TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

Is Psychology applied Philosophy? Should we study closer at the underlying philosophical foundations of many Psichology theories/research?

I'm very curious about Psychology and Philosophy, mostly self learned, not an academic or even a remote practitioner (my work is around business). So I'd really like some help with this idea.

The more I read about the different branches of Psychology the more I can see a simile to other sciences. Like in physics there is theoretical and experimental, in mathematics theory and application are very distinguishable branches, but yet in philosophy how do you experiment with the concepts? how to discard an idea as superior than other from practical experimentation?

Then I turn to psychological research trying to understand the mind, our behavior, our intrinsic motivation and the relationship with our communities. isn't it an attempt to validate scientifically not only the psychological theory but also the underlying philosophy guiding the experiment/observation?

Thanks for your help and comments


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Sep 4 2012: Research is not done on philosophy because philosophy is the basis upon which science is founded. It describes how we know stuff. A part of our knowing is scientific inquiry along with morals and reasoning. That is what philosophy attempts to describe. I found this great ppt which I wish I had earlier.


    It explains it better than I can. Psychology on the other hand, is just a subset of science, like physics, chemistry, engineering, medicine, etc.

    Hope that helps.
    • thumb
      Sep 4 2012: What she said.
    • thumb
      Sep 4 2012: Thanks for the ppt, looks interesting. In the other hand the question remains, with so much ground breaking research into human interaction and psychology some of the underliying philosophical assumptions are starting to crumble. Symply from the fact that they were conceived at a time where it was impossible to attemp its empirical study, with what we know they can and they should be contested in a way or another.
      Hence why the simil of applied physics to theoretical physics in the relationship between psychology and philosophy seems attractive as an idea to me.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.