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The place of psychology in the system of other sciences

The problem of the position of psychology in the system of sciences worried many researchers. Most of them drew attention to the fact that psychology integrates the knowledge of all scientific disciplines that study a person and this explains its special place in the system of scientific knowledge.

To determine the place of psychology in the system of other sciences, it is necessary to clarify their classification, taking into account the characteristics of the basic structural elements inherent in any scientific knowledge: object, subject, methodological foundations and, finally, the most psychological scientific knowledge.

First of all, sciences differ in their object. Often an object is fixed in the very name of science: for example, geology is the science of the earth, biology is the science of living nature, etc. However, no science is able to describe its object in its entirety, since knowledge is infinite, how infinite the world is. The forced specialization of sciences is a serious problem in terms of building a unified scientific picture of the world: the difference in approaches and languages ​​makes it difficult to generalize. In this regard, frontier sciences play an important role.

In addition, any science is limited in its approach to the object by the tradition in which it was formed, by the categorical (conceptual) apparatus, the language that has developed in it, the methods of analysis and empirical research that dominate it, etc. .

The categorical system of psychology is an extremely general, deep, historically developing cognitive structure that reflects mental reality in its integrity and specific characteristics.



If an object exists independently of science, then the subject is formed together with science and is fixed in its system of categories. In a certain respect, we can say that the development of science is the development of its subject.

According to the principle of the object, two main scientific objects are distinguished (according to B. M. Kedrov): nature (organic and inorganic) and man (i.e., human society and thinking). The line between them, of course, is conditional. According to the features of these objects, the natural sciences and the humanities are distinguished. The latter are divided into social and philosophical.

Thus, three main sections of scientific knowledge are identified, each of which is represented by a complex of sciences. In addition to the three main sections, large sections are distinguished at the junction of the main sections. This classification is presented in the form of the so-called "triangle of sciences":



Fig. 1.

Classification of Sciences by B.M. Kedrov





Along with the classification of sciences according to the object, other ways of distinguishing them are possible. For example, the division of sciences into fundamental and applied is accepted. Fundamental (sometimes called “pure”) are sciences that know the world regardless of how much practical use of the knowledge gained is possible. Applied sciences, on the contrary, are oriented towards practice, applying the knowledge of fundamental sciences to it, and serve the immediate needs of society.

Emphasizing the special position of psychology in the system of sciences, Kedrov placed psychology almost at the center of the “triangle of sciences”, shifting it closer to philosophy and emphasizing the “generic connection” with the theory of knowledge (see Fig. 1). In the diagram, solid lines characterize first-order bonds (between the three main sections of science), and dashed lines characterize second-order bonds.

The problem of determining the specifics of psychological science begins with the refinement of the object and subject of the study of psychology. As you know, the object acts as such a part of reality, which is in interaction with the subject.

In all the so-called natural sciences, the object-subject field is a certain part of the material world, which in the process of cognition is copied, photographed, displayed by our sensations, existing independently of them. That is, in the process of scientific knowledge, a reflection of objective reality occurs in ideal images of consciousness.

For psychology, the psyche acts as an object of study, i.e. originally intangible object. Consciousness according to the distinctive pattern that has developed as part of philosophical knowledge belongs to the world of ideal objects. Therefore, traditional ideas about science as an ideal image of the material world no longer "work" here. For, as soon as we reflect and feel something, we automatically deal with a material object.

If we want to study the "ideal" objects, we must come to terms with the impossibility of their scientific reflection in the traditional sense of this concept (see Fig. 2).

As you can see, the essence of the problem is that psychology, by its definition, undertakes to study (and, therefore, scientifically reflect) that which in itself is a reflection, and therefore does not exist as material reality. This situation was once well illustrated by L. S. Vygotsky on the example of studying mirror reflection. Recall that Lev Vygotsky entered the history of psychology as a brilliant theorist and practitioner of psychological research. After receiving a university degree in law from Moscow, and working after the revolution as a school teacher in Gomel, after his first speech at the 2nd All-Russian Psychoneurological Congress in 1924, he actively participated in the development of problems of scientific psychology. At the same time, his productivity as a psychologist was extremely high: for incomplete ten years of activity as a professional psychologist, he wrote about 180 works. Many of them to this day determine the direction of development of psychological thought throughout the world. A tragic death from consumption consumed his life, but did not stop the movement of his ideas.

Fig. 2.

Features of the scientific reflection of subjective reality





“Compare consciousness,” wrote L.S. Vygotsky, “as they often do, with a mirror image. Let the object A be reflected in the mirror as a. Of course, we could say that a is as real as A, but it otherwise it’s real, in itself. A table and its reflection in a mirror are not equally real, but in different ways. Reflection as reflection, as an image of a table, like a second table in a mirror is unreal, it's a ghost. But reflection of a table is like the refraction of light rays in the plane of a mirror "Is it not as material and real an object as a table? It would be a miracle everything else."

Within the framework of the model proposed for analysis, identifying A and a, the table and its mirror image, would be idealism: in general, only A is immaterial, material, and its materiality is a synonym for its existence independent of a. But it would be exactly the same idealism to identify and with X - with processes occurring on their own in the mirror. And A and X are real processes, but a is the resultant of them, the apparent, that is, unrealistic. Reflection does not exist, but the table and the light equally exist. Then we would say: there are things (a table) and their ghosts (reflection). But there are only things - (the table) and the reflection of light from the plane, and ghosts are the apparent relations between things.

Fig. 3.

Duality of “mirror” reflection of objects





Therefore, no science of mirror ghosts is possible. But this does not mean that we will never be able to explain reflection, a ghost: if we know a thing and the laws of reflection of light, we will always explain, predict, call, change the ghost of our own free will. This is what people who own mirrors do: they study not mirror reflections, but the movement of light rays and explain the reflection. The science of mirror ghosts is impossible, but the doctrine of light and things reflecting it fully explains the ghosts.

The same is true in psychology: the subjective in itself as a ghost must be understood as a consequence, as a result of ... two objective processes. The mystery of the psyche will be solved as a mystery of the mirror, not by studying ghosts, but by studying two rows of objective processes, from the interaction of which ghosts appear as apparent reflections of one another. The apparent in itself does not exist.

Thus, psychology has two ways to identify its object. In the first case, psychology insists on the immateriality of its object of study - the soul, which makes it impossible in principle to develop scientific knowledge about it. And then psychological ideas get their further development within the framework of one or another philosophical or religious idea of ​​the soul. In particular, psychological knowledge was widely developed within the framework of Christian doctrine. At the same time, no matter how "unscientific", "subjective" the methods and methods of religious knowledge of the soul may seem to some, they, according to their supporters, have shown themselves to be more true and objective than the claims of the "exact sciences". For in this case, the method of cognition of psychic reality is more consistent with the great mystery of the human soul, resonates, corresponds to the object itself, its language and life.

Another line of the study of the psychic is associated with an attempt to implement, in relation to its principles and methods of natural-scientific knowledge. The design of psychology as a science corresponding to this structure began in the middle of the 19th century, when the principles of natural scientific knowledge began to be considered as the most acceptable form of a reasonable approach to the world. Starting from this time, psychology is trying, along with such sciences as physics, chemistry, biology, and others, to use knowledge, the requirements of objectivity, universality, and necessity as criteria for the reliability of knowledge. This means that the human psyche begins to be considered in the logic of causal relations and explained by the laws of the natural world.

To clarify the question of the relationships and connections of psychology with other sciences, let us turn to the views of the outstanding Russian psychologist - B.F. Lomov. He singled out the system of psychology connections: 1) with the social sciences (through the branch of psychology - social psychology and related disciplines); 2) the natural sciences (through psychophysics, comparative psychology and psychophysiology); 3) the medical sciences (through pathopsychology, medical psychology, neuropsychology and psychopharmacology); 4) pedagogical sciences (through developmental psychology, pedagogical and special psychology); 5) technical sciences (through engineering psychology). According to B.F. Lomov, the differentiation of psychology is due precisely to its relationship with other sciences.

The connection of psychology with the natural sciences is quite close. The most obvious connection is with the biological and medical sciences. She suggests:

- borrowing some general biological theoretical principles to justify the laws of the development of the psyche (Darwin's evolutionary theory, biogenetic law (ontogenesis is an abbreviated repetition of phylogenesis), the principle of recapitulation, the principle of epigenetism, and other provisions).


- the search for the biological sources of human social behavior in psychology, during which the data obtained by ethology are widely involved (the direction of biology, the science of the relationship between innate instinctive behavior and environmental influences);

- research and search for physiological correlates of psychopathologies and disorders, etc.

Genetics data are also very important for psychology, providing material regarding the mechanisms of inheritance of certain inclinations, predisposition to mental illnesses, and others. The area of ​​psychology bordering on genetics, psychogenetics, reveals the role of genotype and environment in the formation of individual human characteristics.

The connection of psychology with physiology is realized in the study of the problems of correlation of mental and physiological processes. This can be seen in the works of many prominent Russian scientists: I.P. Pavlova, V.M. Ankylosing spondylitis, A.A. Ukhtomsky, N.A. Bernshtein, P.K. Anokhin. Directly related to the physiology of higher nervous activity is such a branch of psychology as psychophysiology, which studies the psyche in unity with its material substrate - the brain.

Among the natural disciplines of the applied plan, one can single out medicine, primarily its branches such as neuropathology and psychiatry. It is noteworthy that many prominent psychologists were also clinicians (V. M. Bekhterev, V. N. Myasischev, A. R. Luria and others). At the intersection of medicine and psychology, medical psychology arose, developing psychological problems of diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and rehabilitation of patients. The connection between psychology and medicine is due to the need to determine the specifics of the relationship between the doctor and the patient (to treat not the disease, but the patient). A number of branches of medicine are directly correlated with psychology in a number of common problems, in particular, regarding mental disorders. We particularly emphasize the neuropsychology founded by A.R. Luria - a science that exists at the intersection of psychology, physiology and medicine and studies the brain mechanisms of higher mental functions based on local brain lesions. Closely related to medicine is the so-called special psychology, which studies various options for the pathology of mental development.

The connection of psychology with physics is more indirect, but nevertheless it exists. Developing along with natural science, psychology reflected that worldview, which was determined by the main discoveries (or prevailing principles) in the field of the physical picture of the world. Thus, the idea of ​​the atomic structure of the world led to the "transfer of the principle" - the idea of ​​the atomic structure of the soul. The physical principles of experimentation in many respects determined the requirements of an objective approach to the psyche, and a number of psychological theories, as fundamental ones, included such concepts as “energy”, “field”.

The connection between psychology and chemistry is in many ways similar, but in some cases it is more definite. So, there are areas in relation to which chemical, physiological, and psychological theories are put forward (for example, memory mechanisms). Chemical processes are considered in the analysis of important biological phenomena for psychology. Finally, there is psychopharmacology - a scientific and practical discipline that studies the laws governing the effects of drugs on the psyche.

No less strong is the connection between psychology and social (or humanities) sciences. Mostly this applies to those branches of psychological knowledge that are associated with the human person.

For example, psychology is related to history by the interest in the peculiarities of a person’s mental appearance in various historical epochs and in different cultures (personality, worldview, thinking, formation of standards of behavior, relationships, features of emerging groups, etc.), which are the subject of historical psychology.

With sociology - the science of social systems and processes - psychology is connected through the study of the laws of interaction between the individual and her social environment, intra-group and inter-group relations. One of the leading branches of psychology is social psychology, which studies the psychological characteristics of a person due to his existence in a group and the characteristics of the groups themselves.

Ethnopsychology studies the characteristics of the psyche of people of various nations and cultures, developing problems of a national character, self-awareness, national characteristics of world perception, relationships, community formation, etc.

Political psychology studies the characteristics of a person and groups, due to their inclusion in political life (political identity, values, behavior and activities, etc.) both at the level of the individual and at the level of small and large groups of various planes.

Such traditionally distinguished humanitarian disciplines as linguistics and art criticism are also directly related to psychology. With the first psychology brings together the problem of the formation of speech based on the assimilation of linguistic structures; language analysis in connection with thinking; interest in the informative and expressive aspects of linguistic communication, the peculiarities of the generation of speech, speech perception depending on language structures; finally, learning a language in the context of cultural analysis and much more. At the intersection of psychology and linguistics, psycholinguistics arose.

Art criticism and psychology find a common ground in approaches to the problems of artistic creation and the personality of the artist, the perception of works of art, structural features of the works themselves (art psychology).

The connection of psychology and philosophy. Philosophy is usually defined as the science of the most general laws of nature, society, and thinking, but this is often followed by additions that treat philosophy as a kind of meta-science, "super-science."

Psychology has long developed in the framework of philosophy, and its isolation in an independent science could not mean complete autonomy. The problems of a person’s spiritual life cannot be developed outside of ideas about the relations of the material and ideal, spiritual and physical, biological and social, subjective and objective, and these are problems of a philosophical plan.

In many cases, psychologists rely on certain philosophical systems, and sometimes offer their own. So, Soviet psychologists were based on the philosophy of Marxism; the influence of Marxism was recognized by A. Adler, V. Reich, E. Fromm. W. James was an open opponent of materialism. Humanistic psychology uses the principles of existentialism, etc. For psychology, certain philosophical concepts are the methodological basis, i.e. системой принципиальных общих теоретических положений, определяющих подход к проблемам и способ их анализа.

Кроме того, в ряде случаев психологические теории перерастали в философские направления (или претендовали на это) либо оказывали влияние на возникновение и развитие философских теорий. Так, философы часто рассматривают психоанализ как философское течение; психологические взгляды У. Джеймса отразились на основанном им философском направлении («прагматизм» или «психологический прагматизм»); работы С.Л. Рубинштейна («Бытие и сознание», «Человек и мир» и др.) являются философскими не в меньшей мере, чем психологическими.

Укажем и на то, что в ряде случаев психологическое и философское знание сближаются непосредственно через конкретный объект анализа:

• гносеологию (теория познания) и психологию познавательной деятельности;

• логику и психологию мышления;

• эстетику и психологию искусства и т. д.

Итак, мы обсудили связь психологии с рядом фундаментальных наук, задавшись вопросом о ее месте в системе наук и принадлежности к естественно-научному либо гуманитарному знанию. На первый вопрос ответ очевиден: ее место - в центре «треугольника наук», она исторически связана со всеми основными областями знания. В психологии представлены направления как естественно-научной, так и гуманитарной ориентации. Можно, однако, говорить о возрастающем «удельном весе» гуманитарного подхода в связи с тем, что в центр психологии помещается человеческая личность, а это означает невозможность строго объективного подхода к человеку без обсуждения проблем человеческих ценностей, смыслов, переживаний и т.д.

В отношении же тех научных областей, которые ориентированы прежде всего на практику, отметим в первую очередь связь психологии с педагогикой и медициной - теми дисциплинами, для которых основной является проблема взаимодействия людей.

Связь психологии с педагогическими дисциплинами непосредственна. Нельзя эффективно работать с ребенком или взрослым, не представляя тех закономерностей, по которым развивается его психика. Психология старается выявить психологические механизмы, лежащие в основе педагогических взаимодействий, изучить закономерности педагогического процесса, определить условия оптимальной его организации (педагогическая психология). В соответствии с общими принципами педагогика ориентирована на то же, поэтому взаимодействие наук вполне закономерно. Не случайно имена выдающихся теоретиков и практиков педагогики вошли и в историю психологии (Ж.-Ж. Руссо, И.-Г.Песталоцци, Я.Корчак, К.Д.Ушинский, А.С.Макаренко, В.А.Сухомлинский и др.), а многие выдающиеся ученые были представителями как психологии, так и педагогики (Л.С. Выготский, П. П. Блонский, В.В. Давыдов, Л.В.Занков, Д.Б. Эльконин и др.).

Предметом педагогической психологии являются, прежде всего, психологические механизмы и закономерности освоения социокультурного опыта человека в образовательном процессе и вызываемые этим процессом освоения изменения уровня интеллектуального и личностного развития человека как субъекта учебной деятельности, организуемой и управляемой педагогом в разных условиях образовательного процесса. Исходя из этого, ключевой задачей педагогической психологии является изучение основных психологических механизмов учения. Кроме этого в качестве задач могут быть рассмотрены: раскрытие механизмов и закономерностей обучающего и педагогического воздействия на интеллектуальное и личностное развитие ребенка; определение связи между уровнем интеллектуального и личностного развития обучаемого и формами, методами обучающего и воспитывающего воздействия; возможности учета индивидуальных психологических особенностей учащихся; взаимоотношения между педагогом и учащимися, а также внутри учебного коллектива; психология учителя.
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Место психологии в системе других наук

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