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.

Agency and Personality

Agency and personality

They insisted we were less than we are for fear we might think we were more than we are.


In an effort to take on the mantle of a “science,” psychologists dropped the use of the terms action and conduct and replaced them with the one term behavior, which was given a special physicalistic twist. This was all part of an attempt to “physicalize” the human mind. The latter term can be applied to atoms, lower animals, and meteorological systems whereas the first two seem to carry a sense of purposiveness. One acts for a reason, in order to do this or that, or as an expression of some attitude. Our interest is in intentional action, that is, action done for ...

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