Psychology: Fact or Fiction?
I have gotten myself into many a heated debate over this one. I feel that I am not only justified in my stance on psychology, but I stand behind my reasoning. This argument is built on very sound logic, and has withstood (as far as I'm concerned) the test of time. You be the judge.

Lets start by attacking the foundations of psychology, shall we? It is my belief that any science or philosophy, like any standing structure, must be built on a firm and strong foundation. If one can show the flaws and weaknesses of a "science"'s foundation, there will be no need to attack the "higher" theories of that science, as they are only as strong as the weakest link. In other words, if it begins as bullshit, it ends as bullshit.

Open any psychology textbook, and you should immediately find the definition of the term "psychology". It usualy is translated as "The study of the mind". This sounds all well and good, and many will point out that it is an important science, this "studyy of the mind". There in lies the problem. Ask any psychologist this simple question: "What is the mind?". I can promise you that most will either be hard pressed to give you an accurate and truly scientific answer, or they will try to pawn off some numb-skulled politically correct answer.

The crux of this problem is defining exactly what te mind is. Where does the brain end, and the mind begin? Is the mind the product of the sum total of it's parts, or is it something more? Psychology has never, and will never be able to scientifically answer any of these basic, fundamental questions. Why? Because "the mind" is an abstract idea. A concept that we all want to believe in, like the soul. If I were to suddenly announce that I am starting a new branch of science dedicated to the study of the soul no one would take it seriously because we all know that the soul is something that can't be studied by science. It's a religius/spiritual concept. It's not a physical thing that can be dissected and looked at through a microscope. It's the same with the mind, and it is my contention that no single person on this Earth can prove scientifically that any one has a "mind" We have brains, and I can cut a brain open and observe it all day long, but how is one supposed to observe a thing that one can't even prove the existence of?

Now I can already hear the gears turning in a few heads out there. "But, come now, are you saying that people don't have minds or souls?" No, it is not my purpose here to debate whether or not human beings actually possess said faculties. It is my contention, specifically, that concepts like the soul or the mind cannot be studied in a scientific way. We can't even scientifically prove either exists.

I honestly believe that most rational people already feel this way. I think that's why so few people are running out to be psychologists, and why psychologists just aren't in demand. I also feel that this is why so many of the claims made by psychologists sound like they came from vendors selling snake-oil. Most of their "theories" (I really don't believe that any of these hypothesis made to theories) are nothing more than broad, general statements like: "colors can affect your mood" No kidding? That's because ANYTHING can affect your mood. If I trip on my shoelaces and fall down and get pissed off, does that mean I can infer that shoelaces can affect a persons mood? psychological hypothesis are flimsy at best. Statements like these are tantamount to: "possessing a rabbit's foot will increase your fortunes in lotteries." Doesn't sound very scientific, does it? Nothing these pseudo-scientific (at best) witchdoctors have ever purported as theory has ever withstood the rigor of scientific method. They have never given us a single FACT. It is my contention that they never will. 

Synthetasthete   Synthetasthete wrote
on 8/5/2008 12:37:46 AM
I am actually agreeing with you, in a way. But I have to first disagree with the statement that science is the search for truth. Science is about facts, or rather it's supposed to be. This is where we agree, as my little rant about psychology shows, "science" is often allowed to trod down paths it has no hope of achieving any real knowledge. I believe in math. The logic of numbers. I believe in the scientific method. I just feel in the case of psychology (and possibly other branches as well) these so-called "scientists" have been allowed to totally disregard the scientific method and still maintain their authority as experts in said field.

judefolly   judefolly wrote
on 8/4/2008 12:04:13 PM
an appealing deconstructive discourse; if i can take your logic further, 'science' in our civilization has earned the reputation as representing truth; however, by its function as a continually evolving discourse, at best it can only aspire as a focal point for paradigm shifts and not an immutable entity.

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writing Synthetasthete
"The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel."

-William Gibson
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Debunking psychology article.
Published Date
7/31/2008 12:00:00 AM
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