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Cultural-Historical Psychology

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (printed version): 1816-5435

ISSN (online): 2224-8935


License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Started in 2005

Published quarterly

Free of fees
Open Access Journal

Affiliated ISCAR


H. Werner's Comparative Psychology of Development: A Modern Context 1016


Poddyakov A.N.
PhD in Psychology, Professor, Faculty of Psychology, Department of General and Experimental Psychology, ,, State University — Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia

The article analyses a book by H. Werner (1890—1964) 'Comparative Psychology of Mental Development' that was first published 80 years ago and has been reissued many times. The book is discussed from the point of view of modern developmental psychology, cultural-historical psychology, complexity science and, in general, in the context of the dynamics of scientific rationality types. The following topics are reviewed: the possibility of applying the orthogenetic principle of Goethe — Spencer — Werner to systems that are far from holding the balance of integration and differentiation; the paradoxes of systematic thinking, the relativity of distinguishing between holism and reductionism; the problems of ontogenetic development and intercultural comparisons. Methodological, ethical and social problems analysed by H. Werner are contrasted with the ones analysed by modern researchers.

Keywords: H. Werner, developmental psychology, cultural-historical psychology, holism, systemic thinking, orthogenetic law, types of scientific rationality

Column: The Problem Of Development

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