Science, History, Philosophy, and World Views

  • Herman Tennessen


In one of my contributions to the XVth World Congress of Philosophy (17-22 September 1973, Varna, Bulgaria) I take my point of departure in the following rather trite observation:

There is something peculiarly redundant in the very idea of humanistic psychology. Whenever a psychologist, qua psychologist, involves himself in whichever conceivable psychological enterprise, that enterprise is not only, needless to say, bound to be a human enterprise but, in point of fact, an enterprise more or less precisely and definitely conceptualized as a direct or indirect contribution to man’s understanding of man, viz., the all-human endeavor to figure out how things within man and around man operate—and what, after all, man’s Jot within the widest conceptual scheme may be. By the same token, “nonhumanistic psychology” is bound to designate nothing but a contiadictio in adjecto. Its nonexistence is a notational necessity. How anyone could ever come to believe that it might make sense to argue as though there actually were such a thing, has only psycho-patho-semantic interest. And the beguiling key concepts at work here, I shall suggest, are: “Science,” “scientific,” plus possibly “objectivity,” “theoryindependent observations” or “percepts,” “refutation,” “autonomy,” “autarchi,” and related notions implicitly suggesting, inter alia, an image, a model of a theory/observation asymmetry, alleged to inexorably permeate all science—and metascience—theoretical activity.1


World View Conceptual Scheme Inductive Logic Global Frame Auxiliary Hypothesis 
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References and Notes

  1. 1.
    Further on this paradox vide, e.g., H. Tennessen, “Metaphysics and the Beguilement of Everyday Speech,” Proceedings of the XVth World Congress of Philosophy ,Sofia, Bulgaria (1975), pp. 597–601Google Scholar
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Science, History, Philosophy, and World Views

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Herman Tennessen
    • 1
  1. 1.University of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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