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I don't know about any individual psychologists, but the field in general looks like they treat patients as if everything they do, say and think is all determined by their genes, and the pills prescribed to them will temporarily stop their "behavior." Psychology, despite being around for over a hundred years, is still new, but their have been numerous breakthroughs over time. A link between autism and white matter in the brain was discovered not long ago. These discoveries are made with an underlying premise of determinism. If you're autistic, you can't function "normally," and your mind is not as much in control of your brain as, say, a normally functioning person. This is what they say, only much more ambiguous.

Sure, prescribing pills and giving surgeries can go under the "conquest of nature" category when they legitimately save someone from a disease, and I'd support it if I could stop thinking that psychologists were in business for the "conquest of man." They are paid by drug companies, turning them into drug pushers, making the needs of the patient secondary. This ultimately makes doctors look for any insignificant reason to put a patient under a certain drug.

asked Jul 15 '12 at 10:41

Collin1's gravatar image


Does it matter if the field of psychology supports free will or not for free will to be axiomatic? In fact, most of the world operates on mixed premises. Your statement of observations indicate you recognise that psychology in general is taught from a deterministic viewpoint. I'm trying to understand what you are seeking to have addressed.

(Jul 15 '12 at 11:44) dream_weaver ♦ dream_weaver's gravatar image

The questioner and others might also be interested in the brief overview of the Objectivist assessment of psychology in the topic of "Psychology" in The Ayn Rand Lexicon.

(Jul 16 '12 at 01:15) Ideas for Life ♦ Ideas%20for%20Life's gravatar image

I'll not address the opinions expressed in this question.

Psychology, properly practiced, concerns the operation of the subconscious regarding a person's cognitive efficacy. This form of psychology recognizes that individual choices affect implicit premises, and those premises have emotional effects which might hinder proper thinking.

There are many psychologists who implicitly excuse every individual choice by trying to explain it in terms of circumstances. This determinism can often result in moral agnosticism on the part of the psychologist, but what's worse is it disregards the ego as a relevant factor in a person's psychological development. Such psychologists, over time, train their patients always to look outside themselves for reasons for their own emotions, when sometimes, in fact, the reason for a particular emotional complex was simply a choice made long ago.

Psychiatry, however, is a practical science regarding how drugs might be used to remedy cognitive malfunction, or even to improve cognitive function. Psychiatry, therefore, is valuable when problems are urgent. And, of course, when your best tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Psychology, as a science, implies restraint regarding the application of drugs to a psychological problem. Psychiatry does not.

Psychology also presumes a physically normal person, who might revise premises.

Psychiatry, while often used on normal people, is certainly indicated for people who are physically abnormal somehow. Talk cannot fix a physical problem.

Of course, once drugs deal with physical problems, psychology might also be valuable.

answered Jul 16 '12 at 09:45

John%20Paquette's gravatar image

John Paquette ♦

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Asked: Jul 15 '12 at 10:41

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Last updated: Jul 16 '12 at 09:45