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Philosophical Hermeneutics: A Metatheory to Transcend Dualism and Individualism in Western Psychology

Christopher, Dr. John C. and Richardson, Dr. Frank C. and Christopher, Dr. Suzanne E. (2003) Philosophical Hermeneutics: A Metatheory to Transcend Dualism and Individualism in Western Psychology . In Proceedings International Congress of the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychologists, Warsaw, Poland.

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Abstract

One impediment for psychology in grappling with the significance of culture and the challenges of intercultural contact continues to be its underlying metatheoretical framework. Philosophical hermeneutics deconstructs Western psychology’s emphasis upon objectivity and neutrality, and its aspiration to be culture-free, ahistorical, and universal by demonstrating how these rely upon a particular socially constructed vision of life. This vision obscures a more fundamental level of agency in which humans are embedded within cultural practices and traditions prior to the development and emergence of the Cartesian “I” and its dichotomized world of self/other, subject/object, fact/value, and mind/body. We argue that philosophical hermeneutics provides conceptual tools for (a) critiquing the existing Newtonian-Cartesian metatheory, (b) discerning the ways this metatheory impedes recognition of the cultural values and assumptions underlying the social sciences, (c) identifying the resulting impact these values and assumptions have upon psychology in terms of a "disguised ideology," and (d) developing an alternative metatheory that is non-dualistic and non-individualistic.

EPrint Type:Conference Paper
Subjects:Theory > Hermeneutics
Psychology > Culture/Ethnicity
ID Code:163
Deposited By:Christopher, Dr. John
Deposited On:11 July 2003