FUNDAMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY ( FP )
(The nature of PSYCHE)
Chapter 1. FACTS and OPINIONS
1.4. PSYCHOLOGY WITHOUT PSYCHE
NAS began with/from mechanics. Just here advantages of physical, objective, experimental way for approaching to truth were clearly recognized in compare with scholastic way, reduced to disputes about interpretation of a Teacher (for example, of Aristotle).
Fathers-founders of mechanics – such as Galileo (1564-1642), Descartes (1596-1650), Newton (1643-1727) – proceed from mutual independence of an observer/researcher and an observed reality. Each observer was identified with its own scale system (system of coordinates). It was admitted in principle, that research results can not coincide in different systems, in representations of different observers. On this logic the picture of an outer (for observers) world (system of its laws) depends on representations of the observer, on its psyche (author's attention was directed to this by Karen Norajrovich Mhitarjan [ 88 ]).
For an observer a picture of his physical world is the physical world itself. For a goldfish born in an aquarium and living in it, it is just its Universe. There is known an ancient Indian parable how three blind sages discussed what an elephant was like. That of them who touched a leg said, that it's like a tree, who has touched a tail said a cord, and who touched a trunk – a snake. Let's replace the elephant with a place of our stay on the Earth – and we'll receive three different inhabitancies. A deaf person cannot productively communicate with a blind one just because they exist in parallel (objectively identical), not crossed (subjectively various) worlds.
Rational science, having won scholasticism in the areas, dealing with lifeless nature (in the physicist, chemistry etc), becoming a support of the modern technical civilization, and leaning on opportunities of technics, generate by it (in this sense they form a contour with a positive feedback: the more technical opportunities has science, the more its new successes, and the more than new successes has technics), stretched its influence as well upon biology, medicine, and upon humanitarian sciences, including psychology. Thus individuality of the observer/experimenter became to be ignored, an a priori conviction in identity of results of similar observations, and even the requirement of such identity appeared/raised: results, not confirming each other, are ignored as non-reliable.
By this logic the psyche is become put in dependence on the world, outer in relation to it. So the vicious circle becomes enclosed in which the psyche depends on that which initially depends on it . And moreover: as far as the physical world is for modern natural sciences ALL the space of its researches (such is the self-restriction of modern materialism), there is no place in sphere of its competence for psyche at all. Accordingly, and a person is considered as a machine, status of which raises with growth of achievements of the rational science itself: at first as mechanical, then as physical (power, thermal), as chemical, now as cybernetic (a biological computer).
Whole wealth of psychology knowledge, as well as wealth of its methodical opportunities, are obtained with use of the trial and error methods similar to methods of Monte-Carlo and iteration (consecutive approach) in the mathematics. Psyche is investigated as also any object, named in a science on complex systems (in systems engineering) as a black box – as an object, internal structure of which is intentionally ignored for some reasons, and attention is paid only to system of its output signals, its reactions in reply to the certain input signals, stimulus. Thus, in fact there are researched not the psyche itself, not its structure and mechanisms, but behaviour of its bearer, whether it be a person or an animal, outer, physical reveals of psyche functioning.
It is reflected and in definitions of the notion psyche, given in official reference source (encyclopedias, textbooks, directories). It is defined whether
• as property/quality of alive (i.e. of some other property/quality of reality), but not as a real object possessing its own intrinsic/ontologic and notional contents, or
• as something researched by psychology (its "subject"), and psychology – along a vicious circle – as a science researching psyche, and
" in (some) foreign editions the term of psyche is absent at all (in particular: Encyclopedia Americana – International Edition, v. 22., 1993).
The most obviously an approach to psyche as to a black box is shown in behaviorism, which studied WHAT occurs, ignoring mechanisms and the reasons – HOW occurs and WHY occurs. But vainly N.G.Alexeyev/Í.Ã. Àëåêñååâ reproaches behaviorism for loss of own subject of psychology [ 5 ]. On the contrary: it is absence of clear comprehension by psychology of psyche as the subject of its researches has provoked behaviorism origin.
However and introduction of concept of Gestalt has not changed a situation essentially: WHAT is a Gestalt, remains the same riddle, the same black box as WHAT is psyche. For example, it remains a riddle WHY four matches combined in a square, are perceived more likely as one square than as four matches.
If psychologists note the absence of precise representation of psyche nature, of the internal content of this black box, of psyche as of the subject of psychology, so they don't express a serious anxiety. It is represented (with rare exceptions) not as a crisis at all, but as an amusing incident, as temporal misunderstanding, as merely inability to execute a vain formality – to define something which is already clear without any definition.
Such a situation when practice surpasses the theory, when tactical tasks are solved easier, and accordingly earlier than strategic ones, is characteristic not only for psychology.
So, the physics (electronics, electrical engineer) which has realized that, which was only fantastic dream to only a hundred years ago, does till now not know WHAT is electricity, an electric charge, WHAT does distinguish an electron from a positron (internally, essentially, but not externally, by their behaviour at interaction with other elementary particles).
So, the mankind uses fire during hundreds millennia, but it is known, WHAT fire is, less than a millennium quarter (ratio as between the racetrack length in stadium and the size of a school writing-book leaf). However revolutionary progress of a scientific and technical/machine civilization is connected with this very discovery.
Similarly, if to open a black box of psyche, to make clear, even partially, its internal structure, if to learn to regulate/adjust actively, purposefully its mechanisms instead of to catch passively success guessing how these mechanisms will work spontaneously, so it is possible to count on not less significant, revolutionary progress of a scientifically-humanitarian civilization.