We live in a psychological age. Psychologists are increasingly prominent and active in every sphere of life and we understand ourselves in psychological terms. It was not always so: psychology has a history. The word 'psychology' flags the idea that there is or, will be, a unified, true knowledge of the mind. Currently, the candidacy of evolutionary neuroscience holds sway. Yet, now and in the past, 'psychology' is a family name for a bewildering range of beliefs and preoccupations about what psychologists know and do. There is an intrinsic interest in knowing how people think about themselves, how they see their spiritual or material nature. What people think psychology's relation is to religion, politics, the arts, social life, the natural sciences and technology is an integral part of our human story. Between Mind and Nature explores the big questions bound up in this history: What is human nature? Is natural science the only rational way of thought? Will psychology provide answers to human problems? Does the very notion of being an individual, of having a 'self', depend on social and historical conditions? Can the brain explain mind?
Cogently written, this book will reveal much to those who wish to know more about the quest for knowledge of the mind, for historical study of brain and mind and for scientific and humanistic approaches to people. It concludes by posing important questions about the value and direction of psychology today.
Publisher: Reaktion Books
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 635 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 33 mm
"Smith has managed to achieve what the reviewer took to be an almost impossible task: to write a single comprehensive volume on the history of psychology while at the same time acknowledging that (a) there are many histories of psychology, (b) there is no single coherent discipline of psychology, and (c) there were multiple developments in the formation of this discipline across the globe. . . . Deserves a place among the very best of our general histories of the discipline."
"Between Mind and Nature has clarity and a dry sparkle of humour. Smith's rattling pace . . . consistently raises questions and invites discussion. It is the same story that any psychology student has heard before, with the same cast of characters and same scenery, but rendered a more interesting and vital drama by inclusion of all the meanderings and ends other histories choose to omit."--Fortean Times