This book brings together a group of scholars from around the world who view psychology as the science of human ways of being. Being refers to the process of existing - through construction of the human world – here, rather than to an ontological state. This collection includes work that has the goal to establish the newly developed area of cultural psychology as the science of specifically human ways of existence. It comes as a next step after the “behaviorist turn” that has dominated psychology over most of the 20th century, and like its successor in the form of “cognitivism”, kept psychology away from addressing issues of specifically human ways of relating with their worlds. Such linking takes place through intentional human actions: through the creation of complex tools for living, entertainment, and work. Human beings construct tools to make other tools. Human beings invent religious systems, notions of economic rationality and legal systems; they enter into aesthetic enjoyment of various aspects of life in art, music, and literature; they have the capability of inventing national identities that can be summoned to legitimate one’s killing of one’s neighbors, or being killed oneself.
The contributions to this volume focus on the central goal of demonstrating that psychology as a science needs to start from the phenomena of higher psychological functions, and then look at how their lower counterparts are re-organized from above. That kind of investigation is inevitably interdisciplinary - it links psychology with anthropology, philosophy, sociology, history, and developmental biology. Various contributions to this volume are based on the work of Lev Vygotsky, George Herbert Mead, Henri Bergson, and on traditions of Ganzheitspsychologie and Gestalt psychology.
Psychology as the Science of Human Being is a valuable resource to psychologists, sociologists, philosophers, biologists, and anthropologists alike.