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C. G. Hempel & L. Laudan

In: The Philosophy of Psychology

Part 5: Ethics and Psychology

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Ethics and Psychology
Ethics and psychology

Discourse about ethics and values, as opposed to empirical “facts,” has a long and respectable history in philosophy. In psychology there has been a more complex history. Some of the early psychologists were explicitly interested in weaving Christian ethics into empirical psychology. This movement was later replaced by psychologists who had concerns similar to the logical positivists regarding ethics and values: That value and ethical statements were nonscientific and ought to be avoided or minimized because they were meaningless or disguised statements about emotions. Those following this set of belief often derided any attempt to address normative problems. Other psychologists were tempted to reduce ethics to psychological, empirical entities. Skinner's attempt to define the predicate “is good” with “is reinforcing” ...

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