1 Scientific Empiricism and Scientific Psychology.- Philosophy and Psychology.- Causality.- Confirmation.- Explanation.- Theory.- 2 Relativism.- Neo-empiricism.- Popper: Falsification.- Lakatos: Research of Programs.- Kuhn: Paradigms.- Paradigms and Research Programs in Psychology.- 3 Realism.- Varieties of Realism.- Realism and Agency.- 4 Causal Explanation.- Causality.- Confirmation.- Explanation.- 5 Theory.- Theory and Observation.- Observation and Theory.- Antirealism.- 6 Hermeneutical Psychology.- Explanation and Understanding.- Social Constructionism.- 7 Causal Explanation and the Meaning of Human Action.- Rules and Relations.- Explanation and Description.- 8 The Social Constitution of Action.- The Social Constitution of Action.- Ontology and Explanation.- Natural and Social Psychological Kinds.- 9 Agency, Causality, and Meaning.- Agency and Causality.- Causal Powers and Human Powers.- Causality and Meaning.- Agency and Meaning.- Indeterminacy and Explanation.- 10 Explanation, Prediction, and Control.- Explanation.- Prediction.- Control.- 11 The Experimental Analysis of Human Action.- The "Crisis" in Experimental Social Psychology.- The Artificiality of Experiments.- Experimental Isolation.- Experimental Contamination.- Experimental Alteration.- Artificiality and Reality.- 12 Intensional Simulation.- The Deception Experiment.- Experimental Simulation.- 13 The Evaluation of Psychological Therapy.- The Interminable Debate.- The Social Psychology of Therapy.- Natural Negotiation Hypothesis.- Theory and Efficacy.- Epilogue.- Notes.- References.- Author Index.
This book is about explanation and experiment in a science of human action. It aims to provide a philosophy of social psychological science that both embodies sound principles of scientific reasoning and is sensitive to the social psychological dimensions of human action. The guiding principle of this book is the belief that the logical forms of causal explanation and experimental evaluation can be ef fectively employed in the scientific analysis of meaningful human action. According to most accounts, social psychological science has been in a more or less constant state of crisis for the past decades, having been subject to a host of criticisms on moral, political, methodological, and philosophical grounds. Many of these critiques have been directed against the still dominant conception of social psychological enquiry as a causal and objective scientific discipline that is closely analogous to (if not to be identified as a branch ot) the natural sciences. Thus, many of the most vigorous debates have concerned the nature of explanation and the utility of experimentation in a social psychological discipline.
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