The Critical And Conceptual Inquiry

2264 Words10 Pages
In the early 1950’s, Ludwig Wittgenstein (1953) openly condemned psychology as a discipline plagued with conceptual confusion, and rife with experimental methods that are often completely irrelevant to the problems they set out to solve. Although written over half a century ago, Wittgenstein’s criticism actively reflects the distinct conundrum of modern day psychology, in which expeditious empirical expansion is coupled with conceptual and theoretical turmoil (Hacker, 2007). Despite this ambiguity, the advancement of contemporary experimental techniques continues to cultivate a naïve, unjustified assurance in the status of psychology as a physical science. Openly condemning ‘metatheoretical psychologists’, the proposition under scrutiny is directly representative of the common neglect of philosophical investigation within the scope of contemporary psychological research. Irony lies in the fact the critical and conceptual inquiry undertaken by such ‘philosophical types’ is imperative in the formation of factual, scientific theories (Boag, 2011). In this sense, I will argue that to label metatheoretical psychologists as ‘cowboy builders’ is absurd. They do not ‘tear down’ edifices in the lust for destruction as suggested by the premise at hand, instead, they play a much more important role by providing conceptual critique in the hope of theoretical improvement and stability (Noaparast, 1995). Abstract analysis such as this can prove helpful in exposing conceptual
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