Philosophy of Science

Rogers was first a scientist; second a therapist; and third a personality theorist. Because his scientific attitude permeates both his therapy and his theory of personality, we look briefly at his philosophy of science.

Accordhig to Rogers (1968), science begins and ends with the subjective experience, although everything hi between must be objective and empirical. Scientists must have many of the characteristics of the person of tomorrow; that is, they must be inclined to look within, to be in tune with internal feelings and values, to be intuitive and creative, to be open to experiences, to welcome change, to have a fresh outlook, and to possess a solid trust hi themselves.

Rogers (1968) believed that scientists should be completely involved hi the phenomena being studied. For example, people who conduct research on psychotherapy must first have had long careers as therapists. Scientists must care about and care for newly born ideas and nurture them lovingly through then fragile infancy.

Science begins when an intuitive scientist starts to perceive patterns among phenomena. At first, these dimly seen relationships may be too vague to be communicated to others, but they are nourished by a carhig scientist until eventually they can be formulated into testable hypotheses. These hypotheses, then, are the consequence of an open-minded scientist and not the result of preexisthig stereotypical thought.

At this point, methodology enters the picture. Although the creativity of a scientist may yield innovative methods of research, these procedures themselves must be rigorously controlled empirical, and objective. Precise methods prevent the scientist from self-deception and from intentionally or unintentionally manipulating the observations. But this precision should not be confused with science. It is only the method of science that is precise and objective.

The scientist then communicates findings from that method to others, but the communication itself is subjective. The people receiving the communication brhig then own degrees of open-mhidedness or defensiveness into this process. They have varying levels of readhiess to receive the findings, depending on the prevailing climate of scientific thought and the personal subjective experiences of each individual.

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