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Place of psychology in the system of sciences

In the 19th century, the classification of sciences developed by the creator of the philosophy of positivism, the French scientist O. Comte, was very popular. In Comte's classification, there was no place for psychology at all. The father of positivism believed that psychology was not yet a positive science. For the first half of the XIX century, this statement was generally fair.

• Since then, much has changed: psychology has emerged as an independent science, has largely become “positive”. The classification of sciences was subsequently compiled repeatedly. At the same time, almost all authors explicitly pointed to a particular, central place of psychology among other sciences. Many well-known psychologists have expressed the idea that psychology in the future will take a leading place in the structure of human knowledge, that psychology should be the basis for the sciences of the spirit.

• The intersection of spheres of interests and connections in modern science and practice is quite obvious. Therefore, many interdisciplinary areas of research and practical work now arise in psychology. Examples of this kind are: management, conflictology, ethnology, public relations. Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish the spheres of influence of different sciences in the study and practical solution of these problems. Therefore, the integration of sciences becomes relevant and the ability of psychologists to work closely with specialists in other sciences and practical fields is important.

• The diversity of problems in psychology makes it difficult to characterize its place among them. For a long time there have been discussions about whether psychology is a natural or humanitarian science. There can be no definitive answer to this question, since some branches of psychology are more connected with the humanities (for example, personality psychology, social psychology), and others with natural ones (for example, neuropsychology, pathopsychology).

• However, such a linear division of all sciences into humanitarian and natural sciences seems now somewhat outdated. The nonlinear classification was developed by the Russian philosopher and science researcher B.M. Kedrov. Kedrov distinguishes three groups of scientific disciplines: natural, social and philosophical. It can be schematically represented as a triangle whose vertices correspond to natural (upper), social (left) and philosophical (right) disciplines. Psychology has close ties with all three groups of sciences; therefore, it is located inside the triangle, since human thinking (one of the essential branches of psychology) is studied not only by psychology, but also by philosophy and logic. Psychology, therefore, has connections with all scientific disciplines, but the closest with philosophy

• Science and practice feel the need for a unified theory of human knowledge, for the rapprochement and integration of all the means of human knowledge. The promotion of the problem of man as a common for all modern science radically changes the position of psychology in the system of sciences, since it is psychology that can become a link between all fields of human cognition, a means of combining various branches of natural science and social sciences in a new, holistic knowledge of man.

• To overcome the interdisciplinary disunity in the understanding of a person, to create an overall picture of his world is possible only by considering it as a kind of system. In his book, “Man as a Subject of Knowledge,” B. G. Ananyev points out: “Human consciousness is an area where the systems approach is organically conditioned and intensively developed. Here the synthesis of knowledge should be carried out, lying as if in different planes, but invariably crossing the plane of psychological knowledge. As a result, the components of psychological knowledge are included in the research of the most diverse human and natural sciences, and in psychology new perspectives of understanding the psychic open up. ”

• The domestic psychologist B. F. Lomov wrote that the most important function of psychology is that it “is an integrator of all scientific disciplines whose object of study is a man”. Psychology interacts with other sciences through branches of psychological science: with social sciences through social psychology, with natural sciences through psychophysiology, comparative psychology, with medical sciences through medical psychology, with pedagogical ones through developmental psychology and pedagogical psychology , etc.

• Psychology can develop only by maintaining a close relationship with other sciences that do not replace it, but provide important information so that it can successfully disclose its own subject.

• In 1966, at the International Psychological Congress in Moscow, the prominent Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget gave a lecture on the place of psychology in the system of sciences. His main idea was that the future of psychology depends on its connections with mathematics, physics, biology, sociology, linguistics, political economy, logic - a huge constellation of sciences forming the world of modern knowledge.
Psychology, according to Piaget, is at the center of this world.

• Philosophy. The links of psychology with philosophy are traditional, because until the XIX century scientific psychological knowledge was accumulated within the framework of philosophical sciences, psychology was part of philosophy. Until recently (the first faculties of psychology in our country appeared in 1966 at Moscow State University and Leningrad State University) psychology was studied at the faculties of philosophy at universities, and some of its sections (in particular, general psychology, where the definitions of basic concepts of science are given) are closely intertwined with philosophy. In modern psychology, there are many philosophical and psychological problems: the subject and methodology of psychological research, the origin of human consciousness, the study of higher forms of thinking, the place and role of man in social relations, the meaning of life, conscience and responsibility, spirituality, loneliness and happiness. The collaboration of psychologists and philosophers in the study of these problems can be fruitful.

• Biological sciences. The links of psychology with the biological sciences are due to the fact that the human psyche has a natural basis. Therefore, many psychological problems must be solved in the interaction of psychologists and biologists. The interaction with physiology is especially fruitful. At the junction of these two sciences, psychophysiology appeared. A deep physiological understanding of the brain helps to solve many psychological problems.

• Medicine helps psychology to better understand the possible mechanisms of violation of the psyche of people and find ways to treat it (psycho-correction and psychotherapy). At the junction of medicine and psychology are such branches of psychology as medical psychology and psychotherapy.

• Sociology as an independent science is closely connected with social psychology, which is the bridge that connects the thoughts, feelings and attitudes of individuals with the phenomena of mass consciousness. In addition, sociology provides psychology with facts about the social activities of people, which are then used by psychology. The link between psychology and sociology is provided by social psychology.

• Technical sciences are also related to psychology, since they often have the problem of “joining” complex technical systems and humans. These issues are engaged in engineering psychology and labor psychology.

• Story. Modern man is a product of historical development, in which there was an interaction of biological and mental factors - ranging from the biological process of natural selection to the mental processes of speech, thinking and labor. Historical psychology studies the change in the psyche of people in the process of historical development and the role of the psychological qualities of historical figures in the course of history.

• Pedagogy provides psychology with information on the main directions and patterns of education and upbringing of people, which makes it possible to develop recommendations for the psychological support of these processes. The link between these related sciences is provided by pedagogical psychology and developmental psychology.

• Mathematical statistics.

• Anthropology (interpreted in a broad sense), - a complex discipline, which is designed to unite all the special achievements of the special sciences

• The intersection of spheres of interests and connections in modern science and practice is quite obvious. Therefore, many interdisciplinary areas of research and practical work now arise in psychology. Examples of this kind are: management, conflictology, ethnology, public relations. Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish the spheres of influence of different sciences in the study and practical solution of these problems. Therefore, the integration of sciences becomes relevant and the ability of psychologists to work closely with specialists in other sciences and practical fields turns out to be important.

• The diversity of problems in psychology makes it difficult to characterize its place among them. For a long time there have been discussions about whether psychology is a natural or humanitarian science. There can be no definitive answer to this question, since some branches of psychology are more connected with the humanities (for example, personality psychology, social psychology), and others with natural ones (for example, neuropsychology, pathopsychology).

• Thus, psychology has developed close ties with the scientific disciplines of all groups: natural, humanitarian and technical. The analysis of the content of psychological knowledge shows that a precise definition of which of the above groups includes psychology itself is not possible. Psychology develops at the intersection of all three areas of research.
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Place of psychology in the system of sciences

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