Midwinter call for proposals / 2018 presidential theme

July 27, 2017

Call for proposals for the Division 24 Midwinter meeting are now open! The 2018 Presidential Theme is "Explanations of Psychologists’ Ways of Knowing". We encourage you to address any dimension of this theme in your submission. Submissions are due October 27th. 

 

Explaining psychologists’ ways of knowing is a task that is at once philosophical (epistemological) and psychological. For most psychologists, science adequately explains this knowing. However, it is increasingly evident that extra-scientific ways of knowing are present in psychologists’ practices and inquiries; subjectivity, narratives, interpretation, emotions, tradition, and intuition are part of how psychologists know, with culture, identity, race, class, and power also playing a role. Some affirm the legitimacy of these ways of knowing; others view them as sources of bias, to be expunged by science, properly understood. However, different, not-always-compatible philosophies of science exist, ranging from logical positivism to Feyerabendish accounts to pragmatism. Whether scientific or not, explanations of psychologists’ knowing are also based, in part, on metaphysical/ontological perspectives and ethical and political stances. Other accounts of how psychologists know also exist. These very different explanations are, unfortunately, all too often implicit. Meanwhile, the extent of disagreement makes it difficult to convince the general public (and many legislators) to give credence to psychologists’ claims of producing psychological knowledge. Psychologists’ divergent ways of knowing are celebrated by some and decried by others; still others think such divergences are sometimes helpful and sometimes not. This theme calls for presentations addressing any portion of the full range of potential explanations, so we can make progress in critiquing problematic explanations and in developing those that better account for psychologists’ ways of knowing.

 

For a longer, more nuanced discussion of the theme, see here

 

We welcome symposia, papers, and posters that articulate, develop, represent, critique, and improve our explanations of psychologists’ ways of knowing.

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