- Metatheoretical framework -
Three metatheoretical properties
Given that all science is done by
humans, the TPS Paradigm
defines as a
phenomenon anything that humans can perceive or can make perceptible (e.g.,
technically) and/or that humans can conceive. (This notion that differs from various philosophical thought
traditions, such as Kant's).
At the metatheoretical framework's core, there are three
abstract properties that can be conceived in different
constellations for every phenomenon studied in research on individuals.
These particular properties are considered because
perceptibility of a given phenomenon by humans - and thus also by researchers. Given
this, they also determine accessibility of many further properties that can be perceived in the
study phenomena (e.g.,
colour) or inferred from them (e.g., causal mechanisms) and that are
largely within the focus of research.
Their labelling as metatheoretical indicates that these properties are conceived on a level of abstraction not commonly considered; but only time and space constitute ontological
Conceptual differentiations of various kinds of phenomena
The three metatheoretical properties and the particular constellation
of their forms are used to conceptually differentiate various kinds of
phenomena studied in individuals. These
are metatheoretical categories of phenomena defined on the basis of
their modes of accessibility; they are not meant to constitute ontological
Note: Material physical denotes corporeal (bodily)
properties. Immaterial physical phenomena are not corporeal in
themselves but are systematically related to material phenomena in
which they become manifest. This differs from the immaterial
"non-physical" phenomena of the psyche, which are not systematically
related to the material and immaterial physical phenomena to which
they are bound (e.g., brain morphology and physiology).
These conceptual differentiations, as they are based on modes of accessibility, have important implications for
research methodology as specified in the paradigm's methodological
Metatheoretical definitions of study
What is behaviour? What is the psyche? Building on the metatheoretical
differentiations, the TPS Paradigm also provides metatheoretical definitions of
the phenomena studied.
Behaviour versus psyche: An important
distinction often made only implicitly
The metatheoretical definitions and differentiations highlight important distinctions between behaviour
and psyche, which is often made only implicitly such as in concepts of
'inner behaviours' and 'outer behaviours'. This blurrs important differences
in accessibility, which have profound implications on research methods.
Behaviours are external and therefore publically accessible (Uher,
2016a, What is behaviour?), whereas the
psyche is imperceptible by others and accessible only by the individual
itself and nobody else. Psychical phenomena can only be inferred indirectly
from individuals' externalisations in behaviour and language, which are
other kinds of phenomena than psyche itself (Uher,
2015d, Agency enabled by the psyche).
This distinction is essential to explore the tight functional
interactions between psyche and behaviour (e.g., in actions). These are also
important criteria for
methods enabling investigations of
(Uher, 2016b, Exploring the workings of the psyche).
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