Chelpanov, Georgii Ivanovich

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Chelpanov, Georgii Ivanovich


Born Apr. 16 (28), 1862, in Mariupol’; died Feb. 13, 1936, in Moscow. Russian psychologist, philosopher, and logician.

Chelpanov was a professor at the universities of Kiev (1892–1907) and Moscow (1907–23). In 1912 he founded the Moscow Institute of Psychology—an important center of experimental psychology—and was its director until November 1923. As a philosopher, Chelpanov was close to neo-Kantianism and positivism. Criticizing materialism in such works as The Brain and the Soul (1900), he attempted to substantiate psychology by means of the “empirical parallelism” of the soul and the body—a concept that went back to the psychophysical parallelism of W. Wundt.

Chelpanov performed some important experiments on the perception of space and time and developed procedures for laboratory research (Introduction to Experimental Psychology, 1915). His textbooks on psychology and logic have been reprinted more than once. After the October Revolution, Chelpanov believed that Marxism could be applied to social but not to general psychology, which, in his opinion, must be free of any kind of philosophy.


Problema vospriialiia prostranstva v sviazi s ucheniem ob apriornosti i vrozhdennosti, parts 1–2. Kiev, 1896–1904.
Psikhologiia, parts 1–2. Moscow, 1909.
Psikhologiia ili refleksologiia? (Spornye voprosy psikhologii.) Moscow, 1926.


Budilova, E. A. Bor’ba materializma i idealizma v russkoi psikhologicheskoi nauke (Vtoraiapol. 19-nach. 20 vv.). Moscow, 1960.
Petrovskii, A. V. Istoriia sovetskoip sikhologii. Moscow, 1967.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.