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.
Chapter 2: The Second Cognitive Revolution
The Second Cognitive Revolution
Meaning versus Representation
The new and different strand of psychology was found, most influentially, in the later writings of Wittgenstein (1953). He argued that we understand the behavior of an individual when we grasp the meanings that are informing that person's activity. His early philosophy was entirely congenial with the understanding of the mind as a Cartesian realm in which subjects built up a picture of the world from their contact with it. The mind, so conceived, had direct relations to primitive features of reality, read off pictures of structured combinations of those features from states of affairs in the actual world, and performed logical operations on the resulting (pictured) combinations of those features. In his later [Page 19]philosophy, ...