Epistemological Problems of Social Cognition in The Perspective of Modern Psychology



The article discusses the main epistemological problems of social cognition (individual and collective subject, correlation of micro and macro levels of interaction and communication between the individual and society), that could be solved by the elimination of the conditional distinguish of the individual and social in scientific discourse with the emphasizing special mechanisms (mentalization and «theory of mind», categorization and classification, causal attribution, collective experience, discursive construction of the social world). The theoretical and empirical studies of cognition by social, clinical and developmental psychology make it possible to clarify the understanding of the «sociality» of cognition. The aspiration to find a new language for combining the attitudes of «individualism» and «sociologism» in cognition was a distinguishing feature of the early historical programs of social psychology as an independent discipline (L. S. Vygotsky and G. Shpet). It is assumed that psychology can contribute to the construction of a new science of subjectivity (R. Barthes), that should show the interdependence of relationships between man and the world. Cultural and historical evidence of the unity of the individual and social in cognition is the cardinal transformations of modern society, marked by the concept of «transitivity». The psychology of social cognition is not just a private subject area of psychology, but an independent methodology for analyzing social changes and problems (G. M. Andreeva). It discusses the results of psychological and political studies of the changes in the mechanisms of social cognition in Russian society. Blurring the boundaries of the individual and social, private and public is interpreted not as a disappearance of the social (according to J. Baudrillard), but as a possibility of overcoming epistemological dichotomies of social cognition.

General Information

Keywords: social epistemology, the psychology of social cognition, social cognition, mechanisms of social cognition, individual and social

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Khoroshilov D.A. Epistemological Problems of Social Cognition in The Perspective of Modern Psychology. Vestnik of Saint Petersburg University. Psychology, 2018. Vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 113–125. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Dmitry A. Khoroshilov, PhD in Psychology, Senior Research Associate, Department of Social Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4688-1934, e-mail: d.khoroshilov@gmail.com