Thursday, April 9, 2020

NEO-SKEPSIS # 4

Psychology and Pseudoscience

Science or pseudoscience ?: 

Manuel A. Paz y Miño, Editor, Neo-Skepsis 
The distinction between science and pseudoscience is not a mere academic problem or one that does not even deserve our attention, but its elucidation has social, economic, and even political implications. There are many disciplines to which we can question their "scientificity" but which receive the letterhead of science or in any case proto-sciences among their supporters and that of pseudoscience among their adversaries respectively, especially the majority of the members of the scientific community. Is it a difficult choice to solve? We think not. There are certain general and basic ideas —even from common sense— that can clarify for us whether this or that set of ideas or knowledge is scientific or not.

Psychoanalysis and the computerized model of the mind as pseudoscientific approaches:

Mario Bunge, Foundations of Science Unit, McGill University
Psychoanalytic ideas are mostly foolish, unstable and / or undemonstrable or refutable speculations as well as being disconnected from neurophysiology and experimental psychology. The computerized model of the mind, or rather, the family of computer models, although it seems scientific or more technological because it uses the language of computer science, it is also pseudoscientific.

On the epistemological status of psychoanalysis:

César Sparrow, Academic Department of Psychology, National Major University  San Marcos
Is psychoanalysis a science? Why? If not, could it be? How? Would it be convenient if it were a science? This article seeks to answer these questions.

Behaviorism, postmodernism and a systemic approach: Analysis of confrontation and decisive synthesis:

William Montgomery Urday, Academic Department of Psychology, National University of San Marcos
Postmodernism has a positive and a negative side, the first influencing the overcoming of reductionism and the mechanism of the reflexological paradigm, and the recognition of complexity and transdisciplinarity. The second side, in turn, passes through an obtuse, prejudiced and uninformed vision of scientific work and knowledge of objective reality that harms systematic professional action. It is indicated that behavioral science (in its interbehavioral variant) adapts its work to the positive demands of postmodernism by moving away from diachronic logic and approaching a synchronous model such as that provided by the conception of Systems Theory, and presents as evidence a comparison of the essential guidelines of the systemic approach in league with the theoretical, methodological and practical contribution to field behaviorism.

Piaget: a critical look:

Raymundo Casas Navarro, Academic Department of Linguistics, National University M. San Marcos
The purpose of this article is to criticize Piaget's theory from an epistemological point of view. First, the author draws a brief sketch of Piaget's genetic epistemology, and then shows the weak aspects of this theory. In conclusion, this document raises a strong objection against Piaget's program.

Towards a "balanced epistemology" for psychology ?:

William Montgomery Urday, Academic Department of Psychology, National Major University San Marcos

Following M. Bunge, it is suggested that there are, from a scientific perspective, certain indispensable characteristics that a good epistemology must have (in this case for psychology), which are found only in some of the options currently available. Epistemology must have at least one precise mission, be objective, be the foundation of knowing and doing, and allow us to distinguish between events and constructs.




NEO-SKEPSIS # 3:

 THE PARANORMAL PHENOMENA AND PARAPSYCHOLOGY



Abstracts
WHAT´S WRONG WITH THE PARANORMAL?
RICHARD DAWKINS, Oxford University
The paranormal phenomenon would be a miracle but this does not exist. It would be so true like professional magicians´ tricks. So «paranormalists» are a fake and tricksters.
EXPLAINING THE «UNEXPLAINED»: THE «PARANORMAL» IN PERU
M.A. PAZ Y MIÑOCenter of Investigation of the Paranormal Phenomena, Pseudo-sciences and Irrationality in Peru (CIPSI-PERU)
It tries to explain certain people’s activities who visited Peru in the last years such as psychic healers, hypnotists and telepaths) and also several supposed miraculous or extraordinary events (for example, images crying, alien visits, the future in the stars, cards, palm of the hand, etc.) By the other side, author makes some reflections on their success and consequences in the Peruvian people.
WORLDS IN COLLISION APPLYING REALITY TO THE PARANORMAL
BENJAMIN RADFORD, Skeptical Inquirer
Paranormal claims are a double-edged sword, and many believers would likely be unhappy with the logical implications of their beliefs. Our world would be a very different place if paranormal abilities truly existed. Psychic powers, if they were real, would raise serious ethical and philosophical questions regarding individuality, privacy, freedom, and free will.
PARAPSYCHOLOGY: A CRITICAL EVALUATION
MASSIMO POLIDORO, Italian Committee  for Investigation of Paranormal Claims
Psychic phenomena have puzzled men for centuries. However, this is a field in which after 120 years of scientific research meaningful results are still missing.  This paper aims to provide an overview of the best work conducted in parapsychology along with the relative critical evaluation.  Besides from the fact that parapsychology will be able or not to demonstrate the reality of psychic phenomena, it is suggested that conventional psychology devote more of its time to so-called «anomalistic experiences»; meaning with this term those anomalous psychological and neurological phenomena for which there exists a rational explanation but for which the majority of the population usually gives a paranormal interpretation (deja-vu, paramnesia, apparitions, hypnosis, out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences and so on).
PARANORMAL: ESP & PARAPSYCHOLOGY
PAUL KURTZ, Committee  for Investigation of Paranormal Claims.
It is about what the paranormal phenomena are and part of the history of parapsychological inquiries and results.
PARAPSICOLOGY: SCIENCE OR PSEUDOSCIENCE?
MARIO BUNGE, McGill University
Among several questionable practices only parapsychology is oriented to research but its field of knowledge does not satisfy requirements to be considered scientific.
PSI THEORY AND BELIEF
TERENCE HYNES, Pace University
It is about several parapsychological theories trying to explain the psi phenomenon and  in spite of a poor evidence people believe in it because a personal experience and the great propaganda from media.

NEO-SKEPSIS #2

THE UFO PHENOMENON
 

Destructive Sects:
A. Silleta, Argentinian Magazine "El Ojo Escéptico"
Ufology And The Extraterrestrial Life
Paul Kurtz, Director, Council for Secular Humanism, USA
Without Fear To Be Free:
M. A. Paz y Miño, Director, The Peruvian Journal of Applied Philosophy
Apocaliptical, Cybernetical And Integrated Ones (Ufolatry: The End of Innocence):
Alejandro Agostinelli, Argentinian Magazine "Descubrir"
The Hale-bopp's Madness:
Alan Hale, Southwest Institute for Space Research, USA


To the next abstracts

NEO-SKEPSIS # 1:

SCIENCE OR PSEUDOSCIENCE?
November of 1998

Abstracts

DEMARCATING SCIENCE FROM PSEUDOSCIENCE by Mario Bunge, McGill University
There is a considerable uncertainty concerning the peculiarities of pseudosciences, and this uncertainty affects science policy makers and administrators at all levels. The uncertaintity is due to the usual definitions of science, which are simplistic for seizing each on a single trait (e.g. empirical content, or refutability, or consensus) rather than o whole cluster of attibutes. A more complex definition is offered in terms of ten different conditions, from the general outlook to the partial overlap between each science and other sciences. Along the way several other notions are defined, particularly those of cognitive field, research program, paradigm, and scientific revolution. Then the concept of pseudoscience is defined. As well, scientific unorthodoxies and antisciences are characterized and sharply distinguished from another. It is concluded that the failure of the standard philosophies of science to identifyand criticize pseudoscience and antiscience raise grave doubts about their adequacy.
SCIENCE, PSEUDOSCIENCE AND MARIO BUNGE by Julio Sanz, Universidad de San Marcos
It is about some important examples of pseudoscience -»scientific» creationism, psycoanalysis, astrology, etc. and also their criticism. Then tries on Prof. Bunge’s fight against such theories and activities. And of course of some traits of science that distinguish it from pseudoscience.
THE SCIENTIFIC ATTITUDE AGAINST ANTI-SCIENCE AND PSEUDOSCIENCE by Paul Kurtz, Council for Secular Humanism
It is easy for some one to abandon itself to the unreason, to an atttitude contrary to evidence and proof by science or to introduce mere believes as truthful. The natural human gullibility easily makes that many people believe any thing, many times as an escape from the sorrowful and boring reality. And of course it is not enough for man the scientific knowledge, also he needs arts and philosophy to find a sense to life.
THE NATURE OF PSEUDOSCIENCE by Terence Hines, Pace University
It is about the main traits of pseudoscience-e.g. its infalsability, lack of careful experiments, etc.-, also there are examples of it: creationism, ufology, etc. The paranormal is very close to it and the scientific mistakes (the N-rays and polywater). Scientist have as a duty critizice pseudosciences in order to inform to people on their consecuences and dangers.
PSEUDOCIENTIFIC PRACTICES: Some simmilarities and differences by Andrew Lugg, University of Ottawa
It is on some demarcation criteria between science and pseudoscience (probabilism, Popperian falsacionism, etc.), also it is about certain criticisms to and of certain variety, attitudes and practices of pseudoscience.


To the next abstracts

NEO-SKEPSIS

(New Skepticism)
NEO-SKEPSIS, a critical-rationalist Spmagazine, publishes papers on skepticism about paranormal, supernatural and pseudoscientific claims. 
This periodical was formerly published by the Center of the Investigation of the Paranormal Phenomena, Pseudo-sciences and Irrationality in Peru (CIPSI-PERU)and now it is published by the Peruvian Rationalist Humanists (HURA-PERU).


Honorary Editorial Board
Alejandro Agostinelli (Descubrir Magazine), Alejandro Borgo (CFI-ARGENTINA), Raimundo Casas (San Marcos National Major University), Robert T. Carroll (Sacramento City College), Craig Dilworth (Univ. of Uppsala), Héctor Escobar (UFO Perspectives Magazine), Tom Flynn (Free Inquiry Magazine), Barry Karr (Skeptical Inquirer Magazine), Paul KurtzCouncil for Secular Humanism/CSICOP, Leonardo Ledesma (free lance author), Andrew Lugg (Univ. of Ottawa), Marino Llanos (San Marcos National University), Mario Méndez (Mexican Society for Skeptical Research), William Montgomery (San Marcos Major 
National University), James Randi (James Randi Educational Foundation)


Editor: M. A. Paz y Miño
E-mail: mapymc@yahoo.com

Printed issues:
# 1: Science or Pseudoscience?
# 2: The UFO Phenomenon
# 3: The Paranormal Phenomena
# 4: Psychology and Pseudoscience

Digital issues
# 5: Miscellaneous articles
# 6: Miscellaneous articles
# 7: Miscellaneous articles 
(up-comming issue)

EUPRAXOPHIA # 3:

Incredibility & Non-Religiousness
Lima, 2001



Contents
Finngeir Hiorth: What Freethinking now? pp. 1-8
Mathew: An Introduction to Atheism, pp. 9-26
Ernesto Guevara F.: On Atheists & Believers, pp. 27-28
Paul Kurtz: The Future of Humanism, pp. 29-43
Ran Shalom: An Interview with Michael Martin: Champion of Atheism, pp. 44-55
Book reviews on Theism & Atheism by Finngeir Hiorth & Gustavo Flores, pp. 56-72
Also: Statement # 2 and Years 2000-01 Debates of the Peruvian A-Religious Movement
To the former issue
To the next issue 


EUPRAXOPHIA # 2:

What is the Meaning of Life?
Lima, 2001

ABSTRACTS
HAPINESS AS A SOCIAL PLEASURE (pp. 1-7)
Carmen Zavala
Happiness is lived by people through the others, it is not an isolated thing. Then its concept is a socio-cultural product.
LIFE IS TO BE LIVED NOW: A VITAL, PERSONAL HUMANISM (pp. 8-11)
Frederick Edwords
Many times we mistakenly postpone happiness and let it be conditioned by the others´ view. Humanism says we should plan our life because it is the only one that we have.
THE HUMAN LIFE: WHAT IS ITS PURPOSE? (pp. 12-26)
Manuel Abraham Paz y Miño
The meaning of an individual´s life is a product of several circunstances around its existence.
ETHICS AND MEANING OF LIFE (pp. 27-33)
Octavio Obando
The meaning of life was conditionated by religion until Modern times in the West. Social and political events influence on it and it has several levels. There are many kinds of it.
THE MEANING OF LIFE (pp. 34-55)
Paul Kurtz
Author claims: an ethics without God, life is worth to be lived, we should live well satisfaying our basic and spiritual needs with audacity, freedom and reason.
INTERVIEW WITH WALTER  LEDGARD by M.A. Paz y Miño
 (pp.56-58)
Book reviews by Víctor Montero (pp. 59-72) of:
How to enjoy better sex, love and marriage by M.A. Paz y Miño, and Introduction to Humanism by F. Hiorth
Also: Statement # 2 and Years 2000-01 Debates of the Peruvian Non-Religious & Humanist Movement.
To the former issue
To the next issue