“Psychologizing”

  • The Objectivist

    Just as reasoning, to an irrational person, becomes rationalizing, and moral judgment becomes moralizing, so psychological theories become psychologizing. The common denominator is the corruption of a cognitive process to serve an ulterior motive.

    Psychologizing consists in condemning or excusing specific individuals on the grounds of their psychological problems, real or invented, in the absence of or contrary to factual evidence.

  • The Objectivist
    While the racket of the philosophizing mystics rested on the claim that man is unable to know the external world, the racket of the psychologizing mystics rests on the claim that man is unable to know his own motivation.
  • The Objectivist

    Armed with a smattering, not of knowledge, but of undigested slogans, they rush, unsolicited, to diagnose the problems of their friends and acquaintances. Pretentiousness and presumptuousness are the psychologizer’s invariable characteristics: he not merely invades the privacy of his victims’ minds, he claims to understand their minds better than they do, to know more than they do about their own motives. With reckless irresponsibility, which an old-fashioned mystic oracle would hesitate to match, he ascribes to his victims any motivation that suits his purpose, ignoring their denials. Since he is dealing with the great “unknowable” — which used to be life after death or extrasensory perception, but is now man’s subconscious — all rules of evidence, logic and proof are suspended, and anything goes (which is what attracts him to his racket).

    While the racket of the philosophizing mystics rested on the claim that man is unable to know the external world, the racket of the psychologizing mystics rests on the claim that man is unable to know his own motivation.

  • The Objectivist

    A man’s moral character must be judged on the basis of his actions, his statements and his conscious convictions — not on the basis of inferences (usually, spurious) about his subconscious.

    A man is not to be condemned or excused on the grounds of the state of his subconscious.

    While the racket of the philosophizing mystics rested on the claim that man is unable to know the external world, the racket of the psychologizing mystics rests on the claim that man is unable to know his own motivation.