The Permanent Crisis of Psychology

  • Jens Mammen
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Psychology book series (BRIEFSPSYCHOL)


Psychology as part of philosophy and theology came to an end after mid-nineteenth century with Fechner’s and others’ introduction of a psychophysics defining a causal bridge from the physical world to the psyche. Psychology now shared the fate of the other humanistic disciplines, in danger of being eaten through the new gate to mechanistic causality and searching rescue in linguistic discourse without solid basis. Attempts to solve the problem through distinction between lower and higher mental functions, hierarchical systems, complexity, and holism are doomed to failure as long as being embedded in a mechanistic understanding of nature and of the individual’s interaction with nature. A modern understanding of nature going beyond mechanicism is needed but still does not solve the problem of the specificity of psychology in relation to natural science.


Psychophysics Lower and higher mental functions Emergence Holism Mechanicism Quantum mechanics Thermodynamics Matter-form duality 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jens Mammen
    • 1
  1. 1.Niels Bohr Professorship Centre for Cultural PsychologyAalborg University Centre for Cultural PsychologyAalborg ØstDenmark

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