PS390 Study Guide - Final Guide: Reductionism

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14 Aug 2019
Describe what a critical approach to the history and philosophy of any science entails.
-critical approach to the history and philosophy of any science entails using primary sources, which
guards against biased interpretations present in secondary sources
-one must be aware that their own horizons colour their views and that pure objectivity is an
unachievable ideal
-critical approach entails guarding against presentism, by which one judges the past according to
standards of their own present time
-someone practicing a critical approach must aim tell an accurate story of the past using accessible,
modern language, while being careful not to create a misleading impression of it
-one must practice reflexivity; that is, acknowledging how their biases and social locations shape
their interpretations
-must consider historical figures in light of their predecessors (not later figures), consider both
individuals' achievements and the problems they created, and recognize the impact of their social
contexts on their ideas
-important to make space for the ideas of marginalized groups and adopt an interdisciplinary
approach to better inform ones' interpretations
Describe the value of philosophical questions and critical thinking for understanding the
history of Psychology.
-critical thinking is essential in order to understand why Psychology is the the way it is and holds the
assumptions it does, and why these assumptions may be problematic
-philosophical assumptions about the nature of reality underlie Psychology as a discipline and
inform how we practice it
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