Dualism: The Original Sin of Cognitivism

Dualism: The Original Sin of Cognitivism

Dualism: The Original Sin of Cognitivism

Dualism: The Original Sin of Cognitivism


Bill Uttal's tenth book with LEA over the past 25 years. The audience will be the same people who bought Uttal's past work.


Scientific psychology has long sought to achieve a level of objectivity comparable to the other sciences. Indeed, in an effort to separate its methodology and contributions from its philosophical forebears, it has sometimes been accused of an extreme form of “method envy” resulting in what Koch (1992), presumably tongue in cheek, described as physicophilia, to wit:

Experimental psychologists have traditionally suffered from a syndrome known as hypermanic physicophilia (with quantificophrenic delusions and methodico-echolalic complications … (p. 264)

As modern instrumentation and mathematical-statistical tools evolved in their sophistication, it has seemed to many observers that psychology cum physics has been approached, if not achieved. However, embedded deep within the implicit structure and assumptions of modern scientific psychology lay conceptual entanglements with the theological and philosophical past that are not so easily unraveled. I believe these vestigial entanglements, although largely unappreciated, still play an important role in the conduct of a huge amount of psychological research, specifically in any mentalist approach. This book is about the profound and significant relationship between the primitive fear of death and the resulting dualisms on the one hand and modern mentalist theories on the other.

There are several reasons why psychology is still struggling after centuries to be acknowledged as a natural science of the same power as physics . . .

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