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Laws, Mind, and Free Will$
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Steven Horst

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780262015257

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262015257.001.0001

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Laws, Vindication, and Ontology

Laws, Vindication, and Ontology

Chapter:
(p.15) 2 Laws, Vindication, and Ontology
Source:
Laws, Mind, and Free Will
Author(s):

Steven Horst

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262015257.003.0002

This chapter is concerned with the putative difference between psychology and the physical sciences. Although this difference has been viewed as problematic for psychology, it is yet to be seen why this should be so. Also considered here are the Weber-Fechner laws, a paradigm of psychophysical respectability which claims that the intensity of a percept is a logarithmic function of the intensity of the stimulus. Such laws are well established by repeated experiments, are robust across many subjects, and take the form of a mathematical equation. In short, they have many of the hallmarks of respectable scientific results. It is not true, however, that the intensity of the percept is always related to that of the stimulus in the manner which they predict.

Keywords:   psychology, physical sciences, Weber-Fechner laws, psychophysical respectability, percept, logarithmic function, stimulus

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