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 might be the basic antitheses of 'good' and 'bad' and 'wrong', with which psychology, because it treats of what's and never of what must be, isn't really without delay 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 truth. This interpretation serves because the simple impetus to this publication, yet Sidgwick's assertion can also be analyzed intimately to illustrate why a present exposition at the relevance of psychology for moral truth is important and germane.
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Additional resources for A Psychological Approach to Ethical Reality
The following set was adopted and adapted from a prior analysis of the author (see Hillner, 1987). An event must satisfy three criteria in order for it to be classified as psychological in nature: 1. It must be exhibited by an autonomous, or at least semiautonomous, energy-driven, information processing system: it must be produced by some kind of nervous system or surrogate thereof. 2. It must involve or be related in some way to conscious intelligence. 3. It must be capable of specification with respect to either a material composition or a functional role.
It was both a product of German rationality and intellectualism and a casualty of German irrationality and racism. The history of the Gestalt movement should serve as an eternal reminder that the discipline of psychology exists at the whim of the governmental institution. Cognitive behaviorism constitutes the dominant contemporary American physical realization of an epistemological psychology. It effects a third-person access to mentation by employing a computer-brain analogy at both a conceptual, or modeling, and an evaluational, or methodological, level.
It is common practice in the context of the means interpretation to construct psychological knowledge that only applies to a group of subjects taken as a whole. The means approach is characteristic of academic, experimental psychology in general and most forms of behaviorism in particular. This pattern originally was established by Wundt in his germinal epistemological psychology, because his avowed goal involved analysis of the universal mind: the content of conscious experience common to all persons who could verbalize.