2004年09月30日

AGAINST PSYCHOLOGISM

Rafe Championさんからのメールの引用

K.Popperの心理主義批判の文章



In chapter 14 of OSE 'The Autonomy of Sociology', Popper argued against the idea (which he attributed to J S Mill) that psychology is the foundation of the social sciences.



"We may say that our actions are to a very large extent explicable in terms of the situation in which they occur. Of course, they are never fully explicable in terms of the situation alone; an explanation of the way in which a man, when crossing a street, dodges the cars which move on i may go beyond the situation, and may refer to his motives, to an 'instinct' for selfpreservation, or to his wish to avoid pain, etc.



But this 'psychological' part of the explanation is often very trivial, as compared with the detailed determiniation of his action by what we may call the logic of the situation...this...plays a very important part in social life as well as in the social sciences.



It is, in fact, the method of economic analysis. As an example outside economics, I refer to the 'logic of power' [citing Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli and Pareto], which we may use in order to explain the moves in power politics as well as the working of certain political institutions.



The method...is not based on any psychological assumption concerning the rationality (or otherwise) of 'human nature'. On the contrary: when we speak of 'rational behaviour' or of 'irrational behaviour' then we mean behaviour which is, or which is not, in accordance with the logic of that situation. "



"My arguments against psychologism should not be misunderstood. They are not, of course, intended to show that psychological studies and discoveries are of little importance for the social scientist.



They mean, rather, that psychology the psychology of the individual is one of the social sciences, even though it is not the basis of all social science" (97).
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