By Edmund V. Sullivan
If the reader will excuse a short anecdote from my very own highbrow background, 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 historical past. This used to be the yr that we have been receiving our first advent to classes in philosophy, and that i took to this learn with a keenness. In pursuing philosophy, i found the realm referred to as "philosophical psychology," which was once 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 version of Ernest Hilgaard's advent to Psychology. My purposes for getting into this direction have been expected within the introductory bankruptcy of Hilgaard's e-book, the place the self-discipline and its obstacles have been mentioned, and this creation used to be to disabuse me of my unique goal for enrolling within the path. i used to be to benefit that, within the twentieth century, those that known as themselves psychologists have been now not attracted to perennial philosophical questions about the human psyche or individual. in reality, those philosophical questions have been thought of to be obscurantist and passe. Psychology used to be now the "scientific" research of human habit. This definition of psychology by means of Hilgaard used to be not at all idiosyncratic to this introductory textbook.
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Extra info for A Critical Psychology: Interpretation of the Personal World
Our attribution of individualism is a judgment of degree. We say these theories are individualistic because they clearly articulate the structure of the individual while the structure of the environment is left unspecified in the background. At the level of theory, all the structural theories are relational and interactive. At the level of practical consequence, these theories fall far short of the mark of clearly and systematically coordinating organism and environment as correlatives in an adaptive biological process.
For conventional psychology, this is a radical departure. This will be made clear as I go on. For now, let me offer a provisional definition for the position I am developing as that of a critical interpretation of the personal world that will demand a further explication of the personal world and an emergent role for the psychologist as critical interpreter. The Personal World The conception of personal world that 1 am developing must be clearly distinguished from a conception of the personal which is oriented toward the 18 CHAITER I exploration of subjectivity.
In the absence of anything else, mechanical and organic metaphorical devices mask out important human ethical concerns. They are, as I have briefly demonstrated, lacking in critical intent and reflexivity. Until now, my own critical stance on various psychological metaphors leaves the reader with a vacuum. As such, critique does not fill the vacuum it creates. It is, therefore, incumbent upon critics to propose a positive program or alternative. At least, this is the position taken in this work.