Philosophy 496, Psychology 475
Professor: Craig DeLancey

Current Assignments
NOTE: please do me the favor of
  1. logging into Angel and
  2. Going to the Learning Modules
  3. Clicking on "Repository - Philosophy Department Respository"
  4. Completing the online evaluations.
They are anonymous. I'm trying to save paper for the class and so am using the online evals. However, that means I depend on you to take the time to do them. It's only two minutes! I appreciate it greatly if you can do them.

December 1
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.

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.
December 3
Continuing with neuropsychology: reread your Murakami et al.
December 5
If you get me your final draft by now or earlier, I will get it back to you at the time of the final.

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
If you give me your paper now, I might be able to get it back to you by Wednesday.

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)?

December 10
Last time to give me your paper--say, before 3:00 p.m. No promises on when I can get it back to you if I get it this day.