The problem of psychology.

Is psychology legit?

I’ve often had a problem with psychology. I watched a documentary recently titled Flight from Death - it was based on a book by Ernest Becker, The Denial of Death. The basic premiss is that underlying all human action and culture etc. lies an attempt at immortality, in some way or other our actions are a means in which we deny death, in which we deny our mortality. It gave 9/11 as an example, as an explanation of the ferocity behind the fervor in which we attack opposing civilizations is because their culture, their means of denying death through culture i.e. their symbols, religions, and concepts etc. are in conflict with our own, with our own means of denying death. But whilst I can concede the importance we invest in our cultures and the symbols of our culture I can’t make the extra step beyond into claiming that we seek to deny death in all we do.

And the problem I have here is what I figure to be a problem at large with psychological theories. Because it seems in theorizing about the human psyche basically anything goes. I mean if one were to insist that my actions are due to my denial of death I would inform said person that I rarely dwell on my death, and that in fact I’m quite comfortable in the inevitability of my death but then the argument gets psychological. Of course I don’t consciously fear death but it’s subconscious. Subconsciously I fear death and all I do is deny it and seek immortality etc. etc. What the hell can one say against the subconscious? The original idea could be that all we do is motivated by the fear of pink elephants but we’re not aware of it because it’s subconscious.

So, some help would be appreciated here. Is psychology legit? Or is it just…bullshit?

that depends on the amount of cocaine in the thoughts of the psychologist

assumption of cause and effect on actions that have no observable or measurable cause…

removing another section of brain

god made it so

the brain made it so

the power of the will made it so

smile, the banana remains dancing



I’m not going to do your thinking for you. What I will say, however, is that there is a lot of weeding that you’ll have to do when studying psychology, just like you have to do when studying philosophy. Because you run across Platonists, even these days, in university settings, does not mean that there is no value to the philosophic tradition. Use your powers of deductive and inductive reasoning skills to determine what is good psychology and bad psychology.