A brood comb

….philosophical and other notes….

Attack on Determinism or on Psychologism?

Posted by Tanas Gjorgoski on August 31, 2006

Consider, for example, an attempt to assert that all of man’s actions are conditioned and mechanical. Typically, such a view has taken one of two forms: Either it is said that man is basically a product of his hereditary constitution, or else that he is determinate entirely by environmental factors. However, one could ask of the man who believed in hereditary determination whether his own statement asserting this belief was nothing but the product of his heredity. In other words, is he compelled by his genetic structure to make such an utterance? Similarly, one may ask of the man who believes in environmental determination, whether the assertion of such a belief is nothing but the spouting forth of words in patterns to which he was conditioned by his environment. Evidently, in both cases (as well as in the case of one who asserted that man is completely conditioned by heredity plus environment) the answer would have to be in the negative, for otherwise the speakers would be denying the very possibility that what they said could have meaning. Indeed, it is of talking from intelligent perception, which is in turn capable of a truth that is not merely a result of a mechanism based on meaning or skills acquired in the past. So we see that no one can avoid implying, by his mode of communication, that he accepts at least the possibility of that free, unconditioned perception that we have called intelligence. David Bohm, Wholeness and the Implicate Order, p65-66

After reading this part I started wondering if this should be classified as a classical free will vs. determinism (putting the Compatibilism aside) argument, or maybe better as an attack on psychologism(see this post)?

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2 Responses to “Attack on Determinism or on Psychologism?”

  1. Charlene said

    If you need, the “-ism” for free will is transcendentalism

  2. Hi Charlene, thanks for the comment.

    What I’m mostly interested is how those two issues, i.e. of some information of the issues of determinism and that of negating of psychologism are handled (and if they can be handled) in the non-dualistic views of mind, particularly if it involves theory of concepts (including their semantic properties) as merely a particular states of the brain (which is again taken to belong to the fully determined physical world).
    If we take psychologism to be “notion of logical rationality that could be explained by individual, contingently subjective processes” (Husserl, Logical Investigation); then it seems to me that holding such view (as described), is accepting psychologism.
    I hope just that I’m not asking for explanation of the developments in Philosophy of Language and Mind in the last 60 years :)

    UPDATE: On Brains blog, they have started a series of posts, which deal with this problem. Hopefully, it will help me resolve my confusion.

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