Re: [xmca] a materialist *dialectical* psychology

From: Martin Packer <packer who-is-at>
Date: Tue May 13 2008 - 14:43:56 PDT

Perhaps it would be helpful to clarify that when Vygotsky writes of "the
untenability of idealistic psychology" he is not refering to having ideals,
or even to having ideas. "Idealist" psychology is the kind of psychology
that accepts the philosophical position known as "idealism," which maintains
that all the objects we know exist only because we know them. My dictionary
defines it this way:

€ Philosophy any of various systems of thought in which the objects of
knowledge are held to be in some way dependent on the activity of mind.
Often contrasted with realism (sense 3).

Realism, in contrast, is:

€ the doctrine that matter as the object of perception has real existence
and is neither reducible to universal mind or spirit nor dependent on a
perceiving agent. Often contrasted with idealism (sense 2).

In arguing for a materialist psychology, Vygotsky was a (philsophical)
realist. His argument (in part) was that if one tries to combine both
idealism and materialism one recreates the dualism (mind/matter) which he
considered it crucial to escape.


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Received on Tue May 13 14:45 PDT 2008

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