Artificial Intelligence Inheriting the Historical Crisis in Psychology: An Epistemological and Methodological Investigation of Challenges and Alternatives

Frontiers in Psychology 13:781730 (2022)
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By following the arguments developed by Vygotsky and employing the cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT) in addition to dialectical logic, this paper attempts to investigate the interaction between psychology and artificial intelligence (AI) to confront the epistemological and methodological challenges encountered in AI research. The paper proposes that AI is facing an epistemological and methodological crisis inherited from psychology based on dualist ontology. The roots of this crisis lie in the duality between rationalism and objectivism or in the mind-body rupture that has governed the production of scientific thought and the proliferation of approaches. In addition, by highlighting the sociohistorical conditions of AI, this paper investigates the historical characteristics of the shift of the crisis from psychology to AI. Additionally, we examine the epistemological and methodological roots of the main challenges encountered in AI research by noting that empiricism is the dominant tendency in the field. Empiricism gives rise to methodological and practical challenges, including challenges related to the emergence of meaning, abstraction, generalization, the emergence of symbols, concept formation, functional reflection of reality, and the emergence of higher psychological functions. Furthermore, through discussing attempts to formalize dialectical logic, the paper, based on contradiction formation, proposes a qualitative epistemological, methodological, and formal alternative by using a preliminary algorithmic model that grasps the formation of meaning as an essential ability for the qualitative reflection of reality and the emergence of other mental functions.



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