By Thomas Teo

Closely paralleling the historical past of psychology is the historical past of its critics, their theories, and their contributions. The Critique of Psychology is the 1st ebook to track this exchange background, from a special standpoint that enhances the various current empirical, theoretical, and social histories of the field.

Thomas Teo cogently synthesizes significant ancient and theoretical narratives to explain centuries of demanding situations to―and the reactions of―the mainstream. a few of these opinions of content material, technique, relevance, and philosophical worldview have really stimulated and turn into built-in into the canon; others pose ethical questions nonetheless less than debate. All are accessibly offered in order that readers may perhaps pass judgement on their price for themselves:

- Kant’s critique of rational and empirical psychology on the finish of the 18th century

- The natural-scientific critique of philosophical psychology within the nineteenth century

- The human-scientific critique of natural-scientific psychology

- The Marxist traditions of critique

- Feminist and postmodern reviews and the modern mainstream

- Postcolonial reviews and the shift from cross-cultural to multicultural psychology

This isn't really a ebook of critique for critique’s sake: Teo defines the sphere as a piece in growth with targets which are evolving but consistent. In emphasizing moral and political questions confronted by means of psychology as a self-discipline, this visionary e-book issues scholars, lecturers, and practitioners towards new percentages for his or her shared future.

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Additional resources for The Critique of Psychology: From Kant to Postcolonial Theory (Library of the History of Psychology Theories)

Sample text

In the Marxist critique of relevance, mainstream psychology represents the beliefs and ideas of a dominating class; in the feminist critique, the worldview of men; and in the postcolonial critique, the interests of white Americans and Europeans. Cultural critics have argued that the dominance of American psychology has to do with the economic power of the US (Parker, 1989). Given the variety of problems that psychology faces, there should be no doubt that psychology as a discipline needs a systematic reflection on ontology, epistemology, and ethics.

This constellation of research successes of the natural sciences of physiology, physics, and chemistry on the one hand, and the political–historical development of society and its institutions on the other hand, led to a positivist understanding of psychology. No longer was 36 CHAPTER 2 an understanding of mental life of interest, but rather a positivist explanation, which meant the “functional relationships between variables” (M. H. Marx, 1951, p. 6); (see also Winston, 2001). Such a reconstruction is of course already the perspective of a critical history.

In any case, a lack of critical self-reflection might result in psychology being an unaware discipline that is prone to self-misunderstandings and defense mechanisms. 32 CHAPTER 2 PSYCHOLOGY AS A PROBLEMATIC SCIENCE Given the three contradictory perspectives of psychology that are still in existence in academia, expressing problems of the discipline while at the same time challenging each other on a reccurring basis, it is understandable that researchers have labeled psychology a problematic science (see also Woodward & Ash, 1982).

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