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Philosophy of Psychology


Man's Search for Himself

Man's Search for Himself Lowest new price: $10.90
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Author: Rollo May
Brand: W. W. Norton & Company

"Analyzes life as we are living it, and the analysis is truthful and profound."--New York Times

Loneliness, boredom, emptiness: These are the complaints that Rollo May encountered over and over from his patients. In response, he probes the hidden layers of personality to reveal the core of man's integration--a basic and inborn sense of value. Man's Search for Himself is an illuminating view of our predicament in an age of overwhelming anxieties and gives guidance on how to choose, judge, and act during such times.

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Man for Himself: An Inquiry Into the Psychology of Ethics

Man for Himself: An Inquiry Into the Psychology of Ethics Lowest new price: $10.91
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Author: Erich Fromm
Brand: Holt Paperbacks

In Man for Himself, Erich Fromm examines the confusion of modern women and men who, because they lack faith in any principle by which life ought to be guided, become the helpless prey forces both within and without. From the broad, interdisciplinary perspective that marks Fromm's distinguished oeuvre, he shows that psychology cannot divorce itself from the problems of philosophy and ethics, and that human nature cannot be understood without understanding the values and moral conflicts that confront us all. He shows that an ethical system can be based on human nature rather than on revelations or traditions. As Fromm asserts, "If man is to have confidence in values, he must know himself and the capacity of his nature for goodness and productiveness."

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The Myth of Self-esteem: How Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy Can Change Your Life Forever

The Myth of Self-esteem: How Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy Can Change Your Life Forever Lowest new price: $14.17
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Author: Albert Ellis
Brand: Ellis, Albert

In this illuminating book, Ellis provides a lively and insightful explanation of the differences between self-esteem and self-acceptance. Emphasizing the importance of self-acceptance, he examines this theme in the thinking of great religious teachers, philosophers, and psychologists. He then provides exercises for training oneself to change self-defeating habits to the healthy, positive approach of self-acceptance. These include specific thinking techniques as well as emotive and behavioral exercises.

He concludes by stressing that unconditional self-acceptance is the basis for establishing healthy relationships with others, along with unconditional other-acceptance and a total philosophy of life anchored in unconditional life-acceptance.

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Relational Being: Beyond Self and Community

Relational Being: Beyond Self and Community Lowest new price: $36.36
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Author: Kenneth J. Gergen
Brand: Kenneth J Gergen

This book builds on two current developments in psychology scholarship and practice. The first centers on broad discontent with the individualist tradition in which the rational agent, or autonomous self, is considered the fundamental atom of social life. Critique of individualism spring not only from psychologists working in the academy, but also from communities of therapy and counseling. The second, and related development from which this work builds, is the search for alternatives to individualist understanding. Thus, therapists such as Steve Mitchell, along with feminists at the Stone Center, expand the psychoanalytic tradition to include a relational orientation to therapy.

The present volume will give voice to the critique of individualism, but its major thrust is to develop and illustrate a far more radical and potentially exciting landscape of relational thought and practice that now exists. Most existing attempts to build a relational foundation remain committed to a residual form of individualist psychology. The present work carves out a space of understanding in which relational process stands prior to the very concept of the individual. More broadly, the book attempts to develop a thoroughgoing relational account of human activity. In doing so, Gergen reconstitutes 'the mind' as a manifestation of relationships and bears out these ideas in a range of everyday professional practices, including family therapy, collaborative classrooms, and organizational psychology.

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Out of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your Brain, and Other Lessons from the Biology of Consciousness

Out of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your Brain, and Other Lessons from the Biology of Consciousness Lowest new price: $7.95
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Author: Alva Noë

Alva Noë is one of a new breed―part philosopher, part cognitive scientist, part neuroscientist―who are radically altering the study of consciousness by asking difficult questions and pointing out obvious flaws in the current science. In Out of Our Heads, he restates and reexamines the problem of consciousness, and then proposes a startling solution: do away with the two-hundred-year-old paradigm that places consciousness within the confines of the brain.

Our culture is obsessed with the brain―how it perceives; how it remembers; how it determines our intelligence, our morality, our likes and our dislikes. It's widely believed that consciousness itself, that Holy Grail of science and philosophy, will soon be given a neural explanation. And yet, after decades of research, only one proposition about how the brain makes us conscious―how it gives rise to sensation, feeling, and subjectivity―has emerged unchallenged: we don't have a clue.

In this inventive work, Noë suggests that rather than being something that happens inside us, consciousness is something we do. Debunking an outmoded philosophy that holds the scientific study of consciousness captive, Out of Our Heads is a fresh attempt at understanding our minds and how we interact with the world around us.

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The Psychic Life of Power: Theories in Subjection

The Psychic Life of Power: Theories in Subjection Lowest new price: $16.33
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Author: Judith Butler
Brand: Brand: Stanford University Press

As a form of power, subjection is paradoxical. To be dominated by a power external to oneself is a familiar and agonizing form power takes. To find, however, that what "one" is, one's very formation as a subject, is dependent upon that very power is quite another. If, following Foucault, we understand power as forming the subject as well, it provides the very condition of its existence and the trajectory of its desire. Power is not simply what we depend on for our existence but that which forms reflexivity as well. Drawing upon Hegel, Nietzsche, Freud, Foucault, and Althusser, this challenging and lucid work offers a theory of subject formation that illuminates as ambivalent the psychic effects of social power.


If we take Hegel and Nietzsche seriously, then the "inner life" of consciousness and, indeed, of conscience, not only is fabricated by power, but becomes one of the ways in which power is anchored in subjectivity. The author considers the way in which psychic life is generated by the social operation of power, and how that social operation of power is concealed and fortified by the psyche that it produces. Power is no longer understood to be "internalized" by an existing subject, but the subject is spawned as an ambivalent effect of power, one that is staged through the operation of conscience.


To claim that power fabricates the psyche is also to claim that there is a fictional and fabricated quality to the psyche. The figure of a psyche that "turns against itself" is crucial to this study, and offers an alternative to describing power as "internalized." Although most readers of Foucault eschew psychoanalytic theory, and most thinkers of the psyche eschew Foucault, the author seeks to theorize this ambivalent relation between the social and the psychic as one of the most dynamic and difficult effects of power.


This work combines social theory, philosophy, and psychoanalysis in novel ways, offering a more sustained analysis of the theory of subject formation implicit in such other works of the author as Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of "Sex" and Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity.

Judith Butler's writing has become a cornerstone of queer theory. In Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity and Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of Sex, she drew upon Freud, Michel Foucault and Jacques Lacan to explore the connections between sex, politics, and identity, and The Psychic Life of Power continues her inquiry into these ideas. While she revisits, and revises, some of her earlier thoughts--such as her theory of gender as performance--she breaks much new ground here. Using Hegel and Nietzsche (as well as a critique of psychoanalysis) for theoretical support, Butler probes how the idea of "subjection"--to become a subject, to have a consciousness--interfaces with having a gay or lesbian identity. Discussing such topics as drag, gays-in-the-military, and AIDS to illustrate her ideas, Butler manages to locate her philosophical theories in a concrete world, and although her earlier work could sometimes be as dense as it was rewarding, The Psychic Life of Power is lucid and highly readable. --Michael Bronski

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The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom

The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom Lowest new price: $54.83
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Author: Jonathan Haidt

Jonathan Haidt skillfully combines two genres-philosophical wisdom and scientific research-delighting the reader with surprising insights. He explains, for example, why we have such difficulty controlling ourselves and sticking to our plans; why no achievement brings lasting happiness, yet a few changes in your life can have profound effects, and why even confirmed atheists experience spiritual elevation. In a stunning final chapter, Haidt addresses the grand question "How can I live a meaningful life?," offering an original answer that draws on the rich inspiration of both philosophy and science.

 

"The Happiness Hypothesis is a wonderful and nuanced book that provides deep insight into the some of the most important questions in life--Why are we here?  What kind of life should we lead?  What paths lead to happiness?  From the ancient philosophers to cutting edge scientists, Haidt weaves a tapestry of the best and the brightest.  His highly original work on elevation and awe--two long-neglected emotions--adds a new weave to that tapestry.  A truly inspiring book." 
-David M. Buss, author of The Evolution of Desire:  Strategies of Human Mating
 
“In this beautifully written book, Jonathan Haidt shows us the deep connection that exists between cutting-edge psychological research and the wisdom of the ancients.  It is inspiring to see how much modern psychology informs life's most central and persistent questions
-Barry Schwartz, author of The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less
 
 “In our quest for happiness, we must find a balance between modern science and ancient wisdom, between East and West, and between ‘left brain’ and ‘right brain.’ Jon Haidt has struck that balance perfectly, and in doing so has given us the most brilliant and lucid analysis of virtue and well-being in the entire literature of positive psychology.  For the reader who seeks to understand happiness, my advice is: Begin with Haidt.”
-Martin E.P. Seligman, Director, Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania and author of Authentic Happiness
 
“Haidt is a fine guide on this journey between past and present, discussing the current complexities of psychological theory with clarity and humor. . . Haidt’s is an open-minded, robust look at philosophy, psychological fact and spiritual mystery, of scientific rationalism and the unknowable ephemeral – an honest inquiry that concludes that the best life is, perhaps, one lived in the balance of opposites.”
-Bookpage

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A History of Psychology: Ideas and Context

A History of Psychology: Ideas and Context Lowest new price: $75.29
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Author: D. Brett King
Brand: Pearson

A History of Psychology: Ideas & Context, 5/e, traces psychological thought from antiquity through early 21st century advances, giving students a thorough look into psychology’s origins and development. This title provides in-depth coverage of intellectual trends, major systems of thought, and key developments in basic and applied psychology.

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The Trouble with Pleasure: Deleuze and Psychoanalysis (Short Circuits)

The Trouble with Pleasure: Deleuze and Psychoanalysis (Short Circuits) Lowest new price: $15.79
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Author: Aaron Schuster
Brand: Mit Pr

An investigation into the strange and troublesome relationship to pleasure that defines the human being, drawing on the disparate perspectives of Deleuze and Lacan.

Is pleasure a rotten idea, mired in negativity and lack, which should be abandoned in favor of a new concept of desire? Or is desire itself fundamentally a matter of lack, absence, and loss? This is one of the crucial issues dividing the work of Gilles Deleuze and Jacques Lacan, two of the most formidable figures of postwar French thought. Though the encounter with psychoanalysis deeply marked Deleuze's work, we are yet to have a critical account of the very different postures he adopted toward psychoanalysis, and especially Lacanian theory, throughout his career. In The Trouble with Pleasure, Aaron Schuster tackles this tangled relationship head on. The result is neither a Lacanian reading of Deleuze nor a Deleuzian reading of Lacan but rather a systematic and comparative analysis that identifies concerns common to both thinkers and their ultimately incompatible ways of addressing them. Schuster focuses on drive and desire -- the strange, convoluted relationship of human beings to the forces that move them from within -- "the trouble with pleasure."

Along the way, Schuster offers his own engaging and surprising conceptual analyses and inventive examples. In the "Critique of Pure Complaint" he provides a philosophy of complaining, ranging from Freud's theory of neurosis to Spinoza's intellectual complaint of God and the Deleuzian great complaint. Schuster goes on to elaborate, among other things, a theory of love as "mutually compatible symptoms"; an original philosophical history of pleasure, including a hypothetical Heideggerian treatise and a Platonic theory of true pleasure; and an exploration of the 1920s "literature of the death drive," including Thomas Mann, Italo Svevo, and Blaise Cendrars.

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History and Philosophy of Psychology

History and Philosophy of Psychology Lowest new price: $32.91
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Author: Man Cheung Chung
Brand: Man Cheung Chung

History and Philosophy of Psychology is a lively introduction to the historical development of psychology. Its distinct inclusion of ideas from both Eastern and Western philosophies offers students a uniquely broad view of human psychology.

  • Whilst covering all the major landmarks in the history of psychology, the text also provides students with little-known but fascinating insights into key questions â?? such as whether Freud really cured his patients; what was nude psychotherapy; and were the early psychologists racist?
  • Encourages students to explore the philosophical and theoretical implications of the historical development of psychology
  • Explores key theoretical ideas and experiments in detail, with background to their development and valuable suggestions for further reading

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