Humans are the selection criterion in psychological science, not "reality": A reply to Herbert and Padovani

Jean-Louis Monestes, Matthieu Villatte

We provide a reply to Herbert & Padovani's (in press) critique of the a-ontological stance embraced by functional contextualism. We propose that the selection of scientific models that "work well" relies on the goals scientists choose to pursue. The selection criterion for scientific models is set by scientists and does not prove the existence of a putative reality, or its organization. Although somewhat arbitrary, scientific goals only require being stable and shared by a large community of scientists, not reflecting an external reality. Finally, we argue that a philosophical position should not be abandoned based on its lack of popularity, and we call instead for improvement in the way we explain the a-ontological stance of functional contextualism.

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