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Context and Reality in Psychology

Lecture Center for Global Humanities Lecture/Seminar Series

James D. Herbert

James D. Herbert

Most scientists do not spend much time contemplating the inevitable philosophical assumptions that underlie their work and tend to operate from a perspective of naïve realism. However, strong realist assumptions have been increasingly challenged by philosophers of science. In psychology, a modern philosophy of science has recently emerged from this challenge to strong realism. In this lecture, Dr. James Herbert will reflect on the implications of this philosophy, known as functional contextualism, including whether it goes too far in dismissing questions about the existence of a world beyond our senses. He will discuss the implications of these issues for scientific psychology as well as for questions of morality.


James D. Herbert is President of the University of New England. He is the author of over 170 scholarly works in psychology, including a recent book on mindfulness and psychological acceptance in cognitive behavior therapy that was endorsed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He is well known for his writings on quackery and pseudoscience in mental health. Although not a professional philosopher, he has recently developed an interest in the philosophy of science.


Portland Forum in Innovation Hall
716 Stevens Avenue
Portland, ME 04103


5 p.m. in Global Plaza, Innovation Hall (Portland Campus)


Context and Reality in Psychology Event Poster
6:00 PM
Portland Forum in Innovation Hall

Portland Campus

Free and open to the public