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Vol 08, No 1, Article 03, PDF

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Philosophy of science? Epistemological category errors in psychotherapy discourse: Petruska Clarkson

Abstract: This paper examines psychotherapy philosophically - in the sense that Wittgenstein defined philosophy as 'the discipline of thinking about thinking' - by using Mahrer's 2000 paper on the philosophy of science as an exemplar for epistemological analysis. It focuses on logical category errors in the discipline generally and as exemplified in a detailed critique of Mahrer's paper on this theme. It reviews what is, in fact, scientifically known about all the psychotherapies at this juncture of the 21st century and differentiates this body of knowledge from the universes of discourse which concern theories on the one hand and beliefs on the other. It is in the nature of an invitation for psychotherapists to take the 'physic' (the medicine) which Wittgenstein prescribed. It also contains a personal statement of beliefs.

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