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ON THE LOGICAL POSITIVISTS’ PHILOSOPHY OF PSYCHOLOGY: LAYING A LEGEND TO REST

crawford, sean (2014) ON THE LOGICAL POSITIVISTS’ PHILOSOPHY OF PSYCHOLOGY: LAYING A LEGEND TO REST. The Philosophy of Science in a European Perspective: New Directions in Philosophy of Science, 5. pp. 711-726.

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Abstract

The received view in the history of the philosophy of psychology is that the logical positivists—Carnap and Hempel in particular—endorsed the position commonly known as “logical” or “analytical” behaviourism, according to which the relations between psychological statements and the physical-behavioural statements intended to give their meaning are analytic and knowable a priori. This chapter argues that this is sheer legend: most, if not all, such relations were viewed by the logical positivists as synthetic and knowable only a posteriori. It then traces the origins of the legend to the logical positivists’ idiosyncratic extensional or at best weakly intensional use of what are now considered crucially strongly intensional semantic notions, such as “translation,” “meaning” and their cognates, focussing on a particular instance of this latter phenomenon, arguing that a conflation of explicit definition and analyticity may be the chief source of the legend.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
crawford, seansean.crawford@manchester.ac.uk0000-0002-3110-0210
Keywords: logical positivism, logical behaviourism, Carnap, Hempel, philosophy of psychology
Subjects: General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > Logical Positivism/Logical Empiricism
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
Specific Sciences > Psychology/Psychiatry
Depositing User: Dr. sean crawford
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2018 13:31
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2018 13:31
Item ID: 14989
Journal or Publication Title: The Philosophy of Science in a European Perspective: New Directions in Philosophy of Science
Publisher: Springer
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1007/978-3-319-04382-1
Subjects: General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > Logical Positivism/Logical Empiricism
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
Specific Sciences > Psychology/Psychiatry
Date: 2014
Page Range: pp. 711-726
Volume: 5
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/14989

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