Volume 9, Number 1, Winter
On Complementarity and Causal Isomorpism
Douglas M. Snyder, Berkeley, California
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Winter 1988, Vol. 9, No. 1, Pages 1-4, ISSN 0271-0137
In a recent article, Kirsch and Hyland proposed that the notion of complementarity can be useful in understanding relations between mental and physical processes. Though this may be so, their introduction of causal isomorphism belies the mutually exclusive character of different descriptive levels concerned with these processes. Further, their own arguments illustrate the inadequacy of causal isomorphism as a descriptive construct. Other shortcomings in their article are also pointed out.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Douglas M. Snyder, Ph.D., P.O. Box 228, Berkeley, California 94701.
Methodological Complementarity: With and Without Reductionism
Michael E. Hyland, Plymouth Polytechnic and Irving Kirsch, University of Connecticut
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Winter 1988, Vol. 9, No. 1, Pages 5-12, ISSN 0271-0137
Snyder argues that Kirsch and Hyland’s concept of complementarity and causal isomorphism imply reductionism. We show this not to be the case. Although specific mental events are identical to corresponding physiological events, this does not imply that the classification of mental events corresponds to the classification of physiological events, which is necessary for reductionism. The methodological complementarity of our formulation is contrasted with Bohr’s metaphysical complementarity. Snyder is correct to assert that complementarity carries metaphysical implications; however, it does not require a commitment to any particular metaphysic. Also, methodological complementarity is heuristically useful even if its metaphysical implications should prove unwarranted.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Irving Kirsch, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, University of Connecticut, U-20, Room 107, 406 Cross Campus Road, Storrs, Connecticut 06268.
On Human Nature: A Look at the Subject from Karol Wojtyla’s Work The Acting Person
Paul G. Muscari, State University College of New York at Glens Falls
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Winter 1988, Vol. 9, No.1, Pages 13-28, ISSN 0271-0137
What I would attempt to argue in this paper is that the nature of the human subject is such that it cannot be divorced from the unique and private aspects which make up the person’s being; that the events that take place in the individual’s life are not capable of being defined and considered without reference to him/herself. In making this case, I fall back on Karol Wojtyla’s work The Acting Person as an indispensable source of both sustenance and insight. In contrast to the extremely auspicious belief that current science increases our respect and impression of humanity, Wojtyla offers us an alternative view which I believe is more comprehensive and ultimately closer to the truth.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Paul G. Muscari, Ph.D., Department of Philosophy, State University College, Glens Falls, New York 12801.
On the Radical Behaviorist Conception of Pain Experience
Thomas Natsoulas, University of California, Davis
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Winter 1988, Vol. 9, No. 1, Pages 29-56, ISSN 0271-0137
It is time for radical behaviorism no longer to pretend, but to begin to reflect with increasing accuracy the true state of affairs as regards people’s inner lives. The present article pursues the part of the radical behaviorist conception of consciousness that bears, successfully or not, on our conscious experience of pain. I hope to see radical behaviorists assume some of the scientific leadership that psychology needs to bring it out of the inner darkness of the twentieth century.
Requests for reprints should be addressed to Thomas Natsoulas, Ph.D., Psychology Department, University of California, Davis, California 95616.
From Philology to Existential Psychology: The Significance of Nietzsche’s Early Work
Jerry L. Jennings, University of Pennsylvania
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Winter 1988, Vol. 9, No. 1, Pages 57-76, ISSN 0271-0137
Nietzsche began his career as a classical philologist, but he rejected the pedantic and strict contemplative stance of his discipline. Nietzsche wanted to replace mere “arm-chair” scholarship with a new “super-philological” approach, that studied antiquity in order to gain insights into contemporary problems and promoted decisive living action in the present. In the course of demonstrating his new approach, Nietzsche transformed traditional philological studies into stimulating psychological analyses that were equally applicable to modern and ancient behavior. By understanding the philological context of Nietzsche’s early work, one can better appreciate the existential psychology he created in the years prior to changing over to philosophy proper. Based on his studies of ancient Greece, Nietzsche adapted a triad of personified metaphors to represent three different psychological mechanisms for dealing with the so-called “horror of existence.” “Dionysus” embodied the therapeutic affirmation of life in the face of pain, chaos, and destruction, and symbolized the primitive instinctual nature that is at the core of all cultural creations. “Apollo” symbolized the tendency to cover the horror of existence with pleasant illusions of beauty, while “Socrates” represented the self-delusive capacity to transform existence into a secure intelligible world of order.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Jerry L. Jennings, Ph.D., Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania. 133 S. 36th St., 2nd Floor-Mellon Bank Bldg., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104.
Book Review ª The Psychology of Personality: An Epistemological Inquiry
James T. Lamiell. New York: Columbia University Press, 1987
Reviewed by James C. Mancuso, University at Albany and Michael F. Macolo, Merrimack College
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Winter 1988, Vol. 9, No. 1, Pages 77-82, ISSN 0271-0137
[Note: First paragraph, no abstract available.] As we read it, Lamiell tells us that the normal scientists of the psychology of personality have worked their discipline into a corner by attempting to define personhood in terms of an individual differences paradigm. The “…unwavering commitment to individual differences research constitutes the discipline’s most fundamental problem” (p. 6). Something like the following took place. (In the next paragraphs we paraphrase – perhaps parody – Lamiell’s text; hyperbolically using terms to which we will later return).
Requests for reprints should be sent to James C. Mancuso, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, University at Albany-State University of New York, 1400 Washington Avenue, Albany, New York 12222.
Book Review ª Jacques Lacan and the Philosophy of Psychoanalysis
Ellie Ragland-Sullivan. Champaign, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 1986
Reviewed by Michael Walsh, State University of New York at Binghamton
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Winter 1988, Vol. 9, No. 1, Pages 83-88, ISSN 0271-0137
[Note: First paragraph, no abstract available.} It is now more than six years since the death of Jacques Lacan, and the work of textual mourning proceeds apace, appropriately enough for a psychoanalytic theorist whose writing so often stressed the link between mortality and the chain of signifiers. By now, in fact, we have an entire literature of introductory texts on Lacan, a circumstance which both attests to and further secures his position in the pantheon of recent French thinkers.
Requests for reprints shold be sent to Michael Walsh, Department of Cinema, State University of New York at Binghamton, Binghamton, New York 13901.
Book Review ª Piaget’s Theory of Knowledge. Genetic Epistomology and Scientific Reason
Richard F. Kitchener. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 1986
Reviewed By Philip M. Lewin, Clarkson University
The Journal of Mind and Behavior , Winter 1988, Vol. 9, No. 1, Pages 89-96, ISSN 0271-0137
[Note: First paragraph, no abstract available.] Kitchener’s is a fine exposition, its excellence stemming from its singular focus on Piagetian epistemology. This is not to say that his book is flawless, nor that I am completely comfortable with his representation of Piaget. I will get to these concerns presently. But in the context of Piagetian commentary, it is exemplary. Such scholarship typically tends to treat Piaget as an experimental psychologist, and apprehends his epistemology either as an unfortunate and expendable aberration (i.e., the “psychology” is preserved despite the epistemology) or as so fundamentally wrongheaded that it critically undermines his empirical work (i.e., the “psychology” is repudiated because of the epistemology). Kitchener takes the opposite, and I think correct, approach: that Piaget understood his life work as the investigation of what he called “genetic epistemology” (that is, the study of knowledge in the process of its construction), and that his empirical investigations of children were seen as contributory to this larger project. They did not constitute an empirical psychology to be corrobated or falsified in their own right. Piaget hoped that he had found a means whereby epistemology, traditionally a part of philosophy, could become empirically grounded, and thus a part of science. (This theme is fully discussed by Kitchener in his fifth chapter.) The degree to which he succeeded in this effort may be open to question; but that this, and not an experimental psychology, was his focus is not open to question. Kitchener takes Piaget at his word and makes his epistemology central. This is a significant mark in his favor.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Phillip M. Lewin, Ph.D., Liberal Studies Center, Clarkson University, Potsdam, New York 13676.