perspectives on Scientific Progress. Routledge
Keywords: progress, conceptual progress, history and philosophy of psychology
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Dr. Uljana Feest
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2022 04:56
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2022 04:56
Item ID: 21111
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Psychology
Date: 2022
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/21111

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