Psykologi - et flernivåperspektiv
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionGundersen, S. (2010) Psykologi - et flernivåperspektiv. Norsk Filosofisk Tidsskrift, 45(2), 110-122
Psychology – a multi-level perspective Traditional models of theory reduction and explanation (the deductive-nomological model) may be adequate models for understanding what characterizes physics, but they don’t seem to be able to give a realistic description of psychological research. One reason for this conclusion is that there seems to be no genuine explanatory law in psychology. It is shown through several examples that a multi-level perspective (or “mechanistic perspective”) is better able to give an account of explanation and of the relationships between different levels of description. The essential characteristic of the multi-level perspective is that psychological phenomena are explained by reference to the interacting entities that constitute them, but we must also take into consideration the context. The paper describes the consequences of this perspective for explanation, scientific development and inter-level relations. Two critical arguments against the multi-level perspective, i.e. that it cannot account for normativity and consciousness, do not seem to constitute a threat to this perspective.