Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 17 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

In psychology today, three scientific approaches—three cultures—can be distinguished, each of them based on different epistemology: roots of the process-oriented science can be traced back to the Heraclitian philosophy; cause-effect science agrees with the Cartesian-Humean philosophy; and structural-systemic science, which in many respects is built on Aristotelian worldview. Science is an activity that aims at increasing knowledge and understanding of the world. In this chapter it is suggested that the three scientific approaches comprise a hierarchy in terms of explanatory power; process-oriented science represents scientifically the least effective way to understand the world and structural-systemic science is the most powerful. Cultural psychology of today is analyzed in the framework of the distinguished epistemologies and corresponding methodologies. It is shown that the process-oriented cultural psychology is represented, among others, by studies based on modern qualitative methodology; also several ideas from activity theory and indigenous cultural psychology belong here together with the principle of cultural relativism. Cause-effect science is represented by cross-cultural psychology, and partly by activity theory and indigenous cultural psychology, which are examples of mixed approaches. Finally, the structural-systemic approach was taken by almost abandoned today Vygotskian cultural-historical psychology elaborated by Luria. The near future of cultural psychology, I predict, will remain dominated by cause-effect science together with the process-oriented approach, which will strengthen its position a little. Nonscientific reasons why the most sophisticated structural-systemic approach will stay in the periphery of science are discussed. It is concluded that the future of cultural psychology, if it is to prosper as a science, lies in the past, not in the present.

Keywords: epistemology, culture of science, cultural psychology, hierarchy of scientific approaches

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.