Mediation Theory and the Problem of Psychological Discourse on 'inner' Events:

  • Published 2008


The establishment of psychology as an autonomous empirical science outside philosophy has (as well as in other cases of empirical-scientific differentiation) let to a form of specialization which represents far less a reasonable division of functions than an unfortunate separation of questions which belong together. The psychologist is in danger of conducting empirical investigations without giving any account either of the concepts he uses or of their appropriateness to the subject matter. On the other hand the philosopher, anxious not to forfeit his traditional 'possession' completely to the empirical sciences tends to seek his scientific identity by restricting himself to seemingly 'purely' conceptual questions which he believes precede the empirical ones and are in principle independent of them. A significant example is provided by the phenomena of thinking. The psychological concepts of thinking -not only the less central ones such as 'creativity'. 'judgement', 'decision making' or 'reasoning', but also the central concepts of 'problem-solving' and 'concept-formation' themselves are notoriously vague, forming a strange contrast with the exactness of both the methods of measurement applied and of the mathematical evaluation procedures for the experimen ts based on them. As far as philosophy is concerned, a very clear statement of this was voiced in objection to the psychology of thinking more than a quarter of a century ago (Ryle. 1953). But since the conceptual elucidations required have failed to appear in philosophy as well, and as the alleged irrelevance of empirical investigations for philosophy seemed rightly implausible to psychologists (Humphrey, 1953; Littman. 1954) it has been easy for the attacked to ignore the criticism and proceed with their daily business without any further consequences; with the result that the theoretical situation still corresponds with the one criticised in all essential respects l

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{SEEBASS2008MediationTA, title={Mediation Theory and the Problem of Psychological Discourse on 'inner' Events:}, author={GOTTFRIED SEEBASS}, year={2008} }