The Psychology of Science and the Origins of the Scientific Mind (Google eBook)
In this book, Gregory Feist reviews and consolidates the scattered literatures on the psychology of science, then calls for the establishment of the field as a unique discipline. He offers the most comprehensive perspective yet on how science came to be possible in our species and on the important role of psychological forces in an individual's development of scientific interest, talent and creativity. Without a psychological perspective, Feist argues, we cannot fully understand the development of scientific thinking or scientific genius. The author explores the major subdisciplines within psychology as well as allied areas, including biological neuroscience and developmental, cognitive, personality and social psychology, to show how each sheds light on how scientific thinking, interest and talent arise. He assesses which elements of scientific thinking have their origin in evolved mental mechanisms and considers how humans may have developed the highly sophisticated scientific fields we know today. In his fascinating and authoritative book, Feist deals thoughtfully with the mysteries of the human mind and convincingly argues that the creation of the psychology of science as a distinct discipline is essential to deeper understanding of human thought processes.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
I came to this book as a scientist who is looking for clarification of his own understanding of science in general and for perspective on his particular branch of science, which in my case happens to be Forensic Science. In the first part of the book, the author spends a great deal of time laying out the framework and clarifying the need for a discipline dedicated to studying The Psychology of Science. This section is very thorough and well reasoned but it is more intended for an audience from the Psychology discipline. Upon completion of the argument for the creation of a new branch of Psychological inquiry related to Science, the author then proceeds to analyze the foundations of science from a developmental and cognitive point of view. I found this perspective to be extremely interesting because it is not the typical way the foundations or Philosophy of Science are presented. For example, there is a detailed discussion on the origins of scientific thinking resulting from five key components: observation, categorization, pattern recognition, hypothesis testing and causal thinking. Most books dealing with science focus on two or three of these concepts and they are usually treated in a linear fashion. This book not only increases the breadth of the discussion but also enriches its complexity by proposing that the process is a circular interrelated one. The Title of the book, "The Psychology of Science and the Origins of the Scientific Mind" implies two distinct discussions. Hopefully a Philosophy of Science discipline will be formalized in the not too distant future. Once that happens I think a single book on the Origins of the Scientific Mind should be considered. Such a book, targeted at a general scientific audience, would certainly become a classic in scientific literature. I highly recommend this book for scientists and those interested in the philosophy, history and foundations of scientific thought.