Is Another kind of Biologization Possible? On Biology and the psy Sciences

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The relationship between biology and the psy disciplines (psychology, psychiatry, and psychotherapy) is a complex one. Many scholars have criticized how these disciplines have been biologized in the 20th century, especially since the emergence of psychopharmacology, neuroscience, and genetic research. However, biology is not just a laboratory-based science of chemical compounds, scanners, and DNA sequencing, but also a field science based on observations of organisms in their milieus. In this paper, we draw a contrast between laboratory-based biology with a focus on brains and genes, and an ecology-based biology with a focus on lives and niches. Our argument is philosophical in nature – building partly on Wittgenstein as a “philosopher of life” – to the effect that the psy sciences need not just less biologization of the former kind, but also more biologization of the latter kind to avoid a prevalent mentalism. Not least when it comes to an understanding of psychological distress, which can favorably be viewed situationally and coupled to human lives in ecological niches.

TidsskriftIntegrative Psychological and Behavioral Science
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)719-737
Antal sider19
StatusUdgivet - sep. 2023

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
Open access funding provided by Royal Danish Library. The research has been supported by the Independent Research Fund Denmark (grant number 2027-00060B).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).


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