Psychology of Science: Influence on the Philosophy of Science

E. J. Capaldi and Robert W. Proctor

in Psychology of Science

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199753628
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950027 | DOI:
Psychology of Science: Influence on the Philosophy of Science

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There has always been a close association between psychology and the philosophy of science. Although some individuals over the past 200 years have suggested that psychology had little to offer philosophy (Kant and Popper), many more have expressed a contrary opinion. The chapter shows that psychology influenced philosophy of science mainly through four areas: perception in the form of psychophysics (on Mach, Peirce, and James) and in the form of Gestalt psychology (on Carnap, Hanson, and Kuhn), animal behavior in the form of behaviorism (on Russell, Bergmann, and the logical positivists), and cognitive psychology (on Popper, Giere, and Thagard). On the basis of the present findings, the conclusion is reached that better understanding of science is considerably dependent on knowing how the mind works, which is an idea as old as the British empiricists and the Würzburg school and as young as contemporary cognitive science.

Keywords: psychology of science; philosophy of science; perception; Gestalt psychology; behaviorism; logical positivism; cognitive psychology; cognitive science; Würzburg school

Chapter.  8062 words. 

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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