"Crisis” and “re-foundation” of psychology – outmoded topics of theoretical-psychological discourse?
Retrospections and Assessments
Keywords:grounded action, problems of replicability, crisis in psychology, scientific indeterminancy, unification
In the 1970-80ies critical assessments of the problematic state of psychology as science were flourishing, stressing the theoretical disintegration and practical irrelevance of psychological basic research and connecting both defects to a misplaced dependence of mainstream psychology on a scientistic notion of scientific cognition. Talks of a crisis in psychology were gaining ground again. Controverting the paradigmatic maturity vs. the pre-/non-paradigmatic state of our discipline or, alternatively, its necessarily multi-paradigmatic character, the quest for unification as against a programmatic theoretical pluralism became a top issue of scholarly dispute. The institutionalisation of ISTP in 1985 and its initial epistemological and meta-theoretical core themes clearly reflected this pervasive trend. Some 35 years later, it has become noticeably quiet about such concerns, and there is no evidence of a renewal of large-scale discussions on a foundational crisis in psychology, let alone of ambitious attempts at theoretical unification or re-foundation – despite the fact that none of the “epistemopathologial“ (Koch, 1981) diagnoses of traditional variable-psychology have been refuted or lost strategic importance. Combining historical retrospection with an exemplary analysis of topical theoretical-psychological subjects, the aim of my paper is to get a clearer idea of where Theoretical Psychology currently stands in regard to the meta-scientific study of psychological theory-problems.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Wolfgang Maiers
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