Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Teo

Dialectical Materialism

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5583-7_606


Both mainstream and, to a lesser extent, critical psychologies follow other social and natural sciences in generally failing to engage with dialectical materialism as a philosophical system contending to define scientific method and thought; at best, dialectical materialism is consigned to a category of historical relic. But even this is problematic: Standard histories of psychology devote space to alchemy and phrenology, but do not mention dialectical materialism. Yet much psychological thought pays particular attention to what goes unmentioned in conscious discourse, recognizing that what is present but unrecognized – as Freud named it, the unconscious; as Lacan put it, the Other – often has particular weight, role, and power. So perhaps psychology, and critical psychology, can benefit from considering how dialectical materialism considers psychological realities and the ways, explicit and covert, dialectical materialism has contributed to diverse areas of psychology.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Austen Riggs CenterStockbridgeUSA
  2. 2.Center for Professional PsychologyThe George Washington UniversityWashingtonUSA