Psychology's reality debate: A "levels of reality" approach

Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 19 (2):177-194 (1999)
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For different reasons, some modern and postmodern psychologists are skeptical about the reality of psychological phenomena as irreducible, influential entities. Nonetheless, much psychological inquiry presumes precisely such a reality. The authors present a "levels of reality" approach to psychological reality that they believe can assuage some of the concerns of psychological skeptics. This approach treats psychological reality as inseparably embedded in sociocultural, biological, and physical levels of reality, without being reducible to any of these other levels. The authors develop their "levels of reality" approach in relation to four different doctrines of realism, and elaborate its implications for understanding psychological phenomena. 2012 APA, all rights reserved)



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Jack Martin
Simon Fraser University

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