An Essay in Defence of the Female Sex; In Which Are Inserted by Mary Astell, Judith, fl. Drake, A. Roper, E. Wilkinson, R.

By Mary Astell, Judith, fl. Drake, A. Roper, E. Wilkinson, R. Clavel

Name: An Essay in Defence of the feminine intercourse. : within which Are Inserted the Characters of a Pedant, a Squire, a Beau, a Vertuoso, a Poetaster, a City-Critick,

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Additional resources for An Essay in Defence of the Female Sex; In Which Are Inserted the Characters of a Pedant, a Squire, a Beau, a Vertuoso, a Poetaster

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3. Categorical Construction In considering the constructive activity of which psychological objects are the products, a distinction must be made between two aspects. On the one hand, the construction of psychological objects involves some kind of thought work, the development of certain categorical frameworks, and the fitting of instances into such frameworks. Categories such as 'motivation' or 'association' have to be invented, and the domain of their applicability has to be worked out. But in the twentieth century it has become obvious that the construction of psychological objects is not just a matter of cognitive reordering but also involves practical intervention.

Such a procedure may be acceptable in the context of Kuhnian "normal science" (Kuhn, 1970). but it leads to problems as soon as we take a broader perspective since the empirical data that are available have been produced according to certain rules. Among other things, these rules determine which criteria are considered relevant for the selection of subjects, what types of social psychological relationships between experimenters and subjects are regarded as desirable, what constraints shall be imposed on the behavior of subjects and of experimenters, which aspects of the experimental situation are held to be unproblematic and which problematic, what shall be recorded and what not recorded, what format experimental records should take, what transformations of 'raw' data are permissible, what must be and what need not be communicated in published accounts of investigations, what form these published accounts should take, including the form in which 'findings' are communicated, and so on.

Given the categories in which psychologists reflected their own activity, such developments were usually conceptualized as technical changes. But they were quite different from true technical changes because they were not simply an improvement in the means for achieving a constant goal but involved a profound change in the goal itself. In the course of time psychologists changed the nature of the empirical objects they wanted to construct, and at anyone time there were usually groups of investigators with varying investments in preferred types of knowledge object.

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