The Neo-Kantian Paul Natorp and the Role of Subjectivity in Psychology

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In this paper I want to draw attention to the works of the German neo-Kantian philosopher Paul Natorp, who, in his writings about psychology, developed a unique understanding of the relationship between objectivity and subjectivity. Despite the many decades that have passed since the original publication of Natorp’s work, I want to show that his ideas can still be influential today, if we want to re-orient psychology as a discipline and examine the higher psychological functions.

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  1. 1.

    More about Neo-Kantianism can be found in (Beiser 2015). The best account of Paul Natorp’s body of work can be found in (Jegelka 1992) (Germany only).

  2. 2.

    This depiction of Windelband might not do full justice to the complexity of his argument. In his epistemological reflections, Windelband seems to introduce psychology as a discipline that is also concerned with morality and social norms (Windelband 1873).


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Correspondence to Martin Dege.

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Dege, M. The Neo-Kantian Paul Natorp and the Role of Subjectivity in Psychology. Integr. psych. behav. 54, 142–151 (2020) doi:10.1007/s12124-019-09501-7

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  • Subjectivity
  • Objectivity
  • Agency
  • Paul Natorp
  • Neo-Kantianism
  • History of psychology