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Joseph F. Rychlak

In: The Philosophy of Psychology

Chapter 11: Must Behavior be Mechanistic? Modeling Nonmachines

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Must Behavior be Mechanistic? Modeling Nonmachines
Must behavior be mechanistic? Modeling nonmachines
JosephF.Rychlak

I wonder if experimental psychologists ever ask themselves why they find it so plausible to speak of the “mechanisms” of human behavior? Sigmund Freud referred to the psychic “mechanisms of defense,” which were in no way mechanistic, but I am now targeting my colleagues in the “basic science” wing of our profession. Why is it that virtually no experimental psychologist has dared construe human behavior/cognition as other than fundamentally mechanistic in nature? I think Searle (1992, chap. 1) has recently given us some general leads to an answer to this question, but I hope in the present paper to focus and elaborate certain of his arguments that I believe are paramount. I would like ...

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