Scientism as an obstacle for an ethical-political understanding of Psychology

In separating the phenomena of their social, human, and ecological contexts, and by not taking into account intentional and valorative categories, natural-scientific methodologies impede the comprehension of some human activities which include values, chiefly ethical and political. In this context, “scientism” is the dogmatic and non-thematized acceptance of natural-scientific methods. From this point on, in the context of psychology, the aim of this paper is to demonstrate how “scientism” can function as an epistemological and methodological obstacle to an ethical and political understanding of psychology. Thus, at first, through reflections based on problems encountered in the literature on the subject, scientism's dogmas and some counterpoints are presented; some of its consequences are addressed, by taking up two examples from current literature - the labeling and the racial interpretations, and, finally, a program of research which deals with these problems is presented as an alternative: critical psychology.

Criticism (Philosophy); Epistemology; Methodology; Values

Conselho Federal de Psicologia SAF/SUL, Quadra 2, Bloco B, Edifício Via Office, térreo sala 105, 70070-600 Brasília - DF - Brasil, Tel.: (55 61) 2109-0100 - Brasília - DF - Brazil