Philosophy 496, Psychology 475
Professor: Craig DeLancey

Current Assignments
December 1
Great fun: a study that is like Milgram x Ultimatum-Game! It's half our course!

The New York Times ran an editorial arguing people are too credulous about neuroscience.

Finish the paper by Murakami et al. This one is dense, and we'll go through it carefully. That will give us the opportunity to think about neuropsychology. It also has a stab at philosophy at the end, so we can discuss whether we think this shows the future of the relation between psychology and the philosophy of mind.
December 3
Final drafts of your papers are due. I will return them to you by the last day of classes.

Continuing with neuropsychology: reread your Murakami et al.
December 5
Is psychology a (mature) science? Should we expect it to change a lot more, or has it settled near its mature form?
Tentative Assignments
December 8
Final exam in our class room, 10:30 - 12:30. Here are tentative study questions:
  • 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)?