chapter  2
35 Pages

Psychologisation and the sciences

Is psychology a science? This question heated many debates and, one could argue, at its own assured psychology’s place within Academia, albeit only in the argument that up till now, there are some unscientific aspects in psychology, but in the not too far away future psychology will be taken up in the ‘rise of the sciences’. One could also claim that when psychology will reach its rightful place in the premiere league of Academia, this will also entail the end of psychologisation, here understood as the end of the unhappy overflow or colonisation of the other sciences. To surpass this rather unfruitful hypothetical debate, another, double, question can be asked: what are the sciences for psychology and what is psychology for the sciences? Here the issue is not the future fully assured scientific tenure of the discipline – or, as the opposite alternative, its complete disappearance and incorporation in the neurosciences – but, rather, the historical vicissitudes of the place of psychology in Academia. How did psychological theory and praxis evolve with the unfolding of the history of the project of the modern sciences, and more broadly, the project of modernity? As argued in the first chapter, modern subjectivity is a function of the objectifications of modern science: psychology is the attempt to both give form, to contain and to master the modern subject, the subject of the sciences. Hence it is important to look back at the moments where this project ran into crisis and to scrutinise how this affected and was affected by the discipline of psychology.