Tag Archives: German psychology

New HoP: German Critical Psych, S. African Psych & More!

The February 2013 issue of History of Psychology is now online. Included in this issue are articles on the history of German critical psychology, the development of South African psychology (by Wahbie Long, right), and the vocabulary of anglophone psychology. Other articles discuss attempts to develop a psychology of citizenship and the historicity of mind (as previously blogged about here). Full titles, authors, and abstracts follow below.

“Backlash against American psychology: An indigenous reconstruction of the history of German critical psychology,” by Thomas Teo. The abstract reads,

After suggesting that all psychologies contain indigenous qualities and discussing differences and commonalities between German and North American historiographies of psychology, an indigenous reconstruction of German critical psychology is applied. It is argued that German critical psychology can be understood as a backlash against American psychology, as a response to the Americanization of German psychology after WWII, on the background of the history of German psychology, the academic impact of the Cold War, and the trajectory of personal biographies and institutions. Using an intellectual?historical perspective, it is shown how and which indigenous dimensions played a role in the development of German critical psychology as well as the limitations to such an historical approach. Expanding from German critical psychology, the role of the critique of American psychology in various contexts around the globe is discussed in order to emphasize the relevance of indigenous historical research.

“Rethinking “relevance”: South African psychology in context,” by Wahbie Long. The abstract reads,

This article examines the phenomenon known as the “relevance debate” in South African psychology. Continue reading New HoP: German Critical Psych, S. African Psych & More!

A History of German Völkerpsychologie

The May 2010 issue of Central Europe contains an article by Egbert Klautke (right) of University College London’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies. In “The Mind of the Nation: The Debate about Völkerpsychologie, 1851–1900” Klautke offers a history of German Völkerpsychologie tracing its influence into the twentieth century. The article’s abstract reads,

Völkerpsychologie or ‘folk psychology’ has a bad reputation amongst historians. It is either viewed as a pseudo-science not worth studying in detail, or considered a ‘failure’ since, in contrast to sociology, psychology, and anthropology, it never established itself as an independent discipline at university level. This article argues that Völkerpsychologie as developed by Moritz Lazarus and Heymann Steinthal was an important current in nineteenth-century German thought. While it was riddled with conceptual and methodological problems and received harsh criticism from academic reviewers, it contributed to the establishing of the social sciences since key concepts of folk psychology were appropriated by scholars such as Georg Simmel and Franz Boas. The article summarizes the main features of Lazarus and Steinthal’s Völkerpsychologie, discusses its reception in Germany and abroad, and shows how arguments originally developed for folk psychology were used by Lazarus to reject antisemitism in the 1870s and 1880s. It concludes that Lazarus and Steinthal’s Völkerpsychologie epitomized the mentality of nineteenth-century liberals with its belief in science, progress, and the nation, which was reinforced by their experience of Jewish emancipation.

Thanks to Cathy Faye for bringing this article to AHP’s attention.

Conference on German & Italian Psychology

RomeA conference entitled “The Historical Relations between German and Italian Psychology in an International Framework” will be held in Rome this week (15-16 Oct). The conference is being sponsored by the Istituto Italiano di Studi Germanci, in collaboration with the journals Physis and History of Psychology. The organizers describe the theme as follows:

The birth and affirmation in Italy of a psychology with ‘scientific’ aspirations were broadly influenced by the psychological ‘research practices’ developed in the German cultural area: from those of an experimental kind – with Wundt and the Leipzig school, G. E. Mueller and the Goettingen school, Stumpf and the Berlin school, Kuelpe and the Wuerzburg school — to those with a ‘phenomenological’ approach inspired by Brentano, up to those tied to the psychiatric and psychoanalytic tradition. Continue reading Conference on German & Italian Psychology