What is psychology? The general definition describes it as a science that studies mental processes, personality, people’s behaviour and the attitude they have to their environment in a scientific manner. This definition positions psychology as an art and a science, which uses a positivist method for the research of its object of study – the human.
The definition stops here – and that is its problem. It stays unquestioned and keeps its status-quo, which we cannot be satisfied with due to the more and more intense spread of interdisciplinary versions and collaborations of psychology. How do we outline psychology in a way that clearly positions its place in science and its relevance for society and humans? However, this is not about setting a clear boundary between what psychology is and is not. It is an attempt at deconstructing and analysing psychology’s own suppositions and thinking by which psychological knowledge and psychology as such construct themselves.
What is psychology is a question that was already pondered by Canguillem (1958), who claims in his essay of the same title that us not asking this question is a problem of feeling our own identity – that of psychologists – is in danger. While philosophy understands self-questioning as a fundamental philosophical problem, where it is a means for the construction of philosophical knowledge, Canguillem (1958) says that in psychology efficiency and not the questioning of its own suppositions is set as the imperative of psychological activity. Because this area is lacking, we want to awaken and offer a space – a heterotopia – for a fundamental, meta-relational consideration of your psychological suppositions, ideas and phantasmal as well as materially-realistic consequences of psychological activity. The epistemology of psychology needs reflection, consideration and deliberation.
We at Panika journal and Društvo študentov psihologije Slovenije have decided to publish a monograph on the subject ‘What is psychology?’. We invite you to write an article in which you analyse the epistemological suppositions of psychology, its individual concepts and the effects of direct and indirect psychological activity. In your contribution you can also provide a historical analysis of psychology or write about any subject you find relevant in connection with reconsidering the extensively set question ‘What is psychology?’.
The structure of the article should be in accordance with the guidelines published on Panika’s website under the tab Za avtorje. We accept articles in Slovenian and English. The article will be checked, reviewed and proofread by Panika’s editorship.
Send your submissions on or before 20. 2. 2022 to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject: What is psychology: Name of article.
Update 14. 2. 2022: the deadline for submitting articles has been extended until 28. 2. 2022.
Žiga Mekiš Recek, editor-in-chief
Ema Bohanec, editor-in-chief
Translation: Pia Zala Meden
Canguilhem, G. (1958). Qu’est-ce que la psychologie?. Revue de Meta-physique et de Morale, 1, 12–25