Split vs relational metatheory

Hogan also raises a warning flag as he goes on to note that “all the empiricism in the world can’t salvage a bad idea” (p. 27). Broadly, the marginalization of all things philosophical, and, hence, the marginalization of any extended examination of conceptual foundations, has rested on a forced dichotomy, which locates philosophy in a space of reason and reflection split off from observation and experimentation, and psychology in a space of observation and experimentation split off from reason and reflection.

This marginalization of conceptual foundations in contemporary psychology is ironically itself the product of the acceptance of some basic ontological and epistemological—hence philosophical—assumptions. These assumptions begin with the idea of splitting reason from observation, and follow with the epistemological notion that knowledge and, indeed, reason itself originates in observation and only observation. These assumptions then lead to a particular definition of scientific method as entailing observation, causation, and induction-deduction, and only observation, causation, and induction-deduction. Morris R. Cohen (1931), a philosopher, captured the spirit of this conceptual splitting long ago when he criticized its “anti-rationalism . . . bent on minimizing the role of reason in science” and pointed out that the motto of this approach is the split “Don’t think [reason]; find out [observe]”