Critical Realism for Psychologists

Author(s) : David Pilgrim

Critical Realism for Psychologists

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : December 2019
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 228
  • Category :
    Culture and Psychoanalysis
  • Catalogue No : 97167
  • ISBN 13 : 9780367223588
  • ISBN 10 : 0367223589

Also by David Pilgrim

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This is the first dedicated text to explain and explore the utility of critical realism for psychologists, offering it as a helpful middle ground between positivism and postmodernism.

By introducing its basic concepts, Pilgrim explains critical realism to psychologists and shows how the interface between the natural and social worlds, and the internal and external, can be used to examine human life. This both/and aspect of human life is important in another sense: we are both determined and determining beings, making choices but within the material constraints of both our bodies and the social context of our unique existence. The book offers an exploration of academic and applied psychology with that inward and outward curiosity in mind, beginning with the premise that both inner and outer reality are the legitimate interest of psychologists. In doing so, it shows how critical realism endorses the remaining advantages of positivism and postmodernism, while discarding their philosophical errors.

A range of case studies are presented to show how psychologists can use critical realism when working with real life problems, as researchers or practitioners.

About the Author(s)

David Pilgrim, PhD, is Honorary Professor of Health and Social Policy at the University of Liverpool and Visiting Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Southampton. Now semi-retired, his career embraced clinical work, teaching, and mental health policy research. He remains active in the Division of Clinical Psychology and the History and Philosophy Section of the British Psychological Society, and was chair of the latter (2015–2018). He is author of a number of books, including Critical Realism for Psychologists (Routledge, 2020) and Identity Politics: Where Did It All Go Wrong? (Phoenix, 2022).

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