Download PDF by Edmund V. Sullivan: A Critical Psychology: Interpretation of the Personal World

By Edmund V. Sullivan

ISBN-10: 1461296641

ISBN-13: 9781461296645

ISBN-10: 1461326737

ISBN-13: 9781461326731

If the reader will excuse a short anecdote from my very own highbrow historical past, i want to take advantage of it as an creation to this ebook. In 1957, i used to be a sophomore at an undergraduate liberal arts collage significant­ ing in medieval background. This was once the 12 months that we have been receiving our first creation to classes in philosophy, and that i took to this learn with a keenness. In pursuing philosophy, i found the world known as "philosophical psychology," which was once a Thomistic classification of inquiry. For me, "philosophical psychology" intended a extra intimate research of the soul (psyche), and that i instantly concluded that psychology as a self-discipline needs to be approximately this pursuit. This philosophical curiosity led me to join my first introductory psychology direction. Our textual content for this path used to be the 1st variation of Ernest Hilgaard's advent to Psychology. My purposes for getting into this path have been expected within the introductory bankruptcy of Hilgaard's e-book, the place the self-discipline and its obstacles have been mentioned, and this advent was once to disabuse me of my unique goal for enrolling within the path. i used to be to benefit that, within the twentieth century, those that referred to as themselves psychologists have been now not attracted to perennial philosophical questions about the human psyche or individual. in truth, those philosophical questions have been thought of to be obscurantist and passe. Psychology used to be now the "scientific" learn of human habit. This definition of psychology via Hilgaard was once on no account idiosyncratic to this introductory textbook.

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Extra resources for A Critical Psychology: Interpretation of the Personal World

Example text

It is a fellow-being before it's a being" (Jacoby, 1975, p. 34). That, in a nutshell, is the conception of the personal I will be attempting to develop. Our entry point will be language rather than subjectivity. With language preeminent, communication becomes an essential feature of this metaphor, and it reveals the fundamental relational quality of a metaphor based on "persons in relation" (MacMurray, 1957): Speech is public. " For if METAPHORS OF UNDERSTANDING 19 this "I think" logically excludes the second person, the "I say" is logically incomplete.

Our assumption is that individuals use expressions because they intend meanings for others. Expressions are ambiguous because the meaning or significance of expressions is contingent upon multiple actors communicating with one another. Humans, it would appear, are peculiar animals involved in webs of significance that they themselves have spun (Geertz, 1973). "Webs of significance" is another way of saying that meaning is multiple or ambiguous, inviting interpretation. A human culture may be defined as a web of significance.

This can easily be seen in the vast majority of what are called "learning theories" (cf. Hilgard & Bower, 1966). Although most early learning theorists of the behaviorist variety recognized different species capacities, their main emphasis remained on the mechanical and repetitious nature of most human as well as animal acts. This can easily be seen by looking at the way these theorists 2This is clearly seen in the extremes in behavioral psychology as exemplified in the work of Skinner as opposed to the work of, say, Hull and Tolman.

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A Critical Psychology: Interpretation of the Personal World by Edmund V. Sullivan


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