Who is the psychologist among people? Notes on the margin of Katarzyna Sikora’s article

Adam Niemczyński


Katarzyna Sikora’s question about the nature of ethical good that underlies the codes of psychologists’ professional ethics is justified. It leads to reflection on the nature of good, which, however, does not preoccupy the authors or users of ethics codes very much. What they focus on is mainly practical regulations concerning various kinds of professional conduct, which experience proves to be indispensable for keeping practitioners of the profession within the bounds of its ethos as well as within the standards of its knowledge and skills. The good that the recipient of psychological services should enjoy and the psychologist should strive to provide remains vague. This is visible in comparison with other professions rich in axiological content, such as medical or legal professions. Good in the form of health or enjoying one’s rights in society, which determines the axiological content in those professions, is elusive in the case of the psychologist. This axiological content in turn determines and constitutes the basis for the ethics of medical and legal professions, respectively. Psychologists have no such basis, or, at any rate, such a basis has not been clearly and distinctly identified for them. Personal integrity is proposed as the kind of good that psychologists should seek to provide the recipients of their services with when practicing their profession.


code of professional ethics; axiological content of profession; ethical particularism; personal integrity

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Roczniki Psychologiczne/Annals of Psychology

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