Friday, 8 February 2013

Edging into the light

Every year the Edge asks an array of scholars, thinkers and public figures to answer a question.  The most recent question was:

What *should* we be worried about?

This is an interesting question because it can be parsed in a number of ways.  For example, we might end up in a conversation about moral imperatives or, alternatively, we might end up focusing upon climate change or superbugs.

When I first read the question I immediately wondered about who the 'we' are and this led me to start wondering about group identities and crucial problems of cooperation.  Many conflicts are ongoing, resource interests are leading to a tragedy of the commons in many arenas, and economic social experiments such as the single European currency are suffering.  But this is not the place to begin this analysis.

Instead, I should like to start a tradition for Middlesex Psychology of asking an annual question of all my colleagues.  I hope to post their answers on this blog.  So, this year the question is:

What constitutes a deep explanation in Psychology?

Those of you who follow the Edge will see that this question has some relation to that asked in 2011/12.

This can be looked at in terms of explanatory satisfaction, or more specifically in terms of the properties and contraints of the discipline of Psychology, then there is the issue of depth and what that might imply...  Let's see what emerges.

Tom Dickins

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