From Psychologism to Psychologization: Beyond the Boundaries of the Discipline and Practice of Psychology
Mulvale, Susannah Ellen
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This thesis provides a descriptive account of three waves of critiques of psychologism and psychologization that appeared throughout the 20th century from philosophers and sociologists. I examine these arguments chronologically to show that psychology has repeatedly been criticized for going beyond its disciplinary boundaries and permeating other academic and cultural realms. Although the critiques focus on different forms of psychologism and psychologization, they all demonstrate how psychological approaches to subjectivity have precluded important knowledge about human mental life that can be gained from philosophy and sociology. By incorporating philosophical and sociological findings into psychological thinking, a more holistic understanding of human mental life can be achieved. Philosophers and sociologists illuminate the systemic roots of individual problems by focusing on the relation between individuals and social structures, and they encourage the development of critical thinking and political engagement as a means to achieving the psychological aim of mental well-being.