Philosophy 496, Psychology 475
Professor: Craig DeLancey

Current Assignments
December 7
Grand summary of all things psychological.

December 10
Final exam, one of two options. Please let me know which you will do.

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 5th.

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)