Cognitive Psychology – from the Bourgeois Individual to Class Struggle

At their best, radical critiques of cognitive psychology call into question the atomistic, mechanistic, and representational foundations of modern epistemology. Despite some notable exceptions, critics of cognitive psychology have rarely ventured into the domain of political economy. Indeed, the overwhelming tendency has been to view modern epistemology as a manifestation of Western culture rather than an expression of the underlying logic of capitalist accumulation. One of the advantages of placing cognitive psychology within the context of political economy is that it makes it possible to integrate various critical elements that would otherwise remain only loosely related. From the perspective of the political economy, the abstract and mechanical models that lie at the heart of cognitive psychology are an institutional expression of the alienation of labor under the capitalist mode of production. In this sense, cognitive psychology is not so much a cultural movement but rather an embodiment of alienation itself. Another reason for grounding critiques of cognitive psychology in class struggle is that it prevents revolutionary concepts from being appropriated for essentially reformist purposes.


About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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