Scientific Empiricism and Scientific Psychology

  • John D. Greenwood


It is a common opinion among psychologists that psychology1 became a science when it developed as a discipline independent of philosophy and modeled itself upon the practice of the natural sciences. In fact it did nothing of the kind. While psychologists quite justifiably rejected philosophical speculations about human nature in favor of empirical research, from the earliest days psychology was modeled upon an empiricist philosophy of science, derived from the empiricist and idealist doctrines of the 18th-century philosophers John Locke (1632–1704), George Berkeley (1685–1753), and David Hume (1711–1776).


Physical Object Causal Explanation Causal Power Scientific Empiricism Sense Experience 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • John D. Greenwood
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Philosophy, City CollegeCity University of New YorkNew YorkUSA

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