A Role for the History of Psychology in Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology

  • Saulo de Freitas AraujoEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the Theory and History of Psychology book series (PSTHP)


While traditional conceptions of theoretical psychology focus on epistemological and methodological aspects of psychological theories, recent approaches tend to include social, moral, and practical issues. However, whether defined in narrower or broader terms, contemporary views of theoretical and philosophical psychology have little room for the history of psychology. In this chapter, I argue that it plays an essential role in theoretical psychology, by making the theoretical psychologist aware of at least two things: the historical contingency of the very idea of theoretical psychology, and the persistent philosophical problems that underlie psychological science. To illustrate my thesis, I propose a two-layered approach in which the history of psychology plays a double role in theoretical psychology: it offers an immediate context for contemporary proposals and a deep connection with the long development of psychology. I conclude that the history of psychology is vital for re-envisioning theoretical and philosophical psychology.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Federal University of Juiz de ForaJuiz de ForaBrazil

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