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Olga Vlasova1
  • 1 Saint Petersburg State University, 7/9 Universitetskaya emb., Saint Petersburg, 199034, Russian Federation

The Critique of Psychology in French Philosophy of the Mid-Twentieth Century in the Light of the «Psychologism Dispute»

2019. Vol. 16. No. 1. P. 127–144 [issue contents]

The paper discusses the philosophical critique of psychology in France 1940‒50’s in the light of the psychologism dispute and on the ideas of G. Politzer, J.-P. Sartre, D. Lagach, G. Canguilhem, M. Foucault. The productivity of the terminology of the «psychologism dispute» to the French situation and the national specifics of critique are shown. The author demonstrates that psychologists and philosophers confront each other not directly, but in the field of philosophical anthropology; here psychology pretends to occupy not the place of philosophy, but the place of the basic humanitarian discipline. In France philosophical critique of psychology develops later than in Germany; a longer process of separating psychology from philosophy is the cause of it. The paper shows a chronology of development of psychology as a two-stage process of its institutionalization as a science (1870-1940s) and a specialty (1940-2000s). A peak of philosophical criticism is the 1940s-1950s: the decade when psychology receives the right to a licentiate. Psychologism in France of 1940‒50’s is connected with psychology’s claim to become the basis of anthropology. Antipsychologism, developed within the framework of philosophical critique of psychology, was the attempt to defend the philosophical status of anthropology and to prove that anthropology can comprehend a person as integrity if keep its philosophical foundations. Philosophers accentuate two problematic points of psychology: 1) lack of integrity, multidirectional theories and explanatory schemes, 2) pre-scientific or mythological nature of its postulates. They regard philosophical criticism as propaedeutic to anthropology (materialistic or existential) and interpret psychology as the starting point of a new Kantian project and a new philosophy of science (as a science of man). The author marks in this movement the vector “Politzer – Sartre – Lagache – Canguilhem – Foucault” and analyzes in detail their criticism.

Citation: Vlasova O. (2019) Kritika psikhologii vo frantsuzskoy filosofii serediny XX veka v svete «spora o psikhologizme» [The Critique of Psychology in French Philosophy of the Mid-Twentieth Century in the Light of the «Psychologism Dispute»]. Psychology. Journal of Higher School of Economics, vol. 16, no 1, pp. 127-144 (in Russian)
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