1st Edition

Psychology Society & Subject

By Charles W Tolman Copyright 1994

    One result of the European student movements of the late 1960s was a critique of the mainstream, bourgeois social sciences. They were seen as irrelevant to the real needs of ordinary people and as practically and ideologically supporting oppression. The discussions around psychology in Berlin at the time became increasingly focused on whether the discipline could in fact be reformed. Among the latter was a group under the leadership of Klaus Holzkamp at the Free University who undertook an intensive critique of psychology with a view to identifying and correcting its theoretical and methodological problems and thus laying the groundwork for a genuine ‘critical’ psychology. Psychology, Society, and Subjectivity relates the history of this development, the nature of the group’s critique, its reconstruction of psychology, and its implications for psychological thought and practice. It will be of interest to anyone keen on making psychology more relevant to our lives.

    Part I Dissent: 1. Ideology, Power and Subjectivity. Part II Critique: 2. Philosophical assumptions 3. Social-historical Theory 4. Specific Psychological Theories. Part III Reconstruction 5. Reconstructing the Psychological Categories 6. From Phylogenesis to the Dominance of Sociogenesis 7. Individual Subjectivity and its Development. Part IV Toward Practice: 8. Methodological Implications.


    Charles Tolman is Professor of Psychology at the University of Victoria, Canada.