August 18, 2013

The Fragmented Object: Building Disciplinary Coherence Through a Contextual Unit of Analysis (5/19)

Article 5 of 19 in Eric Charles' Special Issue of Review of General Psychology
Author, Joshua W. Clegg; in Review of General Psychology, 2013, 17(2), p. 151-155.

There are some very interesting perspectives on unification in this article, for one, it is proposed that there are three approaches to unification; reductionism, pluralism and specialisation. This is a valuable categorisation, as is the later proposal, to combine pluralism and reductionism, however, I disagree with what the solution to a unified psychology would be: One of the arguments in the article "is that fragmentation is written into our discipline at the most basic level, -namely, in our objectivist unit of psychological analysis- and so, any hope for a coherent approach to psychological knowledge must begin with a move toward a more contextual way of framing our phenomena." (p. 151). Dr. Clegg makes the point that we can't understand without context and that the current, decontextualised, unit of psychology doesn't do the job. The opposite argument has been proposed for quite some time now (that we have to be as objective as possible to do science) and it is not the best argument, neither is the opposite..

There are other curious quotes and ideas that I agree or disagree with, but it is outside the scope of unifying psychology, so I will leave the article with the above reflection.

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