G.I. Chelpanov and the Concept of the Subject of Psychological Science



The article describes the results of a study of G.I. Chelpanov's ideas about the subject of psychological science. We applied comparative historical and bibliographic methods, categorical analysis; the source base of the study was monographs, textbooks and articles by G.I. Chelpanov, published in the first quarter of the 20th century, as well as the works of his scientific opponents. In the first part of the article devoted to his methodological views in the pre-revolutionary period, it is argued that the scientist included psychic (mental) phenomena of consciousness to the concept of "subject of psychology", which caused rejection by most representatives of philosophical and natural fields in Russian psychological science. The second part of the article examines the methodological views of G.I. Chelpanov in the 1920s, he kept his views on the subject of psychology as they were before the Russian Revolution. The article captures his confrontation with the proponents of the "behavioral turn" in psychology, who tried to carry out a Marxist restructuring of psychology based on behaviorism. There are two possible interpretations of G.I. Chelpanov's commitment to psychic (mental) phenomena as a subject of psychology: according to the first, the scientist appears to be a fighter for truth, not ready to sacrifice principles for political conjuncture, in the second, his position is assessed as conservative, supporting outdated scientific ideas.

General Information

Keywords: the history of psychology, the history of concepts, the subject of psychology, G.I. Chelpanov

Journal rubric: History of Science

Article type: scientific article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/chp.2024200210

Received: 01.05.2024


For citation: Mazilov V.A., Vlasov N.A. G.I. Chelpanov and the Concept of the Subject of Psychological Science. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2024. Vol. 20, no. 2, pp. 89–96. DOI: 10.17759/chp.2024200210. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Vladimir A. Mazilov, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Head of the Department of General and Social Psychology, K.D. Ushinsky Yaroslavl State University of Education, Yaroslavl, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0646-6461, e-mail: v.mazilov@yspu.org

Nikita A. Vlasov, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor of Department of Psychology, Conflictology and Behavioral Sciences, Russian State Social University, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6459-570X, e-mail: VlasovNA@rgsu.net



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