DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-DC121-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 2020
Retrieved February 24, 2024, from

1.2. Theses

The opposition between logical, semantic, and epistemological psychologism versus logical, semantic, and epistemological anti-psychologism can be reduced to the opposition between the theses:

  1. ‘Logical laws are a part of psychological laws’ vs. ‘Logical laws deal with relationships between abstract objects’.

  2. ‘The meaning of terms and statements are psychological entities’ vs. ‘The meaning of terms and statements are, either real objects, or abstract entities’ (for instance: the meaning of the statement ‘Snow is white’ is for the psychologist thinker a combination of ideas (idea of snow, idea of white and their link (is)), that is to say, something that effectively exists in the psyche of concrete individuals; for the anti-psychologist thinker it is not).

  3. ‘There is no absolute objectivity, but the truth of knowledge is restricted to the species (e.g. homo sapiens)’ vs. ‘Human knowledge is capable of attaining absolute knowledge that is valid for every rational being’ (for instance: whether the statement ‘Snow is white’ is true or false is, for the psychologist thinker, something that depends on the subject or type of subject that we consider; for the anti-psychologist one it is not).

The problem of objectivity produces a bifurcation in the nineteenth century in two directions possessing a certain specificity, one, referring to the question of the truth value or validity (Wahrheit /Geltung), the other, referring to the question of the meaning of the statement (Sinn, Bedeutung). Psychologism in logic or in epistemology is a psychologism referred to validity (be it from logical laws, be it from the truth of statements in general), while semantic psychologism is a psychologism linked to the establishment of the status of significance or meaning. Attention should be drawn to the link between semantic and hermeneutic psychologism (in the Geisteswissenschaften) (Rickert, 1896 [1921]: 140, 405–7), which can be seen as aspects of a more general psychologism referred to the sense as such.

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