Empiricism and the Foundations of Psychology

| Virginia Commonwealth University
ISBN 9789027213532 | EUR 105.00 | USD 158.00
ISBN 9789027273857 | EUR 105.00 | USD 158.00
Intended for philosophically minded psychologists and psychologically minded philosophers, this book identifies the ways that psychology has hobbled itself by adhering too strictly to empiricism, this being the doctrine that all knowledge is observation-based. In the first part of this two-part work, we show that empiricism is false. In the second part, we identify the psychology-relevant consequences of this fact. Five of these are of special importance:

(i) Whereas some psychopathologies (e.g. obsessive-compulsive disorder) corrupt the activity mediated by one’s psychological architecture, others (e.g. sociopathy) corrupt that architecture itself.

(ii) The basic tenets of psychoanalysis are coherent.

(iii) All propositional attitudes are beliefs.

(iv) Selves are minds that self-evaluate.


(v) It is by giving our thoughts a perceptible form that we enable ourselves to evaluate them, and it is by expressing ourselves in language and art that we give our thoughts a perceptible form. (Series A)

[Advances in Consciousness Research, 87]  2012.  viii, 477 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Part I
1. Introduction: Empiricism and scientism
2. A dogmatic statement of the problems with empiricism
3. Empiricism’s blindness to the non-spatiotemporal
4. Wittgenstein on meaning: Part 1 – the picture-theory
5. Wittgenstein on meaning: Part 2 – meaning as use
6. Some consequences of the empiricism-driven conflation of analytic with introspective knowledge
7. Subpersonal mentation
8. Empiricist conceptions of causation and explanation
9. Skepticism about induction and about perception
Part II
10. Emotion as belief
11. Desires, intentions, and values
12. Actions vs. reactions, desires vs. urges
13. Moral and aesthetic nihilism as embodiments of false theories of rationality and selfhood
14. The cognitive and characterological consequences of linguistic competence
15. Rationality and internal conflict
16. Sociopathy, psychopathy, and criminality
“‘7 + 5 = 12.’ For Kant, in his Kritik der reinen Vernunft, this was a simple expression of an analytically true judgment. But for Kuczynski, in his new book, things are not all that simple. [...] Century old conundrums like the mind-body distinction, or more recent ones such as the quarrel between empiricists and rationalists are given new, thought- and controversy-provoking input. Kuczynski’s treatise is a must read for all those interested in what happens at the crossroads of philosophy, psychology, linguistics, the social and natural sciences, and other hot spots of current (even political) debates. While, as they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, the reward of this book is not just in the reading, but in the intellectual and critical challenges it provides.”
Cited by

Cited by 2 other publications

Dafermos, Manolis
2021. The metaphysics of psychology and a dialectical perspective. Theory & Psychology 31:3  pp. 355 ff. Crossref logo
Simon, Carsta
2020. The ontogenetic evolution of verbal behavior. European Journal of Behavior Analysis 21:2  pp. 364 ff. Crossref logo

This list is based on CrossRef data as of 16 november 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.

Subjects & Metadata
BIC Subject: JMR – Cognition & cognitive psychology
BISAC Subject: PSY008000 – PSYCHOLOGY / Cognitive Psychology & Cognition
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2012009871 | Marc record