Philosophy 496, Psychology 475
Professor: Craig DeLancey
Grand summary of all things psychological.
Final exam, one of two options. Please let me know which you will
1. Term paper, due in my office by 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday
December 12. This paper should be about 8 pages long, and must
follow the analytic
philosophy paper format. Most students write on the topic
that they presented upon, but this is not required. If you do
write on your presentation topic, keep in mind that now you must
take a stand, offer a thesis, and defend it with an argument; a
capstone seminar term-paper cannot be a general summary of some
ideas. You should cite at least one primary peer-reviewed source.
I will look at drafts of the final paper any time up to December
2. Take a sit-down final exam, in class, from 10:30 a.m. to
12:30 p.m. on December 10. Study questions include:
- Several times you will be asked to recognize a passage
from one of the primary texts that we have read; describe
the argument in the passage, and place its role in the
psychologist's broader work.
- Do we still need introspection in psychology? Why or
why not? If so, why? And for what kinds of data do we need
it? And how has use of introspection changed, if at all?
Consider several historical examples.
- Given one of the classic cognitivist papers, such as
Shephard's claims about mental rotation, explain how that
hypothesis requires that we emend behaviorism.
Specifically, what elements of behaviorism are retained,
and what altered, in contemporary experimental psychology
(such as cognitive psychology)?
- How does Milgram explain the behavior of his subjects
(say, in experiment 5)? What alternative explanations of
the behavior of his subjects does Milgram consider? Do his
alternate experiments sufficiently show that the
alternative hypothesis is less suitable than his own?
- Review a claim made in evolutionary psychology (this
will be given to you). What is being assumed (about
inheritance, about the target of selection, etc.)? Does
the argument plausibly show that the behavior is an
evolutionary stable strategy? What are some concerns that
we might have about this kind of explanation?
- Is there concensus about the method of psychology?
Give examples. If not, then is this because psychology is
new, or because the mind is special (that is, explaining
the mind requires special methods because it is a different
kind of thing)?
Tentative/expected Assignments (subject to substantial revision)