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hphxppsych - Psychology Philosophy and Cognitive Science...

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Psychology, Philosophy, and Cognitive Science: Reflections on the History and Philosophy of Experimental Psychology* GARY HATFIELD Abstract: This article critically examines the views that psychology first came into existence as a discipline ca. 1879, that philosophy and psychology were estranged in the ensuing decades, that psychology finally became scientific through the influence of logical empiricism, and that it should now disappear in favor of cognitive science and neuroscience. It argues that psychology had a natural philosophical phase (from antiquity) that waxed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, that this psychology transformed into experimental psychology ca. 1900, that philosophers and psychologists collaboratively discussed the subject matter and methods of psychology in the first two decades of the twentieth century, that the neobehaviorists were not substantively influenced by the Vienna Circle, that the study of perception and cognition in psy- chology did not disappear in the behaviorist period and so did not reemerge as a result of artificial intelligence, linguistics, and the computer analogy, that although some psychologists adopted the language-of-thought approach of traditional cognitive science, many did not, and that psychology will not go away because it contributes independently of cognitive science and neuroscience. 1. A Science of Psychology? Psychology has been self-consciously trying to be a science for two hundred years, give or take fifty. In the meantime it has developed a variety of labora- tory techniques, collected much experimental data, shown some theoretical development, and undergone changes of opinion about whether its primary object of study is mind or behavior. Has it made its way to sciencehood? Some have thought psychology became scientific by freeing itself from philosophy near the end of the nineteenth century, while others make it wait for behavior- ism and positivism. A few recent thinkers believe that psychology can remain scientific only by becoming something else: neuroscience, cognitive science, or those and more. *This is the fifth in a series of Millennial pieces that have been specially commissioned by Mind & Language . Each contributor has been allowed choice as to topic and approach, being asked only to present a personal view of issues that he or she sees as being important in the present context of cognitive studies. The author dedicates this essay to the memory of his brother, James L. Stanton, 1946–2001. Address for correspondence : Department of Philosophy, University of Pennsylvania, Logan Hall, Room 433, Philadelphia, PA 19104–6304, USA. Email : hatfield phil.upenn.edu Mind & Language , Vol. 17 No. 3 June 2002, pp. 207–232. Blackwell Publishers Ltd. 2002 , 108 Cowley Road, Oxford, OX4 1JF, UK and 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148, USA.
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208 G. Hatfield These various positions on psychology s sciencehood offer speci fi c claims about the subject matter, methods, and explanatory adequacy of an auton- omous discipline of psychology. The psychologists themselves have frequently af fi
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