what is structuralism?

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whats is structuralism

-- fedrick (fedz_gonzaga@hotmail.com), June 21, 2002


In the history of psychology, it is the school of thought sometimes associated with Wundt, and definitely associated with Titchener. There are slso philosophical and sociological theories of structuralism, and there is a school of family therapy called structural family therapy. For the history of psychology, consult any history of psychology textbook. You might also consult an encyclopedia of psychology or an encyslopedia of philosophy.

-- Hendrika Vande Kemp (hendrika@earthlink.net), June 21, 2002.

Stucturalism is the name Titchener gave his own position in order to distinguish himself from the "functionalists" (which included most everyone else in America, but was particularly associated with Angell, Dewey, Baldwin, Cattell, and Thorndike). He claimed that is derived from his training with Wundt, but recent research (see articles by A. Blumenthal, by Kurt Danziger, and by Thomas Leahey, in particular) has shown this to have been largely false. Titchener's claim was that one had to know the "parts" of consciousness before one could study the functions (both ontogenetic and phylogenetic) of those parts. The functionalists, of course, disagreed, arguing (roughly) that function is (in part) what defines a given part of a system. The analogy to anatomy and phyisology was often used.

-- Christopher Green (cgreen@chass.utoronto.ca), June 23, 2002.

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