- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd; 1 edition (6 May 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0803977638
- ISBN-13: 978-0803977631
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.3 x 23.5 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 567,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
Naming the Mind: How Psychology Found Its Language Paperback – 6 May 1997
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`I wish I had it in my power to make this book by Kurt Danziger required reading for any psychologist who teaches or contemplates teaching a course in the history of the field. Why? Because it eloquently challenges the current view that the category language of the 20th-century American psychology reflects a natural and universal order of psychological phenomena. In Naming the Mind: How Psychology Found Its Language, Danziger shows very convincingly what is wrong with that picture' -Theory & Psychology
`Naming the Mind consolidates a vast body of scholarship on psychological language and offers a persuasive model for appreciating the dynamic play and implications of this expert language....For those researchers concerned with psychology's language, Naming the Mind is a smart read' - Feminism & Psychology
About the Author
Kurt Danziger is Professor Emeritus at York University, Toronto and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Constructing the Subject (1990) is his most recently published book.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
Danziger is one of the most important psychology writers to date. He has broke ground and taboos in this book by pointing out what is becoming more and more obvious. That Euro-American psychology, including and especially its scientific research is highly ethnocentric and does not represent the rest of the world as an objective psychology.
Danziger proves this most elegantly and is referenced by many other modern scholars around this issue. Most especially those who are interested in having a more global respect for the knowledge of other cultures. Europe and The US's way of thinking doe snot represent all cultures.
Traditionally psychology has done a magnificent job of turning reasonably functioning human beings into research subjects and patients but has had little inclination to lay on the couch and try to understand itself. The discipline has sailed along, blown by the reassuring wind that it is a pure science, disembodied, transcendent, and insulated from the confusing realities of people and the words they use to communicate.
This book is a masterful account of the history of the words central to psychology, words such as "behavior," "motivation" and "emotion." We use these words as though they are objective categories of brain function, however Danziger explains that they are products of academic fashion and pop psychology and as such they are ever-changing.
This book is clearly written, scholarly but not weighty. It covers an aspect of psychology that is not mainstream - nonetheless it is a seminal book because it is written by an insider and adds momentum to the revolution in thinking that is overturning the prevailing dogma that the brain works like a computer manipulating symbols. The brain is instead an emergent system and words are created through social interaction - therefore words and their meanings are ever-living and not scientifically "pure."
This book confirms that you can understand psychology only be understanding the words that psychologists themselves use.