Born May 3, 1903, in Nagyvárad, Hungary (now Oradea in the Socialist Republic of Rumania); died May 23, 1942. French Marxist philosopher. Member of the Central Committee of the French Communist Party.
In the 1930’s Politzer helped found the Workers’ University in Paris. From the beginning of the fascist German occupation of France (1940) he was in the underground. A participant in the Resistance Movement, he was arrested by the Vichy authorities in 1942, turned over to the occupiers, and executed.
Politzer analyzed issues in philosophy (Basic Issues in Modern Philosophy, 1938), political economy, and other disciplines from a dialectical-materialist standpoint. He published a critique of Bergsonian irrationalism in 1929 and also argued against Freudi-anism. He sought to construct a concrete psychology, the subject of which was to be man’s real life, or “life drama,” rather than the abstract, artificial construct of inner psychic life posited by the classical introspective psychology of W. Wundt. Concrete psychology, according to Politzer, should focus attention on the reality-oriented thoughts and activity-oriented aspect of the individual’s psychic life.
WORKSCritique des fondements de la psychologie, part 1. Paris, 1928.
Ecrits, vols. 1–2. Paris, 1969.
In Russian translation:
In the collection Frantsuzskie kommunisty v bor’be za progressimuiu ideologiiu. Moscow, 1953.
REFERENCESAntsyferova, L. I. “Pamiati Zh. Politisera.” Voprosy psikhologii, 1962, no. 3.
Chomarat, G. “G. Politzer aujourd’hui.” La Pensée, 1961, no. 98.