This lucidly argued volume covers the key philosophical revolutions that are shaping contemporary psychology. Harr[ac]e and Gillett herald a new paradigm in psychology, dissolving the Cartesian distinction between mind and body in favour of the discursive turn in psychological theory. The authors explore the discursive origins of the self, the problem of agency and social understanding of personality. In the process, they elevate the emotions to a significant place in our understanding of mind, action and being. The theoretical breadth of the book is matched by its treatment of a wide range of subjects, including: consciousness; the brain; perception; thought; personality; and the emotions.

Perception and Consciousness

Perception and consciousness

What is consciousness? This question has dogged scientific psychology because it has about it the aura of a mystery It seems more tractable, however, when approached via a study of perception. The Cartesian theory of perception has provided the inspiration for most contemporary psychological approaches and therefore it is that model to which we must turn before we attempt to reformulate the problems associated with these two varieties of subjectivity.


According to Descartes (1641), “There is indeed in me a certain passive faculty of sensing or receiving and cognizing ideas of sensible things.” He believed that these ideas were produced in us by the action of external bodies on our sensory faculties. Our knowing of those things was based on ...

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