, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 464–467 | Cite as

Psychology without foundations: History, philosophy and psychosocial theory

  • Ian Parker
Book Review

Brown S.D. and Stenner P. Sage, London, 2009, 233pp., £28.99/$37.00, ISBN 978-0761972273

The discipline of psychology, along with ‘everyday psychology’ that is sometimes counterposed to the discipline, operates through a complex mixture of rhetoric and practice. Its rhetoric lures us into the idea that the psychologists can see the phenomena they describe, and the practice circumscribes a place from which we speak about who we have become as psychological subjects. At the heart of psychology, then, is a paradox, which is that there is a claim to re-present what has been ‘discovered’ about behaviour, interaction, cognition or emotion, but all this stuff has to be represented, rhetorically framed in order for it to be intelligible. It is tempting to respond to disciplinary truth claims by pitting what we feel, and what we feel we know about ourselves against the psychologists, and many radical projects in and against psychology have come to grief as they try to play the apparatus at its...


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian Parker
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyManchester Metropolitan UniversityManchesterUK

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