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Gurevich, P. S. Zigzags of understanding psychology

Published in journal "Psychology and Psychotechnics", 2015-1 in rubric "Editor-in-Chief's column", pages 7-10.

Resume: The article analyzes the philosophical and psychological heritage of Eduard Spranger. Publication of his book «Types of men: the psychology and ethics of personality» (the Russian translation by A.K. Sudakov) permits to significantly deepen the history of psychology, to ensure a higher level of comprehension of the Russian psychological school. According to Spranger, psychology is a descriptive and “understanding” but not a normative science. He consistently makes a distinction between general and «physiological psychology». The strong side of his conception is its relation to the philosophical tradition and metaphysical reflection. E. Spranger, basing upon works by W. Wundt and F. Nietzsche, turns to analysis of the spiritual life of people. He analyzes forms of life relating them with value orientations of an individual. The research methods are related to the sciences of the spirit that are opposed to the sciences of nature, in accordance with their traditional distinction. The research is centred on historical experience, «being», or the «world of life». The author is guided by hermeneutically oriented psychology and philosophy. The novelty of the article is determined by an attempt to analyze E. Spranger’s heritage in the perspective of the current state of psychology. For the first time in Russian literature, Spranger’s heritage receives critical interpretation. The article shows the indisputable achievements of this prominent author. The creation of a structural or understanding psychology is noted as fruitful, and its methodological foundations and perspectives are emphasized. On the other hand, the article shows the inadequacy of Spranger’s typology of characters. Spranger does not always coherently employ the axiological principle, and gives an incorrect characteristic of the social and political, power-interested characters.

Keywords: descriptive psychology, understanding psychology, sciences of spirit, being, historical experience, spiritual life, character, typology of characters, personality, values.

DOI: 10.7256/2070-8955.2015.1.14159

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Shpranger Eduard. Formy zhizni: gumanitarnaya psikhologiya i etika lichnosti / Per. A.K. Sudakova. M.: «Kanon+», 2014.
Gurevich P.S., Bueva L.P., Egorova I.V. «Chemu uchit istoriya?» v rubrike «Kruglyy stol» // Vestnik analitiki. 2014. ¹ 2(56). S. 100-121.
Gurevich P.S. Artur Shopengauer kak filosofskiy antropolog // Filosofskiy zhurnal. 2011. ¹ 1(6). S. 54-69.
Gurevich P.S., Bueva L.P., Egorova I.V. «Sotsial'nye illyuzii» v rubrike «Kruglyy stol» // Vestnik analitiki. 2014. ¹ 3(57). S. 107-130

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