Views

Views
   1) Freud's View of Himself
   I am not really a man of science, not an observer, not an experimenter, and not a thinker. I am nothing but by temperament a conquistador-an adventurer, . . . with the curiosity, the boldness, and the tenacity that belong to that type of being. (Freud, quoted in E. Jones, 1961, p. 227)
   2) Persons Are Agents Faced with Choices and Persons Are Physical Mechanisms
   We must start by recognizing that there are two very different points of view which we can take toward human behavior, that neither of these points of view can be rejected, and that an adequate conceptualization of human behavior must have room for both. One point of view is that of theoretical sciences like physics. Whatever else we may want to say of persons, they surely are material organizations, and as such, the laws of physics, chemistry, etc. must apply to them. . . . So actions can . . . be viewed as physical phenomena whose explanation must be found in other physical phenomena in the brain and nervous system. . . .
   A very different, but equally indispensable, point of view is that of the agent who is faced with choices, deliberates, makes decisions, and tries to act accordingly. . . . [H]uman beings can have a conception of what it is they want and what they should do in order to get what they want, and . . . their conceptions-the meaning which situations and behaviors have for them in virtue of the way they construe them-can make a difference to their actions. . . .
   We cannot eliminate the notion that we are agents because it is central to our conception of what is to be a person who can engage in practical life. But I can also look at myself from a purely external point of view, as an object in nature, and that my behavior must then be seen as caused by other events in nature is central to our conception of physical science. (Mischel, 1976, pp. 145-146)
   3) Points of View Can Not Be Excluded from Any Serious Account of the World
   There are things about the world and life and ourselves that cannot be adequately understood from a maximally objective standpoint, however much it may extend our understanding beyond the point from which we started. A great deal is essentially connected to a particular point of view, or type of point of view, and the attempt to give a complete account of the world in objective terms detached from these perspectives inevitably leads to false reductions or to outright denial that certain patently real phenomena exist at all. (T. Nagel, 1986, p. 7)

Historical dictionary of quotations in cognitive science. . 2015.

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