Five Contenders for the Title “Philosophy of Psychology”

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All science eventually runs up against philosophical issues, and psychology is no exception. In fact, psychology, because of its subject matter, the investigation of human and animal behavior, engages philosophical questions rather quickly, especially since the cognitive revolution reengaged the mind.Hence, psychology cannot avoid consideration of a philosophy of psychology. This essay discusses five prominent candidates for the title, “philosophy of psychology”: Scientific Realism, Functionalism, Social Constructionism, Phenomenological Hermeneutics, and Classical Realism and, for each, presents a brief review of the philosophical roots, consideration of metaphysical and epistemological claims, and a presentation of how those claims would impact the construct generalized intellectual ability, “g.”

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-41
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 11 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • classical realism
  • functionalism
  • philosophy of psychology
  • postmodernism
  • scientific realism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • General Psychology


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