Download A Critical Psychology: Interpretation of the Personal World by Edmund V. Sullivan PDF

By Edmund V. Sullivan

If the reader will excuse a short anecdote from my very own highbrow historical past, i want to exploit it as an advent to this booklet. In 1957, i used to be a sophomore at an undergraduate liberal arts university significant­ ing in medieval background. This was once the 12 months that we have been receiving our first advent to classes in philosophy, and that i took to this research with a keenness. In pursuing philosophy, i found the realm referred to as "philosophical psychology," which used to be a Thomistic type of inquiry. For me, "philosophical psychology" intended a extra intimate examine of the soul (psyche), and that i instantly concluded that psychology as a self-discipline has to be approximately this pursuit. This philosophical curiosity led me to join my first introductory psychology direction. Our textual content for this path was once the 1st variation of Ernest Hilgaard's advent to Psychology. My purposes for getting into this direction have been expected within the introductory bankruptcy of Hilgaard's booklet, the place the self-discipline and its obstacles have been mentioned, and this creation was once to disabuse me of my unique purpose for enrolling within the direction. i used to be to profit that, within the twentieth century, those that referred to as themselves psychologists have been now not drawn to perennial philosophical questions on the human psyche or individual. in reality, those philosophical questions have been thought of to be obscurantist and passe. Psychology was once now the "scientific" research of human habit. This definition of psychology through Hilgaard used to be in no way idiosyncratic to this introductory textbook.

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By the end of this work, I hope to have developed an in-depth discussion of the personal world and a need for a critically reflexive psychological interpretation to understand it and to help transform it. 2 HUMAN EXPRESSION A Relational Act PROLOGUE A psychology that is self-consciously interpretive and critical will follow the form of what I am calling the personal metaphor. One of the fundamental assumptions of this point of view is that human behavior is understandable only in terms of a dynamic social reference, the purely isolated self being a social fiction (MacMurray, 1957).

To talk about organic intelligibility is to attempt to understand human behavior at the level of biological systems versus simple physical systems in nature, such as the mechanism. Hence a shift in emphasis from physics to biology. This does not necessarily detract from an interest in habitual behavior patterns as seen in the mechanical mode. To the contrary, biological interpretations see the production of habitual behavior patterns as HUMAN EXPRESSION 37 species-specific adaptation. One, therefore, looks for different habit patterns between species.

In order to clear the ground for this, it will be necessary here to figure that we are shifting horizon or standpoint (Lonergan, 1957). The type of inquiry I am suggesting is, in a sense, a different kind of science. Habermas (1972) characterizes part of the shift I am taking as historical~hermeneutic: The historical hermeneutic sciences view knowledge in a different methodological framework. Here the meaning of the validity of propositions is not constituted in the frame of reference of technical control.

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