“Toward a philosophical history of psychology: An alternative path for the future,” by Saulo de Freitas Araujo. The abstract reads,
Recent transformations in the history of science and the philosophy of science have led historians of psychology to raise questions about the future development of their historiography. Although there is a dominant tendency among them to view their discipline as related to the social turn in the history of science, there is no consensus over how to approach the history of psychology methodologically. The aim of this article is to address the issue of the future of the historiography of psychology by proposing an alternative but complementary path for the field, which I call a philosophical history of psychology. In order to achieve this goal, I will first present and discuss the emergence of the social turn in the history of psychology, showing some of its problems. I will then introduce the contemporary debate about the integration of the history of science and the philosophy of science as an alternative model for the history of psychology. Finally, I will propose general guidelines for a philosophical history of psychology, discussing some of its possible advantages and limitations.
The February 2016 issue of Theory & Psychology includes an article that may be of especial interest to AHP readers. Saulo de Freitas Araujo and Rayssa Maluf de Souza explore William James’ views on introspection as a method in their article ““… to rely on first and foremost and always”: Revisiting the role of introspection in William James’s early psychological work.” The abstract reads,
In order to legitimate itself as a science, psychology has faced the ongoing problem of establishing its proper method of investigation. In this context, debates on introspection have emerged that have remained intense since the 18th century. However, contemporary debates and historical investigations on this topic have not done justice to the richness and diversity of positions, leading to oversimplifications and hasty generalizations, as if the terms “introspection” and “introspectionism” referred to one and same thing. The central goal of this article is to offer an analysis of William James’s position on the introspective method within the intellectual context of his time, covering the period from his early writings until the publication, in 1890, of The Principles of Psychology. Our results indicate that James used two different types of introspection. We conclude by discussing divergences in the secondary literature and the implications of our study for historical and theoretical debates in psychology.
At the end of April, professors Thomas Teo and Michael Pettit, of York University’s History and Theory of Psychology program, visited the Department of Psychology at the Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora (Department of Psychology, Federal University of Juiz de Fora), which recently established a History and Philosophy of Psychology graduate program. Teo and Pettit spoke about their work at the Seminário de Pós-graduação em Psicologia (Graduate Seminar in Psychology) and were interviewed, along with others, for a video that is now on YouTube (above).
A further event in the continuing British Psychological Society’s History of Psychology Centre, in conjunction with UCL’s Centre for the History of the Psychological Disciplines, History of the Psychological Disciplines Seminar Series will take place in London next week. Saulo de Feitas Araujo (left), of the newly established history and philosophy of psychology graduate program at Universidade de Federal de Juiz de Fora in Brazil, will speak on “The role of philosophy in Wundtian psychology: Towards a new interpretation of Wundt’s psychological project.” Further seminars for the Spring 2013 term remain tba. Full details follow below.
Location: UCL Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, Room 544,* 5th Floor, 1-19 Torrington Place, London WC1E 7HJ (map)
Tuesday 22 January Professor Saulo de Freitas Araujo (Universidade de Federal de Juiz de Fora, Brazil), The role of philosophy in Wundtian psychology: Towards a new interpretation of Wundt’s psychological project.
Despite the numerous and important contributions brought by Wundt scholarship in recent decades, some aspects of his work remain unclear and poorly understood. The aim of this talk is to explore one of these aspects; namely, the relationship between philosophy and psychology in Wundt’s thought. To this end, we shall discuss an important yet neglected moment in Wundtian psychology, which remains unexplained to date: why did Wundt abandon his early theory of the unconscious? According to the interpretation offered here, this can only be adequately explained by his intense philosophical studies in the period preceding the publication of the Grundzu?ge in 1874, especially in relation to Kant. Finally, we will point out some implications of this analysis to the general interpretation of Wundt’s psychological project.
The Department of Psychology at the Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora (Department of Psychology, Federal University of Juiz de Fora) recently began a new History and Philosophy of Psychology graduate program. Faculty member Saulo de Freitas Araujo, who recently published a book on Wilhelm Wundt’s psychology (left), was nice enough to grant AHP an interview. In this interview Araujo addresses the program’s faculty and student composition, its aims, and its future plans. The full text of the interview follows below.
AHP: Can you tell AHP’s readers about the new history of psychology program at the Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora? What is the aim of the new program and when did it begin?
SFA: First of all, we created, in 2010, the NUHFIP (Center for the History and Philosophy of Psychology), which inaugurated a new space for doing research on history and philosophy of psychology in Brazil. Then in 2011, the Graduate Program in Psychology at the Federal University of Juiz de Fora created a new area, namely, History and Philosophy of Psychology. It is the first psychology graduate program in Brazil to offer an official program in this area, including specific training in disciplines like history of science and psychology, philosophy of science and psychology, etc. In the two year program, the students have to attend courses in some of these disciplines and to defend a master thesis at the end. Our main purpose is to encourage and support investigations and discussions on the historical and philosophical foundations of psychology, which can contribute to a better understanding of contemporary psychological theory and practice. With that goal in mind, we expect to receive three kinds of students: a) those who want to become scholars in the field; b) those who want to teach history and philosophy of psychology in undergraduate courses; c) those who have practical interests and are looking for a better understanding of his or her own professional activity. For the moment, we can only offer a Master degree, but we will soon be able to offer a PhD, too.
AHP: In addition to yourself, who are the faculty members associated with the new program and what are their research interests or current projects?