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978-1-4985-3668-4 • Hardback • December 2017 • $122.00 • (£94.00)
978-1-4985-3670-7 • Paperback • December 2019 • $47.99 • (£37.00)
978-1-4985-3669-1 • eBook • December 2017 • $42.50 • (£33.00)
Sam S. Rakover is professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Haifa.
Chapter 1: Understanding and Explanation
Chapter 2: Models of Explanation (I): Natural Sciences
Chapter 3: Models of Explanation (II): Natural and Social Sciences
Chapter 4: Reflections on Models of Explanation
Chapter 5: Methodological Dualism (MD) and the Multi-Explanation Framework (MEF) (I) Theoretical and Empirical Basis
Chapter 6: Methodological Dualism (MD) and the Multi-Explanation Framework (MEF) (II): Setting Up
Chapter 7: A Proposed General Explanation Procedure (GEP) for Understanding an Individual’s Behavior
Scientific domains are sometimes categorized as hard and soft, with psychology falling in the latter grouping. Another characterization could be the hard sciences and the difficult sciences. As Rakover (Univ. of Haifa, Israel) has compellingly illustrated in How to Explain Behavior, psychology clearly falls in the difficult category. This book deals with the philosophy of science as it relates to psychological explanation. As such, a solid background in philosophy and the philosophy of science will enable readers to evaluate Rakover’s complex arguments. That the issues of causal explanation remain unresolved indicates the complexity of the endeavor. He lays out the varied philosophical approaches to understanding phenomena as they unfold in the natural and in the social/behavioral sciences, showing that scientists are still far from coming up with explanatory models of behavior. He makes it clear that explanations and understanding are intimately tied to measurement, which constitutes a problem with respect to modeling experiential, mental states. He develops his model, called the "general explanation procedure," to account for psychological constructs, suggesting that psychologists can use it to carve a methodological path leading in the direction of the truth. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students and researchers.
— Choice Reviews
[This] excellent book. . . . offers several profound insights into psychology's existential problems. It contains a wealth of material that should be studied and be of interest to a large audience, including psychologists, philosophers, and members of the educated public at large. A valuable feature of the book is that the author is not satisfied with mere discussion of the seemingly insurmountable problems, but volunteers also to offer solutions. This scholarly book should hold a respected place on the shelves of novice and seasoned psychologists alike.
— Iyyn: The Jerusalem Philosophical Quarterly
Rakover makes a remarkable, detailed exposition of the problem involved in accounting for the innermost mentalistic processes that are not amenable to scientific inquiry. . . . The arguments are eloquently presented and richly accompanied by supporting data and by thought experiments.
— American Journal of Psychology
How to Explain Behavior:A Critical Review and New Approach is at once a general introduction to psychological explanation and an original mature theory on the nature of such explanation. It is to be hoped that this work will be widely read not only by psychologists, philosophers, and historians of science, but by all those motivated by the struggles of a gifted thinker who is forging his way toward a foundation for his discipline.
— Daniel Algom, Tel-Aviv University
Sam S. Rakover’s provocative book consists of a comprehensive, in-depth analysis of the conceptual problems involved in the explanation of organismic behavior which concludes with a bold, creative suggestion of an original model that skillfully combines complementary mechanistic (causal) and mentalistic (teleological) explanations which together may account for both the external (explicit responses) and internal (implicit will and belief) behavioral processes.
— Israel Nachson, Bar Ilan University, professor emeritus
Knowing that Sam S. Rakover is a psychologist, his ‘dual methodology’ and ‘multi-explanation framework’ that appear in this book can be considered as an essential epistemological step toward an overall explanation of the realities (‘epistemological ontologies’) of the mind and brain (i.e., my ‘epistemologically different worlds’ perspective).
— Gabriel Vacariu, Bucharest University, author of Illusions of Human Thinking