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On the Psychological Thoughts of Kant and Its Contemporary Influence
Author(s): 
Pages: 1272-1277
Year: Issue:  5
Journal: Psychological Science

Keyword:  Kantrational psychologyempirical psychologyinfluence;
Abstract: Kant’s work includes abundant psychological thoughts, but these thoughts are not enough to constitute a subject that possesses its own significance. Only when analyzing them in the system of transcendental philosophy will it be possible to manifest their significance. Kant inherits the separation of rational psychology and empirical psychology from Wolff, but his unique critical studies have the power of solving the problem of dualism, enabling the acquisition of knowledge, and defending the morality and dignity of human beings. Through the refutation of paralogisms which traps our reasoning, Kant encloses rational psychology in the dust of history, so that people no longer need to seek knowledge merely from the concept of "cogito". Then Kant eliminates the opposition between "cogito" and the empirical world in the level of substance, releasing psychology from the shackles of theology and metaphysics, and enabling it to develop in the direction of natural science. By explaining that empirical psychology is unable to become a subject that has its own meaning, Kant makes a feasible demonstration for morality and perpetual peace in the field of empirical psychology. Thus, with his introspection and speculation, Kant vests the empirical subject with a clear significant direction and a serious social concern.In the past, many psychological historians used to criticize the speculative method in which Kant adopted in his studies, as well as his negative conclusion drawn from the speculations that psychology would never be a kind of experimental science like physics. However, if we notice that the controversy that followed Kant gestated abundant psychology schools, we might then query the criticism mentioned above, and treasure his psychological thoughts in a sympathetic way. The inf luence of Kant’s psychological thoughts is broad and profound. His concepts, such as category and scheme, still remain important and active in the research of contemporary cognitive psychology. Neo-Kantianism has developed a series of influential psychological theories during the process of inheriting and transforming the thoughts of Kant. Piaget puts forward the theory of genetic epistemology, which is based on his unique understanding of Kant’s theoretical framework. Since Piaget transformed Kant’s transcendental philosophy with the view of genetics, an increasing number of researchers have been attempting to undertake systematical research on schema with a standpoint of the modern cognitive psychology. Nevertheless, if we are aware that the studies on schema aim at explaining the general mental process of recognizing specific objects, it would be possible for us to discover that the scheme theory of modern cognitive psychology is completely based on the inheritance of Kant’s empirical scheme theory.
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