Synthesis of psychological directions - History, philosophy...

Synthesis of psychological directions

In the previous paragraphs, we considered the following psychological directions: 1) psychoanalysis; 2) behaviorism; 3) activity psychology; 4) cultural and historical psychology; 5) gestalt psychology; 6) humanistic psychology; 7) cognitive psychology (as regards the concept of embodied consciousness, it is a kind of cognitive psychology).

So, in all we have at our disposal seven areas belonging to psychology. All of them are not alien to each other, although, of course, in certain respects they differ significantly. This circumstance should not detract from attempts to synthesize them. Unified knowledge is always conceptually stronger than a scattering of its components. The merits of these components should strengthen, not weaken each other. In accordance with what has been said, it makes sense to consider the various possibilities for taking into account the relationship between psychological directions and their synthesis.

First, let us single out those representations of psychological theories, which are characteristic for different philosophical directions. The procedural presentation in the most distinctive form is characteristic for behaviorism, activity psychology and cultural historical psychology. Moreover, the concept of behavior is clearly inferior in its richness to the concept of activity, which in the cultural and historical direction receives a more sophisticated interpretation than in the theory of activity. In view of what has been said, it is possible to present the problematic and interpretational-critical series of at least three of the seven psychological directions:

(row 3.1); (row 3.2).

The abbreviations used (b, d , to - and ) reflect the first letters of the names of directions. Problem series 3.1 indicates that the subsequent philosophical direction removes some problems of the previous. Behavioral concept & behavior; completely excludes the mental component. Therefore, he does not allow in any way to explain the nature of consciousness. This shortcoming is overcome in the activity concept. Concept activities obviously not enough expresses the conjugation of psychological processuality with such higher mental functions as speech and thinking. This shortcoming is overcome in the cultural and historical direction. In fact, criticizing behaviorism and the activity concept, we will also explain the content of the critical-interpretational series 3.2. So, writing indicates the possibility and necessity of criticizing the activity concept from the perspective of a cultural and historical school.

Of course, along with the procedural representation, it is also worthwhile to consider the mental and linguistic representation. From the point of view of the mental representation, the psychological directions indicated in their list under the numbers A -7 have a distinct advantage between directions 1-3. And, as it seems to us, their ranking should be the same as it is in this list. Again, write the corresponding series:

(row 3.3); (row 3.4).

In terms of mental representation, cognitive psychology is stronger than humanistic insofar as it views concepts more scientifically and specifically. Gestalpsychology clearly loses humanistic psychology in the loftiness of its concepts. But it, in our opinion, is more detailed than the mental content of the cultural and historical direction. Perhaps we are mistaken in the evaluation of the correlative mental force, respectively, of Gestalt psychology and culturally -

Historical psychology, but such a mistake can be easily corrected. But, which is extremely important, the very possibility of comparing psychological directions remains in force.

With regard to linguistic representation, psychoanalysis, cultural and historical direction and humanistic philosophy come to the fore (remember the client-centered psychotherapy of K. Rogers). We believe that the corresponding series of psychological directions are reasonably written as follows:

(row 3.5); (row 3.6).

Of course, the relationship of psychological directions is not exhausted by the three views considered. Within the framework of the subjective representation, it is possible to single out personal and public views. Personality representation is characteristic for behaviorism, cognitivism, humanistic psychology and gestalt psychology. The public is characteristic of the pro-Marxist trends, i. for the activity and cultural-historical concepts. In Freudian, the personal and the social are complemented by the notion of a third force, which is purely natural.

It should be noted that representing three types of series above, we limited ourselves to bringing three or four directions only for pedagogical reasons. The views examined are present in one form or another in all philosophical directions. Therefore, if you want, you can always complete the corresponding series, in particular, up to seven members. In order not to be unfounded, we give the corresponding problem series for two criteria, namely: a) the degree of expression of the specifics of psychology, its differences from the natural sciences; b) conceptual thoroughness:

(row 3.7); (row 3.8).

Of course, it is not forbidden to reduce all possible pairs of rows together. How this can be done was shown with reference to the philosophical directions in Tables 2.1-2.3

(see paragraph 2.9). Write a single list of all psychological directions. Choose the comparison criteria that are of primary interest to you as a philosopher and compare the relative strength of psychological directions. We propose to perform this task on our own. We do not want to impose our assessments on the reader, but we note that before we wrote this chapter, we also carried out the corresponding analysis and obtained series 3.7 and 3.8, after which we considered psychological directions in the order in which they are presented in 3.7. As for criticism, it was conducted on behalf of the theory of conceptual transitions. Is it worthy to become the core of a new psychological direction, to be decided by the reader.

Concluding the comparison of various philosophical directions, we will reflect their philosophical "genealogy" (Table 3.1) and summarize.

Table 3.1. Philosophical pedigree main philosophical directions

Psychological directions

Key Representatives

Philosophical directions


H. Freud, A. Adler, K. Jung,



J. Watson, C. Hull, BF Skinner

Neopositivism, pragmatism

Activity psychology

A. N. Leontiev, S. L. Rubinshtein


Cultural and historical psychology

L. S. Vygotsky, AR Luria, V. V. Davydov


Gestalt psychology

M. Wertheimer, W. Köller, K. Koffka

Phenomenology, German idealism

Humanistic Psychology

A. Maslow, K. Rogers

Existentialism, phenomenology, hermeneutics

Cognitive psychology

У. Neisser, J. Piaget, N. Chomsky

Analytical philosophy, pragmatism


1. Psychological directions, with all their differences from each other, nevertheless do not form a chaotic conglomeration.

2. Synthesis of psychological directions is quite possible. In particular, it is possible to construct problematic and critical-interpretational series of psychological directions.

3. If we compare psychological directions along a wide range of criteria, then we can construct their integral problem and, accordingly, the critical-interpretational series.

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