The Problem of Psychology and Its Solution

Central to the Unified Theory of Knowledge is the claim that the science of psychology faces a profound problem regarding its conceptual coherence. Most textbooks define the field as the science of "behavior and mental processes". However, as scholars of the discipline know, there is no general consensus regarding what these terms mean and different paradigms (i.e., behaviorism, cognitivism, psychodynamic, humanistic) make different ontological and epistemological assumptions. The Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky identified this problem as "the crisis" in psychology back in the 1920s. Henriques rechristened it "the problem of psychology" and argues that it is one of the great (but generally ignored) conceptual problems of our time. It is the deep conceptual problem for the field of psychology, and it represents a serious problem for both science and philosophy writ large.

From the perspective of the Unified Framework, failure to define psychology effectively is in large part a function of the Enlightenment Gap, which consists of two key philosophical problems associated with modernity. One is the failure to develop an effective language system for the relationship between "matter" and "mind". The second is the failure to fully understand the right relationship between social knowledge in general and scientific knowledge in particular.

The Tree of Knowledge is a new theory of scientific knowledge that resolves both facets of the Enlightenment Gap and affords scholars a way to define mind in relationship to matter and scientific knowledge in relationship to social systems of justification (i.e., Culture). It is by getting the correct descriptive metaphysical framing that the Unified Metapsychology generates a new approach to solving the problem of psychology. This involves both developing the correct language game for science, mind and behavior, and generating metatheoretical structures that assimilate and integrate key ideas and empirical findings into a coherent whole. Henriques' first book, A New Unified Theory of Psychology, tackled the metatheoretical problem. His in-progress work, The Problem of Psychology and Its Metaphysical Solution, is addressing the proper way to define science, mind, and behavior.

TOK Educational Videos on The Problem of Psychology and Its Solution

Below are some publications addressing the problem of psychology and its solution.

Psych Defined.pdf
Defining Behavior PTB Paper.pdf
Toward a Metaphysical Empirical chapter.pdf