Psychology’s inescapable need for conceptual clarification



Publication Details

Hutto, D. (2013). Psychologys inescapable need for conceptual clarification. In T. P. Racine and K. L. Slaney (Eds.), A Wittgensteinian Perspective on the Use of Conceptual Analysis in Psychology (pp. 28-50). United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan.

Additional Publication Information

ISBN: 9780230369153


Wittgenstein offers a grave assessment of the state of psychology – one that falls just short of complete condemnation. Taken seriously, it should be a cause of concern for anyone working in the discipline today. But, should it been taken seriously? Was Wittgenstein’s evaluation ever justified? More urgently, is it still an accurate portrayal of psychology as practiced today? This chapter argues it was and still is, and that this fact highlights an urgent and inescapable need for conceptual clarification in psychology. As a prelude to making this case, it is useful to get clearer about what motivated Wittgenstein’s characterization of psychology as ‘barren’ because conceptually confused

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