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DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-DC121-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 2020
Retrieved July 16, 2020, from

Article Summary

Psychologism is a form of reductionism, either of a certain discipline to psychology, or of a certain type of objects to psychological entities, whereby a certain consensus believes that said reductionism necessarily entails relativism and scepticism.

Notwithstanding psychologism’s place in any realm of philosophy, or even beyond, it had particular relevance in logic. Given that ‘logic’ in the nineteenth century comprises what we today call logic proper, epistemology, and semantics, we can therefore differentiate between three basic types of psychologism and corresponding anti-psychologism.

Psychologism as a theoretic trend with numerous manifestations in the history of philosophy, must be distinguished from the ‘quarrel over psychologism’ (Psychologismusstreit), a historical-philosophical process which receives most emphasis in Germany from the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth century.

In what follows we shall approach the topic from two points of view, namely, systematic and historical. The first offers a clarification of the concept of psychologism and its types and explores the main theses and arguments either in favour of psychologism or against it. The second distinguishes two main ramifications of the Psychologismusstreit, to wit, the neo-Kantian and logical realist, linking both in diverse ways to Kant and other processes that, despite being interrelated with the Psychologismusstreit, are different from it. The exposition will close with a consideration of this topic’s development in its contemporary framework.

Citing this article:
Porta, Mario González. Psychologism, 2020, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-DC121-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
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