Taxonomy as a contexualist views it
AuthorHayes, Steven C.
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The Henriques' article, “Psychology Defined” (this issue, pp. 1207-1221), reflects an underlying philosophy of science that emphasizes coherence as its truth criterion. The taxonomic efforts that result are of unknown value when viewed from other philosophical positions. From the point of view of functional contextualism, the primary metric of successful science is not coherence per se, but the precision, scope, and depth of the analysis as a means of predicting and influencing psychological phenomena. Henriques presents neither data nor specific research proposals that would allow even the beginning application of such a metric. Thus, the proposed taxonomy has no known value when viewed contextualistically. Since the practical goals of clinical psychology are very similar to those of functional contextualism, clinical psychologists interested in making a practical difference will have few current empirical reasons to be attracted to this taxonomy. (C) 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.