By K. Hillner
The pre-eminent nineteenth century British ethicist, Henry Sidgwick as soon as acknowledged: "All vital moral notions also are mental, other than maybe the basic antitheses of 'good' and 'bad' and 'wrong', with which psychology, because it treats of what's and never of what needs to be, isn't at once involved" (quoted in T.N. Tice and T.P. Slavens, 1983). Sidgwick's assertion could be interpreted to intend that psychology is proper for ethics or that mental wisdom contributes to the development of a moral fact. This interpretation serves because the simple impetus to this booklet, yet Sidgwick's assertion can also be analyzed intimately to illustrate why a present exposition at the relevance of psychology for moral fact is important and germane.
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Extra resources for A Psychological Approach to Ethical Reality
When the substance of psychology is analyzed at a philosophical level, usually it is academic psychology that constitutes the basic reference point: for instance, behaviorism, Gestalt psychology, conditioning as a world view, the organism as an information processor, and the like. 3. The value system of an experimental psychologist teaching at a college or university is vastly different from that of an applied psychologist working in a nonacademic setting. An academic psychologist's basic aim is to generate and disseminate new research data and theoretical concepts; an experimental psychologist solely wants to be judged as some kind of knowledge specialist: researcher, instructor, intellectual synthesizer, or theorist.
Explanatory animistic entities are circular in nature. They amount to redescriptions of the phenomena to be explained at another, presumably higher, level of reality. To say that human movement is the result of possession by a spiritual entity explains nothing: it merely extends ignorance to another level of reality. Domain of the Ought: Prolegomena 19 3. In primitive animism the important ethical entities are not human beings or their exhibited activity, but rather the spiritual entities serving as the source of human action: there are good and bad spirits, which serve as the source of good and bad acts.
The relative importance of pure and applied psychology for the over-all discipline has changed: the basic force driving the discipline has shifted from pure to applied. Professional psychology in America currently enjoys more governmental, economic, and social support than experimental psychology does. The heyday of indiscriminate governmental financial support for pure social science research is over; academic psychology barely is holding its own in the currently depressed state of education; job openings for psychologists are predominantly in the applied areas; the American Psychological Association, which is the overweaning national professional organization, basically is oriented to the needs and concerns of the psychological practitioner; the significant pragmatic and ethical issues of our time relate directly to applied, not experimental, psychology.
A Psychological Approach to Ethical Reality by K. Hillner