Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name





Behaviorism (Psychology)


Psychology is the middle ground between philosophy and science. Philosophy deals with the interpretation of facts, with, a view to determining their ultimate cause. It is the search for knowledge of general principles--elements, powers, causes and laws--as explaining facts and existences. Science is systematized knowledge of facts, laws and proximate causes, gained and verified by exact observation. Science is the effort to show how laws operate, and how certain facts affect other facts. Philosophy seeks to show why laws operate as they do, and to discern what is the first fact. Science deals with the sequence of events and effects and their immediate causes. Philosophy seeks to go back through a process of reasoning to the first cause, the uncaused cause, and in terms of that to explain all the series of effects, all the consequent facts and factors. Science goes into the laboratory and experiments. Philosophy goes to the reason and theorizes and then seeks proof of those theories through processes of logic. Science is primarily objective in its method. Philosophy is primarily subjective. Science takes phenomena and seeks to discern the facts and factors involved. Philosophy takes a basic fact, or type-phenomenon and builds a system around it, or it begins with concrete facts and seeks to gain from them a philosophic truth. It may safely be said that philosophy is the parent, science the offspring. Between these two great fields of knowledge and partaking of both is psychology. Its tendency has been from the philosophical in method and material to the scientific. In that it deals with the mind it is philosophical. Because it is objective it is scientific. When it analyzes the states and phases of consciousness and passes judgment upon the nature and functions of the soul it is philosophical. When it explains the workings of the neural, glandular and muscular systems of the human organism it is scientific. Psychologists in general prefer to call their field a science, and such it is in the main, but as evidence of the fact that it has always been considered philosophical the average college or university curriculum may be noted.