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© 2010

Persons: Understanding Psychological Selfhood and Agency

Benefits

  • Examines underlying philosophical questions about human behavior

  • Places psychology more firmly in a globalized world

  • Synthesis of various philosophical viewpoints

  • Presents a theory of human behavior as both experimental and conceptual

Book

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. A Theory of Persons and Selves for Psychology

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Jack Martin, Jeff H. Sugarman, Sarah Hickinbottom
      Pages 3-25
    3. Jack Martin, Jeff H. Sugarman, Sarah Hickinbottom
      Pages 27-43
    4. Jack Martin, Jeff H. Sugarman, Sarah Hickinbottom
      Pages 45-53
  3. Human Agency and the Irreducibility of Persons

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 55-55
    2. Jack Martin, Jeff H. Sugarman, Sarah Hickinbottom
      Pages 57-71
    3. Jack Martin, Jeff H. Sugarman, Sarah Hickinbottom
      Pages 73-85
    4. Jack Martin, Jeff H. Sugarman, Sarah Hickinbottom
      Pages 87-99
  4. Perspectives, Selves, and Persons

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 101-101
    2. Jack Martin, Jeff H. Sugarman, Sarah Hickinbottom
      Pages 103-116
    3. Jack Martin, Jeff H. Sugarman, Sarah Hickinbottom
      Pages 117-136
    4. Jack Martin, Jeff H. Sugarman, Sarah Hickinbottom
      Pages 137-153
    5. Jack Martin, Jeff H. Sugarman, Sarah Hickinbottom
      Pages 155-173
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 175-196

About this book

Introduction

Persons
Understanding Psychological Selfhood and Agency

Jack Martin, Jeff Sugarman, and Sarah Hickinbottom

At its core, psychology is about persons: their thinking, their problems, the improvement of their lives. The understanding of persons is crucial to the discipline. But according to this provocative new book, between current essentialist theories that rely on biological models, and constructionist approaches based on sociocultural experience, the concept of the person has all but vanished from psychology.

Persons: Understanding Psychological Selfhood and Agency recasts theories of mind, behavior, and self, synthesizing a range of psychologists and philosophers to restore the centrality of personhood—especially the ability to make choices and decisions—to the discipline. The authors’ unique perspective de-emphasizes method and formula in favor of moral agency and life experience, reveals frequently overlooked contributions of psychology to the study of individuals and groups, and traces traditions of selfhood and personhood theory, including:

  • The pre-psychological history of personhood.
  • A developmental theory of situated, agentive personhood.
  • The political disposition of self as a kind of understanding.
  • Human agency as a condition of personhood.
  • Emergentist theories in psychology.
  • The development of the perspectival self.

Persons represents an intriguing new path in the study of the human condition in our globalizing world. Researchers in developmental, social, and clinical psychology as well as social science philosophers will find in these pages profound implications not only for psychology but also for education, politics, and ethics.

Keywords

Disposition development fictional self human agency illusory self moral ontology morality personhood politics psychology social psychology

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Dept. PsychologySimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada
  2. 2.Fac. EducationSimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada
  3. 3.North VancouverCanada

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Health & Hospitals

Reviews

From the reviews: “This book focuses on what personhood is -- a balance between biological phenomena and sociocultural influences. The ability to make changes in one’s life and impact the lives of others is what the authors set out to conceptualize. … Their intended audience includes ‘researchers in developmental, social, and clinical psychology as well as social science philosophers.’ … it does answer the question of selfhood and agency, i.e. making choices and decisions through emergentist theories and the perspectival self.” (Gary B. Kaniuk, Doody’s Review Service, May, 2010) “Persons: Understanding Psychological Selfhood and Agency is a work of philosophical psychology … . authors do a fine job of reintroducing this work to the contemporary psychological audience. … The authors have made a valuable contribution to our understanding of persons, and their cogent exposition merits a reading. … One might expect greater coverage of related psychological theorizing (e.g., Bandura, 2001) and cognitive–developmental research … than they afford. … a testament to the presence of a philosophical psychology quite separate from mainstream psychology.” (David Patton Barone, PsycCRITIQUES, Vol. 55 (30), July, 2010)