Philosophy of Psychology: An Introduction

A new textbook, “Philosophy of Psychology: An Introduction”, by Kengo Miyazono (Hokkaido University) and Lisa Bortolotti (University of Birmingham) was published by Polity Press (on 14 May 2021 in the UK and on 13 July 2021 worldwide).

Philosophy of Psychology book coverAre we rational creatures? Do we have free will? Can we ever know ourselves? These and other fundamental questions have been discussed by philosophers over millennia. But recent empirical findings in psychology and neuroscience suggest we should reconsider them.

This textbook provides an engrossing overview of contemporary debates in the philosophy of psychology, exploring the ways in which the interaction and collaboration between psychologists and philosophers contribute to a better understanding of the human mind, cognition and behaviour.

Miyazono and Bortolotti discuss pivotal studies in cognitive psychology, social psychology, developmental psychology, evolutionary psychology, clinical psychology and neuroscience, and their implications for philosophy.

Combining the latest philosophical and psychological research with an accessible style, Philosophy of Psychology is a crucial resource for students from either discipline. It is the most up-to-date text for modules on philosophy of mind, philosophy of psychology, philosophy of mental health and philosophy of cognitive science.

The authors introduce the themes of the book in this blog post.

Here is a virtual book launch for the book, featuring comments by international experts in the philosophy of psychology: Nevia Dolcini (Macau, China); Katrina Sifferd (Elmhurst College, US); Jules Holroyd (Sheffield, UK); and Pablo López-Silva (University of Valparaiso, Chile).

Also, check out the #PhilPsy2021 hashtag on Twitter: you are welcome to post comments and ask questions to the authors.

Roundtable discussions

Rationality, self-knowledge, and implicit bias

A conversation between Philosophy of Pyschology book authors Kengo Miyazono (Hokkaido University, Japan) and Lisa Bortolotti (University of Birmingham) and experts Nevia Dolcini (University of Macau, China) and Jules Holroyd (Sheffield) on the themes of rationality, self-knowledge, and implicit bias.

Delusion, confabulation, autism, and psychopathy

A conversation between Philosophy of Psychology book authors Kengo Miyazono (Hokkaido University, Japan) and Lisa Bortolotti (University of Birmingham) and experts Katrina Sifferd (Elmhurst College, US) and Pablo Lopez-Silva (University of Valparaiso, Chile) on the themes of delusion, confabulation, autism, and psychopathy.


Pablo Lopez-SilvaPablo Lopez-Silva (University of Valparaiso, Chile): “Philosophy of Psychology is not only an introduction, but also an open door that invites us to dive into complex issues. Philosophy of Psychology is a two-way invitation. On the one hand, it is an invitation for people in the empirical sciences is to get a better grasp on some of the most fundamental conceptual issues underlying their professional practice; and on the other hand, it is an invitation for philosophers to go beyond their own depths and engage with empirical data. So, the complexity of mental phenomena really needs this type of bridges in order to make real progress, and I think Philosophy of Psychology is a good example of the way in which these bridges can be built.”

Nevia DolciniNevia Dolcini (University of Macau, China): “You actually succeed in selecting and presenting discussions where work in philosophy and work in psychology mesh very, very nicely. So, students in psychology can learn a great deal about good contemporary studies in philosophy and at the same time students in philosophy can learn a lot about contemporary work, like in neuroscience and in experimental sciences.”

Jules HolroydJules Holroyd (University of Sheffield, UK): “What I really like about the whole framing of this textbook is the way that you suggest that one of the uses of implicational philosophy of psychology is to learn about the threats to or limits of our agency, but in particular to think about it as a means to helping us improve it. Engaging with the studies in psychology in a philosophical way can provide us with resources to understand how we can be better agents and I really liked that framing of the sort of constructive engagement of philosophy with psychology. I thought that was great.”

Katrina SifferdKatrina Sifferd (Elmhurst College, US): “I really appreciated the book’s nuanced view, sophisticated view of autism and psychopathy. And the way the authors get this more nuanced view off the ground is by really exploring the nature of empathy, which is something that has been thought to be lacking or problematic in both persons who have psychopathy and autistics.”