Reasons versus Causes in Arocha’s Scientific Realism

Giuseppe Lo Dico

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivistapeer review


Arocha’s scientific realism (2021) puts at the center of psychology the individual and their variability in behavior: the individual appears to be irreducible to what emerges from the analysis of aggregate data. According to this position, psychology’s aim is to uncover the mechanisms underlying the observable world. This entails adopting the cause-based approach of the natural sciences. Arocha’s article also refers to final causes and intentions and thus to the reason-based approach of the human sciences in contrast to that of the natural sciences. Thus, it is not clear whether the article aims to reduce the final causes to mechanical causes or supports the irreducibility of the former. Starting from these remarks, this comment will argue that the reason-based approach is preferable to the cause-based approach in order to have a scientific psychology. Adopting the reason-based approach also avoids the appeal to aggregate data by focusing upon the single case.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)442-445
Numero di pagine4
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2021


  • causes
  • history
  • physics
  • reasons
  • scientific psychology


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