Epistemic wars in the humanities challenge theorists’ use of the humanities to combat psychology’s alleged scientism

Barbara Held


Abstract: As many theoretical psychologists turn to the humanities to construct a psychological science that does not shortchange human subjectivity, many humanities scholars have turned to the sciences to bolster their declining standing in the academy. In juxtaposing these trends, I consider how epistemic and methodological wars in the humanities echo those that have plagued psychology and so call into question their use to remedy an allegedly scientistic “mainstream” psychology. By failing to grapple with this most relevant controversy, theoretical psychologists may be jeopardizing their efforts to put a more human face on scientific psychology.

Keywords: Epistemic Wars; Scientism; Humanities; Psychology; Psychological Humanities


I conflitti epistemici nelle scienze umanistiche e il loro impiego teorico contro il presunto scientismo della psicologia

Riassunto: Molti teorici della psicologia si rivolgono alle discipline umanistiche per costruire una scienza psicologica che non sottovaluti la soggettività umana, mentre molti studiosi attivi nel campo delle discipline umanistiche si rivolgono alle scienze per puntellare la loro autorità all’interno dell’accademia. Nel porre a confronto queste due linee di tendenza mostrerò come i conflitti epistemici e metodologici all’interno delle discipline umanistiche riecheggino quelli che hanno gravato sulla psicologia. A partire da qui metterò in discussione il loro uso per fare da correttivo a una presunta psicologia dominante che sarebbe troppo “scientistica”. Sottraendosi alla trattazione di questo problema, che è di estrema importanza, i teorici della psicologia rischiano di compromettere i loro sforzi volti a dare un volto più umano alla psicologia scientifica.

Parole chiave: Conflitti epistemici; Scientismo; Scienze umane; Psicologia; Psychological Humanities

Parole chiave

Epistemic Wars; Scientism; Humanities; Psychology; Psychological Humanities

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4453/rifp.2024.0002

Copyright (c) 2024 Barbara Held

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