Philosophy 496, Psychology 475
Professor: Craig DeLancey
Great fun: a
study that is like Milgram x Ultimatum-Game! It's half our
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.
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.
Is psychology a (mature) science? Should we expect it
to change a lot more, or has it settled near its mature
Final exam in our class room, 10:30 - 12:30. Here are tentative
- 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)?