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.

Discourse and the Brain

Discourse and the brain

The brain is structured like a language.


This survey of the discursive turn in psychology is, in part, an attempt to resurrect the full Aristotelian conception of a human being as a rational, social animal. According to this conception we need not only the idea that human beings are active agents undertaking various projects in accordance with local conventions of propriety and correctness but also an understanding of how discourse shapes the brain. Discursive contexts, the activities in which we engage in them, and the skills we acquire to accomplish these activities must somehow produce the neurological substrate of skilled action that is modeled by the cognitive metaphors such as we sketched in the last chapter. Some writers have ...

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