Scientific journal

New Psychological Research

Yurchenko N.I. Review of the Brinkmann, Birk and Lund’s article «Is another kind of biologization possible? On biology and the psy sciences»

Natalya I. Yurchenko, Master of Psychology, Federal Scientific Center for Psychological and Interdisciplinary Research, Moscow, Russia; bld. 9–4, Mokhovaya str., Moscow, Russia, 125009;

The overview of the article by Danish researchers, employees of the University of Aalborg (Denmark), Department of Communication and Psychology, Professor of Psychology Svend Brinkmann, Associate Professor of Psychology Rasmus Hoffmann Birk and postdoc of Psychology Peter Clement Lund, dedicated to the topic of biologization, is presented. In the article, the authors examine the complex relationship between biology and psychological disciplines, covering psychology, psychiatry and psychotherapy. A critical analysis is presented of how these fields have undergone significant processes of biologization during the 20th century, particularly with the development of psychopharmacology, neurobiology and genetic research. However, the authors argue that biology should not be viewed solely as a laboratory science focused on chemical compounds, advanced scanning techniques, and DNA sequencing. They advocate a broader perspective of biology that includes field research (observing organisms in their milieus). The central theme of the article is drawing parallels between two approaches in biology: on the one hand, laboratory biology, which primarily focuses on the study of the brain and genes; on the other hand, environmental biology, which directs its attention to the study of life and the various ecological niches in which it unfolds. The authors discuss the issue from a philosophical perspective, drawing inspiration in particular from the “philosopher of life” Ludwig Wittgenstein, and argue that the psychological sciences must not only reduce the degree of biologization of the former kind, but also expand their efforts at biologization of the latter kind to avoid widespread mentalism. It is emphasized that this is especially important in the context of understanding psychological distress, which should be considered situationally and associated with human lives in the ecological niches.


Key words: mutualism, mentalism, biologization, ecology, niches, psy sciences 


For citation: Yurchenko, N.I. (2023). Review of the Brinkmann, Birk and Lund’s article «Is another kind of biologization possible? On biology and the psy sciences», New Psychological Research, No. 3, 127–138. DOI: 10.51217/npsyresearch_2023_03_03_07




The article was prepared within a state task, project FNRE-2021-0001.


Keywords: mutualism mentalism biologization ecology niches psy sciences

Received: 15th october 2023

Published: 15th october 2023

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