CONSTRUCTIVE REALISM AND CONFUCIAN RELATIONALISM: AN EPISTEMOLOGICAL STRATEGY FOR DEVELOPING INDIGENOUS PSYCHOLOGY
Hwang, K.W., National Taiwan University, Taiwan
In view of the dramatic changes in the aspects of ontology, epistemology, and methodology since the philosophy on science moved from positivism to post-positivism, it is argued that indigenous psychologists are unable to attain the goal of constructing a global psychology by adopting a bottom-up approach that emphasizes inductive methods. In order to achieve a global psychology, indigenous psychologists must make three levels of breakthroughs, namely, philosophical reflection, theoretical construction, and empirical research. With respect to philosophical reflection, constructive realism is used to illustrate the difference between significant features of the microworlds constructed by scientists and knowledge used by people in their lifeworlds. The significance of modernization for non-Western countries is also explained in terms of this philosophy. At the level of theoretical construction, indigenous psychologists should construct formal theories on the mechanisms of universal mind that are applicable to various cultures, and then use these theories to analyze the specific mentalities of people in a given culture. A series of theoretical models of Confucian Relationalism is cited to illustrate these arguments. Key words: microworld, lifeworld, modernization, universal mind, formal theory.