My name is Dr. Walker Ladd. I am a researcher, author, and educator. Most importantly, I teach Brain and Behavior: The Social Mind, and AP Psychology, to amazing high school students!
I approach teaching science from a philosophical worldview rooted in American Pragmatism, in the tradition of William James and John Dewey. Pragmatism invites disciplined, progressive consideration of knowledge from multiple perspectives. Knowledge is not an object to be captured. Knowing, however, is the action which generates deep understanding.
Not surprisingly, I approach teaching from a similar paradigm.
I hold no attachment to an absolute Truth in psychological science (or any science actually). James coined this view, Radical Empiricism–a fundamental belief in the uncertainty of certainty in any method claiming to demonstrate Truth. Rather, my classes present neuroscience within the social constructs driving our perceptions of human behavior, including psychology. There, at the intersection of brain and behavior, students learn to consider knowledge ontologically–from multiple perspectives on what the nature of reality is.
I encourage wonder, questioning, examination, and a complimentary marriage of inductive and deductive reasoning. How do we know matter? How do we measure madness? How did we come to agree on the biomedical model of psychological disorders? What if we are wrong?
This blog shares current scientific and theoretical research in the fields of neuroscience, philosophy, psychiatry and psychology. Students can follow the blog for information about evidence-based research and the growing field of philosophical science.