Meehl’s Philosophical Psychology

Introduction: Blogging Philosophical Psychology

Lecture 1 [YouTube]:

Everything Inherently Meta - A historical overview, starting with logical positivism.

Lecture 2 [YouTube]:

  1. Popperian Falsification - Popper’s program for the logic of science.

  2. Inconvenient Facts - Why it might be rational to not abandon theories in light of falsifying evidence.

  3. Risky Predictions - The role of prediction in corroborating theories and quantifying what makes a prediction surprising.

Lecture 3 [YouTube]:

  1. The ouroboros of discovery and justification - Why it’s necessary to account for psychological and social factors when assessing scientific evidence.

  2. See What We Want to See - The context of discovery in experimental outcomes. Why some labs consistently find things others don’t.

  3. Asystematic Reviews - The context of discovery in the scientific literature. Why we can only glean a partial view of the scientific landscape from papers.

  4. Overhead Projections - The absurdity of indirect costs and neoliberal university rent-seeking.

  5. Scholar or Publicist - How the pressure to fundraise impacts academic publishing and turns scientists into marketers.

Lecture 4 [YouTube]:

  1. An Iteration Between Theory and Practice - Theories are never true, just reasonably true. They can be patched in the light of falsifying evidence. The example of the kinetic theory of gasses.

  2. Boundary Conditions - Patching theories by predicting new observations. Understanding that there is only so much you can include about the universe before you run out of compute. Long derivation chains with too many free parameters run out of use value.

Lecture 5 [YouTube]:

  1. Lakatosian Defense - The scientific method in all of its arational glory.

  2. Trench Warfare - Using all of the examples we’ve discussed so far to flesh out the mechanics of Lakatosian Defense.