can psychological science adopt worldview, narrowly defined on 5 dimensions/themes?

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Reply Sun 23 Dec, 2007 11:55 am
Am I in the right place? Does a discussion of worldview belong in epistomology? If not, I hope a monitor (?) can move this to the appropriate place.

I'm not a philosopher. I dropped out of symbolic logic after getting an F on the midterm, and didn't too well in deductive logic either.

Now I'm a psychotherapist working with the idea that every model of psychotherapy has taken positions on 5 philosophical dimensions. Worldview is a sort of umbrella term or superset that groups a number of concepts, all of which may have an impact on one's perspective, including specific ethnic worldviews, social worldviews, scientific worldviews, philosophic worldviews, religious worldviews, etc.

In struggling to make sense of the human condition over the centuries, Western philosophers have tended to focus on five philosophical themes. I narrowly define worldview as a coherent array of positions on these five philosophical themes. The first four of the five philosophical themes require us to choose between two positions, while the fifth requires us to choose one out of four possible positions.

The first theme or dimension requires us to choose between the group (the Collectivist position) and the individual (the Individualist position) as the fundamental unit of humanity.

The second theme requires us to choose between self-sacrifice (the Deontological position) and self-actualization (the Eudemonic position) as the ultimate ethical value.

The third theme requires us to choose between the will (the Voluntarist position) and the intellect (the Intellectualist position) as the ultimate constituent of ontological reality, and to acknowledge that we view humans as either truly capable of evil or intrinsically motivated towards good.

The fourth theme requires us to choose between a Being or a Becoming ontology, to choose between a view of material reality as either predominantly becoming and passing away, or predominantly being, one and continuous, all-inclusive and eternal.

The fifth theme requires us to choose between four epistemological solutions concerning the relationship between mind and body, between the human and the physical: the Materialist position, the Idealist position, the Aristotelian position, and the Dualist position.

I'm just looking for a response to this idea. Does anything seem arbitrary about it?

I'd also like to design a test for people to find out their own positions on each dimension.

Does anyone know ANY tests in philosophy that help people learn their philosophical positions?

Billy
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Thu 3 Jan, 2008 05:00 pm
@Billy phil,
Most either or questions are entirely arbitrary. The second, third and fourth are certainly examples.

As for a test, you could come up with a list of various statements from various systems, but I'm not sure you could ever create a test in the scientific sense.
You can google search philosophy tests online that do just this, some better than others, but all clearly inadequate.
 
Billy phil
 
Reply Thu 3 Jan, 2008 08:37 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
Most either or questions are entirely arbitrary. The second, third and fourth are certainly examples.

As for a test, you could come up with a list of various statements from various systems, but I'm not sure you could ever create a test in the scientific sense.
You can google search philosophy tests online that do just this, some better than others, but all clearly inadequate.


I'm not sure whether that says something real about philosophy and philosophy constructs (that there are no good tests to measure them in people), or whether it just speaks to the current state of affairs (and perhaps in 10 or 50 years they will finally be able to measure these constructs).

Thanks for responding!!!!

Billy
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Thu 3 Jan, 2008 09:02 pm
@Billy phil,
I think it speaks to the nature of philosophy. You might measure familiarity with a view point, but measuring what someone thinks about the issues seems out of reach. At least, I cannot imagine how it could ever be possible.
 
Billy phil
 
Reply Thu 3 Jan, 2008 09:47 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
I think it speaks to the nature of philosophy. You might measure familiarity with a view point, but measuring what someone thinks about the issues seems out of reach. At least, I cannot imagine how it could ever be possible.


Really?! I don't believe it.

You can't beleive we can get your position, or where you stand on the philosophic issues of:

I Individualism vs. collectivism as the fundamental unit of humanity.

II. self-sacrifice (the Deontological position) vs self-actualization (the Eudemonic position) as the ultimate ethical value.

III. the will (the Voluntarist position) vs. the intellect (the Intellectualist position) as the ultimate constituent of ontological reality, and to acknowledge that we view humans as either truly capable of evil or intrinsically motivated towards good.

IV. a Being vs. a Becoming ontology, to choose between a view of material reality as either predominantly becoming and passing away, or predominantly being, one and continuous, all-inclusive and eternal.

V. are you a Materialist position, an Idealist position, an Aristotelian position, or a Dualist position?
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Fri 4 Jan, 2008 03:39 pm
@Billy phil,
First, even asking such questions misses the point. If I could sufficiently answer those questions, at the next moment someone might provide some argument or reflection that leads to a revision of my answers.

Quote:
I Individualism vs. collectivism as the fundamental unit of humanity.


The individual is certainly fundamental, as without an individual, there is no collective. Even a collectivist would admit this. But notice something - this eithor or question does not include all options. Some would even argue the notion that they are opposed misses the point.

Quote:
II. self-sacrifice (the Deontological position) vs self-actualization (the Eudemonic position) as the ultimate ethical value.


This assumes the existence of a self. If the notion of a consistent self is rejected, this question has no meaning. Even if we accept the notion of the self, we might argue that viewing ethics from the perspective of what is best (sacrifice or actualization) for the self is a mistake.

Quote:
the will (the Voluntarist position) vs. the intellect (the Intellectualist position) as the ultimate constituent of ontological reality


Why must it be either or? I see no reason why the will and the intellect cannot either be equally influential, or perhaps of varying influence among different people, thus neither is truly the "ultimate constituent of ontological reality".

Quote:
and to acknowledge that we view humans as either truly capable of evil or intrinsically motivated towards good.


Again, I see no reason for an either or. If humans are intrisically motivated towards good, it does not follow that they are somehow not truly capable of evil.

Quote:
IV. a Being vs. a Becoming ontology, to choose between a view of material reality as either predominantly becoming and passing away, or predominantly being, one and continuous, all-inclusive and eternal.


Again, these are not mutually exclusive. They can be, depending on how far you might take them, but they are not necessarily so.

Quote:
V. are you a Materialist position, an Idealist position, an Aristotelian position, or a Dualist position?


But a materialist and a materialist might have a great deal to argue about, a great deal of disagreement with one another. Similarly for two Idealists, ect.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Fri 4 Jan, 2008 04:09 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
Again, I see no reason for an either or. If humans are intrisically motivated towards good, it does not follow that they are somehow not truly capable of evil.

Which is more evil --

1. to think intently about how one might butcher hundreds of people, causing great suffering and carnage, but not to actually do it...

2. or to matter of factly, while thinking casually about baseball, lift up a gun and blow someone away?

Everyone with halfway decent function in their arm is capable of pulling a trigger and killing someone. And everyone with a halfway decent imagination is capable of imagining and even planning an act of cruelty.

I think that it comes down to a sort of activation energy -- if we're all capable of physically killing each other, and we're all capable of imagining or planning it, then you have to accept that we're all to some degree capable of murder or evil. It's something inhibitory that stops us, not any lack of capability.

We've got empathy, or a horrific recoil, or fear of consequences, or something else that stays our hand. But history is filled with butchers and murderers who weren't remarkable in some kind of intrinsically evil way.

Heinrich Himmler was one of the more boring geeks in history, just an awkward angry outcast kid with a bizarre sense of mysticism who liked to follow leaders, who ultimately ended up probably the biggest murderer in the history of the world. It was only opportunity and scale that separate him from more conventional outcast kids like the Columbine shooters (or god knows how many who never ended up hurting a soul). Adolf Eichmann was basically an accountant (think of Hannah Arendt's "banality of evil").

Evil is something that people do -- it's not something that they are until they commit the acts, or at the minimum until they start going down that road.
 
Billy phil
 
Reply Fri 4 Jan, 2008 06:03 pm
@Aedes,
I'm definitely a newbie here, so I have little right to say this, but I think you are refusing to take a philosophical position anywhere.

If philosophers throughout the ages had done that, we may not even have philosophy.

When we say truly capable, you're oversimplifying. Every knife in the drawer is capable of evil, the way you look at it.

But most of us think of humans as MORE than the neuromuscular capacity to pull a trigger and kill.

The ancient Greeks who were Voluntarists felt people were bundles of animal impulses that could burst out at any time. Those who held the Intellectualist position felt that if only people knew better, they would do no evil.

I don't make this stuff up, the philosophers do.

Billy
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Fri 4 Jan, 2008 06:35 pm
@Billy phil,
You're right, I haven't taken a position. I have particular positions that roughly relate to your questions, in some cases answer directly. The point is that none of these questions, and no question can, capture the whole of the subject.

I've shown why your questions only scratch the surface of what philosophers have talked about. You have done that - scratch the surface. So what?
 
Billy phil
 
Reply Sat 5 Jan, 2008 09:26 am
@Didymos Thomas,
I'm not trying to be original here.

You want to regurgitate the Ancient Greeks who took positions on each side of these issues? Did they only scratch the surface? Have philosophers managed to dig much deeper since then? Are they passe?

I'm not quite sure what you mean here.

Billy
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Sat 5 Jan, 2008 11:08 am
@Billy phil,
Well, first of all, the 5 dimensions/themes you bring up are not narrow as you suggest.
Your presentation of these themes was narrow. So what? Should I be concerned about psychology as a science because you, for whatever reason, think psychology is dependent upon such narrow understandings of what are actually broad and complex issues?

Quote:
You want to regurgitate the Ancient Greeks who took positions on each side of these issues?


No, I'm suggesting there is no point in doing so.

Quote:
Did they only scratch the surface?


I'd prefer to say they only dug in a few places.

Quote:
Have philosophers managed to dig much deeper since then?


And find more holes. But these topics are not only the domain of western philosophers. Only using western perspectives would be silly.

Quote:
Are they passe?


In some ways, yes. Consider Aristotle - given the extent of study of his works, quality criticism of Aristotle is easy to come by. But for the very same reason, his influence, we have also learned a great deal from his works and they are certainly valuable to us.
 
Billy phil
 
Reply Sat 12 Jan, 2008 04:00 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
Well, first of all, the 5 dimensions/themes you bring up are not narrow as you suggest.
Your presentation of these themes was narrow. So what? Should I be concerned about psychology as a science because you, for whatever reason, think psychology is dependent upon such narrow understandings of what are actually broad and complex issues?.


If I said psychology, I made a mistake. I meant psychotherapy.

And the philosophers who originated this viewed the choice of positions as clearly discrete and either-or, and view the first four dimensions as dichotomous. But to conform to current principles of psychological measurement, these dimensions are best viewed as continuous variables, so a person can theoretically stake out positions at any point along the continua.

I agree with you there.

as for narrow understanding of what are actually broad and complex issues, I feel like you're throwing mud on me without backing it up. Do you believe in two-poled constructs at all? Good and Evil?


Didymos Thomas wrote:
And find more holes. But these topics are not only the domain of western philosophers. Only using western perspectives would be silly.


I'd love for you to point me to some other philosophers. I feel like you're just attacking my idea, but holding out with your knowledge.


Didymos Thomas wrote:
In some ways, yes. Consider Aristotle - given the extent of study of his works, quality criticism of Aristotle is easy to come by. But for the very same reason, his influence, we have also learned a great deal from his works and they are certainly valuable to us.


Thanks. Are you also suggesting that no modern person holds worldview positions similar to Aristotle's?

Are you saying that by suggesting people might hold a position on a continuum, I'm oversimplifying?

I'm NOT a philosopher. I could use your help, but I'm struggling to understand. I got an idea. I think it could grow legs and walk. I think it's too young to be shattered.

Billy
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Sat 12 Jan, 2008 04:26 pm
@Billy phil,
Quote:
If I said psychology, I made a mistake. I meant psychotherapy.


I'm not sure why limiting the concern to one field of psychology, psychotherapy, makes the concern worth worrying over.

Quote:
as for narrow understanding of what are actually broad and complex issues, I feel like you're throwing mud on me without backing it up. Do you believe in two-poled constructs at all? Good and Evil?


I believe that some people carry such constructs. Myself, no I try not to. What is evil without something good?

Quote:
I'd love for you to point me to some other philosophers. I feel like you're just attacking my idea, but holding out with your knowledge.


Laozi, Zhuangzi, Confucius, the Buddha, Mo Tzu, Shang Yang, the list goes on. No one is trying to hide these thinkers from you, you can find their books in most stores.

Quote:
Thanks. Are you also suggesting that no modern person holds worldview positions similar to Aristotle's?


No, I'm sure there are some out there who agree with Aristotle entirely.

Quote:
Are you saying that by suggesting people might hold a position on a continuum, I'm oversimplifying?


No, but suggesting "that every model of psychotherapy has taken positions on 5 philosophical dimensions" and that those positions are limited to your continuum is oversimplyfying the issue.

Quote:
I'm NOT a philosopher. I could use your help, but I'm struggling to understand. I got an idea. I think it could grow legs and walk. I think it's too young to be shattered.


Nor am I a philosopher, but I'll do what I can, which amounts to being critical. The idea is a pretty good one, I'm just not sure it's possible, though it could be. AS for the age of the idea, the younger the idea, the more likely it is to be full of holes. Nothing wrong with this.
 
Billy phil
 
Reply Sat 12 Jan, 2008 06:58 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:

No, but suggesting "that every model of psychotherapy has taken positions on 5 philosophical dimensions" and that those positions are limited to your continuum is oversimplyfying the issue.


name a model of psychotherapy and i can describe its positions on those 5 dimensions (to the extent I'm familiar with the model).

And they are salient to the model.

All mainstream individual therapies are individualist and eudaimonic, because (among many other reasons tiresome to mention here) they place symptoms INSIDE the individual, and believe they only need the one patient in the room to produce change [individualist]; and because their goal is self-actualization (eudaimonic) rather than self-sacrifice (deontological). Several Family Therapy models require the members to sacrifice their perceived self-interest for the good of the collective or family, and see the problem between the members rather than inside any one.

Can you provide me with OTHER dimensions (than the 5 mentioned) salient to models of psychotherapy? I'd sincerely love to hear it.

Billy
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Sat 12 Jan, 2008 07:36 pm
@Billy phil,
You are asking me, someone who is not a psychotherapist, to discuss models of psychotherapy? There's only so much I can do, including criticize oversimplifications. Perhaps these oversimplifications are useful to psychotherapists.

If your models are based on assumptions regarding these 5 dimensions because it is convenient to do so in this particular line of work, I see no trouble. When you try to use those same 5 dimensions, those either or situations, to generalize the whole of the population you are bound to run into problems.
 
Billy phil
 
Reply Sun 13 Jan, 2008 05:53 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
If your models are based on assumptions regarding these 5 dimensions because it is convenient to do so in this particular line of work, I see no trouble. When you try to use those same 5 dimensions, those either or situations, to generalize the whole of the population you are bound to run into problems.


Ahh. I think I see the problem.

first, again, while it may be written as either-or, that's how the PHILOSOPHERS construed it, not the psychologists. I think you can take any position along the continuum, say, from 1 to 10, 1 being extreme collectivist (Karl Marx?), 10 being extreme individualist (Ayn Rand?)

All models are simplifications, all analysis reductive. If not they wouldn't serve us, wouldn't give us a handle, wouldn't probvide baskets to separate them into.

Most importantly, remember, I'm generalizing to the whole population of psychotherapy models (psychoanalysis, gestalt, behavioral, etc.), NOT the population of people.

There are only so many theories of psychopathology, and a finite number of treatments or models. Like the choice between chemo and radiation for cancer, the choice of psychotherapies is finite and limited, but each treats MANY people.

With this in mind, I hope I can get you to reconsider this idea. I do appreciate the attention you've given it so far.

Billy
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Sun 13 Jan, 2008 06:33 pm
@Billy phil,
Quote:
first, again, while it may be written as either-or, that's how the PHILOSOPHERS construed it, not the psychologists. I think you can take any position along the continuum, say, from 1 to 10, 1 being extreme collectivist (Karl Marx?), 10 being extreme individualist (Ayn Rand?)


Philosophers often present their views as compared to other views; using examples of other's ideas to clearly show differences is not unusual in any field. But the notion that philosophers, at least modern philosophers, have placed these issues as either or is misleading. Anyone who reads two books on the same issue should realize the problem is not either/or even if the either or is either hard/soft determinism or indeterminism.

Quote:
All models are simplifications, all analysis reductive. If not they wouldn't serve us, wouldn't give us a handle, wouldn't probvide baskets to separate them into.


And my point is that psychological science cannot adopt a worldview narrowly defined on 5 dimensions/themes because placing people into such baskets would be horribly misleading. These issues are too nuanced to handle in such a matter if the individual has even the slightest degree of education in philosophy.

Quote:
Most importantly, remember, I'm generalizing to the whole population of psychotherapy models (psychoanalysis, gestalt, behavioral, etc.), NOT the population of people.


Given the problem explained above, I dont see how the information could be useful.

Quote:
There are only so many theories of psychopathology, and a finite number of treatments or models. Like the choice between chemo and radiation for cancer, the choice of psychotherapies is finite and limited, but each treats MANY people.


That's a shame. Problems of the mind a very different than problems of the physical body.

Quote:
With this in mind, I hope I can get you to reconsider this idea. I do appreciate the attention you've given it so far.


My attention is the consideration. The topic has been interesting, and I think we've made some progress - at least in understanding one another.
 
Billy phil
 
Reply Sun 13 Jan, 2008 09:04 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Remember, this has nothing to do with psychology, only psychotherapy. a much narrower field.

and it has nothing to do with people, only models of psychotherapy.

While we may nuance one particular model of psychotherapy for each individual, it's still the same model.

Didymos Thomas wrote:
Philosophers often present their views as compared to other views; using examples of other's ideas to clearly show differences is not unusual in any field. But the notion that philosophers, at least modern philosophers, have placed these issues as either or is misleading. Anyone who reads two books on the same issue should realize the problem is not either/or even if the either or is either hard/soft determinism or indeterminism. .


It seems you object to both either-or AND a continuum, but you offer no alternative.

Didymos Thomas wrote:
And my point is that psychological science cannot adopt a worldview narrowly defined on 5 dimensions/themes because placing people into such baskets would be horribly misleading. These issues are too nuanced to handle in such a matter if the individual has even the slightest degree of education in philosophy. .


You seem to be saying NO philosophical worldview positions interface with
any models of psychotherapy.

I've shown otherwise.

You've complained that my demonstration oversimplifies, but again you offer no alternatives.

Didymos Thomas wrote:
Given the problem explained above, I dont see how the information could be useful. .


Considering you haven't yet heard me say we're not placing people into baskets (which of course would be horribly misleading and cruel--they'd hardly fit, and feel quite cramped). We're placing models of psychotherpay into baskets.

Then again, you may object to separating models of psychotherapy into baskets like "individual therapy" vs "family therapy" vs "group therapy" Or gestalt therapy vs psychoanalysis vs cognitive therapy vs behavior therapy.

And though you resist classification, it's ethically required for therapists to advertise themselves honestly for consumers, and to accept one or another label so when customers ask: Wht form of threapy do you do? There can be some truth in advertising.

Didymos Thomas wrote:
That's a shame. Problems of the mind a very different than problems of the physical body..


maybe one day someone will fulfill your dream of creating a model of psychotherapy for each individual who is born. And keep at it, cuz those new people just keep coming. Of course, since most people don't go to psychotherapy, most of those models would go to waste. Energy that could be better spent trying to cure cancer.

Didymos Thomas wrote:
My attention is the consideration. The topic has been interesting, and I think we've made some progress - at least in understanding one another.


Very Happy
Billy
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Mon 14 Jan, 2008 12:44 pm
@Billy phil,
You obviously need to reread your thread topic and opening post.

I've answered those questions, and you've responeded with 'but in this much narrower field it works!'. Well, cool, I really dont care.
 
Billy phil
 
Reply Mon 14 Jan, 2008 10:10 pm
@Billy phil,
Billy wrote:
Am I in the right place? Does a discussion of worldview belong in epistomology? If not, I hope a monitor (?) can move this to the appropriate place.

I'm not a philosopher. I dropped out of symbolic logic after getting an F on the midterm, and didn't too well in deductive logic either.

Now I'm a psychotherapist working with the idea that every model of psychotherapy has taken positions on 5 philosophical dimensions. Worldview is a sort of umbrella term or superset that groups a number of concepts, all of which may have an impact on one's perspective, including specific ethnic worldviews, social worldviews, scientific worldviews, philosophic worldviews, religious worldviews, etc.

In struggling to make sense of the human condition over the centuries, Western philosophers have tended to focus on five philosophical themes. I narrowly define worldview as a coherent array of positions on these five philosophical themes. The first four of the five philosophical themes require us to choose between two positions, while the fifth requires us to choose one out of four possible positions.

The first theme or dimension requires us to choose between the group (the Collectivist position) and the individual (the Individualist position) as the fundamental unit of humanity.

The second theme requires us to choose between self-sacrifice (the Deontological position) and self-actualization (the Eudemonic position) as the ultimate ethical value.

The third theme requires us to choose between the will (the Voluntarist position) and the intellect (the Intellectualist position) as the ultimate constituent of ontological reality, and to acknowledge that we view humans as either truly capable of evil or intrinsically motivated towards good.

The fourth theme requires us to choose between a Being or a Becoming ontology, to choose between a view of material reality as either predominantly becoming and passing away, or predominantly being, one and continuous, all-inclusive and eternal.

The fifth theme requires us to choose between four epistemological solutions concerning the relationship between mind and body, between the human and the physical: the Materialist position, the Idealist position, the Aristotelian position, and the Dualist position.

I'm just looking for a response to this idea. Does anything seem arbitrary about it?

I'd also like to design a test for people to find out their own positions on each dimension.

Does anyone know ANY tests in philosophy that help people learn their philosophical positions?

Billy


Maybe you should re-read it (here--I'll make it easy for you). If you did, you'd see the world psychology is NEVER used. That's your word.

I forgive you for the threadjack, can't say I didn't enjoy it a bit.
Billy
 
 

 
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