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Interview with Marc Applebaum

Recently I had the pleasure of speaking with Marc Applebaum. We talked about his experience and education in psychological research and about how his interest was first developed in phenomenology. We also talk about phenomenological attitude, the importance of empathy with the experience of another human being, the connection between knowing someone and the style of relating to them, and how the phenomenological attitude differs from the attitude encouraged by natural scientific psychology. I hope…

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Psychology as Counter-Discipline: On Introducing Oneself

What is a good way to introduce yourself to someone? I hadn’t given this question much thought. But I started asking it when I received Rachel Haywire‘s tweet, “Where can I get an introduction to your work?” Is there an introductory place in my work? A place appropriate for new friends and interlocutors? I can search for such a place now, or ex post facto put the label “start here” on an article. But I…

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Conversations & Positions

We shouldn’t think about conversations only as exchanges of information. Nor should we think about our positions in conversations only as givers and receivers of information. Too much emphasis on information overshadows the fact that our position in conversations are also tied with power, rights, and duties. For example, in a father-son conversation, we could recognize the father’s duty to tell the truth, just as we could recognize the son’s trust as part of his…

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What we are doing continually in our lives is […] “encountering difference,” and then allowing the moral understandings of the other to place our own understandings into question. In this approach, we are continually tacking back and forth between our beliefs, commitments, perspectives, and moral understandings and those of others. It is that tacking back and forth that helps us determine whose understandings of the good are best for that particular moment. That process is…

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Between Linguistic Necessity and Indeterminacy: Assessing Gergen’s (2008) Critique of Psychological Explanation

In a recent article, Kenneth Gergen (2018) offers a summary of his work on (and against) empirical research in psychology. The article is clearly written, and there are many positive things one could say about it. However, I will focus primarily on points with which I disagree. Gergen and I share common “enemies,” but I am not yet as pessimistic as he is with regard to psychology as a scientific, truth-seeking enterprise. In this article,…

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