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The Psychology of Personhood
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Book description

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.


‘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 Source: Philosophical Psychology

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