This editorial will likely be my last contribution to Psybernetika, certainly my last editorial. I am presently finishing my dissertation and am about to step down as editor, just prior to my leaving the ranks of the student. I do not, however, expect my learning to end, as I find that my own students teach me a great deal. I will, however, no longer 'officially' be a student, and my eligibility for contributing to Psybernetika will come to an end.
Over the past three years I have had the honour to be "in the driver's seat" with this journal. While such a responsibility has at times been rather challenging, it has also been a wonderful experience to have the opportunity to take this journal to places that I have found very interesting and exciting.
Before introducing this issue, I would first like to thank all of the contributors who, over the past three years, have offered their ideas and expressions of what various forms of psychology can be. There certainly have been a large number of different images of psychology that we have published. In spite of this diversity, as with Canadian identity, there are still a few common themes that have run through the various issues. I think that the 'flavour" of my own image of psychology has come through, where someone once wrote to our webmaster enquiring about the widespread hermeneutics going on at SFU! While that might be a little far fetched, I definitely am a committed hermeneuticist.
As such, the present issue follows the same general trend as the other issues over the past three years. Beginning with my own paper On the nature of Psychological Science there is a continuation of the philosophical interests that have been prevalent. Having been originally written for the Canadian Psychological Association annual conference in Toronto, June 1997, this paper was intended to reveal the over that I typically present in teaching the history of psychology here at SFU. Here I introduce a number of contemporary philosophies of science, including Logical Positivism, Falsificationism, Social Constructionism, Hermeneutics, and Feminism. Next I provided a brief overview of the history of the Natural Science and Human Science world views as seen in the philosophy of science and the history of psychology. Within psychology the views of Wilhelm Wundt and William James are examined as they each accepted both of these worldviews. Finally, this survey of the two worlds of psychologists is brought to a close with a discussion of the perspectives of Erik Erikson and B.F. Skinner.
Secondly, a very interesting paper by Elizabeth Nissim is next, one that provides a thorough account of the history of femininity and the changes that have occurred over many centuries. She begins with a discussion of the roles of women in Egypt and Mesopotamia and how matriarchy came to an end. She then examines women and religion, and the lack of women in the history of psychology. Next, she addresses the gender role theory of Sandra Bem prior to looking at gender roles in the media, women in the workforce of psychology in the present day.
Third we have the contributions of David Peterson and his Historical Account of Love which begins with a look at the Greek views on love, including Plato's. He then draws on the same distinction of natural and human science that I do in my paper, however he goes on to survey a number of philosophers on the topic of love, ranging from St. Augustine through Dante, Spinoza, Kant, and Hegel. In a very interesting conclusion he provides an Eriksonian theory of love in Canada, where he compares the Scottish influence in Canada with the influences of these earlier philosophers on the American psychologists such as William James.
Finally, Mark Medweth, a returning contributor closes this issue with his account of Becoming nobody, a Buddhist account of self and person. Beginning with a contrasting account of the "western Self" and the "eastern self" he raises the question of the implications of having a self. Turing to a Buddhist theory of cure he finishes with a discussion of the value of losing one's self and becoming nobody.
Also returning to Psybernetika is Jason Clark, the founding editor, as part of the new editorial team. Kate Slaney has taken the baton and received the handshake, becoming our new editor, and Jason will join her on the editorial team. With Eric Pettifor maintaining his role as Web-Master, and me taking on a "backseat driver's" role for the next few months, I expect the transition to be smooth and the ride to be without too many bumps.
The next issues of Psybernetika is expected to contain several articles on the history of Canadian psychology. Having worked with me in the psychology 308 course (the one from where numerous other contributions to our journal have come), both Kate and Jason will be at home editing the several papers we have on a number of Canadian Psychologists. It is expected that we will have articles on Wilder Penfield, Donald Hebb, Robert Hare, as well as Art therapy and Feminism in Canada. I expect that the reader will not be let down with future volumes.
While it is a little bit sad for me to be typing my last few words in this journal, but I also am very proud of the small legacy that I have helped to build here. I consequently implore all of you readers to contribute or at least to encourage others to contribute to keep this journal alive well into the next century. Again, I am proud to have been a big part of this enterprise and I can guarantee you all that by adding to this journal you too will be proud of this collective effort, and will be able to keep your ideas alive on the bright screens and enlightened minds of others.
February 18, 1998
Simon Fraser Univerity
Burnaby, British Columbia.