From: 'Andrew Phelps' <>


Subject: RE: [PsySR-humanrights] town hall

Date: Thursday, August 13, 2015 10:32 AM



Ludwig Wittgenstein as part of the Vienna Circle in the early 20th cent. defeated "logical positivism" as appropriate logic for logicians.

I quoted him for my "Educational Retreat" report regarding 2001 when I organized the training of "Mental Health" in the Silicon Valley here.

Ijk may be referring to advocacies like that of Bertrand Russell - who advocated "logical positivism" and justified his social democratic views thereby. Psychology today still organizes institutional structures from such a frame. The "community control" from Kennedy's 1963 Community Mental Health Act would be one prominent example.






On Thu, 8/13/15, Eee wrote:

It’s perhaps a minor point, but quantitative research and “positivism” are far from synonymous. And “logical positivism” has been totally dead for many decades.

Using stereotypical words like “positivism” is harmful to trying to attain a better balance between quantitative and qualitative research, which values the strengths of both. Rather, it encourages associations like “quantitative research” = “positivism” = “bad.”

The qualitative folks spend far too much time attacking largely nonexistent “positivism.” When I teach qualitative research I reject most textbooks because they have more of this pseudo-philosophical stuff than information on how to actually conduct good qualitative research.

Ijk wrote:

Eca, One brief reply since I need to get on the road early today to drive home, we need to stop the logical positivist worship of quantitative research. We need to pay close attention to the excellent qualitative research addressing the needs of individual populations. We have to document evidenced based interventions for the insurance companies, but we can also use more effective interventions that help the clients identify the power structures in their individual life contexts, and to foster the ability to explore and make their own choices.