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The Psychology of Personhood
Philosophical, Historical, Social-Developmental, and Narrative Perspectives

Jack Martin, Mark H. Bickhard, Michael A. Tissaw, Charles Guignon, Kurt Danziger, Jeff Sugarman, James T. Lamiell, John Barresi, Chris Moore, Raymond Martin, Alex Gillespie, Anna Stetsenko, Amia Lieblich, Ruthellen Josselson, Mark Freeman
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  • Date Published: December 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107477759

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About the Authors
  • What is a person? Surprisingly little attention is given to this question in psychology. For much of the past century, psychology has tended to focus on the systematic study of processes rather than on the persons who enact and embody them. In contrast to the reductionist picture of much mainstream theorising, which construes persons as their mental lives, behaviours or neurophysiological particulars, The Psychology of Personhood presents persons as irreducibly embodied and socially situated beings. Placing the study of persons at the centre of psychology, this book presents novel insights on the typical, everyday actions and experiences of persons in relation to each other and to the broader society and culture. Leading scholars from diverse academic disciplines paint an integrative portrait of the psychological person within evolutionary, historical, cultural, developmental and everyday contexts.

    • Champions the study of persons as the central task of psychology
    • Presents a refreshing alternative to the reductionism of much contemporary psychology
    • Looks at the psychology of personhood from a broad range of perspectives, including philosophical, historical and socio-developmental
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'What does it mean to be a person? In this wide-ranging collection, Jack Martin and Mark Bickhard bring together some of the most provocative and probing essays you will ever read on the nature of human personhood, written by eminent scholars from many different disciplines. Drawing insights from philosophy, history, social and developmental psychology, cultural studies, discursive psychology, and the narrative study of lives, the authors raise deep questions about persons that most persons have never thought to ask. And they propose tentative answers and integrative frameworks that will surely challenge even the most thoughtful and well-informed readers, those rare persons out there who refuse to take personhood for granted.' Dan P. McAdams, Henry Wade Rogers Professor of Psychology, Northwestern University and author of The Redemptive Self

    'I welcome this contribution to renewed attempts in the social sciences to offer better accounts of the nature of human personhood, and expect it will promote valuable conversations and scholarship on this crucial matter into the future.' Christian Smith, author of What is a Person?

    'The Psychology of Personhood offers a unique collection of important contributions to an interdisciplinary, non-reductionist science of personhood. Martin and Bickhard succeed in bringing together different approaches and providing the basis for a new constructive debate on a contemporary key topic in both psychology and philosophy.' Michael Jungert, Philosophical Psychology

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107477759
    • length: 276 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.37kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introducing persons and the psychology of personhood Jack Martin and Mark H. Bickhard
    Part I. Philosophical, Conceptual Perspectives:
    2. The person concept and the ontology of persons Michael A. Tissaw
    3. Achieving personhood: the perspective of hermeneutic phenomenology Charles Guignon
    Part II. Historical Perspectives:
    4. Historical psychology of persons: categories and practice Kurt Danziger
    5. Persons and historical ontology Jeff Sugarman
    6. Critical personalism: on its tenets, its historical obscurity, and its future prospects James T. Lamiell
    Part III. Social-Developmental Perspectives:
    7. Conceiving of self and others as persons: evolution and development John Barresi, Chris Moore and Raymond Martin
    8. Position exchange theory and personhood: moving between positions and perspectives within physical, socio-cultural and psychological space and time Jack Martin and Alex Gillespie
    9. The emergent ontology of persons Mark H. Bickhard
    10. Theorizing personhood for the world in transition and change: reflections from a transformative activist stance on human development Anna Stetsenko
    Part IV. Narrative Perspectives:
    11. Identity and narrative as root metaphors of personhood Amia Lieblich and Ruthellen Josselson
    12. Storied persons: the double triad of narrative identity Mark Freeman.

  • Editors

    Jack Martin, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia
    Jack Martin is Burnaby Mountain Professor in Psychology at Simon Fraser University. He is an Associate Editor of New Ideas in Psychology and is on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology and Theory and Psychology.

    Mark H. Bickhard, Lehigh University, Pennsylvania
    Mark H. Bickhard is Henry R. Luce Professor in Cognitive Robotics and the Philosophy of Knowledge at Lehigh University. He is Editor of New Ideas in Psychology.


    Jack Martin, Mark H. Bickhard, Michael A. Tissaw, Charles Guignon, Kurt Danziger, Jeff Sugarman, James T. Lamiell, John Barresi, Chris Moore, Raymond Martin, Alex Gillespie, Anna Stetsenko, Amia Lieblich, Ruthellen Josselson, Mark Freeman

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