This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
'I thought this an excellent book. I found the approach thoughtprovoking and innovative.' Trevor Butt, University ofHuddersfield 'This is an extremely useful text which provides an insight into the debates surrounding human behaviour and the psychological models that inform our und erstanding.' Ian Rivers, College of Ripon & York St. John Psychology and 'Human Nature' problematises what psychology usually takes for granted-the meaning of th e psyche or 'human nature'. Peter Ashworth provides a coherent account of many of the major schools of thought in psychology and its related disciplines, including: sociobiology and evolutionary psychology, psychoanalysis, cognitive psychology, radical behaviourism, existentialism, discursive psychology and postmodernism. For each approach he considers the claims or assumptions being made about the psyche and their position on the associated issues of consciousness, the self, the body, other people and the physical world. Psychology and 'Human Nature' will be essential reading for all students of psychology. Peter Ashworth is Professor of Educational Research and Director of the Learning and Teaching Research Institute, Sheffield Hallam University.
Series editor: Perry Hinton, University of Luton
The Psychology Focus series pro vides students with a new focu s on key topic areas in psychology. It suppo rts stu dents taking modules in psychology, whether for a psychology degree or a combined pro gramme, and th ose renewin g th eir qua lificat ion in a relat ed disciplin e. Each sho rt book : • • • • pr esents clear , in -d epth co ver a ge of a di scr et e a rea wit h man y a pplied exa m ples assumes no prior kn owledge of psycholo gy has been writte n by an ex perienced teacher has ch apter sum ma ries, an nota te d further rea ding and a glossa ry o f key term s. Also ava ila ble in this series: Friendship in Childhood and Adolescence Phil Erwin Gender and Social Psychology Vivien Burr Jobs, Technology and People N ik Chm iel Learning and Studying Jam es Hartley Personality: A Cognitive Approach Jo Brunas-Wagstaff Intelligence and Abil ities Colin Cooper Stress, Cognition and Health Tony Cassidy Types of Thinking S.lan R obertson Psychobiology of Human Motivation Hugh Wagner Stereotypes, Cognition and Cultur e Perry R.Hinton
and IHuman Nature'
• Peter Ashworth
Includes bibliogr aphical references and inde x ISBN 0-415-21299-5 (h bk). 2002. PA 19106 This editi on published in the Taylor & Franci s e-Libr ar y. BN3 2FA http://www. Suite 800 . Philadelphia. East Sussex. Psychology and ' human nature? Peter Ashworth p. Psycholo gy Press is part of the Taylor & Francis Gro up British Lib rary Cataloguing in Publi cati on Data A cat alo gue record for thi s book is availa ble from th e British Libr ar y Libra ry of Congress Cataloging in Publi cati on Data Ashw orth. or other means .ISBN 0-415-21300-2 (pbk). ISBN 0-415-2129 9-5 ISBN 0-415-21300-2 ISBN 0-203-13320-X ISBN 0-203-17971-4 (hbk) (pbk) Master e-book ISBN (Glassbook Format ) . No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic.First published 2000 by Psychology Press Ltd 27 Ch urch Ro ad . 1. mech anical.ps ypress.co .uk Simult aneously published in th e USA and Ca na da by Taylor & Francis Inc 325 Chestn ut Street . Hove. or in any information stor age or retri eval system. Psychology. em .A77 2000 150-dc21 00-033761 © 2000 Peter Ashworth All rights reserved . with out permi ssion in writin g from the publishers. 1. Titl e BF121 . including photocopying and recording. now known or hereafter invented. Peter D.
Contents List of illustrations Series pr efa ce Vll IX Introduction: psychology and 'human nature' 1 1 The ultimate biological motive: the evolutionary perspective 11 2 Mental conflict: biological drives and social reality 33 3 An inner world: cognitive psychology 57 v .
CO NTE NTS 4 •••Not separable from the world: Skinner's radical behaviourism 5 The individual consciousness: anxiously free in a meaningless world 6 Social being: interacting. and presenting oneself as a person 7 'Human nature' as an outmoded cultural presupposition 8 Conclusion G lossary Bibliography Index 81 103 123 149 171 181 185 195 V I .
1 5.1 5.2 4.1 3.2 6.2 The human sensory-motor system Cognitive processes associated with 'working memory' 63 65 C II 1ft I11III III I11III Boxes 1.2 3.1 2.2 6.Illustrations 1ft Figures 3.1 6.1 2.1 3.3 Homosexuality and the reproductive success of the species Schafer on 'transference' Freud on homosexuality Kelly's formal th eory Cognitive theory and homosexuality Skinner on homosexuality Phenomenologically based psychological research Simon e de Beauvoir on homosexuality The co-development of th e self and social interaction Coffman on homosexuality Discourses on homosexuality 25 42 50 72 74 89 108 112 130 134 144 -o :::I VII .
2 7.2 Some postmodern features of contemporary society Foucault and discontinuities in the west ern und erstanding of 'madness' Four world-views and th e rise (and fall) of psychological science Foucaultian th eory and discourses of homosexuality Some major authors and publication dates Some issues for consideration 151 158 160 163 173 175 VIII .4 8.1 7.3 7.1 8.ILLUSTRATIONS 7.
Series preface -_ I 11II The Psychology Focus series provides short. These relatively inexpensive but focused short texts combine sufficient detail for psychology specialists with sufficient clarity for non-specialists. Each aspect of the topic is clearly explained with supporting glossaries to elucidate technical terms. Psychology is often a favoured subject area for study. since it is relevant to a wide range of disciplines such as Sociology. Education. upto-date accounts of key areas in psychology without assuming the reader's prior knowledge in the subject. Nursing and Business Studies. The series has been conceived within the context of the increasing modularisation which has been developed in higher education over the last "D C IX . The series authors are academics experienced in undergraduate teaching as well as research. Each takes a topic within their area of psychological expertise and presents a short review. highlighting important themes and including both theory and research findings.
with assessments arising during that period. Recent references are provided along with suggested further reading to allow readers to investigate the topic in more depth. therefore. Instead of following one course of study. that after following the inform a tive review of a key topic in a Psychology Focus text. students on a modularisation programme are often able to choose modules from a wide range of disciplines to complement the modules they are required to study for a specific degree. One possible problem with studying a range of separate modules is that the relevance of a particular topic or the relationship between topics may no t always be apparent. It can no longer be assumed that students studying a particular module will necessarily have the same background knowledge (or lack of it!) in that subject. to take three examples . readers not only will have a clear understanding of the issues in question but will be intrigued and challenged to investigate the topic further. developmental psychology and cognitive psychology. focused. the authors have not been constrained in their examples and explanations and may draw on material across the whole field of psychology to help explain the topic under study more fully. such as social psychology. It is hoped. They are suitably comprehensive and give a clear account of the important issues involved. authors have drawn where possible on practical and applied examples to support the points being made so that readers can see the wider relevance of the topic under study. Also. Whilst the books in the Psychology Focus series will provide excellent coverage of certain key topics within these 'traditional' areas. x . the study of psychology is usually broken up into separate areas. topic-based course material. Each text in the series provides the reader with a range of important material on a specific topic. In the Psychology Focus series.SERIES PREFAC E decade and fulfils the consequent need for clear. The authors analyse and interpret the material as well as present an up -to -date and detailed review of key work. They may have to combine eight or more modules in a single year to obtain a degree at the end of their programme of study. But they will need to familiarise themselves with a particular topic rapidly since a single module in a single topic may be only 15 weeks long.
" 11IIII -o :::I .:::I Introduction: psychology and Ihuman nature' • • Outline of the book Criteria of comparison 4 o 7 11II 11IIII C D.
that a viewpoint lies within the field. entail any reflection upon what is included or excluded in the scientific study of the material world? No-and neither is there any need in teaching psychology to raise the issue of what human nature might mean. For instance. either as a specialism or as part of a degree whose centre of gravity lies elsewhere. In this book it is the meanings of 'human nature' that I wish to bring out. so-whatever academic discipline it falls within. Nevertheless the grounds for this statement relate to Sartre's understanding of the nature of human life. This seems to mean. Sartre said in an interview conducted close to the end of his life. The scare quotes are to indicate that I see 'human nature' as a problem: the notion is not to be taken for granted. who are not formal students of the discipline but who may wish to increase the sophistication or range of their own thinking on human nature -the 'proper study' of us all according to the poet-will. if any-it is certainly relevant to 'psychology' as far as this volume is concerned.tent views itself as a science. chosen for their diversity. Other readers. 1981:28). contemporary academic psychology to a large ex- 2 . I have not done it and I do not believe it exists' (Schilpp. Does physics. contemporary impact. and relevance to the broad field of psychology. certainly at undergraduate level. equally find these pages of interest. 'I do not believe in the existence of psychology. then. I consider several viewpoints on human nature. I sincerely hope. The reader who is involved in the formal study of psychology. Several theorists discussed here would firmly reject the label 'psychologist' . that it is not felt necessary for psychology to examine its most basic assumptions and presuppositions. In this book. will be able to use the book to locate the approach of the theories on which they are working within wider debates concerning human nature. as taught. necessarily. But it must be stressed that relevance to the field does not mean. T H O UG H THIS IS NOT AN ABSOLUTELY UNCHALLENGED POSITION.
when we tak e psych ological life to be its ow n special form of realit y. Amo ng th em are au tho rs who. Of course. Repr esentati ves of both th ese views appea r in th e following pages. (Though some more recent views. And thi s br ings us to th e profound qu estion of whether. But it is also of grea t interest th at th ere are autho rs who do tak e neither the socio logical path nor th at of biological science but insist instea d th at person al 'psycho logical' life (they might not use the term 'psychological' for various reason s) is indeed onto logically primary. such as those of the discur sive psycho logists represented in Cha pter 6.INTRODUCTION To reach a perspective on the disci pline requir es that we pay attentio n to th ose who wo uld reject psych ology. thinking th at psych ologists are necessar ily committed to such 'essentialism'. th e human being? Th e book is stru ctured in a rough-and-read y way in terms of autho rs' ex plicit or implicit ass um ptio ns abo ut whether 'huma n nature' should be regarded as onto logically prima ry or whether it is derivative of some more pr imordial reality. is necessar y. some new-in th e context of a genera l problem at ic: What are th e claims or ass umptio ns which are being mad e abo ut th e subject matter. Religiou s th ou ght does ind eed deal 3 . in whi ch the per son h as in div idua l freed om an d respon sibility. thi s can still be tr eat ed as subject to scientific laws (such as th e ones so ught by cognitive psych ol ogists) or whe the r some vers io n of vo lunta ris m. 50 wha t I mean by 'ontol ogic all y primar y' is whether human nature is its ow n specia l k ind of being or whether it is bett er under stood through a more genera l or basic field of research.) The aim of all thi s is to help the reader see each viewpoint-some familiar. No r is th eological thinking covered. indic ate th at th is is too pa rtia l a view of th e discipline as a who le. Of course. Ang lo -A me r ica n philosophical th ought is mostly not repr esented in thi s book. like Sartre. are antagonistic to th e n oti on th at th ere can be any sta ble mean ing to 'human nature' at all. biology an d culture are the pr ime candidat es for primacy: man y thinkers tr eat human nature as best studied in th e wider context of biological or socio logical research. not all kind s of scho larly th ou ght abo ut th e nature of th e indi vidu al w ill be di scu ssed h er e . Ontology is concerned wi th the qu esti on of bein g. an d reject psych ology.
In cidentall y. In lin e wi th th e str uctu re I have outli ne d. Outline of the book Ther e is great scho larly mer it in the un ific at ion of knowled ge. in th e sense that it is postul at ed th at the pr ocess of evo lution has selecte d psychological cha ra cter istics which serve to 4 . but th ey are un ited in at least th is feature: both th e evolutionary perspective and psychoanalysis sugges t that human n ature is fund am entall y biol ogical. So th ere h as been selection. or whe ther perso na l freed om is tak en as ch ar act eri sin g human n ature.PSYCHOLOGY A N D ' HUMAN NATURE' with hu man nature but always as a secondary th eme to the question of ult imate mean ing. So th e possib ility that th e w ho le spe ct r um of psycho log ica l wo rk m ay be gro un de d in mech an ism s whose n ature is fund amentall y biol ogical is very attra ctive. only an as piratio n of so me researcher s a n d theor ist s. The tw o a pproaches dealt wi t h in Cha pte rs 1 an d 2 are usu all y seen as rather distinct in the kind of psych ology th ey genera te. Th eological and cert ain philosophical approaches are left out. For a scho larly accou nt of th e tr eatment of human nature in a wide ran ge of religion s. th e approaches discu ssed va ry in the ex te nt to which soc ial or biol ogi cal factor s are em phasise d as de termining thou ght an d actio n. an d socio logy is only her e at the 'micro' level. see Ward (1998) . th en . he includes a discu ssion of wha t he call s 'evoluti on ary naturalism' in th at book-for he regards the approach of D ar w in ist s (to w hi ch I devot e Cha pte r 1 ) as pr ovid in g an interestin g variation on certain religiou s th emes regarding human nature. They do so by claiming that thi s is bec au se bi ol ogy is the ultim at e so ur ce of human m ot ivati on . in which th e human acto r comes int o focu s. In the case of the evo lutiona ry perspective. at pr esent. the ultim ate moti ve is survival. eas t and west. It is an aim of science t o dr aw disp ar at e ph en omen a t ogether under a coh er ent set of ex plana to ry pr inc iples. and volunta ry decision-making is tak en to be a real poss ibility. but not arbitra ry selectio n. eve n if it is.
primarily. reasoning. More than this. But each subsequent theory also finds homosexuality enigmatic. Skinner wants to assert. It includes perception. on th e other hand. in the long run. In Chapter 3 I turn to cognitive psychology.P. is of growing importance. or at least it is the scientific core of the discipline. both approaches face challenges of interpretation. So in each of the following chapters I have specifically discussed it-and it therefore provides a basis for the comparison of theories. How can an account of human nature which is built on such a narrow basis of biological motivation cover such a variety of both cultural and individual differences in actions and apparent motives? In Chapter 1 I have selected homosexuality as the focus of a discussion of the approach of evolutionary theorists to a specific issue of human nature. Homosexuality is a special problem for the evolutionary perspective because it remains an enigma how a sexual orientation which obviously markedly reduces the individual's reproductive fitness neverthel ess remains significant within the human gene-pool. the theories of the whole of the rest of the book can be seen as agreeing in some way with this critique. and it is expected that. In making the claim that there is an ultimate motive. imagining and learning.INTRODUCTION increase the likelihood of continuity over the generations. remembering. that the human being is intrinsically engaged in the world. Skinner a critique of cognitive psychology. work at this interface. I am simply the 5 . Yet in Chapter 4 we find in the influential work of B. the views psychologists progressively develop concerning mental processes will converge with the findings of neurologists and other biological scientists interested in brain function. however they might differ in other ways with Skinner's behaviourism. Psychology is understood by cognitive psychologists to be a biological science. there is a sense in which the person is not separable from the world. For psychoanalysis. attempting to investigate research questions through a direct study of the brain. Indeed. Cognition is the process by which we attain knowledge. For maybe the majority of research psychologists. cognitive psychology is psychology. thinking. the ultimate motive-equally unbeknown to the individual person-is sexual. Indeed.
M ight it n ot ther ef ore h a ve been mo re ration al t o intro d uce behaviourism fir st. Th e focu s of Sartre and Skinner on th e externality of 'm ental' life is continu ed by th e autho rs brought togeth er in Cha pter 6. an d if in Sartre we are resp on sibl e for the significance we give even to 'determina nts'. and so 'my ' behaviour is not mine but the direct lawful outco me of th ose variables. They den y wi th equa l vehemence th e idea of an 'inner life'. which is the focu s of Cha pter 5. For in Sartre we h ave th e outsta n ding exam ple of a volunta r ist. In some ways Skinner's determinism is th e extreme oppos ite of th e existentialism of Sartre.a position which I feel it is particularly importa nt to repr esent in these pages precisely becau se th e em phas is on freed om is so contrar y to the scientific determinism assumed in psychology genera lly. Yet both Sartre an d Skinne r are anti-cognitiv ists. seem to me th at histor ical seque ncing. 19 96. rever sing th e order of Cha pters 3 an d 4 ? After all. nevertheless both place us firml y in the wo rld. Erving Go ffma n and th e rest sha re th e vision of John Donne th at 'no man is an island entire of itself' . G.H. The symbolic interactionists. in dr awing out some connect ion s necessar ily downplays others (but see Richards. If in Skinner all 'choi ces' are reall y det ermined . discourse analysts a n d discursive psychologists sha re a very rad ical socia l view of human nature. Mead.PSYCHOLOGY A N D ' HUMAN NATURE' place where a nu mb er of varia bles interact. M y ch osen ordering allows us to see th at there is a surprising closeness between Skinnerian behaviouri sm and Sartrism. for a pos itive application of th e histor ical per spective). Now. however. a read er may be for given a moment of puzzlem ent. The not ion th at mind and th e self mak e up a firml y distin gui shabl e inn er wo rld is illuso ry. It does. th e tw o app roaches to human nature are not very different in th eir pos itions on th e tw o orga nising dimen sion s of th e book . Cogni tive psychology largely arose in the context of a critique of behaviouri sm. th ey both regard psych ology ult imat ely as a biological science and th ey both ado pt a deterministic sta nce. It is here th at wha tever human nature is mu st be found-not 'in our head s'. th ou gh th is book is not orga nised along historical lines. for it is intera ctio n with others within a sha red culture conveyed by lan guage and other systems of sym bols which pro vides 6 .
decon structive crit iqu e of th e claim th at th ere is any such th ing as 'huma n nature' . postm od erni sm asserts. Th e implication is. this is ca rrie d t o the p oint w he re we h ave a direct . Postmodern th ought-h ard t o cha ra cterise. van den Berg. So I h ave ende d each ch apter by summa rising autho rs' position s on th e place in th eir understanding of huma n natur e of con sciou sness. If we wish to kn ow human nature. whereas theorists who emphas ise the determining ro le of society or biol ogy may either downplay in dividu al awareness or tr y to show th at a particular person al outlook is 7 . And so it is appro priate to have postm od ernism as th e final cha pter of the book . 196 2. th e bod y. • Consciousness. and one which co uld be defend ed only in a different kind of book to th is one (but see M erleau-Ponty. th e approach mu st be through knowled ge of th e discourses within which we live and think. Criteria of comparison It is in the Co nclusion also th at I ment ion some fact or s which I regard as essentia l to any understanding of human nature wha tsoeve r. an em phasis on discourse. an d th e ph ysical wo rld. at least as one feature.has. 19 72 ). th at und er such circumstances there is indeed no such thin g as hum an n ature. It is not a grea t leap from th is gro up of autho rs to th ose I di scu ss in th e fin al cha p te r. other people. But I have not allowe d it to have qu ite th e last word. Thi s very idea may well be culturally specific so th at other epo chs or societies h ave n o place within realit y for th e idea of a 'human nature'. What place is given in th e th eor y to th e fact th at human beings are aware ? Plainl y any autho r who tak es th e view th at human freed om is real will give a central place to consciousness. But my belief th at it is so lead s me to choose th em as th e basis for compari son an d deb at e in look ing at th e wide ran ge of views t ackl ed in th e book . th e self. In fact . In the Conclusion I briefly indicate certain features that I wo uld per son ally wish to emphasise in a th eor y of human nature. th en . Th is is a stro ng assertio n.INTRODUCTION our possibilities of thought and identity.
Other people. with the result that the person owes their 'individual psychology' to the influence of other members of the collectivity. authors try to express the inseparability of the individual and the collectivity. is the issue of how the person's relation to the physical world is theorised. A different line of argument is that. Yet there is a sociology of the body. The body. or the person's awareness of his or her own characteristics is a second key question to be put to each viewpoint. but equally important. This said. A thinker who adopts a biological stance will give a different weight to the self (possibly a lower one) than will a socially inclined author. then. The physical world. The self. So the individual's developing mental life 'presupposes' other people. the person has no distinct reality and must be viewed as just one element in the web of causes and effects 8 . in coming to an awareness of self. The importance of identity. at many points on the spectrum between biological science and social theory. Sociologists take the individual to be an intrinsic part of the culture.PSYCHOLOGY AND 'HUMAN NATURE' • • • • the result of societal or biological processes and is not to be regarded as primary. Biologists note that human evolution has always been in the context of an ecology which includes. Indeed. it is often argued that cultures vary in whether the self has much meaning at all in the face of the whole collectivity. Biological science can be expected to stress the body as the place where various causal factors interact and lead the person to act and think in the way they do. we begin to have access to some degree of choice of what kind of person we wish to be. many social theorists regard selfhood as merely a product of the individual's place within the multifaceted structure of their society. selfhood. We will find that. Maybe. for Skinner. as a major part. I have mentioned that. other people. Perhaps less obvious than the earlier questions. the body is best thought of as a social construction rather than that definite object which biological scientists claim to be describing. and theories may very well stress the way in which social and historical circumstances come to dictate the person's view of their own body.
That is the pretence of recounting 'the facts' without any standpoint. 9 .INTRODUCTION which constitutes the objective world as a whole. as a result of their biography) the world is a very different place. But no book is spinless! I hope that one effect of the account of the varying meanings of 'human nature' laid out in these pages is to alert the reader to the most insidious spin of all. In putting these five categories forward as ways in which views of human nature can be clarified I am. of course. perspective or position. At the other extreme. seizing the right to provide an author's spin. In other cultures (or simply in other people's mental life. the 'objective world' is itself a human construction.
Chapter 1 The ultimate biological motive: the evolutionary perspective • What the evolutionary perspective is trying to do Human characteristics are an evolutionary product Proximal motivations are explicable in terms of the ultimate motivation of (evolutionary/genetic) survival Evolutionary theory Distinguishing and rejecting Lamarckian evolution The theory of inheritance The rejection of mutationism DNA and the gene The unit on which evolution acts and the question of 'altruism' The individual organism The group 13 13 14 14 17 17 18 18 19 19 20 • • 11 .
g. and kindred viewpo ints (e. evo lutio na ry psycho logy (Barkow et al. 20 22 • • • • • The problem of ultimate and proximal motives Memes: the quasi-evolution of culture Criticisms Summary Further reading 24 26 28 30 31 A N P RESENT. Th e other major way in which th e autho rs discussed in thi s cha pter differ is on th e qu estion of whether socia l behaviour is dir ectly ex plica ble in terms of biology and evolution.. but do insist th at cognitive proc esses mu st be explicitly tak en int o acco unt. evo lutio n is best seen as selecting particular tendencies of mental activity. Dawkins. H owever. 19 78). Th ey con sider Wilson ' s conc ern with th e evolution of social behaviour to neglect the evolution of th e fun ctions of th e br ain. Th e evolutiona ry psychologists do not serio usly dissent from Wilson 's ana lyses. Wilson 's socio bio logy puts forward an evo lutio na ry explana tio n of certain char acteristics of human social behaviour. For th em . 1982. 19 75. 1992 ).DAY HU MAN BEHAVIOU R be explai ne d as the outcome of natural selection ?A range of authors have argued th at thi s is a fruitful way of viewing human nature.The not ion of 'inclusive fitn ess' and kin selection Th e gene or 'r eplicator . 1976. 1989 ) togeth er. In thi s chapter I am going to tr eat sociobio logy (Wi lson. it is right to register th e fact th at th ere are differences of emphasis between these accounts. or whether C 12 . which th en appear in vario us guises in a wide ran ge of human beh aviour.
Dawkins has been castigated by other evolutionists for not showing orthodox Darwinian thinking in allowing such independence to social behaviour (see Dawkins.. too. Wilson takes this view. As we shall see. 1992:5). and bartering. Dawkins insists that a quite different process from Darwinian evolution is involved in social behaviour.THE EVOLUTIONARY PERSPECTIVE culture has become somewhat independent of biology. Tooby and Cosmides (1992). and this accounts for the fact that they change far more rapidly than biological evolution allows. 1989:193).. he believes that the elements of culture are propagated through human communication. including war. It has been said that there are no genes for building airplanes. This means that there is a universal human nature based in evolved psychological mechanisms. Cultural variability exists. (Wilson. What the evolutionary perspective is trying to do Human characteristics are an evolutionary product Sociobiology and evolutionary psychology attempt to account for the behaviour of animals. and that it is only in conformity with th ese evolved characteristics that a particular form of culture or social behaviour can exist. Basic. but this is taken as providing 'insight into the structure of the psychological mechanisms that generated it' (Barkow et al. That of course is true. But people build airplanes to conduct the primitive operations of human beings. and writes: culture is ultimately a biological product. tak e the view that mental organisation has tendencies which are 'ingrained'. in terms of evolutionary adaptation to the enviro nment. for instance. 1996:107) In contrast. including human beings. which conform transparently to th eir biological heritage. certainly. tribal reunions.. universal human nature 13 ..
and not necessar ily to ou r mod ern circumsta nces' (ibid. Pro ximal explana tions are couched in term s of immediately ap parent motivesdefence of terr it or y. No te. th at hu man psycho logica l mecha nisms have been selected by th e evo lutiona ry pro cess becau se th ey were fun cti on ally adaptive. The ultimat e explana tio n for th e beh aviour is sim ply th at th e beh aviour was selecte d. however. th at is. if a particul ar pattern of courtship exists we can say th at it has survival value. Proximal motivations are explicable in terms 01 the ultimate motivation 01 (evolutionary/genetic} survival Beh aviour can be exp laine d ' pro xima lly' or ' ultima tely'. That is. et c. anima ls exhibiting it surv ived and reproduced . an d one which is in some ways mor e disturbing of our under standing of the n atural wo rld an d our place in it. fo od sea rchi ng. It is a basic assumptio n. evo lutio na ry th eor y rem oves human bein gs from the central place in th e or der of th ings. Evolution h as n o pl an or inte ntio n . which is th e one which relat es th e anima l's beh aviour to evo lutio na ry adva ntage. 'a da pted to th e way of life of Pleistocene hunter-gatherer s. Human bein gs are merely one biological species amo ng th e rest . th en . Human cha rac teristics are. th at the main impact of evolution was dur ing th e million s of years of human pr ehistor y. th e idea of pu rposelessness. The pr oximal mot ives are tak en to be ex pressions of th e basic moti ve. So. Imp ortant th ou gh thi s implicatio n of Dar win may be. Evolutionary theory It is often sta te d that th e major destructive im pa ct of D ar w in 's evo lutio na ry th eor y on tr ad ition al thinking was th e idea th at hom o sapiens 'descen de d from the a pes' (as it is put ). in fact. The dominant and noble position of human s ove r the n atural wo rl d is debunked . Ultim ate explana tions give a more fundamental account of such proxima l mot ives. I am convinced th at there is a much more significant th ou ght in the th eor y.PSYCHOLOGY A N D ' HUMAN NATURE' is the pro duct of natural selectio n. 14 . courtsh ip .).
and members of the same species with whom to compete. and so on). other biological forms (including predators.for which some of the variants between individuals are more appropriate. resources for survival (food. places for nurturing young. • • • Darwin's summary statement towards the en d of The Origin of Species (first published. 1994: 113). etc. and the extinction of the forms 'less fitted' to the environment.). Eckhart (1260-1329).THE EVOLUTIONARY PERSPECTIVE Within the culture there still seems to be a residue of a certain medieval world-view in which the whole of creation is engaged in striving towards perfection. competitors for resources. reproduce. This purposefulness is precisely the imagery that evolutionary theory opposes. I do not deny. mate or cooperate. is nevertheless a bad source for an evolutionary understanding of the natural world: 'It is the nature of every grain of corn to become wheat and every pr ecious metal to become gold and all procreation to lead to the procreation of the human race' (Eckhart. I have endeavoured to give them their full force. parasites. What happens is roughly as follows: • Given that ther e is variation in characteristics between individual members of a species-whether it be in their physiology. Nothing at first can appear more difficult to believe than that the more complex 15 . The statistical effect of this process is an unintentional selection of those variants with the more appropriate characteristics. anatomy or behaviour-and given that there ar e aspects of the environme nt. whose approach to religion is masterly.clim ate. then individuals who-by chance-have the more appropriate characteristics for the environment will be more likely to survive. This is 'descent with modification'. For instance. 1859) runs as follows That many and serious objections may be advanced against the theory of descent with modification. and have viable offspring who themselves survive to reproduce.
and that ther e is no purpose in what goes on. . at least. each good of its kind. it is a (doubtless unintentional) betrayal of Darwin's project to downplay in any way the purposelessness and directionlessness of evolution. 1997:34) . namely. selfishness. (Darwin.PSYCHOLOGY AND 'HUMAN NATURE' organs and instincts have been perfected. individual differencesthat there is a struggle for existence leading to the preservation of profitable deviations of structure or instinct-and. be disputed.. cannot be considered real if we admit the following propositions. though app earing to our imagination insuperably great.. that gradations in the state of perfection of each organ may have existed. that all parts of the organisation and instincts offer..' in evolution. 16 . or struggle to genes or organisms is only a form of words. I think. despite the lax talk of popular accounts. lastly. and of the 'struggle among individual organisms to promote their own personal reproductive success' (Gould. each good for the individual posessor' . The truth of these propositions cannot..  1994:404) 'Nothing at first can appear more difficult to believe than that the more complex organs and instincts have been perfected . However. 195).by the accumulation of innumerable slight variations. . Even the most distinguished writers engage in the dangerous metaphors of 'self-sacrificing ants' and 'intelligent genes' (Hamilton. 1972:193. Nevertheless. All these writers ar e explicit in acknowledging that the attribution of intelligence. I want to stress again the need for very careful language in discussing the evolutionary perspective. 1982:55). 1976. Yet this is the Darwinian claim. 'selfish genes' and 'arms races' between parasite and victim (Dawkins. this difficulty. each good for th e individual possessor.by the accumulation of innumerable slight variations. There is no 'in order to .
with variations on which natural selection would act? The theo ry of gene tics. The mo dern un derstanding of the process of evolution is that it occu rs when. so th at the inheritance of acquired characteristics and the inheritance of genetically given cha racteristics have been sharply distinguished. the second is regar ded as the basic process of evo lution. there is a cha racteristic which h appens to be beneficial to survival. postulates discrete factors (genes) which carry information which guides em bryo develop ment . Each of the very large number of genes is one of a pair. is no t currently accepted by bio logists. Biologica l inheritance comes about from th e fact th at one gene of each pair is provi ded in the sex cells. The advantageous cha rac teristic will ten d to be perpe tuated since indivi duals who h ave it will be mo re likely to survive to breed and facilitate th e surviva l of their offsp ring. whose basic form was developed by Me ndel. 17 . The first of these. and if a cha rac teristic is no t represent ed in genetic materia l. speed in arithmetic through practice in book-keeping-would be instances of acqui red cha racteristics. or gametes. Bodily features or men ta l skills which are developed in the cou rse of life-str ong muscles through exercise. and these are not passe d on to offsp ring. it is no t inherite d. Wha t was it that was actually tr ansferr ed from par ent to offsp ring.TH E EVO LUTIO NA RY PERSP ECTIVE Clarification r: Distinguishing and rejecting Lamarckian evolution Since Darwin's time the theo ry of evo lution has been refined. Inh eritance has to pass thro ugh the filter of sexual repr oduction. wit hin th e variation in the gene tic cons titution of members of a species. associated wit h Lamarck. of each pa rent. Clarification 2: The theory of inheritance The major ga p in Dar w inian th eor y was the absence of any account of the process of inheritance.
Clarification 4: DNA and the gene Since 1953. DNA is the heredit ar y materia l contained in the chromosomes of the nucleus of every cell. W hat allele-version-of the gene do we have her e? ) wi th (b) the anatomical. Sta tistical mo delling. physiological or beh aviour al cha racte ristics of the organism (that is. wit h empirica l support.PSYCHOLOGY A N D ' HUMAN NATURE' Clarification 3: The rejection of mutationism If selection simp ly acts on naturally occurring variants in the gene tic make-up of individuals. 'p heno ty pe' refer s to th e expression of the genes in actual bodily structu re or func tion or in psycho logical ten dencies. 18 . lead to the major evolutionary changes which are observed. detailed account of th e evolutionary process expressed in genetic terms. without mu tation having the central influence. T he effec t of the gene tic information contained in the DN A is op en to inv estigation by co rrelating (a) variations in genes at a particular locat ion on th e chromosome (answering the ques tion. Aspects of the environment-even the fact that a gene has an environment of other genes-enter into any phenotypical exp ression. 'Genotype' refer s to the gene tic make-up of th e indivi dual. wit h Watson and Crick's wo rk on the structure of DNA (deoxyribonucleic aci d). showed th at natural selection could. indeed. the immense range of species which has evolved seemed at first not to be explicable in terms of Darwinian evolution . the 'phenotype' gene rated by the gene) . the application of mo lecular biology to the theo ry of evolution has been the most significant line of resear ch. Dobzhansky (1937) provided the first clear.
within th e ev o lu t io na ry perspective. self-sacrifice result s in fewer descendants.THE EVOLUTIONARY PERSPECTIVE The unit on which evolution acts and the question of 'altruism' The individual organism Darwin certainly took th e individu al as th e unit of selection. in difficulties. We ma y say th at . Wil son writes: Such an explana tion immediately poses a ba sic problem: fallen hero es don't have an y more children. (Wilson. if th ere is genetic varia tion am ongs t bees in whether or not to sting an intruding bee which is not a memb er of th e hive. But a certain class of behaviour has been seen for man y years as problematical for the view that it is on the individual organism th at selection op erat es. that allow hero es to be creat ed can be expected to disapp ear gradua lly from th e population. Wh y not? 19 . as sometimes beha ving altru istica lly in a similar wa y. inh erit ed behaviour of a species? After all. or otherwise threat ened. and 'selfishness' would become characteristic of th e species. But thi s do es not happen. species evolve becau se individu als are differentially selected du e to th e relative ad aptedness of th eir phenot ypes to th e enviro nment. According to th e narrow mode of Darwinian natural selection. and th e genes. How does altruism get esta blished as characteri stic. for him . For exa mple. or ba sic units of heredity. an altru istic indi vidu al may act in a self-sacrificial wa y in response to th e perception that a fellow is und er attack . 1996:80-81) Individuals with alleles promoting less altruistic beha viour would surely rapidl y out-reproduce altruists. Hum an bein gs ar e r egard ed. Altruism would put th e individual anima l in grea ter danger th an would conc ern for self. alleles which promote such behaviour would lead to th e death of th e bee. Th e persistence of altruistic beha viour seems not to be explica ble in thi s way. and so th e tr ait might be expected to qu ickly die out.
The advantage to the group would be that their population becomes appropriate to the resources available. since the invested effort would be more likely to give rise to offspring for whom there were sufficient resources . the regulation of reproduction in a certain species' population. they might restrain their breeding in years of scarcity. Looked at in this light. not individuals. Hamilton's (e. since the individual would be behaving altruistically. the demise of a particular individual would not make a difference if the genetic 20 . it might be advantageous to the individual to restrict reproduction to times of plenty. refraining from personal reproduction 'for the good of the group'. The notion of 'inclusive fitness' "nd kin selection Let us take it that evolution is the history of the survival or disapp earance of genetic material per se. for instance. But if this same characteristic was advantageous to other individuals (was. 'altruistic') then it would not disappear if this same tendency was represented in the individuals who survived-and whose survival was rendered more likely by the sacrifice. Critics of Wynne-Edwards's view pointed out that some of his examples could be reinterpreted in terms of individual fitness. Thus.g . Plainly-and Wynne-Edwards recognised this-such behaviour would go against Darwin's focus on individual selection. 1977) put forward the view that groups are the units on which natural selection acts . That being so. But the picture of evolution which Wynne-Edwards paints is one in which selection operates at the level of groups. 1972) notion of inclusive fitness develops this account of altruism. (For instance. see also Gould. in this terminology.) But an alternative line of explanation put forward to cover difficult cases was Hamilton's notion of inclusive fitness. Take.The group Wynne-Edwards (1962. Wynne-Edwards hypothesised that a group of members of the species might have a sensitivity to certain pressures of the environment year by year. a behavioural tendency that was disadvantageous to the organism would tend to be eliminated from th e species' gene-pool.
Fitness. with Macbeth's witches. the more likely it is that they also carry the gene for that altruism. A sacrifice on behalf of two full siblings. In sum. This is inclusive fitness. The level of genetic relatedness between siblings is 0.5x2=1. on average brothers and sisters share half their genetic material. Hamilton (1972) developed a probabilistic argument. the argument is that the more closely related the benefited are to the altruistic benefactor. which shows the importance. altruism will be more likely to be preserved in the gene-pool if there is kinship between the altruist and those benefited. Now. organisms are being accredited with the capacity to 'look into the seeds of time and say which grain will 21 .5. as often expressed (and Hamilton expressed the situation in this way). 50 it is a model to explain why natural selection does not affect altruism in the way expected. The gain as a result of the sacrifice is that two lives are saved. The argument which draws on the notion of inclusive fitness is about how certain genetically determined behavioural characteristics. as calculating the 'benefit to inclusive fitness' of an altruistic act. would be adaptive. where the altruistic individual dies without progeny but saves those siblings to reproduce. the closer in kinship they are to the altruistic one. It is as if. The altruistic act would not be adaptive were the relatedness to be less. Thus. Evolutionary geneticists do argue that. but of the effect of the individual's behaviour on the distribution of genes within the population. of relatedness. is not just a matter of the individual. or even the gene. as a matter of general fact. Sahlins (1977) is among those antagonistic to the evolutionary perspective who draw particular attention to the absurdity of the notion that organisms or even genes decide their actions on the basis of a calculation of inclusive fitness. altruism is more likely to be shown by one individual for another. which is synonymous with escaping evolutionary de-selection. The calculation of advantage is 0. in the 'decision' of whether to be selfish or altruistic.THE EVOLUTIONARY PERSPECTIVE material continued in existence. we are led to think of the organism. which seem very liable to suffer extinction-such as altruistic behaviours-actually do not disappear.
PSYCHOLOGY A N D ' HUMAN NATURE' grow and whic h w ill not ' . why natural selection does not occur in th ese cases. H ere aga in. an d they ex pen d con sid er abl e energy an d also suffer oppo rtunity costs in th e per iod of gesta tio n. Under wha t condition s does an individu al' s sa crifice ben efit othe r individu al s whose geno ty pe includes th e altruis tic gene ? When th e altr uist an d th e ben efited are kin . for examp le). M al es are corresp ondingly m ore m otivated t o w ard s sex ua l activ ity.'or l So far it has been possible to tak e th e view th at natural selectio n opera tes on the individu al orga nism.ra ther th er e is so me mech an ism for ma r ki ng in divi d ua ls w ho a re t o be benefited : maybe ph eromon es. an d the organism h as evo lved the inclinati on to act altru istically t ow ards such individuals. No ca lcula tio n of relat edness is imp lied by incl usive fitn ess. The gene or Ireplic. For ins ta n ce. perceptible fam iliarity (they are nest co-hab it ants. Therefor e th ey may be sai d to h ave a greater investm ent in infants an d thus are motivat ed t o car e for them . consid er th e acco un t o f p ar entin g differenc es between th e sexes by Triver s (19 71).. who w ill also tend to be kin. sin ce thi s-rather th an nurturing-will 'sen d their genes into th e future'. rather. D awkin s (1979) deal s wi th the iss ue very clearly. which is genera lly accepte d by evo lutio nis ts . The payoff of a cert ain course of actio n can be calculat ed in terms of gene surv iva l. H owever. th e purp osive imagery is mi slead ing. kin selectio n is a way of ex plaini ng why certain beh aviours which a re di sadv ant a geou s t o th e in d iv id ua l n everthel ess r em ain cha racteristic-in other words. It is also wo rth say ing th at the cost-b enefit ana lyses which socio bio logis ts an d others em ploy t o mak e sense of animal and human beh aviour also suffer from an inappropriately purp osive langu age. H e h as it th at fem ales have a limited number of eggs. and thi s sho uld pr edict beh aviour. H er e we have max imum ex pected utility decision mod els. But this is not a correct view of th e ma tte r. It does not becau se other ind ivid uals who also have th e ch ar act er istic are benefited. But thi s is n ot a calc ulati on of the altr uist. since wha t is inh erited 22 .
(Dawkins. Dawkins writes that Hamilton's notion of inclusive fitness was a lastditch stand to retain the individual organism as the unit of selection. we may expect to see adaptations that can be interpreted as for bodily survival. it has been stressed famously by Dawkins (1976... 1989:84-85) In criticism of this perspective. In line with this. etc.: 24) and it is this that faces the hostile selection enviro nment. however appropriate it may be for some purposes. But all these adaptations will ex ist. Nor does 23 . we call the resultant object a body' (ibid. we may expect to see 'altruism'... To the extent that active germ-line replicators benefit from the survival of the bodies in which they sit. Inclusive fitness should really be regarded as tied to gene (or 'replicator') selection. The 'selfish gene' perspective. A number. often a huge one. parental care.THE EVOLUTIONARY PERSPECTIVE by offspring is supposed to be exclusively genetic material. 1982:116-117) in so far as the harsh selection environment of an organism does not select differentially for a certain allele but selects differentially between organisms in terms of their different configurations of physical and behavioural characteristics . of interacting genes is implicated. So 'when you amalgamate so many genes and tie them up in hierarchical chains of action mediated by environments. This is an argument about selection (despite the denial of Dawkins. Gould (1977) points out that there is rarely a direct mapping of a gene onto a bodily structure. through differential replicator survival. is not of interest to psychology nor do es it have a bearing on the question of human nature. says Dawkins: A replicator may be said to 'benefit' from anything that incr eases the number of its descendant ('germ line') copies. To th e extent that active germ-line replicators benefit from the survival of bodies other than those in which they sit.. fundamentally. To the extent that active germ-line replicators benefit from the survival of the group of individuals in which th ey sit . we may expect to see adaptations for the preservation of the group. 1982. 1989) that evolution op erates on the genes rather than the individual.
The challenge is to sh ow that the ultimat e biological motiv e of (inclusiv e) fitn ess is th e ex plan ation of th e whole spectr um of proximal motives. that is. Gender roles ar e cited as an exa m ple. The problem of ultimate and proximal motives We h ave seen that it is inappropriate to attribute 'evolutionary' purpo siven ess to replicators or organism s. The ta sk would seem to be to propose persuasive.PSYCHOLOGY AND ' HUMAN NATURE' Dawkins (1989:195-196) think it ha s such an application. However.1 I outline attempts by some ev olut ion ist s to account for homosexuality-which is a vex ed issu e indeed if this proximal motiv e is suppos ed to r elat e to th e ultimat e moti v e of evolution ary fitness. it is po ssible to sp eculate (and authors from the ev o lut ion ary per sp ective do en te r into thi s sp eculation) that-without consciou snes s-p eopl e hav e tendenci es of behaviour that reflect earl ier adaptations. In forging the link between the range of actual human motives and the hypothetical ultimate motive we ha ve what amounts to a particular type of hermeneutic problem. In Box 1. 24 . The fundam ental charact eristic of natural se le c t io n is pr eci sel y it s purposelessn ess . coher ent and illuminative narratives of the way in which such-and-such a pi ece of behaviour ex pre sses (mayb e indir ectly) th e ultimat e motiv e. The important thing to not e h er e is that the id ea of ultimat e moti ve introduces a p er va sive difficult y in th e explana tion of human behaviour. a problem that is more akin to issu es of int erpretati on than to matters of scientific cause. Simply. unl ess 'the subject of our interest is natural selection ' as such. th e qu estion is how to account for the vari et y of human activit y on the ba sis of such a narrow motivational theory. We will see in the cas e of Fr eudian theory how essentia l it is to construct such narratives if the link of man y motiv es to one ultimat e caus e is to carr y conviction at all. Writ ers from th e evolution ary perspective have not developed skill in this form of psychological ex plan ation .
it must be said. although not necessarily advancing their genetic interests. 1984:523) The separation of ultimate and proximate motivation is startling here. in Western society. Not only is male homosexuality much more common than the female variety.1 Homosexuality and the reproductive success of the species The problem of homosexuality for evolutionary theorists is obvious. are expressing the proximate mechanisms that motivate males to try to achieve sexual variety. The same mechanisms often drive heterosexual males to seek out multiple sexual partners and thereby increase their egg fertilisation opportunities . a very stereotyped image of gay and lesbian behaviour). In contrast. that homosexuality is related to the ultimate motive as a mode of altruism: It is not inconceivable that in the early. while confessing that the theory is speculative. If such combinations of 25 . Symons's argument is that male homosexuals. Symons has tried to account for homosexuality (using. He argues.in Alcock's condensed version: [T]he behaviour of male homosexuals. (Alcock. This proximal motivation would seem to be at odds with the ultimate motive of maximising evolutionary fitness. homosexuals regularly served as a partly sterile caste. enhancing the lives and reproductive success of their relatives by a more dedicated form of support than would have been possible if they had produced children of their own. and there is no explanation of the basis of homosexual preference as such. whereas their female counterparts have much more longlasting. and perhaps even later. arguing. but males typically have a progression of partners. Wilson tries to account for the continuation over time of homosexuality. stable relationships . is very different from that of female lesbians. hunter-gatherer period of human evolution.THE EVOLUTIONARY PERSPECTIVE Box 1.
The phenotypic effects of a meme may be in the form of words.. It is here that Dawkins does indeed break with sociobiologists and evolutionary psychologists. .) .They may be perceived by the sense organs of 26 . He argues that homosexuality is only a problem for the evolutionary perspective if there is a genetic component in the difference between homosexual and heterosexual individuals. communicating brains': A meme should be regarded as a unit of information residing in the brain .. cultural process in the shaping of human behaviour. the capacity for homosexual development would remain prominent in the population as a whole.. 1996:83) Dawkins (1982:38) actually refuses to attempt a hypothetical link with the ultimate motive and indicates a hostility to explanations of the kind Wilson has put forward concerning homosexuality in Box 1.. and introduces the idea that a 'unit of human knowledge' might be proposed for analytical purposes: the meme. [etc. which flourishes only in the environment provided by complex. .1. Of course he is right. Memes: the quasi-evolution of culture? Dawkins (1989) postulates the meme as a cultural replicator'a completely non-genetic kind of replicator.It has a definite structure. (Wilson. for he gives weight to a non-evolutionary..PSYCHOLOGY AND 'HUMAN NATURE' interrelated heterosexuals and homosexuals regularly left more descendants than similar groups of pure heterosexuals. but this introduces the possibility of human motives that are not linked to the ultimate motive of maximising fitness. music. realized in whatever physical medium the brain uses for storing information.
According to Dawkins himself (1982:111-112). The analogy breaks down very quickly. These differences may prove sufficient to render the analogy with genetic natural selection worthless or even positively misleading. (Dawkins. whereas the production of gametes is a lawful biological process. (Dawkins. there ar e fundamental differences between me me and gene selection processes. The new copy of the meme is then in a position to broadcast its phenotypic effects. not randomly generated. and they may so imprint themselves on the brains of receiving individuals that a copy (not necessarily exact ) of the original meme is graven in the receiving brain. Memes blend and interact with each other whereas genes remain discrete entities. rather than carefully developed new designs. could be launched onto the market (a hostile selection envir onme nt ). The 'fittest' ideaslfashions/artistic forms/ religions/ scientific theories survive. with the result that further copies of itself may be made in yet other brains. In particular. There is a much more imprecise 'copying process' for cultural elements. The product manager who thought that randomly occurring variants on th e product. And Lamarckian effects may occur. not som e kind of battle for reproductive advantage. 'Memes' are often designed. there is no specifiable set of variants for memes as there is for a gene (a given gene is one of a set of alleles). I think the analogy is supposed to be this: memes are to culture as genes ar e to the selection environment. thought out. My own feeling is that its main value may lie not so much in helping us understand human culture as in sharpening our perception of genetic natural selection. Their fate in the world-though not entirely rational-is due to their human meaning. would be out of a job.THE EVOLUTIONARY PERSPECTIVE other individuals. 1982:112) 27 . and evolutionary pressure would do the rest. 1989:109) Dawkins supposes memes to be subject to a kind of evol utionary pressure.
Criticisms The emphasis on biology as the major determinant of human social behaviour is said to culpably neglect culture and the structure of society. The best-known text on altruism is Luke 10:25-37 'The Good Samaritan'. the account of altruism in evolutionary genetics is very different from the classic religious account. Nevertheless. If not. Take the category sexual orientation for instance. as to be invalidated as even a partial model of knowledge and its transmissionltransformation. In response. Gould (1997) points out that the evolutionary perspective usually stresses aspects of human behaviour which it takes to be universal. The evolutionary perspective suggests that some of the characteristics which appear to differentiate between people are natural kinds. We are encouraged to think that there are a limited set of evolutionarily determined types of people. each type having a certain sexual orientation. Cultural diversity is supposed to occur within parameters which are of evolutionary origin. Play is mentioned in Barkow et al. though the implication is that the evolutionary account is explanatory. of meaning and of discourse. the point of which is to extend friendship universally. (1992). For example. Any limitation of altruism to one's own kin group or even national group is quite explicitly rejected. it is difficult to specify precisely what it is that is universal. But what is this set? It seems as if the categories of sexual orientation recognised vary from society to society and from epoch to epoch. It is arguable that to view human 'information' in the way suggested by the notion of the 'meme' is so insensitive to the nature of communication. In discussion of presumed universals. And what characteristics does the notion sexual orientation specify? Harre (1991) wonders whether it includes the division of domestic labour. careless analogies are sometimes drawn between human action and animal behaviour. as is an aesthetic preference for certain landscapes over others. attributable to evolution. what is evolutionarily specified? Harre doubts whether many of the 28 .PSYCHOLOGY AND 'HUMAN NATURE' Chapter 6 of this book is relevant to the debate.
since it depends on a speculative account of life in hunter-gatherer times. 29 . the evolutionary perspective does seem to give ideological comfort to a form of conseruatiue thought that denies the efficacy of social change in affecting basic human motives and behaviour. fostering and adoption of unrelated infants. Beyond purely theoretical or scientific considerations. birth control. and homosexuality) which are hard to account for in terms of inclusive fitness. and caste/class elitism. Though Sahlins's argument that no on e consciously acts in order to maximise their inclusive fitness forgets th e distinction between proximal and ultimate motivation. There is a marked tendency to racism. for modern behaviour is likely to be lacking in optimal adaptation. But then the task of those who wish to explain human behaviour in evolutionary terms becomes very problematical. are explained in ad hoc ways. for instance. Barash (1979) is an example of this thinking. Dawkins counters this obj ection in two ways (a) arguing that the evolutionary conditions which gave rise to human behaviour no longer apply and so one need not expect contemporary adaptedness. the distinction between proximal motives and the ultimate motive gives rise to problems of explanation . and (b) -more controversial among evolutionists-a distinction is possible between cultural and evolutionary determinants of behaviour. Forms of human behaviour (e. The Pleistocene conditions in which it evolved no longer apply.THE EVOLUTIONARY PERSPECTIVE characteristics which differentiate. In discussing th e variety of human motives.g. the link in human beings between the ultimate explan ation of action and th e plethora of motives for differ ent behaviours is hypotheticalevidence is lacking. malelfemale in current western society can be regarded as attributes of natural kinds of human being. sexism.. etc. Gould (1997) objects to the way in which evolutionary adaptation is used as an explanation. parental investment.
con sciou s perception of th e enviro nment could be taken to be of evolutionary advantage. But whether. is regarded as false. my attri butio n of cha ra cteristics to th is being. others. is a peri ph er al feature of human s. • • Consciousness. Certa inly. But. It wo uld appea r th at our freed om is only a self-del usion. selfhoo d. The gene ti c ma te ria l is esse ntia l. th e bod y. it has emerged in th e service of th e surviva l of th e genetic mat erial.PSYCHOLOGY A N D ' HUMAN NATURE' Summary Wha t view of human na tu re do the socio biologis ts seem to be putti ng forward ? Plainly. for th em understa nding of the broad par am eters of human nature is to be sought by considering the evolutiona ry pressures fro m whic h th e species eme rged in th e Pleistocene age. thi s feature of human beings and (dimi nis hing ly) of lower orders of life. h as survival va lue . Selfhood. the b ody is its e phe me ra l 'r esidence'. and my emo tio na l investm ent in it. as I menti oned in the Introduction. in order to assist the reader to compare th is view with others repr esented in su bseque nt pages I wa nt now to indi cate th e line th e th eori sts seem to be taking of th e place in human nature of con sciou sness. my awareness of my person al being. Like con sciou sness. A cert ain level of th ought mu st also have value. (Wilson. for instanc e. The idea of free action. clearl y part of th e mea ning of human selfhood. The bod y will pass th e informati on of th e genes on 30 . an d is th e 'ca rr ier ' of th e genetic mat erial throu gh time. 1978:71 ) • The body. [I]f our genes are inherited and our enviro nment is a tr ain of physical events set in mot ion befor e we were born. how can th ere be a truly ind epend ent agent within th e br ain? The agent itself is creat ed by th e int er acti on of th e genes and th e enviro nment. H ypothetically. Presum abl y. develop ed reflection has adva ntage is deb at able. Th is is partly an expressio n of genetic inherita nce. an d th e physical wo rld.
on th e part of the individual. it is to be noted that this does not imply intention. This is the major account of evolutionary psychology. the demise of an individual. then. of course. It is said that.. J. there is expected to be a certain friction between modern urban life and our genetic tendencies. New York : Oxford University Press . L. The physical world should be seen as an ecology in which th e biological form is exposed to threats and aids to survival. For background. Cosmides. and Tooby. 19-136) by Toob y and Cosmides. provides an extensive theoretical overview. and this constitutes its-unconscious and non-purposive-'task'.H. 'The psychological foundations of culture' (pp . the following deserv e attention. or a calculation of whether to be altruistic or not. It is a selection environment. in the process of the evolution of the species. Most of the rest of the book deals with particular items of human behaviour which are thought explicable in evolutionary terms . It is where competition takes place. Further reading Barkow. (The death of my self is of no interest in evolutionary terms. starting. (1992 ) The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture. Since it seems agreed that human adaptiveness is to the way of life of Pleistocene hunter-gatherers. Authors who take the evolutionary perspective are divided in their attitude to culture-it is either significantly moulded by evolution or may develop by an independent non-Darwinian process. Given the notion of inclusive fitness. The physical world. the evolutionary perspective lends emphasis to the idea of kinship. if it ensured th e survival of sufficient kin.) However. The first chapter. ]. and where conditions obtain to which the expression of the individual's genetic material is welladapted or maladapted. with Darwin: 31 . would be 'rational'. Others.THE EVOLUTIONARY PERSPECTIVE • • to subsequent generations.
Cam br idge. R.: H ar vard Universit y Press. E. Wilson.O. London: Senate. Oxford : Oxford University Press.PSYCHOLOGY AND ' HUMAN NATURE' Darwin. (1978) O n Human N atur e. 32 . Dawkins. (1989) Th e Selfish Gene (2nd edn ). Cha rles ( 1994 ) The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. M ass .
Chapter 2 Mental conflict: biological drives and social reality • What Freud was trying to do Psychological causality and the development of mind Interpretation of unconscious meaning Dream interpretation: causality and hermeneutics Energetics and hermeneutics in the dream theory Psychoanalytic practice Roles in analysis The relationship in therapy Interpretation Some basic ideas of psychoanalytic theory The 'topographies' Criticisms Summary Further reading 35 35 36 " :r a -a liliiii CD III • 36 39 • 40 40 41 44 • 45 47 51 53 54 • • • 33 .
given the dawning awareness today of the extent of childhood sexual abuse). Also omitted is the theoretically important introduction. In some way they all owe their existence to Freud even if this arises from their rejection of one or other psychoanalytic tenet or practice. IKE DARWIN. The focus is solely on Freud. nor just because of the lucidity of his writing. of a 'death instinct' as a significant dynamic in mental functioning to complement the pleasure principle and reality. But even with this restriction the task is a difficult one . like a kind of lay confessional. late in Freud's work. I have not traced the important changes of substance or emphasis which he himself introduced. but because a clear view of the original stance of psychoanalysis is necessary as a basis for making sense of his contemporary legacy. So the question concerning the rejection of the 'seduction theory' in favour of the view that female reports of early abuse are phantasies is omitted (though it is a very weighty matter. but have presented the theory ahistorically. This is not just because of his foundership. SIGMUND FREUD L The attempt to grasp psychoanalysis as a contemporary movement is indeed best approached by going back to Freud. So this chapter does not attempt to carry out a history of the psychoanalytic movement to the present.(1856-1939) is a towering figure in his impact on the direction of discussion concerning human nature. which includes the plethora of psychotherapies. 34 . moves through verbal accounts of experience to seek understanding. It could also be said that he invented the psychological approach to individual therapy which.
Freud's way of avoiding the dualism of mind and matter was to postulate a mental energy comparable to energy in the physical sciences. to build a scientific. not necessarily conscious ones. In his account of childhood he aimed to show how the undiffer entiated. Interestingly. It is in the psychoanalytic situation that. Ricoeur (1998:24) has recently confessed that his monumental work on Freud (Ricoeur. then. even 'accidents'. Libido. 35 . libidually motivated infant becomes a mentally complex and socialised adult. This aspect of the theory is termed by Ricoeur (1970) 'energetics'. he devoted ex cl usive attention to the theoretical writings. Broadly. Freud aimed. Committed to science. I am going to take it that theory is in th e service of th e therapeutic technique. 1970) would have benefited from giving more serious attention to the process of therapy. it is claimed. Thus. a basic sexual-aggressive energy. then. the correct approach to the theory must be through a consideration of its interpretative role. All actions hav e a caus e. underlying mental life. Psychological causality and the development 01 mind Freud's aim was to uncover the motives. causal model of how libido gets channelled and transformed so as to power the whole range of human desires. the theory is both tested and developed. as this was understood in his time.BIOLOGICAL DRIVES AND SOCIAL REALITY What Freud was trying to do Freud's principal work can be thought of as entailing three interrelated elements: • • • a theory of neurosis a theory of normal psychological development a therapeutic technique I regard the last of thes e as most significant: Freud's major achievement was the development of psychoanalysis as the means of understanding the individual in the therapeutic situation. fulfils the rol e of grounding mental life in biological drives.
is a strength. Thi s aspect of Freud's work. For him. th e idea that human psycholo gy is to be under sto od as biologically b a sed. in wh ich he is proposing a theor y of interpretation. It mu st be made clear that Rico eur himself did not regard th e apparently hard-to-reconcile dimensions of Freud's theor y (the cau sal model of energetics and th e herm eneutic al theor y) a defect. is firml y distin gui shed by Rico eur (19 70 ) from energetics. Dream interpretation: causality and hermeneutics Freud himself regarded Th e Interpretation of Dr eams (197 6) as his major wo rk. Indeed. as I have indic ated. but dat ed 1900 to indicate its plac e in th e unfolding future of thought. even according to my present-day jud gem ent [he is writing more th an thirty years after the book's first appea ra nce]. ene rge t ics and 36 .PSYCHOLOGY AND ' HUMAN NATURE' Interpretation 01 unconscious meaning Freud's work (in th er ap y and in th e discovery of psychological fact s generally) con sisted of th e attempt to int erpret talk and behaviour in order to reveal th e underlying desires. 1998:68-70) . Insight such as thi s falls to on e's lot but on ce in a lifetime. a hermeneutic theor y. (Preface to Engli sh edition of 19 32 ) In it. Th e original was actu ally publi shed in 1899. thi s is the basis of th e acrimony between Ricoeur and th e French psychoanalyst Lacan (see Ricoeur. We sha ll see lat er (Chapter 6 ) that Rico eur goes against many other writer s on hermeneutic s by saying that 'the text ' -here. It contains. th e cau sal mod el of th e mind. ye t requiring a m eaning-interpr et ation of it s act u a l manifestati on s. th e mo st valua ble of all th e discoveries it ha s been my good fortune to mak e. th e materi al requiring int erpretation-refer s to non-textual (in Freud. biolo gical) material. a valiant attem pt is made to reconcile th e two m ethodolo gical t endencies of h is work.
BIOLOGIC AL DRIVES A N D SO C IA L RE ALITY herme neutics (Ricoeur. (Fre ud. Th ou gh realit y is in part suspended in sleep.. Yet th e wishes tend to contravene prohibitions which are based in reality. So dreams involve compromise betw een desire and reality. 37 . of investigating th e relati on s between the manifest content of drea ms and the latent dream-thoughts. Th e interpretation of dream s is exac tly th at: wha t Freud was most centrally tr ying to do her e was t o pr ovide a hermen eutic theor y . But the second aspect of his approa ch to dream s is qu ite different. . 1976: 381. and tr an slating it back int o a mu ch more under standabl e set of lat ent dream th oughts. whose ch ar acter s an d synta ctic laws it is our busin ess t o d iscover by compar in g the original an d the tr an slati on . Th e interpretati on of dream s is a matter of th e ana lyst hear ing th e appa rently unfatho ma ble man ifest dream content . origina l em phasis) Dream s are th e expressio n of wis hes. The dream-thou ght s and th e dream-c ontent are presented t o us like tw o versio ns of th e same subject -ma tter in tw o differ ent lan gu ages. One aspect of his approach to the understanding of dreams and mental life genera lly is stea dfas tly deterministic.a th eor y t o guide interpretati on . We are alone in tak ing something else int o acco unt . O r. censorship is nevertheless active and the distorti on of desire du e to th e censor ship of th e drea mwork is wha t has to be undone in interpretati on . . 1970 ). Every attem pt th at has hithert o been mad e to solve the problem of dr eam s has dealt dir ectl y with th eir manifest content as it is present ed in our mem or y.We are thus pr esent ed with a new task which had no previou s existence: th e task. th at is. All mental activity is th e outco me of th e ch annelling of libido.. and of tr acing out th e pro cesses by which th e latter have been cha nge d int o th e former. . th e dr eam-c ontent seems like a tr an script of the dream-thought s int o ano ther mode of ex pression... m or e properly. whic h Fre ud regarded as an energy of th e same sta tus as the recognised forms of energy of the physical sciences.nam ely th eir latent content .
there is a need for the dreamer to give some coherence to its 'ev ents'. by finding their verbal associations using free association.PSYCHOLOGY AND 'HUMAN NATURE' Dreams. Rather. Freud emphasised that the model of the structure of the mind found useful in understanding the process of dr eaming is of general applicability. Freud (1976:751) concluded that 'the most complicated achi evements of thought are possible without th e assistance of consciousn ess'. The dr eamwork is not a special. Manifest content is the outcome of a multiplicity of influ ences in which desir es are woven in with elements derived from the residues of the day's activity. Displacement. Representation. The unconscious. In recalling. Interpretation demands that visual imagery must be traced back to the dream-thoughts from which they arose. which has some association with the 'real' referent. that is. and certainly in intelligibly recounting a dream. can be translated by attending to four basic processes: • • • • Condensation. Secondary revision. incoherent and illogical as they are. isolated process. It cannot be assumed that the most salient features of the manifest content reflect the most important motives of the latent dream-thoughts. The activity of the mind in 'disguising' the latent dr eamthoughts so as to give rise to the manifest content is not an activity of consciousness. with emphasis: 'Th e interpretation of dr eams is 38 . 1986:768-769). and dr eams show us one of the paths leading to the understanding of its structure' (Freud. and a censor which acts between 'form part of the normal structure of our mental instrument. the most emotionally charged aspects may appear as 'asides'. Freud wrote. Indeed. Interpretation entails breaking down this purely narrative coherence in order to retrieve the various meanings of the latent dream-thoughts. There is no one-to-one mapping between manifest content and the underlying dream-thoughts. Additionally. an element in a dream may be replaced by a substitute. consciousness. In an enth usiast ic comment added to the 1909 edition of the book.
the psychoanalyst is not simply tracing th e path of a causal process-undoing the dreamwork to reveal the dreamthoughts-but. separated in time. originally used to refer to th e rules governing th e interpretation of sacred or classical texts. 1969:14) Ricoeur (1970) distinguished two extreme forms of hermeneutics. strange. something requiring repres entation. the meanings may be quite idiosyncratic. and em ploying imagination and empathy. it is a particular mod e of hermen eutics-and on e which typifi es psychoanalysis generally. and. is made familiar. It is ind eed a hermeneutic activity. Energetics and hermeneutics in the dream theory In interpretation. or experience. 1976: 769). analysing the interview transcripts in such a way as to elicit their experience 39 . The herm eneutics of m eaning-recollection aims at an interpretation of th e full meaning of th e thing b eing analysed. (Palmer. as well as by drawing on wide-ranging knowledge of the world of the analysand. explanation or translation is somehow 'brought to understanding' -is 'interpreted' . hermeneutics. As Palmer (1969) points out. Moreover. This interpretative activity is far from the apparently mechanistic energetics. by asking the analysand (the person being analysed) for free associations. The psychoanalyst has to try to discover the language. furthermore. it would be in accord with the h ermeneutics of meaning-r ecollection for a psychological research methodology to involve int erviewing research participants on some aspect of their ex perience. For exampl e.BIOLOGICAL DRIVES AND SOCIAL REALITY the royal road to a knowledg e of th e unconscious activities of th e mind' (Fr eud. has in the last century been applied with very great generality to the proc ess of coming to an und erstanding: something foreign. 'The dr eam-thoughts and the dream-content ar e presented to us like two versions of the same subject-matter in two differ ent languages'. comprehensible. present.
This is a critical ana lysis. 40 . Of course. for Ricoeur. since th ey reflect the per son ality of the pati ent. following it with a gloss (as I confess. an d looking beyond the con sciou s gras p which th e per son h as.PSYCHOLOGY A N D ' HUMAN NATURE' exceeding ly fai thfully. The herme ne u tics o f suspicion finds that-beh ind the thin g being ana lysed. behaving as an autho rita tive 'God Almighty' wo uld merely reinforce the dependence or antago nism of the patient. This wo uld not further th e proj ect of br in gin g th eir unc on sciou s so ur ces of mot ivat ion t o light. carr ied out in a m od e of sus picio n. an ahisto rical gloss) on the theor y. for the most part.whereas the aim wo uld be to reveal it by cha llenging it.there is a further reality which allows a mu ch deeper interpret ati on to be ma de an d w hic h can ch all en ge the sur fa ce acco unt . c onfr onted w it h th e st ra nge ther ap eutic situa tion in whi ch all they are as ke d t o d o is t o ex press their th ou ghts w itho ut reser ve. Psychoanalytic practice Since I have tak en Freudian th eor y conc erning th e mind an d its development to be. in the service of therapy I mu st now ind icate the nature of ana lytical th erapy. wi th it s covert mo tives . For instance. a n d as such con stitute useful m at er ial for the ana lys t. We find the hermeneutics of suspicio n full y develop ed in psych oan alytic pr actice. dr eam s an d th ou ghts lay th e m or e fund ament al wo rl d of the unc onsci ou s. an d the n checking wi th the pa rticipants th em selves after the ana lysis is do ne to ens ure th at the resear ch acco u n t is fa ithful t o their m eanin g. Th e ana lyst will not simply fit in with the assum ptions and desires of the ana lysa n d. Suc h pe r ce pt io ns a re pr oj ecti on s. Fr eudian ana lysis was a clear in stan ce of thi s form of crit ical thinking-beh ind actio ns. Roles in analysis Th e p er son bein g a na lyse d . w ill surely only h ave th e ir ow n p er s on al t end enc ie s o n w hi c h t o b a se th e ir perceptions.
n ot ed lon g ago tha t one should never under estim at e th e human being's irresolutio n and craving for autho rity. 1983:11 ) Ideally. See Box 2 . Resistan ce is pervasive in psychoan alytic th erapy accor ding to Freud : 41 . the way the ana lysa nd h as com e to perc eive peopl e (fro m infa ncy onwards) is shown in h is or her reacti on to th e ana lyst. (Schafer. ex press n o views a bo ut the goo dness or badness of the ana lysand's beh aviour or th ou ght s or feelings. and th e dynami cs have th e con stitu ents of tr an sfer ence an d counter-tran sfer ence. 'If I a m reacting t o the p ati ent as if h e we re a dep endent so n. O ne of th e ana lyst's temptati on s. perh ap s th is is bein g forced on m e bec au se h e is viewing me as a father figure' ).BIOLOGIC AL DRIVES A N D SO C IA L RE ALITY Freu d . in whi ch the ana lysa n d is fr ee t o ex press any an d all thou ghts an d feelin gs.g. amo ng other th ings: • pr ovid e sa fety. givi ng a ' ho ldi ng envi ro nme n t'. mu ch played on by the irreso lute analysan d. Co u n te r-tra ns fere nce ac k now le dges th e fact th at th e a na lys t w ill sim ila rly pr oj ect ch ar acterist ics onto the patien t. a n d t o use the pro jection t o further under st and the p atient (e. or im posi ng th eir ow n per son ality or preferences. resist ance an d counterresist anc e. be emo tio na lly undem anding. • • • The relationship in therapy Th e relat ion ship between ana lysand and ana lyst is a pr ime source of materi al for ana lysis. show dispassion at e con cern-not using th e relat ion ship to satisfy th eir own need s.. The a na lys t m us t n ot ice th is h appening in or de r t o sto p the co un te r-t rans fe re n ce affe cti ng the rel ationsh ip adversely.. th e ana lyst will. is to purvey wis do m whe n it wo uld be mo re appro pr iate t o the job at hand to ana lyse wisely. In tran sferen ce.1.
(Schafer. . [One reason for this development] was that he angrily regarded his father as castrating in several ways: for one thing. responsibly. His father followed the strict policy of always behaving sensibly. for they stimulated th e son to think himself especially unworthy and unable to love . indecisive.PSYCHOLOGY AND ' HUMAN NATURE' Box 2. Firstly. the man thus fit the familiar pattern of reaction formation against . ... apathetic. gently. he professed only love and esteem for his father . and kindly. melancholy person.understandably. viewed 'objectively'. a scene that had been serving as a prototype of his 42 .But the boy himself became more and more disposed to act sadistically. Schafer draws attention to two significant points to bear in mind wh en reading th e description of this case. . Secondly. th e unravelling of this fath er imago was achiev ed through very car eful analysis of th e analysand's transference. he saw his 'blameless' father as setting a standard of controlled manhood he could never hope to meet . These were cruel in their effects. Consciously [however]. he had presented himself for analysis as a dispirited.1 Schafer on 'transference' A young man in analysis had been realizing in an ever more agitated fashion how disturbed and confined he had always felt in connection with certain characteristic features of his father's conduct. 1983:117-118) At this point. Returning now to the young man: one day when he was well into the analysis.sadistic modes of action. but more insightfully than ever before.. one do es not know. wh eth er th e 'father' bears much relationship to th e actual person. and is not centrally interested in. cynical. he experienced one of his most anguished yet liberated and liberating moments during the analysis. especially in the wishful fantasies he unconsciously elaborated.. He was recounting once again. Th e issu e is to unravel th e son's 'father imago'. .
Every single association. (ibid. Such resistance also requires interpretation. 43 . every act of the person under treatment must reckon with the resistance and represents a compromise between the forces that are striving towards recovery and the opposmg ones. either he had been attacking me scornfully and vituperatively. among other things. In the scene. ruminatively and inertly. Resistance is a clinical concept that refers to the myriad of methods analysands use to obstruct the very process that they are relying on to help them. and he had been dealing with my interventions accordingly. or he had been acting despondently. (ibid.. kind. been construing my consistently trying to understand him neutrally and impartially as a replication of his father's guilt-inducing and castrating actions. to get his young son to agree that issuing the prohibition had been the right.: 121) The resistance accompanies the treatment step-by-step. It seemed that the father had determined. as he had been doing for his father. his father had forbidden him to do something because it would have upset his mother.: 119) In his analysis.. (Freud.. patiently and calmly. Thereupon the boy had stormed off to his room. to explain and to justify his having issued the prohibition.. for his own neurotic reasons. His father had followed him and taken a long time.BIOLOGICAL DRIVES AND SOCIAL REALITY childhood relation with his father. rational thing for him to have done. had. sometimes concealing the latter by forcing himself to act jovially and zestfully.1912:103) For various reasons-most importantly because people's irrational defences (though harmful) are defending them against what they take to be real threats-the analysand resists the analysis. That is to say. the young man.
feelings and beh aviour. Schre ber. and pro viding a possible account of th e reason s for th ese. Scha fer (1983) tr eat s the process as the co. th ou ghts and feelings . Schre ber's delusion s included th e feeling th at he was bein g persecuted: firstly by his form er physician . he rediscovered th em in him ' (Freud. of dreams. The earlier focu s on th e ph ysician is initi ally inter pr eted tentati vely: 'The patient was reminded of his brother or father by th e figure of th e doct or. is unc onsci ou sl y m oti vated by ea rly rel at ion ships within th e fam ily. ideally. which wo uld not be h ow Fr eud wo uld have discu ssed interpret at ion. etc. The claim mad e earlier th at psych oan alytic th eor y abo ut the mind and abo ut th e development of the person alit y is best viewed as being in th e service of th er ap y. for exa m ple. Freud arg ues minutely to th e conclusion that th e emo tio na lity. int erpretat ion was th e provision of scientific discoveri es a bo ut the mental life of the ana lysa n d. 19 79 ) which th e sufferer. may becom e clear er here. 1979 :182 ).author in g of a satisfacto ry account . and some appro pria te versio n of thi s inter pret at ion w ill provide a n ew under st andin g for the ana lysa nd-one which will. which Sch re be r ex pe r ie n ces.and lat er by Go d. 44 . The ana lyst will use th eoretical formulat ion s to mak e sense of th e ana lysand 's tho ughts. of reported behaviour..PSYCHOLOGY A N D ' HUMAN NATURE' Counter-resis tance is the pr ocess in w hich the ana lyst fails t o m aintain a proper part in the ana lytica l rel at ionsh ip . Flechsig-wh om he called a 'so ul murderer ' (Fre ud. ena ble her or him to act mor e freely in future. but wi th a serio us inte nt t o per su ad e read er s that certain opinio ns of hi s we re true ). himself docum ented (tho ugh not as a confession o f delu sion . ' perso na l cha ra cteristics'. and has th e functio n of aiding th e ana lyst in th eir interpret ation . For him. the case of p ar an oi a (Fre ud. of defenc es. Interpret"tion Interpretation is of tr an sference and resistance. But again under st anding ca n be ass iste d by reflecti on on counterresist ance. Tak e. 1979:14 3 ) . attitudes. This wr itte n acco unt Freud analyse d.
an d th e desire. is a key compon ent of th at th eor y. Freud mak es it seem inevita ble th at th e case is to be under stood in terms of Schre ber's early rel ati on ship to his father and in th is way find s th e fact s in support of th e th eor y of mental development. lead Freud to th e interpretation that Go d stands for Schreber's father and that the basis of th e par an oia lay in th e castr ation comp lex. Some basic ideas of psychoanalytic theory Freud's th eor y is. Amo ng ot her ph ant asies. however. Such features of th e case as th is. th ere are ones in whic h Flechsig and God are both believed t o be simi la rly 'disintegra te d ' into sepa ra te per son alities.BIOLOGIC AL DRIVES A N D SO C IA L RE ALITY The move in focus to God is seen as an explica ble escalatio n. he sees them as riven with ment al strugg le. It is not th at some peopl e are disad vantaged in th eir adjustment to th e wo rld by th e lack of some skill or cap acity. togeth er with th e circumstanc e th at Schre ber's father had been an eminent doctor. th at Schreber become a wo ma n. Imp ortantly. Schreber is victo r ious). a conflict th eor y rather th an a deficit th eor y. rather. which has been intro duced. Schreber shows a mi xture of rever en ce an d reb elliou sness to Go d. throu gh and through. (Freud. At th e same time th e noti on of 'castrati on complex '. All of th is dividing up of Flech sig and Go d int o a number of per son s th us h ad th e same meaning as th e splitting of the persecutor int o Flech sig and Go d. and it is to th e th eor y th at we now turn. 1979:185) Schreber's ph antasies includ e the persistent experience of being under a form of physical atta ck by God (in which. which also seeme d to be a divine requ irement . This lead s to th e conclusio n th at th e figu res carry equiva lent meanings. They were all duplicati on s of one an d th e same im porta nt relat ion ship. The key features of Freud 's 45 . M y claim that psychoan alyt ic theor y is in the servi ce of int erpretati on is seen in the relati onship between theory and practice in th e Schre ber case.
unconscious activity is primary. libido. libido. Life with other people requires a constant renunciation of desire (the 'pleasure principle') in the face of external reality or 'necessity' . These are substituted by behaviour and thoughts which. This entails a redirection of libido. defensively constructed as a result of the contrary pressures of inner desire and outer necessity.PSYCHOLOGY AND 'HUMAN NATURE' theorising of the struggle are its unconscious nature. all mental contents-are energised (cathected) to a greater or lesser extent. Another way of viewing this process is that the individual has been socialised. so to speak. The conflict between desire and necessity is to be seen as the general form which mental strife takes. However. Desire is an energy. by the fact that it unconsciously represents quite unacceptable behaviour associated with the 'pleasure principle'. the true psychological reality in the sense that it is this which must be understood in order to understand the person. Mental conflict is largely to be understood as an internal. unconscious dynamic entailing the repression of socially disapproved expressions of the pleasure principle. They are emotionally charged. its basis in a biological drive. have the function of 'discharging' libido associated with the repressed. We have seen in the dream theory that he stressed the view that mental life is by no means confined to conscious activity. It is also prone to a wide variety of modes of development. though acceptable. Behaviour associated with the 'reality principle' is therefore powered. In fact. As a drive. and ideas-that is. libido is of great urgency in demanding gratification. From the start sexuality is a principle motive of human behaviour. The concept of the unconscious is plainly foundational for Freud. and the incompatibility between libidinal desire and the requirements placed on the individual by society. which is 'energised' and made valuable to the individual by the fact that it draws on the charge of libido linked with the unacceptable behaviour that is now repressed. it is exceedingly malleable in the ways in which it may be expressed. Appropriate behaviour has been learned. 46 . Conscious experience is a compromise.
which Freud introduced in 'The ego and the id' (1923. in deciding a course of action that is a compromise between desire and necessity. Since reality prevents the direct realisation of many desires. and is governed by the 'reality principle'. which relate only roughly to each other. Yet over time th e purely biological content of the id is overlain with repressed material of all kinds. Its punishing force. or mental map. see Freud. 47 . The 'second topography'. Superego is also far from totally conscious. is the structure already mentioned that we found essential to Th e Interpretation of Dreams. Aspects of the ego (such as the mechanisms of ego defence-see below) are unconscious. felt as guilt. • • The introduction of the second topography shows a feature rather typical of the development of psychoanalytical theory. What we have is a gradual historical accretion of descriptive models and terms. yet both are true. 1984) gives us a tripartite model of the mind: • Id is the aspect of mental life which consists of desires and drives. and is gov erned by the 'pleasure principle'. It accomplishes th e compromise between desire and necessity. it is not an improvement on it. Note that ego derives from id-all mental life is energised by libido. and the first topography remains indispensable. It is noticeable that the id/ego/superego formulation does not supplant the first topography. it is this function of the mind to which I refer in th e title of the chapter. Ego is that aspect of mental life which is directed towards reality. Superego is the internalised awareness of the norms and values of society (via th e socialising influence of the family). Ego has to take this into account. borrows libido energy. awareness of reality is needed to allow at least some desires to be realised in at least some form. The two models of the mind do not easily fit together.BIOLOGICAL DRIVES AND SOCIAL REALITY The 'topographies' The 'first topography'. Biological in its origin. also.
according to Freud. Libido finds its focus in one bodily erotogenic zone after another. The history of development of the sexual drive is. and humour. the veiled discharge of energy through a particular 'angled' perception of reality. They may emerge in disguised. and neurotic forms. After the oral phase. At each stage. Such desires remain energised. and parental influence is centred on the control and socialisation of associated stages. Mechanisms of ego defence involve the distortion of perception so as to avoid the tension of the conflict between desire and necessity. symbolic. during the second 48 . rendering them unconscious. and psychoanalysis values the mature defences such as sublimation. focused in the conflict between desire and parental reality. social activity depends on the appropriate direction of libido. Psychological development is a process of redirection and transformation of libido. such as the repression of desires which conflict with reality. Initially.g. with aggressor as symbolic fulfilment of wishes Undoing-adoption of a pattern of behaviour which involves guilty symbolic reparation for earlier activity counter to superego But defences are not one-sidedly pathological. an object for which later analogies can substitute. Other examples are: • • • • • • Denial-of a fact of reality or a desire or instinct Projection-of personal characteristics to others (transference is an instance) Regression-to earlier states of development Reaction-formation-unacceptable impulse masked by exaggeration of its opposite Identification-e. Repression is a defence mechanism. the infant seeks gratification orally through sucking at the breast. the substitution of a socially valuable activity for a direct expression of desire. and 'strive' for expression.PSYCHOLOGY AND 'HUMAN NATURE' The conflict between desire and necessity gives rise to a lot of 'energetic' phenomena-things that have to do with the distribution of mental energy. that zone is the focus of tension and relief.
which is perhaps socially pre-eminent in importance.2 for some aspects of the psychoanalytical approach to homosexuality. The account of female development is also speculative. The third aspect of mental functioning. Freud. 49 . the struggle over toilet training shifts the child's focus to the anus. The resolution of the Oedipus complex involves repression of hatred and identification with the father. Third is the phallic stage. See Box 2. Fixation at or regression to one or other of these stages is supposed to be the cause of certain characteristics of personality. and a passive personality is supposed to be developed: penis envy leads to reliance on the male. has the image of the person as a very radically fearful being. his account of the third phase has caused considerable disquietespecially because of the part played by castration anxiety in the theory. culture-bound. is developed. and lacking evidence. since anxiety cannot be aroused by a castration complex. Modern psychoanalysis has modified Freud's developmental theory considerably in the light of such findings as the importance of the mutual gaze of parent and child. though recent analysts often take the concept to be metaphorical. The female superego is supposed to be weaker. The situation is the Oedipus complex. Competition between the father and son (the son's libidinal attachment being to the mother) means that the desire has to be renounced in the light of reality because of anxiety about the father's ill-will. This account of female development was rejected by psychoanalysts early on as 'phallocentric'. Because Freud took questions of male sexuality as governing his analysis of development. therefore. superego. Notice that both ego and superego arise from the id in the sense that they involve transformations of libido. Freud's account of child development has been criticised for being patriarchal. The pleasure of defecation in the anal stage is in conflict with parental demands for control. In the phallic stage. and entails an anxiety of castration which is not supposed by Freud to be other than actual fear of actual castration. the relation to reality is such that family dynamics are especially important.BIOLOGICAL DRIVES AND SOCIAL REALITY year. Thus love arises initially as a form of obedience.
(Bateman and Holmes. and a 50 . 1964:624) There is no single. a final adaptation to society takes place in adolescence: the genital stage. One example is given without undue neurotic strain. no vice. enter into balanced relationships and act appropriately in social contexts) Box 2.e. and consequent relegation to what he presumes to be the position of women. Sexual relationships should be possible. Here. Jones. but it is nothing to be ashamed of. clear account of homosexual development.2 Freud on homosexuality Freud took it that the infant was bisexual. . castration anxiety as a sense of powerlessness within a phallocentric society is an important theme in feminist-influenced neo-Freudian thought. in Freud. no degradation. male or female. We gather that there are several paths which might lead to this orientation. In a very compassionate letter to a mother. While 'oedipus' is no longer thought of so literally in bodily terms.. we consider it to be a variation of the sexual function produced by a certain arrest of sexual development. written very near the end of his life.PSYCHOLOGY AND 'HUMAN NATURE' Freud understood 'castration anxiety' in terms of the oedipal fear of the little boy that his punishment for loving his mother and so challenging his father. he writes: I gather from your letter that your son is a homosexual.. Homosexuality is assuredly no advantage. The basis of an eventual homosexual orientation was to be found in the way in which the Oedipus complex was resolved so that the object of desire would be a member of one's own sex. it cannot be classified as an illness. He does not seem to have been particularly concerned with the widespread worry concerning the morality of male homosexuality. 1995:236) After a 'latency stage'. able 'to love and to work' (i. the mature adult should ideally emerge. would be castration.
during the stage of the Oedipus complex. the experience evoking castration anxiety particularly strongly. 1977). as though by way of consolation and to put things right: Her -'s still quite small. Maybe a theory of some kind is needed to assist the therapist.BIOLOGICAL DRIVES AND SOCIAL REALITY lot of libido-energy should have undergone transformation ('sublimation') into socially useful individual motives. then. Here a boy. Criticisms The separability oftheoretical formulations from analytical therapy is som etimes thought possible.If this idea of a woman with a penis becomes 'fixated' in an individual when he is a child. some of which would claim to be grounded in an account of the unconscious.. 51 . When a small boy sees his little sister's genitals . But when she gets bigger it'll grow all right. .' The idea of a woman with a penis returns in later life in the dreams of adults . . resisting all the influences of later life and making him as a man unable to do without a penis in his sexual object. emphasis and coy ellipsis in original) In general. 1977:193-194. (Freud. might be particularly affected by discovering the absence of a penis in women. a paper 'On the sexual theories of children' (Freud.he does not comment on the absence of a penis but invariably says. . Certainly th ere is now a plethora of theoretical orientations... then . but there is no fixity about what th e nature of an ideal interpretative theory should be. but which deviate profoundly from Freud. psychological causes are more important than biological ones in the Freudian account of homosexuality.he is bound to become a homosexual.
What is its scientific status? Some epistemologists (i. we have no way of testing the basic model. the standpoint of the interpretation is 52 . there may be an in principle problem with the falsifiability of at least some propositions of psychoanalysis (focusing now on the causal claims of the 'energetics' aspect of the theory). But true in the sense that this is actually what the world is like for them. 1970.e. happy-go-Iuckiness.whatever the outcome in terms of personality. If so. van den Berg. to argue that we have here an example of a reaction-formation. leading to a kind of cluster of meanings. Each of these clusters is doubtless suggestive. Unlike the hermeneutics of suspicion. orderly/ tidy. 1972). instead. New ideas relating to an original concept tend to be tagged on. Here we have the phenomenological approach in psychology (Giorgi. and irritable. The question is often raised concerning the empirical justification of Freudian theory. Freudian hermeneutics of suspicion may be overdone. For instance. philosophers interested in the question of how claims to know can be justified) have argued that the key feature of science was that its claims were testable. and provides insights of a poetic kind. it is possible. This defence mechanism has led to the person expressing the reverse traits-in effect. Now. generosity and good-humour.PSYCHOLOGY AND 'HUMAN NATURE' There is diversity and fluidity in psychoanalytical theory. Maybe the use of a theory in therapeutic practice demands such fluidity and poetic resonance. anal eroticism is being expressed by the traits of mildness. It should be clear what kind of evidence would show them to be false. punctual. Popper (1959) refined this by demarcating science from non-science by arguing that scientific statements were 'tenable and refutable'. the model can account for it. it might be said that the anal character is obstinate. somewhat mean (parsimonious). But there is lack of hard clarity. Not that it is true in the sense of being objective-all experience is from a particular viewpoint. The hermeneutics of meaning-recollection is carried out on the basis of a faith in the person's view of their world. But what if the mode of toilet training held to develop this character structure did not in fact do so in an individual case? Would this disconfirm the hypothesis? No.
or is it a sign that they h ave been socia lised into the way of thinking of psych oan al ysis? Summary What is Freud's under standing of hum an nature? We will address th e qu estion by mean s of the set of categories outlined in the Introduct ion: • • Consciousness. The Fr eudi an critique of cons ciousness-the den ial. bringing togeth er a very wide ran ge of problemat ical aspects of a person's th ou ght . But wouldn' t other 'sto ry lines' be as helpful? Certain mod ern ana lysts (e. in the hermen eutics of sus picio n. dreams and behaviour und er some umbrella of understan ding. A secondary ment al phenomenon which has the function of pr oviding th e individual wi th an awareness of 'rea lity' to the extent th at desires can be expressed and satisfied within th e wo rld. The coh er enc e of the psych oan alyst's alte rnative acco unt in co ntras t to the pu zzling n ature of the ana lysa n d's own acco unt may be goo d ev ide nce. Freu dia n ana lysis cha llenges the viewpoint of the individua l and provides a critique -but on wha t basis? Freud ian th eor y is intend ed prima rily to assist interpretati on .g. but also deeply moved by desires (which arise from within but need other peopl e for th eir satisfaction). but in the en d it is the pe rs uasive ness of the inte rpre ta tio n that counts. is thi s accepta nce 'rea l'. The ego is not entirely con sciou s becau se its scope extends into th e unc on sciou s realm of th e defence mechani sms. phantasies. The self. 53 . attitudes. We are essentially deeply fearful (especia lly of th e outer wo rld of other peopl e).BIOLOGIC AL DRIVES A N D SO C IA L RE ALITY within th e wo rld-view of th e perso n. 1983 ) do suggest just th at . The self is pa rtly the site and partly the consequence of these conflicts. D oes the ana lysa n d acce pt the new v iew o f th e ir ex pe r ie n ce a n d r e vi se th eir u n de rs ta n d ing acco r di ng ly ? But if they d o. that the in divi dua l's acco unt of th eir ex per ience is true-requires that th e alte rnative acco unt provided by th e psych oan alyst be very full y suppo rte d by evi de nce. Scha fer.
the all-consuming mother. about psychological development. The Interpretation ofDreams (Volume 4. the rival sibling. but is bodily-and a matter of feeling. Other people. In so far as this has relevance for Freud. One might start with the following: Lectures 21 and 22 from Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis (Volume 1. Thus others take on irrational meanings such as the father figure. It is to that edition that citations in the chapter refer. 50 psychoanalysts might take the 'mother earth' metaphor seriously. Others constitute both the source of threat and the locus of desire. The body. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud (Hogarth Press and the Institute of Psycho-Analysis. which has. The Pelican Freud Library may be more accessible. We start our mental life as undifferentiated id. and the innumerable secondary sources are needed for commentary rather than clarification. from 1953) is the authoritative English translation. 54 . This is primary for Freud. This is Freud's extremely interesting attempt to combine the two approaches of his theory. 1976). 'The psychology of the dream-processes' . as its final chapter. etc. Further Reading Freud's writing is clear and elegant. However. The physical world.PSYCHOLOGY AND 'HUMAN NATURE' • • • Selfhood is severely limited in Freud: for the most part we do not ourselves know why we act in the way we do. insight into aspects of the unconscious can give us increasing personal control over our behaviour. It is important to note that all relationships can be taken as repetitions of the original system of relationships within the socialising unit-normally the family. and is based on the Standard Edition. The unconscious is irrational and not directly accessible largely because it is not structured in the categories of consciousness or reality. it again reflects the family nexus (because this is where a person's perceptual categories developed).1974).
from Hist orical and Exp ository Work s on Psychoanalysis (Volume 15. which gives overviews of the th eory as Freud formulated it at various tim es in its development .BIOLOGICAL DRIVES AND SOCIAL REALITY O n Metapsy chology : Th e Th eory of Psychoanalysis (Volume 11. 'An outline of psychoanalysis'. 1986 ). 55 . 1984 ).
specifically. Kelly was trying to do The formal theory Change in construing and the emotions Criticisms Summary Further reading 59 60 61 69 69 70 71 75 76 77 78 • • • • 57 .Chapter 3 An inner world: cognitive psychology • • What cognitive psychology is trying to do The cognitive processes The sequence of cognitive processes Agency and consciousness Individual cognitions: Kelly's Personal Construct Theory What.
O G N I TI O N INCLUDES PERCEPTION. The link between cognitive psychology. it is in cognitive psychology that we find a paradigm (Kuhn. Regarding these things. together with a widely agreed approach to investigation. In analysing cognitive psychology. reasoning. amongst cognitive psychologists themselves. There are historically key authors. thinking. neuroscience. but-and this is typical of developed sciences in general-cognitive psychology is characterised by a very large and diverse body of research studies. then. Scientific progress takes place as the community of cognitive psychologists develop C 58 . I will be drawing attention to basic assumptions which have the status. imagining and learning. In particular. By 'paradigm' is meant a strong and accepted perspective on the nature of a discipline and its subject matter. cognitive psychologists take for granted that the processes that interest them are definite. so that there are well-understood criteria of acceptable research. certainly. remembering. but uncovering biological bases of cognition in brain mechanisms is not the only way in which outside support is marshalled in order to give weight to psychological models of mental functioning. the view of cognitive psychology concerning human nature cannot be tackled through the analysis of the work of one person or even a few people. actual factual events in the real world. 1970) . Psychology is. Of equal significance is the interplay between psychology and computer science. for cognitive psychologists. solid truth or reality about which it is possible to attain ever more accurate approximate knowledge. of 'common sense' . Unlike the topics of other chapters. and computer science-together with aspects of philosophy and linguistics-is so close that the term 'cognitive science' is often given to the whole group. Views concerning mental functioning are sometimes elaborated as computer programs-the idea being that such demonstrations show the feasibility of the claim that this is how the mind works. If anywhere in psychology and related disciplines. there is an underlying nonnegotiable. a biological science.
distinct measurable entities) interrelate. that is. cognitive psychology adopts a positivist approach to its research. whereby there is a sequential flow starting with the sensing of an object or event and ending up with the use. of perceiving. for instance.COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY models of this reality which are more and more adequate in picturing these facts. though this set of assumptions certainly appears to be commonsensical (humans do perceive and think. What cognitive psychology is trying to do Cognitive psychology aims to model the mental processes of 'cognition'. especially how they relate to each other in a cause-andeffect fashion. it will nevertheless be seen in Chapters 6 and 7 that the assumptions are in fact controversial. A constructivist view is taken of human mental activity. remembering. The theories will show how certain 'variables' (that is. Now. Human cognition is viewed in terms of information processing. Therefore a distinction can be made. Research activity involves testing hypotheses regarding relationships between variables. don't they?). It could be. thinking. and gradually developing scientific laws of mental processes. within cognitive psychological work. reasoning and language use. between the modelling of cognitive processes and the 59 . or loss of the information. storage in memory. while 'perceiving' and 'thinking' relate strongly to the place human beings have in our contemporary culture. that. The purpose of science is to model the mental realm in its theories. In accordance with this assumption. Mathematical formulations of the relationships between variables are to be sought if at all possible. the process of cognition leads to the building of mental conceptualisations in terms of which a person thinks and acts. and one which is even critical of the use of 'mental' terms at all. that is. quite different notions of mental life may be possible-and in fact in the next chapter we see that Skinner has indeed developed a significantly divergent understanding of human nature.
an d in every way to react in a much fuller. conclude which is th e best of th em. reasoning can tak e place: th e function of such symbo lisatio n is plain. Th is cha pter is str ucture d in terms of th e distinct ion between th e mod elling of cogniti ve processes and th e unc overing of per son al cognition s. Kenneth Cra ik (1943) mad e very exp licit th e idea th at cognit ive activity is to be regarded as a process of forming a n intern al m odel of ex te rna l real it y.PSYCHOLOGY A N D ' HUMAN NATURE' uncovering of personal cognitio ns. altho ugh the distinction bet ween th e 'inne r wo rl d' of cogn it ion and an 'o uter reality' does seem to run th e risk of dualism. it is able to tr y out vario us alternatives. If th e orga nism carries a 'small scale mod el' of external realit y and of its ow n possible actio ns within its head . cogniti ve psycho logists regard th eir subject m atter as a un ity. (Craik. So. The cognitive processes An early cogniti vist. safer. It is ass u me d th at th e m ent al pr ocesses under inves tigatio n do h ave a solid reality t o which scientifi c models gra dua lly begin to co nfo rm. so the inner wo rl d is full y dep endent on th e ph ysical wo rl d an d not of a differ ent or der of reality. whose wo rk also shows th e intimate connecti on betw een cogniti vism and con structioni sm ). Cog ni tive psych ol ogists' ow n models of cognition are constructions. On the b a sis of such 'symbo lisatio n'. and mor e competent manner to th e emergencies which face it. It is supposed that th er e are laws gove rni ng th e co ns tr uct io n of the inner wo rl d. util ise the kn owledge of past events in dealing with th e present and future. But th er e is a limit to this rel at ivi sm . 194 3:61 ) Th ere was significant wo rk using wha t we now recogn ise as the cognitive approach well befor e th e Seco n d World War (an outsta nding exa mple is Bartl ett . But 60 . react to future situa tio ns before they arise.
The leading figures in the early computer simulation of thinking were Newell et al. Behaviourism had eschewed any reference to mental events because they were seen as being unobservable and not open to definitive test. (e.) However. say. from. maybe originating with sensory input and ending up as an internal representation of the world (perhaps committed to memory). Thus the modelling of mental processes can still be regarded as methodologically behaviourist. Mental activity is seen as a flow of information.COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY the dominance of behaviourism. and then translated these into programs. and the actual preformance of computer and human could be compared in order to test the adequacy of the theoretical model. 1961). in that the 61 . The sequence 01 cognitive processes Cognition as information processing. The programs represented the researchers' understanding of the human processes. which does not reject the study of mental processes on methodological grounds but for conceptual reasons detailed in the next chapter. developments in a cognitive direction were made from time to time. the modelling of mental processes by cognitivists avoided the methodological criticism. subtle differences in human performance when a person is presented with particular differences in the stimulus situation enable the researcher to make inferences about the working of the mental apparatus . For example. 1930 to 1960. (The methodological behaviourism I am referring to here must be distinguished from Skinner's viewpoint. Within behaviourism. inhibited research involving the 'symbolisation' of mental processes. Perhaps Miller et al. especially in the United States.g. for these sciences provided a range of vocabularies with which to represent higher mental processes in a precise manner amenable to mathematisation. It was the advent of control engineering and information sciences that led to behaviourism's loss of dominance. who studied the strategies used by people in their thinking.ts (1960) Plans and the Structure of Behaviour is the most obvious.
One tendency was for writers to attempt to preserve the behaviourist enterprise of describing human activity as the lawful response to environmental conditions while introducing some 'inner' processes which would intervene in the path between stimulus and response. Here we do seem to have the beginnings of a cognitive behaviourism. at the same time. Meaning cannot be an r m if the behaviourist model is to be maintained. enabling the person to associate the word with other things to which the meaning applied. Figure 3. and a mental process intervenes. for behaviourists. However. It seems from this history that behaviourism cannot become cognitive-allowing relatively autonomous mental processes to exist which disturb the determinative effect of conditioning-and retain its nature. In the UK. And we shall see in Chapter 4 that Skinner would agree with this conclusion. meant that they had been conditioned to respond in a particular way to it) and also. the dominance of behaviourism was felt.1 is based on Welford's (1968) diagram of the major cognitive processes in the chain from stimulus to response. but it was not uncontested. For instance. This would allow for a person to learn a word (which. if behavioural psychology required that human behaviour be predictable from a knowledge of the history of reinforcement. since the meaning is somehow detached from the strict determinism of a specifiable stimulus-response learning situation (how is unclear).PSYCHOLOGY AND 'HUMAN NATURE' authors termed themselves 'cognitive behaviourists'. then a mediating response would have itself to be specifically conditioned in some way-its 'detachment' from the main process of conditioning is not explicable otherwise. Here the idea of mediation ('organisation of behaviour') between stimulus and response is necessary. in an attempt to defend a behaviourist account of the acquisition of language in infants (which had come under devastating criticism. Fodor (1965) showed that. 62 . Mowrer (1960) argued that 'meaning' could be understood to be a 'mediating response' (r m ) . to have learned an inner response which would have a more general effect. notably by Chomsky in 1959). A strong proto-cognitivist development was the 'skills' approach.
In Figure 3. 'focal consciousness' would not be too wild a term for this stage in the processing of information. past experience which is accumulated in the 'long-term store' is brought to bear on it. 19) . So perception is understood by Welford (and he is representative of cognitive psychologists in this) as a process by which th e person interprets incoming sensory information by the use of accumulated ex per ience and renders it meaningful. This 'consists of some kind of brain activity' (Welford. for meaning is something which is added to th e stimulus when it is interpreted.1. The fact that.COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY Figure 3 .e . memory based on past experience) on perception is significant. he did choose to show the effect of the 'long-term store' (i . 63 . Having been perceived-that is. Although cognitivists might regard it as begging too many questions. 1968:197). 1968) Welford emphasised that the diagram only showed a few of the many feedback loops which exist (p . nevertheless. physical stimulation at the senses is taken to be 'meaningless'.1 Block diagram of human sensory-motor system (after Welford. To interpret stimulation. rendered significant (and this is not necessarily a conscious process) -the information enters a short-term store.
(Welford. Retention is enhanced by subvocal rehearsal of the material.PSYCHOLOGY AND 'HUMAN NATURE' Besides involving active. and these associated stages-together with the 'programming of action' (1968:238) when this is not a matter of automatic processes-have in common what a non-cognitivist would unblushingly refer to as awareness. The short-term retention of an unfamiliar telephone number. in attempting to give the kind of broad picture of cognition necessary for a book like the current one. makes such a summary diagram well-nigh impossible. but it is worth noting Welford's attempt to treat complex mental processes in terms of machine analogies: it is attractive and provocative to conceive of thinking as akin to the operation of a computer going through a series of stages in each of which data are taken either from the sense organs or from a memory store to be combined with other data in some sort of computation. is notoriously open to annoying disruption by one hearing other numbers. Short-term retention is linked by Welford to problem-solving and thinking. and so on. conscious attention. short-term memory has th e characteristics of restricted capacity and susceptibility to interference-especially when similar sounds to those of verbal information being retained are introduced. the complexity of the system that emerges as a result of the vast number of significant papers which have been published in the third of a century since Welford. And it does seem that 'coding' in the short-term store is verbal-acoustic. The reason is that later authors. though this may be seen as dated. Partly. 64 .1968:237) I have introduced the stages of cognitive processing through Welford's diagram. We will consider the coyness of cognitivists over the issue of consciousness in the next section. have not been so ex plicit concerning the 'stages' . and the result is stored temporarily to be used later with other data in a further computation. for instance. ev en when the 'raw stuff' being stored is originally visual.
Figure 3.2 Some cognitive processes associated with 'working
memory' This diagram includes processes discussed by Neisser (1967), Baddeley (1986) and Logie (1995) .
In Figure 3.2 I have nevertheless attempted a synthesis of some of the modelling which has taken place regarding the initial stages of cognition. First of all, it is worth pointing out the way in which the entry of information has been elaborated. Neisser's (1967) very influential account, Cognitive Psychology, devoted a great deal of space to the way in which, quite prior to conscious intervention, sensory information was held in very short-term storage, separately, it seems, for each modality. After the cessation of a sound or sight, information about it is briefly available for retrieval from so-called 'echoic' and 'iconic' memory (whether there are equivalent 'buffer' stores for other sense modalities is less clear). Yet these stores have particular characteristics above and beyond simply comprising lingering after-sensations. The retrievability of the information can be lost due to the effects on the store of later sensation. And the sensation is not retrieved 'raw': it is already processed in the sense of having been rendered meaningful through, it seems, the activity of long-term memory on th e information. Perception, at a simple level, has already begun. We are never aware of the raw sensation.
PSYCHOLOGY AND 'HUMAN NATURE'
Recent writers have found it necessary, in the light of accumulated findings, to replace Welford's short-term store with a set of notions which bring out more adequately the activities which this stage of cognition entails. Welford's earlier account stressed, as we have seen, the dynamism of the short-term store. Baddeley and his colleagues (e.g. Baddeley, 1990) are among those who have proposed a system of processes which bring out various aspects of this dynamism, and have termed it working memory. They are also concerned to emphasise the functions of working memory which do not just have to do with processing incoming perceptions and passing them on to be dealt with in later cognitive stages but also with active use of information in thinking and reasoning (developing the suggestions of Welford). The articulatory (or phonological) loop is an explication of the way in which 'rehearsal' retains information for active processing. The uisuo-spatial sketch pad provides something of an analogy of the articulatory loop for non-verbal material, reflecting the finding that individuals can work with imagery. In effect, recent modelling reflects the fact that the 'active present' comprises information which is represented cognitively in at least the two modalities of verbal/acoustic and imaged/spatial awareness. The core of working memory, according to Baddeley, is a central executive. Welford's speculative machine analogy for thinking is embodied in this component, for it would be the central executive which would actually perform such tasks as bringing up information 'to be combined with other data in some sort of computation, and the result is stored temporarily to be used later' . The models discussed so far merely mention long-term memory. Yet important early work was done on long-term memory. Bartlett's Remembering (1932) showed general principles at work in the recall of stories and pictures. The overriding factor was the effect of 'effort after meaning' whereby parts of stories which stretched the understanding of his research participants were not recalled, or were recalled in a conventionalised form. A related observation in the recall of simple drawings was that the reproduction would be affected by the way the picture had been verbally tagged. Effort after meaning is a pervasive principle of 'every cognitive
reaction-i-perceiving, imaging, remembering, thinking and reasoning' (ibid.: 44). It is not necessarily conscious; it entails the assimilation of an element of cognition to some pattern: The 'preformed setting, scheme, or pattern is utilised in a completely unanalytical and unwitting manner' (ibid.: 45). But what is meant by setting, scheme, or situation? Psychologically, a situation always involves the arrangement of cognitive material by some more or less specific action tendency, or group of tendencies, and to define a situation in any given case we have to refer, not only to the arrangement of material, but also to the particular activity or activities in operation. (Bartlett, 1932:231) So the organisation of memory (and other cognitive processes) is in terms of the meaningful interrelationship of memorial 'elements', constellated around situations, settings or schemata which are activities or tendencies of the individual. The processes of memory are describable in terms of laws that lead to a picture of memorial processes as constructive. Bartlett firmly rejected the idea that memory is a storehouse of the traces of past events, experiences, or reactions, laid down at the time and preserved until recalled. One difficulty with the idea of memory as consisting of traces of specific events is that 'every normal individual must carry about with him an incalculable number of individual traces' (1932:197). In contrast to this, his own findings indicated that 'the past operates as an organised mass rather than as a group of elements each of which retains its special character' (ibid.: 197). Just as recent research has re-emphasised the active nature of the short-term store, or working memory, so Bartlett leads us to see longterm memory as dynamic-organised by meaning. Recent experimental work on long-term memory has noted different forms of memory. It is not necessarily the case that remembering story-like material or pictorial images is the same as remembering 'facts', events or such things as how to drive a car. The major distinction that has been drawn is between propositional
PSYCHOLOGY AND 'HUMAN NATURE'
knowledge and procedural knowledge (being able to state something and being able to perform some physical action). It was Tulving (1983) who made this distinction as regards memory. He further distinguished between two forms of propositional knowledge: episodic and semantic. The former is to do with personal biographical events; the latter with information or other material which is not dependent on the personal circumstances of its acquisition for its significance. How these different kinds of knowledge may relate to cognitive systems is controversial. It is of interest here, however, that the study of the semantic memory takes up, in a rather abstract form, the idea of organisation through meaning. Bartlett, however, stressed the personal meaningfulness-schemata and situationsunderlying recall, and did so in a way which would definitely bring episodic and semantic memory together. Current research on semantic memory (e.g. Rosch and Lloyd, 1978) attempts to describe networks of similarity and dissimilarity among sets of concepts, often arranging these in hierarchical structures. Rosch takes the view that the environment is experienced in terms of coincidences of attributes, and perception and memory follow suit. For instance, some concepts are linked together in similarity, and are all members of a particular category: wren, robin and sparrow -birds. Plainly, this is a psychological version of taxonomy, and the claim is that the mental furniture of individuals is a personal taxonomy, at least as far as semantic memory is concerned. We will see this view carried through in a somewhat different context in Kelly's theory of personal constructs. This outline of the sequence of cognitive processes, and the sketch of the way in which psychologists have elaborated the description of short-term and long-term storage, will have to suffice. I believe it accurately represents the way in which cognitive psychology develops its portrayal of human nature. Studies of thinking, reasoning, etc., pursue the same tendencies of research: the outcomes of experimental studies are interpreted in terms of algorithms which layout, in the clearest achievable way, the procedures a machine would have to follow were it to reproduce the human behaviour.
and is directly a func tion of consciousness' (1932: 213). and th at ther e is a choice in the m ater ial and manne r of recall.e. H esitation s in th e liter ature over Baddeley's 'central executive' seem to stem from th e concern th at th is fun ction may not be ope n to mo delling. a decision mo tivated by the mea nings of th e material to be remembered in relation to th eir curre nt attitu de. towards the end of the book. the individual ma kes a decision in constructing th e memory.: 214 ). The other mode of cognitivist th ink ing-wh ile not entirely igno ring such information-processing69 . and insisting on the activi ty of the individual in constructing the memory.COGNITI VE PSYCHOLOGY Agency lind consciousness In reite rating. Bartlett credits this theo ry with th e virtue of giving 'to consciousness a definite func tion other th an th e mere fact of being aware' (ibid. In no ting Welford's attempt to treat com plex men ta l processes in terms of machine ana logies rather tha n by th e use of the everyday t er min ol ogy of thin kin g. I have concentra te d on th e cog nitivist account of th e way in which information is processed mentally. Bartlett wrote that such cons truc tion is gui ded by a personal orien tation to th e material to be recalled. Co nsciousness pro vides the individual wit h the capacity to 'turn round on their own schema ta' . which is 'an effect of the organism's capacity to turn round upon its own "sc hemata". I referred t o the gene ral coyness of cog nitivists concerni ng consciousness. for it sugges ts conscious activity. Bartlett 's sta nce here is of great interest because it indicates th at individuals are active in rememb er ing (they are agents). Individual cognitions: Kelly's Personal Construct Theory So far. The problem with consciousness as an element in a cognitive mod el is th at it appears to dem and a loosening of th e determinism which mod elling requires. his rejection of the idea of remem bering as invo lving th e re-excit at ion of tr aces.i. to consider the less-than-perfectly structured mater ial-and orga nise it into a 'memo ry' . In other wo rds.
th e per son acts n ot in accorda nce w ith th e way th e wo rld actually is but accor ding to his or her 'constru ctio n' of it. For Kell y. Geo rge A.PSYCHOLOGY A N D ' HUMAN NATURE' nevertheless focuses on the pr oduct of such processing: person al cognitio ns. As an ai d t o th is an d othe r in vesti gati on s-for ther ap y or research-a logical scheme by w hi ch the researcher mi ght spe ci fy in a n organise d way individu al s' construct sys te ms was so ug ht.Kelly is usually viewe d as a clear examp le of th e cognitive approach in psychology. by con sciou s reflection on th eir construction of the worl d. one w hich wo uld facil it at e assessme nt wi tho ut sacrifi cing eithe r individu al ity or ch an geability. An initial orienta tion was to view the person as acting as an informal scientist who views th e wo rld ('events ') by way of cat egor ies o f interpretat ion (' co ns tr ucts') w hi ch are o pe n t o modificati on in th e light of ex perience. Kelly was trying to do Kelly put for ward a specific versio n of th e objectives of cognitive psychologists. specifically. It need s to be point ed out th at thi s is not th e only read ing of Kelly. th e direction in which they chose to develop th eir activity is th e matter of interest. 70 .' What. 1992 ). it d oes see m that . believin g that an a pproach t o under st anding can be mad e by comp ar in g the acto rs' con struct systems. th e 'Fundam ental Postulat e' ex presses this: 'A person 's processes are psychologically channellised by the way in which he [sic] anticipates events. for Kelly. Since reappraisal of thi s direction is th ou ght possible. To th is extent his wo rk is cognitivist. this part of the theory is lab ell ed 'constructive alternativism'. M ah er's ed ited co llection of Kelly's pap ers (1969) shows an em phasis on beh aviour rather th an th e mental aspects of constru ing (see also Burr and Butt. Kelly inte n de d t o m od el so me as pects of social activity. In ado pting thi s mod el. he treated the individual as 'na tura lly active' (so a theory of mot ivation of the usual kind is not useful). H owever.
COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY The form'" theory The theory which embodies Kelly's aims is laid out. a given construct is only relevant for certain events (Corollary 6). Some apply to a very wide range of events. at the most abstract level. roughly in keeping with the original (gender insensitive) language of A Theory ofPersonal Constructs (1955). seems equivalent. Corollary 8 tells us that constructs. And each construct is treated as bipolar. In perceiving an event. Construct systems are ordered hierarchically (Corollary 3) -there being more general constructs which can be broken down into more specific ones. Kelly is explicit that the individual may be faced with a situation which is outside the scope of their understanding (it seems that an event can be perceived in some way. but arises rather from the person's construction of the current events. differ in their flexibility. How the person actually uses the construct system is indicated in Corollary 5. for. in Box 3. since Corollary 9 makes it explicit that a person can be found to view one event in a way that seems to contradict their construction of another event which. since good carries with it as part of its meaning not bad. The structure of construct systems. 'good-bad' is a bipolar construct (Corollary 4). others are very specific. the person chooses to construe it in a way that makes for 'the greater possibility for extension and definition of his system' . Some corollaries deal with the common structure which it is supposed all 'construct systems' have.1. The construing of events. It is put rather oddly. moreover. but the person realises that they cannot adequately construe it). and therefore the systems of which they are a part. although Corollary 2 tells us that individuals differ in their construction of events. to be universal. to the outsider. the actual structure of construct systems is supposed. Such a construction is based on the representations of this category of event which have been built up from past experience (Corollary 7). The theory allows for the lack of pure logic in human cognition. The fundamental postulate is the core assumption of cognitive theory generally: the activity of a person is not a direct response to the 'objective' situation. 71 .
even if th e fit is rough and rations in the syst em of cognition its elf . a construction system embracing ordinal relationships between constructs A person's construct system is composed of a finite number of dichotomous constructs A person chooses for himself that alternative in a dichotomised construct through which he anticipates the greater possibility for extension and definition of his system So the occurrence of an eve nt is not just categorised usin g the construct which is most ready-to-hand. in which the new ex perience is dealt with ready. and 72 . Kell y allows for both forms of cognitive de velopment which Piaget (1977) described: assimilation.1 Kelly's formal theory Postulate and corollari es Fundamental postulate 1 2 3 Construction corollary Individuality corollary Organisation corollary D efinitions 4 Dichotomy corollary Choice corollary 5 A person's proc esses are psychologically channellised by the ways in which he anticipates events A person anticipates events by construing their replications Persons differ from each other in their construction of events Each person characteristically evolves. In this wa y. for his convenience in anticipating events. Rather.PSYCHOLOGY AND ' HUMAN NATURE' Box 3. the event is used to develop distinctions and elaboin t erms of a wa y of thinking or acting already in ex iste n ce .
The Indi viduality Coro llary. In fact. which has already been mentioned. Th e individual and oth ers. in which thought or action is alt ered in a manner appropriate to the novel experience. Coro llar ies 10 and 11 provide constraints 73 . he may playa part in a social process involving the other person accomm odation. might make it seem that each construct syst em had unique contents.COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY Postulate and corollaries 6 Range corollary Definitions 7 8 9 10 11 A construct is convenient for the anticipation of a finite range of events only Experience A person's construction system varies as corollary he successively construes the replications of events The variation in a person's construction Modulation system is limited by the permeability corollary of the constructs within whose range of convenience the variants lie A person may successively employ a Fragmentation corollary variety of construction subsystems which are inferentially incompatible with each other To the extent that one person employs Commonality corollary a construction of experience which is similar to that employed by another. and that therefore an individual's construction of an eve n t would be quite idios yncratic and unpredictable. his psychological processes are similar to that of the other person To the extent that one person construes Sociality corollary the construction processes of another.
do es provide the beginnings of an approach to sexual orientation . we will find ourselves disappointed . knowledge of the perspectives of other people though these ma y not be shar ed by the 74 . The Sociality Coro llary allows for the individual to include within their system of cognition. By definition. but a shar ed langu age is at least one major reason to suppose a great deal of commonality-and common-ality means shared mental processes according to Kelly. with accompanying emotional distress. sexual orientation is likely to be seen in the way a person construes individuals on the construct 'attractive to me' . but at least Construct Theory can provide us with links. in the welter of constructs and elements of a person's construct system. There is no theory of the development of sexual orientation (gay or straight). Kelly would exp ect. It would be a matter of empirical research to find out the extent to which a particular group of people shar ed constructs in common. Even subtle aspects of the processing of information are unlikely to vary with sexual orientation-and if such a discovery were made. At the psychological level. on individuality. signs of denial and signs that the person disavows the self-concept 'homosexual' may also be found-the cognitive consequences of social stigma. a mapping of the interpersonal attitudes and preferences-some sexual-which would at least describe the 'mental world' of an individual homosexual. that which looks at actual cognitions. A disrupted system of personal constructs may therefore occur. the question is one of self-acceptance. in an individual case.PSYCHOLOGY AND ' HUMAN NATURE' Box 3.2 Cognitive theory and homosexuality If w e look to res earch on cognitive m ental processes for findings concerning homosexuality. But the other aspect of cognitive research. between the sexual realm and the other dimensions of the construed environment . it is unclear what its meaning would be. Giv en that homosexuality-particularly male homosexuality-remains only patchily accepted in our society currently.
2 I indi cate the way in which Kelly's approach would deal w ith our them atic exa mp le of hom osexu alit y. seems only to be obta ina ble through th e con struct system itself. I a m a n o b jec t of m y own cogni tio na m atter th at is devel op ed in grea t det a il by Sa r t re.COGNITI VE PSYCHOLOGY individual them-selves. as we sha ll see in Cha p te r 5 . requires know ledge of th is sort. Emotions relate to the awa reness th at the system is in some tr an sition al sta te or other. of course. To interact with another person. threat . ad ulthoo d for the ado lesce n t . They were tak en to be constructs abo ut the state of the construct system. In Box 3. An d the in divi dua l's con struct ion o f th eir own per son al a tt ri b utes wi ll b e inclu ded w it h in th e con struct sys te m alo ng wi th their con struction s o f the attri b utes of ot he rs. power for the humble an d death for nearly all of us tend t o pr ovok e anxiety. It is im po rta nt to me n tio n th at sel f is. (Bannister and Fran sella. for Kell y. It is the un kn own as pects of things th at go bump in the ni ght that give them their p ot ency. for kn owledge of th e 'outer wo rld'. con struing in th e dir ect sense but also awareness of th e sta te of the construct system and its relationship to the 'o utside wo rld' . fear an d aggressio n. In thi s sense . hostility. 1971 :35 ) The thing to n otic e is th at th e emo tions seem to require two levels of cogn ition . which seems necessar y to evalua te th e sta te of th e con struct system. 75 . guilt. a co ns t r uc t lik e a ny ot he r. So in anxie ty. In some ways thi s acco unt of th e emo tio ns con stitutes a difficulty wi th th e th eor y. Change in construing and the emotions Kelly dealt with th e emo tio ns of anx iety. events which confro nt th e per son are 'mos tly outside th e ran ge of con veni ence' of his or her con struct system: We bec om e a nxio us w he n we can on ly partiall y construe the eve n ts w hi ch we en co un te r a n d t o o m any of their im p lica tio ns are o bs cure . Sex for the ch ast e.
. Dualism in this context refers to the radical separation between a mental. the central executive is plainly synonymous with consciousness. the representation of the furniture of the mind is by way of a model of semantic knowledge which provides an over organised. we have no direct immediate access to the world.. It can be seen to presuppose a mechanistic view of human nature. Yet there is no explicit account of consciousness (if it is acknowledged). 1967:3) 76 . It is odd for such a major phenomenon to be taken for granted when such minutiae as the kind of coding in long-term memory is treated with enormous care. how is information that challenges the current constructs registered? How.. not only by the organs of sense but by complex systems which interpret and reinterpret sensory information. in theories of the Kellian kind. Whatever we know about reality has been mediated. can change occur? And how is 'constructive alternativism' made possible? An explicit theory of consciousness seems to be necessary. subjective.. nor to any of its properties. material. the modelling of cognitive processes is regarded as unsatisfactory by humanistic psychologists. over-articulate and unduly verbal account of the psychological realm. The role of consciousness in the cognitive approach is ambiguous. Neisser (1967) specifically asserts a dualistic cognitive view: There certainly is a real world. Similarly. Bartlett and Kelly both see consciousness in terms of reflection and choice. if all our awareness is in terms of the system of constructs. public world. However. In this vein. Criticisms Objection may be raised concerning the artificiality of models of cognitive processes and of cognitions.PSYCHOLOGY AND 'HUMAN NATURE' Related to this is the problem that. (Neisser.. therefore. In Baddeley's account of working memory. There is a certain dualism in cognitivist theory. private world and an outer.
COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY The behaviourist B. for we should have to start all over again and ask how the organism sees a picture in its occipital cortex. 1964:87) Cognitive psychology generally suffers from the fact that. In many quarters this would be regarded as a triumph in the physiology of vision. It is most convenient. Summary What is cognitive psychology's understanding of human nature? I address the question by means of the usual set of categories. we find that all the complexity of the outer world has to be imported to the mind. when developed. we must then start all over again and ex plain how the organism sees the reconstruction. yielded a reasonable copy of a current visual stimulus . indeed. whose extreme anti-dualism I describe in the next chapter.. and equivalent notions 77 . (Skinner. responds directly to this 'illusion of a double world': Suppose someone were to coat the occipital lobes of the brain with a special photographic emulsion which.. scrambled in transmission but later reconstructed in the brain. The same may be said of theories according to which the brain interprets signals sent to it and in some sense reconstructs external stimuli. when the attempt is made to model the 'inner' subjective representation of an aspect of the 'outer' world adequately.F. being conscious is having the capacity to construe the world.. Consciousness of some event is governed by the schemata or constructs by which it is represented mentally. If the real world is. • Consciousness. for both organism and psychophysiologist if the extern al world is never copied-if the world we know is simply the world around us.Skinner. Yet nothing could be more disastrous. As a process. But 'constructive alternativism'.
D. Lindsay.]. 78 . P. More recent are: Anderson.A. Self is a concept.R. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts. Cognitive psychology does not presuppose any special relationship one might have with one's own body. subject to construction processes like anything else in one's world. P. but via one's construal of the world. The body is an element or complex set of elements within one's world. Bartlett (1932:309) almost triumphantly set aside the hypothesis of a 'substantial unitary Self. The self. P. (1990) Cognitive Psychology and its Implications (3rd edn). Further reading A number of eminent researchers in cognitive psychology have provided summaries of the field. The physical world is responded to in a way which is determined by one's construction of it.H. lurking behind all experience'. One does not act 'directly' in response to the 'objective' features of the world. There is no specific place for a 'self' in models of cognitive processes. U. The body. New York: Academic Press. (1996) Understanding Cognition. ]. The earliest is Neisser. but has no different kind of representation within the cognitive system. That there are very central and elaborate constructs or schemata regarding people may be because of their importance to the individual's welfare. New York: Freeman. Other people. An Introduction to Psychology. indicates that the individual can revise their construction of events-whether this is done 'at will' or not is left inexplicit. Hampson. and Norman. and Morris. There is no particular theoretical reason within cognitive psychology for other people to be regarded as being of any different status to objects of the physical world.PSYCHOLOGY AND 'HUMAN NATURE' • • • • of cognitive choice. One's self-concept is of great importance. (1972) Human Information Processing. (1967) Cognitive Psychology. and the predominance of others in the significant events of everyday experience.E.
Bannister. and Fransella. London: Whurr. D. T. (1955) Th e Psychology of Personal Constructs (2 vols). 1991. V. New York : Norton [reprinted. (1986) Inquirin g Man : Th e Th eory of Personal Constructs (3rd edn ). London: Routledge. Kelly.A. Virtually all general texts on personalit y ha ve some reference to Kelly' s work (not always under stood to be cognitive) . and Butt.COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY O xford : Black well. F. London: Routledge]. G. (1992) Invitation to Personal Co nstruct Psychology. 79 . Burr.
negative reinforcement and punishment Schedules of reinforcement: ratio. fixed. variable Interpersonal relations and personal agency Skinner's hermeneutics Inner experience. feelings Perceiving 'Verbal behaviour' Thinking 'Knowing how' versus 'knowing 83 85 85 86 86 88 " :r a -a I11III CD II1II • • 88 90 91 92 93 94 81 . reinforcement Shaping and chaining Positive reinforcement.he world: Skinner's radical behaviourism • • What Skinner was trying to do The key concepts of radical behaviourism Operant conditioning: responses.Chapter 4 •••No' separable from . interval. stimuli.
th ink in g a n d so on. B. specifically it s du alism.Skinner (1904. 19 80 :333 ) th at h e did n ot w ri te h is b ook Beyon d freed om and Dignity (1971)! R ather.F. Hi s viewpoint constitutes a critique of the cognitivist approa ch to th ese things. H e is quite willing to discuss thinking. perceiving and the rest. An entry in th at book sets th e scene for our investigat ion of Skinner's a p proach t o human n ature. These jottin gs (Ski nne r. since they show the a uthor tryin g t o under st and d ail y occur re nces w ithi n hi s own fr amew ork. he arg ues th at it is sim ply the pr oduct of hi s gene tic H 82 .19 90) kept informal n oteb o ok s of hi s o pi nions an d in te r pre ta tio ns on a very wi de ran ge of m atter s. The best description of th e ' inside of th e head ' is th at chemic al and electrical events occur th ere in darkness. No te boo k s. But Ski n ne r's is n ot a m eth od ol ogic al behaviourism. H e asse rts (Skinne r.that' Rememb ering Self-knowledge and freedom 95 95 97 98 • • • Criticisms Summary Further reading 100 101 I ST O R I C A LLY. Cog nitive psych ology began to insist on th e realit y of inner processes. It is certainl y not th e place to look for th e basic features of human nature. COGN ITIVE P SY C H OL O GY emerged as a cr itiqu e of m eth odological beh aviourism-the idea th at mental pro cesses could not be the object of scientific study becau se th ey were n ot open to observa tio n. So it is right to con sider Sk inner's beh aviourism as a contemp or ar y critique of cogn iti vism-and one which lead s n aturally to th e later chapter s. mem or y. leading to studies of perc epti on. 19 80 ) are of great in te res t fr om o ur p oint of view.
barricading the doors. rather. (Skinner. the tumour had.SKINNER'S RADICAL BEHAVIOURISM endowment and personal history 'working through' him.. interior and exterior are equally parts of the world. Whatever effect. What Skinner was trying to do Skinner's is a materialist psychology. Skinner notes the fact that the murderer was found to have a brain tumour. but is to be seen simply as the place where a very wide range of variables interplay. He described himself as a gun addict.. and the attempt of psychology to separate out the 'psyche' and its activity is misplaced. The person is an intrinsic part of the flow of causes and effects in the material world as a whole. Nobody. In commentary on a case of mass murder. A jotting from the Notebooks puts his point of view pointedly.. The boy's father unwittingly got closer to the real causes. and so interest should be turned away from the 'interior' of the individual.. 1980:4) 83 . But the environmental history gets little notice. Furthermore. His name is on the spine and there is no suggestion that it was plagiarised. the person is not an originator of 'their' activity. he brought up his boys to shoot.. The mental and physiological fictions prevail.. it did not cause the behaviour of taking an arsenal of guns and ammunition to a tower. was the author of Beyond Freedom and Dignity. Though psychology is a biological science it is beside the point to wait for results from studies of inner bodily mechanisms before setting out to investigate behaviour. or. But what Skinner is saying is that any person is continuous with the web of causes and effects in the world as a whole. What can this mean? Of course Skinner was the author of the book. But he rejects the idea that the tumour was the cause of the criminal behaviour. and shooting innocent people . The boy was in the Marines-taught to shoot again.. if any. in this sense.
as we have seen in the critique section of the previous chapter. for instance in regarding conscious perception as an interpretation of physical sensations. The tumour may have had some facilitating influence. where the external world is somehow related to a quite distinct inner world of mental activity. Emphatically. 'public' world. We have already met the problem of dualism in looking at cognitive psychology. subjective. 1967. This idea is rejected by Skinner. Feelings and thoughts are behaviour for Skinner. physical world and an inner. 84 . but could never explain the actual behaviour of the murderer. In rejecting this.PSYCHOLOGY AND 'HUMAN NATURE' Behaviour finds its source in 'controlling forces in the environment'. 'private' world is not different in kind from the outer. But 'environment' can be seen to include the body. He argues that we know the inner world through exactly the same processes that we know the outer world. Skinner points out that there is a widespread assumption that a person has a special kind of access to their own 'inner world' which is different from how they get knowledge of their surroundings (including other people). 1992). Most psychologists retain this dualistic model. Skinner's non-dualist stance entails a rejection of the 'illusion of the double world' -the dualism of an outer. objective. The inner. Valentine. Skinner acknowledged the role of the person's genetic endowment but asserted that the major factors which explain behaviour are environmental ones. This view is rejected by Skinner (1964). psychological copy. There is to be no gulf between the mind and the material world (see Kvale and Grenness. We need to remember that environment refers to the regions inside the skin as well as the body's surroundings. Skinner sought to develop an approach which was anti-dualist. and the usual connotation of the word as suggesting 'outer' in contrast to 'inner' must be set aside. Another feature of the dualistic view is a 'bifurcation of the public and private worlds'.
Skinner (198 0:162. a radical beh aviourist begin s wi th id entifyin g a certain m ovem ent-an opera nt-a spontaneous response which operates on the environment.is said to reinforce the behaviour. guess what particular features of the baby's setting constituted stimuli for the crying) the behaviour will be evoked again.SKINNER'S RADICAL BEHAVIOURISM The key concepts of radical behaviourism Operant conditioning: responses. Unawar es. it is said to be reinforcing. an opera nt may be succeeded by enviro nmenta l circumstanc es which are contingent upon the opera nt. they are con sequ ences of it. In describing behaviour such as th e bab y' s crying. Given such stim ulus conditions. The condition of the environment following the response-contingent it (in our case. the father's 'comforting' actions) and which has had the effect of strengthening it. At first Skinner was pu zzled by th e crying. M aybe initially the baby spontaneously uttered an insignificant 'protocry' . reinforcement Tak e th is exa m ple from th e No teboo ks. at a particular tim e when it just so happ ens th at cert ain stimulus condition s exist. th e father responded ' by shifting th e bab y in his arms. The vario us activities of the father were contingent upon the baby's cry. A class of respon ses has been affected by th e con sequ enc es. th e bab y is in arms. Such an opera nt will occur. witho ut furth er evidence. of course. stimuli. jiggling it.163) reports noticing a man at an airport who was apparently doin g his best to comf ort his crying bab y.tha t is. in an otherw ise meagre setting: th e fam ily is 'waiting' . In circumstances of a similar kind (we cann ot. but th en th e reason for it becam e plain . 85 • . th e father was actua lly 'reinforcing' th e crying. In Skinner's exa mp le. Since the father 's behaviour seems to have had th e effect of strengthening the baby' s opera nt behaviour. Each tim e th e bab y began to cry. The response is said to be under stim ulus control. When thi s kind of event has occurred-an operant has been strengthened by contin gent reinforcement-then: • • Th e process is called ope ra nt cond itio ning. or lifting it high in th e air'.
The only criterion for a contingent stimulus situation to be called a reinforcer is that it strengthens a r esponse . precisely the behaviour that they intend to suppress . which in turn can occasion a further extended sequence of behaviour. the initial state of the operant may not have been a full cry. For instance. further behavioural elements can be chained onto it. negative reinforcement and punishment We can see now that a parent can reinforc e. But more significantly. So the infant who is comforted on awakening and crying during the small hours of the night is likely to have that unfortunate behaviour reinforced. The main focus of attention of 86 . The controlled movement of the mouse allows th e conditioning of ever more subtle behaviours. a complex piece of behaviour can be learned. as I indicated.PSYCHOLOGY AND 'HUMAN NATURE' Shaping and chaining Now. the intensity of behaviour can be increased-the father's actions would elicit ever more 'enthusiastic' crying. starting off from a quite simple movement. And. but some insignificant vocalisation. It is important to see that reinforcement does not carry the same meaning as 'reward' . having successfully stabilised a given operant. Positive reinforcement. But through shaping.so leftclicking on a particular point on the screen brings down a menu. And no 'inner state' of the individual is referred to by the term 'reinforcement'. Th er e is no implication that it is 'felt' to be pleasurable (anxiously searching the horizon for an enemy is likely to be reinforced on occasions when enemies actually appear-but this is not pleasurable or rewarding in any usual sense). initial clumsy attempts at using a computer mouse to click on an icon become pr ecise and controlled over a period of time du e to the reinforcing feedback from the screen-or better. the environment has acquired increasingly effective control over the behaviour entailed in moving the cursor using the mouse. entirely unintentionally.
The child will sleep. Th is d oes n ot call for so me spe cia l kind of cont in gent st im u lus. It is ge ne ra lly th ou ght by layp eople th at puni shment wi ll r educ e the st re ngt h of th e pr ec edin g beh aviour. but one which. Ski nne r regard s punishment as ine ffi cie n t for learnin g. What is reall y required is that the resp on se is ex tingu ished. And it is for thi s reason th at th eir wi th drawal of comf ort is so difficult-they are them selves bein g deprived of negati ve reinforc em ent. r ath er th an puni shment. The negati vit y (confusing ly) lies in the pr e-ex ist in g sit ua tion. as the term might sugges t. if pati ently en dure d. th e removal of an ave rsive stim ulus situa tio n may be r einfor cin g . is n ot th e infant but th e p ar ents them selves. In ot he r wo r ds. t o whom the poor. igno ri ng untow ard beha viour is ofte n th e ap p rop r ia te t echniqu e. but sim p ly th at th e r esp on se is n ot reinforced . for the parents in the recent exa mp le the cr yin g of the wa kef ul infant in the n ight sets up precisely the kind of negat ive conditions whi ch m ak e it rein forcing to them t o comfort the infant. is virtua lly ass ure d of success . only posit ive reinforcem ent h as been mentioned . No te. avoi di ng 'ge t t ing c au ght ' is w ha t pun ishment t e ach es th e mi scr eant in so me imp ortant situatio ns. 87 . But equa lly. n ot in the reinforcem ent. The situa tio n in which an ave rs ive situatio n is contingent on beh aviour is usu all y call ed 'p unishme nt'. si t ua tio ns sho u ld n ot be se t up so as t o o ccasio n undesir able beh aviour. In fact. Sk in ne r see ms t o think th at it sim p ly ' dr ives th e resp on se und er gr ound ' . whi ch is differ ent fr om n egative reinforcem ent. They mu st be t au ght n ot t o reinforce wa kef ulness-an exceedingly h arrow ing learning experience for th em . But in fact. it i s n ot cl ear pr eci sel y w ha t is r einforc ed-n ot ori ou sl y. ev ide nce th at punishment actually reduces resp on se stre ng th is lacking. tired pa re nts of infants wi th 'ina ppro pria te sleep patterns' go for help . Even if it we re obse rve d th at punishment does th is.the reinforcem ent-is n ot itsel f aversive. Thi s is n eg ati ve r einforc ement . So far.SKINNER'S RADICAL BEHAVIOURISM th e advisers. th e contingent sti m ulus situatio n. f or th e beh a vi our d o es r em a in wi t hi n th e per son's rep ertoire. Id eall y.
variable Skinner lays grea t stress on the frequ ency and manner of delivery of reinforcement s. th e behaviour th erapist determines pr ecisely what th e behaviour is which is felt to be undesirable. For exa m ple. behaviour between individuals sim ply entailed processes of reinforcement. interval. A great deal is known about the differences in experimental situations in the effectiveness of different reinforcement schedules (e. H e would expect both to be as effective as each other. fixed. what the enviro nmenta l sit u a t io n is in wh ich th e unwant ed beha viour occur s. reinforcement of bar-pressing may be delivered in a number of wa ys. For him. Ferster and Skinner. In th e sort of experimental cage (called by others a 'Skinner Box' ) which dispenses food pellets at a frequ ency related to the rat' s pressing of a lever. in both cas es. 1980:262 ) as if thi s labelled a distinct an d mysterious realm of human contact. Each person is part of th e stimulus situation for th e other. 195 7). Sim ila rly. and po ssibly a source of reinforcement . h e wa s im p a tie n t with talk of 'interp er sonal rel ations' (Skinner. There are many such alternative reinforcem ent schedules. or after a cert ain length of time (an 'interval schedule'). and 88 . Food could app ear after a certa in number of presses (a 'r ati o schedule') . Both rati o and interval types may themselves be differentiated into fixed schedules and th ose in which the schedule varies in some way. he asserted th e equivalence of machine and per son as a teacher (Skinner. 1980:273). But there is nothing distinctive about the 'meaning' of person s for each other.may be by increasing the length of tim e or number of presses befor e reinforcement is obtained. Interpersonal relations and personal agency Skinner did not see an y need to distingui sh between 'typ es' of reinforcer. always assuming that. In a nutshell. th e material is arranged in the order in which it is mo st effectively acquired.g.PSYCHOLOGY AND ' HUMAN NATURE' Schedules of reinforcement: ratio. Skinnerian th inking has had eno rmo us influenc e on th erapy.
and possibly some built-in susceptibilities to particular visual forms and particular modes of stimulation-these are about the closest nature could come. 1980:331) On this account. various forms of sexual stimulation. but nature could not be too specific. Not surprisingly. We have seen in the ex am ple of inappropriate sleep patterns in th e infant how such work might be carried out in a sim ple cas e.' can be extended to sexual behavior. which are not otherwise related to survival. (Skinner. ha ving specified a preferred target behaviour to replac e it. Skinner speculates about homosexuality as being the consequence of an unavoidable lack of specificity in the genetically programmed receptiveness to sexually relevant stimuli: The argument that operant conditioning was 'the best thing that nature could do. (Th e emph as is is on th e current causes of behaviour. Strong personal affection.1 Skinner on homosexuality In his informal Notebooks.1 I indicate some of th e implications of Skinnerian behaviourism for homosexuality.) Then. But they produce homosexual and asexual behavior. he is generally regarded as a 89 . what reinforcement sustains it. In Box 4 . behavioural approaches have in the past been used in order to attempt to re-orientate homosexuality. Heterosexual behavior is closely related to contingencies of survival. in view of Skinner's technical research on th e process of operant conditioning. not th e search for th e biographical origin of th e problem. Notoriously. gay and straight sexuality are equally learned orientations. the conditions surrounding th e behaviourespecially contingent reinforcement-are manipulated so that the de sir ed target behaviour is conditioned.SKINNER'S RADICAL BEHAVIOURISM Box 4.
I believe.. Skinner is best understood as developing a very general psychological theory covering the totality of human activity. as a requirement of scientific method. inner events should be regarded as non-existent. more profitable to view his work as having much wider impact than as a contribution to the study of a specific psychological function. but he does question whether the usual psychological language is appropriate. Methodological behaviourists tended merely to argue that. The way in which we are immersed in this structure is through the contingent reinforcement of behaviour. a hermeneutics. radical behaviourism is an interpretative and clarifying effort. Some can be 'translated into behaviour'. He does not rule out private events..makes it possible to interpret a wide range of mentalistic expressions . Central to it is a perspective on human nature as inextricably part of the world's web of cause and effect. Skinner. As we saw in Skinner's own denial of his authorship of Beyond freedom and Dignity. Our increasing knowledge of the control exerted by the environment. (Skinner. in contrast. 1993:17) It is to the environment that one looks for causes of behaviourso Skinner criticises again the views of cognitive psychology as a dualism: 90 . Skinner's hermeneutics Skinner's work often takes the form of a criticism and re-interpretation of psychological concepts. problems of dualism do not arise because 'states of mind' are bypassed. the individual makes no 'personal' contribution to the process.. Intent on avoiding the dualism of the cognitive viewpoint. others discarded as unnecessary or meaningless. meets dualism head on. A key text of this kind is About Behaviourism (1993). It is. This decision having been made. .PSYCHOLOGY AND 'HUMAN NATURE' learning theorist..
a kind of doppelgan ger. . and having sto red th e effects of contingencies of reinforcement as knowledge and rules. a respon se. and in thi s way we becom e able to lab el such stim uli. Skinner discusses th e situa tio n in which a mu sical th eme 'frustr at es our expecta tions' (Ski nner. In dealing w ith feelings. Skinne r pr ovid es a numb er of interpretat ion s which link th em wi th events which can occur in schedules of reinforcement . Given th at Skinner regards perc ept ion as an active matter. in listening to a piece of mu sic one is not 91 . other peopl e cannot eas ily lab el th em for us and tell us wha t it is we are feeling. altho ugh th e bod y con stitutes a ' priva te wo rld'. I w ill n ow outli ne so me of hi s exe rcises in such herm eneut ics. Therefor e. Inn er sensa tions become kn own in th e same way as outer stimuli. a herm eneutics of th e 'mental' . But we kn ow th e 'sma ll part of un iver se' within th e skin less well than the public world.thirst might be an example of thi s. For instance.. it is n ot different in kind from th e rest of the cosmos. leelings For Skinner. The No tebooks give a concrete exam ple of th is. will. Genera lly other peopl e lab el our behaviour as 'due to' inn er stim uli.The mental appa ra tus stu died by cognitive psychology is sim ply a rather crude versio n of contingencies of reinforcement and th eir effects. becau se the contingencies of reinforcement by which we learn are not so eas ily amena ble to social manipulation . 1980:28). 1978:10 9-110 ) Skinner pro vides an interpreta tive method. (Skinner. n ot unl ike th e classical h omunculus.SKINNER'S RADICAL BEHAVIOURISM H aving moved th e enviro nment inside th e head in th e form of con sciou s experience and behaviour in th e form of intention . 'The exp ression "frustr ated ex pecta tio ns" refer s specifically to a condition pr oduced by the terminati on of accusto med reinforc ement' (Skinner. an d ch oice. cognitive psychologists put them all togeth er to compose an intern al sim ulacru m of th e orga nis m. th en . 1993:58 ). Inner experience. The events th e reinforcement are 'a bo ut' are not ava ilable for others' scru tiny.
Instead.PSYCHOLOGY AND 'HUMAN NATURE' passively absorbing it but is actively engaged. Maybe the activity will involve covertly singing along with the theme. It is worth noting here that recently behaviourists have set aside Skinner's assertion that 'inner processes' such as thinking and feeling are purely responses and can have no determinative effect on behaviour. In any case. and they will produce consequences. Maybe it will be noting the musical structure. The schedule of reinforcement has been interrupted. the paper was lifted with the cup but then fell onto his hand. The composition deviates from the usual. he insists that perception is the 92 . when he picked up the cup. Of course such innovation could be delightful. In general. he argues that feelings or states of mind are not themselves causes of behaviour but are by-products of the environmental contingencies which are the real cause. the perceiving is therefore under the control of earlier stimulus situations (dripping coffee). Pereeiving Skinner (1980:256) reports a misperception due to the context. This adjustment of Skinnerian theory has profound implications. Skinner denies the need for the cognitive inner mechanism whereby raw stimuli are 'interpreted'. Skinner responded to the touch of the paper as if it were liquid-a drip from the cup -and moved to wipe it. a well-learned response based on the way the music has gone so far turns out to be inappropriate. then thoughts and feelings must be involved in the flow of cause-and-effect. and which leads to the achievement of perception. The point of this instance is to indicate that perception is regarded by Skinner as an intrinsic part of the total structure of environment and behaviour. He had been using a small piece of paper as a coaster for his coffee cup. and. This prejudice in any case goes against the major premise of his behaviourism that the individual is an inseparable part of the cosmos as a whole: if this is true. when our expectations are frustrated. The response (wiping) is perceiving. butdelightful or frustrating-the feeling is a response.
warnings. When the verbal community begin to reinforce or (less effectively) punish behaviour on the basis of a label of 'good' or 'bad' and perhaps even lay down explicit rules. the rules will be 'with them'.. 1957. folklore. this is precisely the problem.' beh"viour' Language has been a major area of contention between Skinnerians and their opponents. Why not? Skinner may seem to be simply objecting to the imagery of 'internalisation'. in line with his overall critique of dualistic cognitivism. maxims. But this imagery implies that a person may be affected by the rules to such an extent that. 1959). But. Skinner emphasises that 'a person who learns these rules and behaves by explicitly following them still has not internalised them. 1993:78). Language enables the 'verbal community' to develop commands. Thus 'rules' can be acquired which are to be regarded as part of the stimulus environment and therefore can come to playa part in the control of behaviour. was that verbal behaviour allows the person to become aware of their own contingencies of reinforcement-the causes of their actions. 'We have no reason to say that he has stored information which he now retrieves in order to interpret the evidence of his senses' (Skinner. whatever situation they are in. these can constitute part of the stimulus environment and assist both conformity to and enforcement of the norms. We will see this line of argument again in the context of 'memory'. Chomsky. 1993:193). however. instructions. rules.SKINNER'S RADICAL BEHAVIOURISM person's response to the current setting-integral to which is the relevant history of reinforcement (the setting now 'embodies' this history) . directions. advice. centring on the question of whether operant conditioning is an adequate account of how children acquire the rules of grammar (Skinner. governing their behaviour. For Skinner. The key thing for Skinner. To identify the rules as having become an 93 . proverbs-all of which mean that behaviour comes under new categories of stimulus control. even when he learns to control himself and thus to adjust even more effectively to the contingencies maintained by the group' (Skinner. 'Verb.
that new verbal behaviour is to be regarded as part of the stimulus environment for a person. though exceedingly high level behaviour. But all this. becomes central to the understanding of Skinner's account of thinking. to avoid even this dualism and regard the environment as having changed as a result of the acquisition of the rule. Better. reinforced or extinguished as it may be by the actual contingencies of the world.. The findings themselves.PSYCHOLOGY AND 'HUMAN NATURE' inner property of the person's mental life distinguishes them unacceptably from the rest of the stimulus environment. [a] verbal environment has evolved in which obscure properties of nature are brought into the control of human behaviour. labelled by the use of verbal or other symbols (themselves acquired by operant conditioning). . and that which is reinforced by its match with reality is selected). according to Skinner. (Skinner. and the scientific law is not properly described as internal to his or her mental life but is part of the environment... 94 . may give rise to the statement of a scientific law (that is. One scientist has said that 'there is excellent reason to believe that the whole world of chemistry is explicable in terms of electrons and the wave functions which describe their location. is describable in terms of reinforcing contingencies and stimulus situations. This is an enormous simplification of thought'. some formulations are generated. The scientist does not have any personal input to the process. Thinking The principle that has just been underlined. but it is the simplification of verbal and practical behaviour rather than of thought. 1993:106) So the behaviour of the scientist.. rather than an inherent property of the person themselves. may lead to the acquisition of new scientific findings. It certainly is an enormous simplification.
They might well find that the verbal formulation 'spirits give me a headache' affected their plans concerning alcohol-use such that spirits were avoided. and the contents of the book then constituted part of his environment. However. in a certain sense. Neither form implies the other. Consider a person whose leisure activity was constrained by the fact that spirits gave them a headache.SKINNER'S RADICAL BEHAVIOURISM This echoes the puzzling pr opo srtron with which this chapter started. 'Knowing how' versus 'knowing th"t' We have seen how language enables contingencies of reinforcement to be constituted as part of the environment. But how does Skinner cover this difference between the direct stimulus control of behaviour and the formulation of verbal 'knowledge' of this process of stimulus control. did lead to a change in the environment for Skinner. 'Knowledge which permits a person to describe contingencies is quite different from the knowledge identified with the shaping of behaviour. therefore coming to control behaviour. 95 . Skinner did not write Beyond Freedom and Dignity.' But knowing how to do mathematics and knowing about the nature of mathematicians' behaviour are different. So 'Mathematicians are likely to describe how mathematicians think. The question is the long-standing one of the distinction between 'knowing how' (or being able to do something) and 'knowing that' (or having a verbal account of how something is done). It is possible to see that. As Skinner (1993:139) puts it. Skinner was the locus wherein the world produced the book. the more-than-complex process whereby a myriad of environmental controls led to differentially reinforced behaviour which eventually culminated in the book.' He complains (1980:211) that people who are expert in particular trades or professions are likely also to be assumed to know the psychology of their trade or profession.
.PSYCHOLOGY AND 'HUMAN NATURE' Remembering Skinner notes that the 'cognitive metaphor' -which he rejects-likens remembering to the use of filing cabinets or notebooks. He tells us of an occasion in which he seemed to be spontaneously recalling events of his childhood. Skinner dismisses all notions of memory as 'storing information in. . especially long-term memory. Being reminded means being made more likely to respond .: 313-314). Similarly. and retrieving it from. These noises are reminiscent of those caused years earli er by his parents' domestic activiti es. is a matter of storage and retrieval is very well est ablished in everyday discourse. but then notices his wife's movements in the kitchen. 1978:109) Rejection of dualism certainly means that the current state of the person-in-environment is an outcome of previous events. There are many instances in Skinner's Notebooks of instances of remembering. they simply change it. one's head': The contingencies which affect an organism are not stored by it.. 96 . As a result. The idea that memory. his ability to playa saxophone after many years of neglect is also a function of the person-inenvironment: The behaving was the remembering.. but these 'memories' are properties of the environment not the mind. all interpreted in environment al terms. the organism behaves in special ways under special kinds of stimulus control. They are never inside it. Future stimuli are effective if they resemble the stimuli which have been part of earlier contingencies . providing an environmental basis for the apparently spontaneous responses of 'remembering' (1980:45). and the stimulus situation that caused the behaviour was the saxophone in his hands ready to be played (ibid. (Skinner..
since one's behaviour is the outcome of the history of reinforcement. The eventual behaviour is the product of reinforcing contingencies: We praise or blame as if people were responsible for their actions. The person is a point at which a host of variables of the material world interact. 'I determine what I shall do next.SKINNER'S RADICAL BEHAVIOURISM Sell-knowledge "nd freedom It is plain that. (Skinner. It is true that Skinner would regard it as fruitless to try to change 'the self' (however this mental entity was construed). But he does indicate that. this is due to the application 97 . it turns out. Unfreedom. One's behaviour is explicable in terms of controlling forces in the environment. for Skinner. 1978:168) Beyond Freedom and Dignity is not his own work in the sense that he originated it or authored it in a fundamental sense. admirable or despicable.' but there is no reason to say 'originator. does not preclude behavioural change. it is possible to engineer the situation so as to avoid circumstances which cause the unfortunate behaviour. or change the reinforcing contingencies. Praising and blaming recognise the individual 'as doer. But any resulting change is due to praise or blame. The person who asserts his freedom by saying. 1980:306-307) Yet Skinner does not regard it as an excuse to say 'that's just how I am' when confronted with one's own undesirable behaviour. lack of freedom is axiomatic. They are right or wrong. which is outside the individual.' (Skinner.' is speaking of freedom in or from a current situation: the I who thus seems to have an option is the product of a history from which it is not free and which in fact determines what it will now do. In so far as we are aware of our own behaviour and the contingencies to which we are subject.
Skinner argues th at radical behaviouri sm does not in fact ignore con sciou sness. Skinner has been criticised for assigning no real role to a self or sense of self. a per son becomes con sciou s in a differ ent sense whe n othe rs-a ver ba l community-arrange contingencies allowing th at the person 'no t only see an object but see th at th ey are seeing it' . Similarly. th en. By 'being con sciou s' Skinner mean s th e ind ividual responds perceptually or by feelings to th ose enviro nmenta l stimuli for which th ere is a histor y of reinforc ement.PSYCHOLOGY A N D ' HUMAN NATURE' of linguistic lab els. . feelings and states of mind. Addi tio na lly. But more fundam ental..There is no place in th e scientific position for a self as true origi na to r or initia to r of actio n. In my view. is the recognition of the per son as 98 . (Skinner. it neglect s th e real meaning of con sciou sness-whi ch is th e irr edu cible person al presence of the individua l to his or her world. All selves are the pr oduct of gene ti c an d envi ro n me n ta l histori es. and so on). th an th is assertio n. th at th e per son is an agent. Self-knowledge is a verbal attempt to identify the contro lling for ces in th e environment to which th e indivi dua l is subject. Criticisms Beh aviourism is said to ignore consciousness. And self-knowledge may well go astray due to unb ehaviour al notion s of wha t one's actio n really is (tha t it is free. 1993:24 8) This view m ay be co unte re d by an oppos ing view po in t w hich asserts th at I am not th e meet ing point of numerous cau sal agencies which det ermine beh aviour. To thi s he unrepentantly pleads guiltybut denies any value to such not ion s. Skinner kn ows nothing of wha t we might term 'interio rity'. however. Th ere is a sense in which Skinner does give a beh avioural account of con sciou sness. in a way. contra Skinner. but h ave an orig ina ry rol e in actio n. th at it is due to certa in per son al cha ra cteristics of an inner kind. H ere awareness is a social product.
It could be arg ued that the 'stimuli' affecting the per son are no lon ger (if they ever we re) a system of distinct 'varia bles'. In Skinner. but rather that he did n ot at any point indicat e that th e human bein g h as t o be so me thing (a self) for w hich the knowl ed ge ex ists. reinforcement is n ot to be t ak en as emo tional reward. Ther e is so me thing irreducibl e an d inescap able abo ut th e n ature of the human bein g as having or o w ning th eir su b je ctive wo rl d . Skinner is adama nt th at an 'ex ternal' viewpo int on the person sho uld be tak en. 99 .SKINNER'S RADICAL BEHAVIOURISM subject. Th is fund am ent al fact is ex ce ptio na lly difficult t o lab el. Phil o so ph er s h ave so me ti mes atte m pte d it. In effect. Ski nne r's almos t exclusive conc ern with opera nt con diti oning as th e one-and-only principle of human behaviour has been widely crit icised. Cho msky's review of Verbal Behaviour. but nor can it be feedback in th e sense of evidence to th e individu al th at their intenti ons have been fulfilled. in which the features of lan gu age acquisitio n were paraded as evidence of unlearned tend enc ies in th e child for abstra cting rules for gra mma r. Yet th e only approach which th e researcher or ther api st can mak e t o th e env iro nme nt of an in dividu al is t o n ot e their subjective resp on ses. It does seem th at th e conc ept cover s a very lar ge number of different kinds of con sequ ences of beh aviour th at oug ht t o be acknowledge d an d distingu ished. an d in the next chapter we sha ll see the em phas is that Sartre places on this issue. This is th e sa me as the point I h ave just m ad e a bo ut the inte riority of con sciou sness. Th e descript ion of experience from the viewpoint of the experiencer-wh at may be call ed th e ph en omen ol ogical view po int-is avoided. But the situations po in te d t o b y th ese m entali st ic n oti on s a re a mo ng th o se 'reinforcement' cover s. was pa rticularly dam aging to th e Skinnerian position. for exa m ple. th at th e wo rld o u ts ide th e h ou se is ' t h rea te n ing ' f or th is s u ffe re r fr om 'agora pho bia'. th e envi ro nme nt becom es sat ura te d wi th perso na l meaning. but a lifeworld mad e up of a we b of meanings. it is still objective. Even if th e enviro nment increasingly tak es on a char acter which includes the perso n's histor y of reinforcement . finding. The im po rta nt point her e is n ot w he the r Ski nne r was a ble t o give a beh aviourist ic inte r pre ta tio n of knowing or the self.
F. and Grenness. Hove : Erlbaum. both compare Skinner to other authors-finding surprising areas of concordance. (1967) 'Skinner and Sartre: Towards a radical phenomenology of behaviour?'. Richelle.Mead : On biological science and social science'.E . Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior.E. 55. B. and Blackman. (1993) About Behaviourism. 101 . (1991) 'B . M .Skinner: A Reappraisal. provides a sympathetic-and scholarly-account. London : Penguin. 251-265.SKINNER'S RADICAL BEHAVIOURISM provided in Skinner. 128-148. 7. S.H. D .Skinner and G .N . Kvale.F. C. Review of Existential Psychology and Psychiatry.F. (1993) B.
Chapter 5 The individual • consciousness: anxiously free in a meaningless world • • What Sartre was trying to do An outline of Sartre's existentialism Phenomenological methodology Consciousness and the objects of consciousness Selfhood and the individual's lack of essential characteristics Self is a 'useless passion' Bad faith Interpersonal relations Conflict in interpersonal relations Existential psychoanalysis Original project Sartre and humanistic psychology Criticisms Summary Further reading 105 106 107 108 110 111 113 114 115 116 116 118 119 • • • 121 122 103 .
or even antagonistic to. I do not believe in the existence of psychology. emphasised. I have not done it and I do not believe it exists' (see Schilpp. What can Sartre have understood psychology to be. We are 'condemned to freedom'. 1981:38). however detailed. this aim is forlorn and the thinking on which it is based is a falsehood. it is right in a book about the diversity of views concerning human nature to consider writers outside. of such things as our environmental circumstances or our biological constitution. The leading existentialist dismissed psychology in the following words. Existentialists challenge the determinism of the majority of psychologists. if it led him to distance himself so strongly from it? After all. 'Quite frankly. Existentialism. Psychology often claims to have the aim of explaining and predicting human actions. the discipline of psychology. As 104 . Being and Nothingness (1958) has a chapter entitled 'Existential Psychoanalysis' . interacting with each other in conformity with certain natural laws. As fellow existentialist Merleau-Ponty (1962:viii). our experience and action is not the outcome of some set of variables. does attack the mainstream of the discipline (though it is also true that it has had a major influence on humanistic psychology).I POINTED OUT IN THE INTRODUCTION. For Sartre. and it is important in this book that arguments against deterministic psychology should be heard. The sense we make of the world is not explicable in terms of the psychologist's knowledge. The horizon of members of the psychological guild is likely to have limitations which only an outsider will challenge. the philosophy with which Jean-Paul Sartre (19051980) is identified. he had written on imagination (1972) and emotion (1962) matters central to psychology-and his major work.
Husserl so ught a descr iption of th e essence of a particular 'phenomenon' -the thing purely as given in ex per ience-as th e ba sis for an y further research activ ity. since th e indi vidu al person is a consciousness. Scientific accounts ar e secon dary elaborations of it: All my knowledge of th e world. personal ex pe r ie n ce is r egard ed b y ph enomen olo gists as primar y.THE INDIVIDUAL CONSCIOUSNESS What Sartre was trying to do To base hi s work on phenomenology. As M erleau-Pont y put it . insisted th at th e conceptu al ba sis of a science mu st be secure d in experience. the study of fear mu st be founded in th e description of the ex perience of fear (th ou gh such w ork might disco ver th at th ere is no typical mode of fear. or from some experience of th e world without which th e sym bols of science would be meaningless. the individual has no 'essence'. an d in relation to which every scientific schema tisation is an abstr act and derivative sign-language. It is on thi s distinction that th e rest of his analysis rests. follo wing th e founder of phen om en ology. a prairie or a river is. 1962: viii. it had to be th e detailed description of fear. 105 . Edmund Husserl (1859. ix) To focu s on th e description of 'human reality' . Sartre. To carry through th e impl ications of th e view that. Consciousness is und erstood to be op en to content. but not to ha ve an y intrinsic characteristics of its own. as is geography in relation to th e countryside in which we ha ve learnt beforeh and what a for est. To return to things th emselves is to return to that world wh ich precedes knowledge. (M erleau-Ponty. even my scientific knowledge. distinguishin g firml y between consciousness and the objects of consciousness. No mere definition of fear w ould do . of which knowledge always speaks. For instanc e. th e separation of consciou sness itself from an ything that one can be consciou s of is a fundam ent al findin g of ph enomenology. This is a 'ret urn to th e things th em selves' . ther e could be severa l).193 8). is gaine d from my own particular point of view. In Sartre' s view.
The othe r per son necessarily con stru e s u s-end o w s u s wi t h ch ar act er ist ic s-and th is 'obj ectificati on' is an implicit con straint on our fr eed om. Thou gh Sartre kn ew very well th at we are fett ered by econo mics. is ex tre mely fr au ght in Sar tre 's view. he understood th e per son to be. Such an existential analysis mu st arr ive at a description of the per son in terms of th e ch oice he or she h as mad e of the kind of per son to be within th eir actual situa tion. An outline of Sartre's existentialism I sha ll treat ea ch of the fi ve as pe cts of Sar t re's ap proach t o hum an n atur e in turn: phen omen ol ogy. a way o f d o in g bi ogr aphic al w r iti ng. a n d a kind of indi vidu al . in te r pe rso na l r el at i on s. the self a n d the essen celess of the in divi d ua l. person al attributes are who lly on the side of the object and this meant for Sartre th at th e per son has no 'dyed-in' features. a n d e xis te n tia l psych o an al ysis. etc. 106 . exis te n t ia l psych oan alysis. the lack of esse nce of a n in div id ua l was a particul arl y va lua ble finding (if th is it was) becau se it was th e foundati on for human freedom. a t o ne a n d th e sa me t im e.. The term 'exis tentia lism' itself refers to th is view th at th e per son is witho ut essential cha ra cteristics and ought primar ily to be th ou ght of as simply an existent. Plainly th is is a major ch allenge t o th e very man y psych ol ogical theor ies which pr ovide cha ra cte r isa t io ns of t yp es of indi vidu al s. At the same time we are obje ctifying them. Sartre's approach to the description o f a p er son is. To pr ovide a method for th e ana lysis of the in dividua l. power. The meet in g o f a fr ee in div id ua l wi t h a no t he r. equa lly fr ee. Such con struing is always open to chan ge.PSYCHOLOGY A N D ' HUMAN NATURE' In the division between co nsciousness /o bjects of co nsc io usness. nevertheless. To in vestigat e the ambiguity of personal relationships . For Sar t re. Interper son al relat ion s are inevitably conflictual. consc io usn ess ve rs us ob jects of con sciou sn ess. a free constructor of the meaning of the situation.
Kell y' s theory. So th e lifeworld is a kind of web of int errelated elements in which th e meaning of each depends on th e rest. 107 . and scientific theori es ar e testable models of th at realit y.and this is only an indication of the appro ach-show that th er e is consid er ably more t o phen omen ol o gical r esearch than a focu s on indi vidual ex penence. Daffodils have a different place in these two lifeworlds. age will interact with other variables. H er e 'fifty-two' is intrinsicall y changed by th e context in which it becomes sa lient . in lived experience. phenom enolo gically based investigat ion is a descripti ve stud y of selected phenomena of the lifeworld of individuals. In contrast. The very meaning is alt ered. Element s of th e lifeworld are not variables (which ar e separate and distinct) because. in a model of some psychological process. Sartre u ses phenomenolo gical description to tease out the mo st general principl es of lived experience. w hi ch is plainly cognitive ) can ge t cat egori sed a s 'phenomenolo gic al' . for instanc e. Take age. Th e ch aract eri stic s of ph en omen ol ogic al research listed in Box 5 . the meaning of one element is dependent on that of the other s. Thus ph enomenology reco gni ses that the configuration of meanings surrounding 'daffodil' will be different for a market gardener pressed by h ard econ o mic condition s and for a po et who wander s unexp ectedly across a ho st of th em. A per son's age as a meaning. an indi vidu al' s age is th e definite value of a variable. the key thin g being the idea that there is an und erlying unequivocal reality. but its numerical value is not affected. In B ein g and Nothin gn ess . Orthodox experimental psycholo gy is 'p ositivistic' (see Chapter 3). is very different. this takes us close to the phenom enological method which Sartre u sed . perceived by th em in th e context of th eir lifeworld. An y theor etic al p ositi on or method of qu alitati ve research that gives a pl ace to the individu al' s point of view (e.1 . For po sitivism. consisting of a web of relationships among specifia ble variables. Now.THE INDIVIDUAL CONSCIOUSNESS Phenomenological methodology Some psych ologist s h ave been slap dash in their application of the term 'phen om en ol ogy' . N o doubt.g.
. the researcher must adopt a particular self-discipline. focus es on th e finding that all perc eiving.g . in the sense of a body of 'known facts'. This sense of int entionality. each part of the description has intrinsic links with each other part.PSYCHOLOGY AND ' HUMAN NATURE' Box 5. or rememb ering. the researcher is debarred from querying the validity of the lifeworld.) . must be bracketed in order to avoid inadvertently importing theories and findings which would distort the description of the lifeworld. It is as it appears to them to be (e. etc . the meaning of one element is only understandable in relation to the situation as a whole. (b) The usual idea of validity must be set aside. but rather tries to develop a description of asp ects of th eir experienced lifeworld-their actual situation as it appears to them (including emotional meanings. which is not to be confused with other senses of th e word such as purposefulness. 1970:240) . Since the research participant's experience is the topic of research.1 Phenomenologically based psychological research • Turns for its subj ect-matter to the experience ofthe individual research participant. The experience sought is not introspective in the sense of requiring the research participant to report on their 'mental processes'. Every mental act is intentional in that it is of something. shared world. No presupposition is made that this experience relates to one unequivocal. The basic notion which com es out of descriptions of psychological phenomena is intentionality. etc. Husserl. The features of the lifeworld are not variables. • • • Consciousness "nd the ohiecls 01 consciousness Sartre's main concern was to clarify th e most fundamental features of lived experience. real. 108 . or feeling. That is. Certain kinds of presupposition must be set aside or bracketed: (a) Science. but meanings . To achieve a description of the research participant's lifeworld. has content.
it is always of something. one is. that we are 'condemned to fr eedom'. He terms these 'b eings in themselves' (etr es-en-soi} . experiences. We are meaningattributing consciousnesses. 'condemned to meaning'. we could view the object differently. which Sartre registers in labelling it 'being for itself' (etre-pour-soi). Sartre wants to make us graphically aware of a gap between things and our consciousness of things. things. Consciousness is (in 109 . But. The objects of which we ar e aware are never known 'objectively'. and the meaning is not fixed. in being conscious. as Sartre says. always being of something. But at the same time dualism is overcome through the recognition (a) that there is no object of consciousness devoid of human meaning. they ar e 'intentional objects'. but this is not the same as having access to pure consciousness itself.THE INDIVIDUAL CONSCIOUSNESS For Sartre consciousness is on e thing. • In a claim that had profound implications for Sartre's view of human nature. and (b) consciousness 'in the abstract' is never found. aware of being aware. so to speak. Consciousness. In the sense introduced earlier. These would be limitations on the capacity of consciousness to construct meaning creatively. and the phenomena of which we are conscious ar e of a differ ent order of reality. e s se n t ia l characteristics. he argu es that for consciousness to be intentional-for it to be able to construe objects freely-th e individual must not thems elves have intrinsic. Sartre is (to this extent) a dualistic thinker. Merleau-Ponty prefers the formulation. We are conscious of them in their subjective meaning for us. then. Not characterisable itself. There are two ontologically distinct kinds of things: objects of consciousness and consciousness. Consciousness is intentional. • Objects. rather it is what 'does' the perceiving. concepts-anything perceptible or conceivable by consciousness. Sartre says. We can of course form a concept of consciousness. This is not an object. remembering and conceiving. In this sense there is a kind of reflexivity about consciousness. feeling. It is never perceived. nothingness. it is.
th e ind ividu al person has no 'essence' . The id ea that self is n ot intrinsic t o con sciousness is mad e clear er if one con sider s th e ex perie nce of being ab sorbed in a t ask th at requires concentrati on . man is in th e wo rld. It is possibl e. But Sartre's point is that thi s is a sepa ra te act of reflecti on . This nothingn ess. an d th e creativity it allows. is part of wha t Sartre mea ns by freed om . to com e to onese lf an d reflect on th e situa tio n and one's invo lvement in it . Rather. for exa mp le. at any time.PSYCHOLOGY A N D ' HUMAN NATURE' the wo rd in th e title of his ma jor wo rk) nothingness.is not part of consciou sness but is an object for consciousness. and only in th e wo rld does he kn ow himself. The view po int is echoe d by M erleau-P onty (1962 :xi) : 'There is no inner man . Sellhood and the individual's lack 01 essential characteristics As a consciousness. What does it im ply for Sartre's view of hu man n ature th at conscio usness mu st not be th ou ght of as having intrinsic ch ar act eristics? Amo ng other things. For gender wo uld be an aspect of self.the int ent ion al object-and not at all an intrinsic feature of con sciou sness. nor can it be cat egor ised in terms of any other 'va ria ble' . it mean s th at th e self-in the sense of the set of a person 's attributed cha racteristics. it reinforces th e fem inist case. In that imme dia te ex per ience. no-thing-ness. Th is point was the central message of one of Sartre's (1957) ea rliest philosophical publicati on s. of course. ther e is n o aware ness of one's ' pe rso na lity' : one is en ti rely 'o ut ther e' in performi ng the t ask . But this ena bles a va lua ble point abo ut th e exis tentia list under standing of self and con sciou sness to be mad e tellingly.' Inc id ent all y. pr esent con struction s of reality in favour of wha t might be. and this ope ns up conscio usness to possibilities-setting aside. Consciousness as such is not gendered. This is by no mean s to gainsay the existential imp act of th ose social conditions which render gender salient and of which Sartre's lifelon g co-worker Simo ne de Beau voir wro te profoundly in The Second Sex (19 88). 110 . The conscious individua l has no inhere nt cha racteris tics. M erle au-P ont y ' s ge n de re d l an gu a ge (uncontroversial at the time) brings us up sho rt today.
Sartre regards the no-thing-ness. having something in mind) is aware (a) of that thing and (b) of itself simply as the 'awareness'. To be both consciousness and solidly characterisable is impossible. Self is not 'wired into' consciousness. objectness and selfhood is an abiding anxiety of the conscious being: in fact.2 for the case of homosexuality). Sell . Sartre claims that the conscious individual is (without any special reflection) appalled at its own 111 . and as consciousnesses we are never characterisable as purely and simply such-and-such a 'type'. A term like 'cowardly' is rightly used if it is understood to be a just summary statement for a history of actions. a new construction of self. Why cannot individual consciousness be regarded as a self? We have seen that consciousness. biological. the lack of an inherent self. For its lack of solidity. For existentialists.THE INDIVIDUAL CONSCIOUSNESS In actually being absorbed in the task there is no thematic awareness of self. it is important for Sartre's approach that consciousness should be empty of any of the special characteristics we attribute to selves. of consciousness as the major motivating feature of human beings. consciousness and intentional objects are two distinct forms of being. This is even the case when one understands that there are factual aspects of the situation which cannot be gainsaid (see Box 5. in being aware of some 'intentional' object (i. But the reflexivity of (b) is nothing to do with the social.e. biographical self. The next situation that arises will require a fresh choice of action.on l So. Amalgamation into the category pour-et-en-soi cannot be. But it is wrongly used if it is supposed to refer to an intrinsic personal characteristic. These would affect the freedom of consciousness to construe the world. it is a logical error to regard a person as intrinsically having such-and-such a nature. this is the definitive meaning of anxiety for Sartre.s II luse/ess pIIss. There is always a certain freedom to construct one's own meaning-interpretation of oneself and the situation. in or out of jail. And as we have seen.
adopts d eterminate characteristics . Existential psychoanalysis. on the contrary. lies. That is.is the determining element. may be denying them. disequilibrium. Sartre says. We have no guidelines for the meanings w e impose on ourselves and the situation. and freedom . No one of the factors that mark the subject in connection with this choice . it becomes the source of rewarding experience. How do we alla y th e anxiety? By denying our no-thing-ness. ther e is a constant tinge of anguish at the fact of the n egativity and fr eedom of consciou sn ess. This passage also elucidates the approach of de Beauvoir. The indi vidual pretends to be a character. We still have to choose how to live them.2 Simone de Beauvoir on homosexuality In Th e Second Sex (1988 translation of 1949 original). but the argument is interchangeable. or in lucidity. 'Man is a useless passion'. social circumstances . (de Beauvoir. in commentary on our vain attempt to become pour. psychological history. It is one way among others. Simone de Beauvoir summarises the existentialist approach to homosexuality .PSYCHOLOGY AND ' HUMAN NATURE' Box 5. though they all contribute to its explanation. by taking on a self as if it were intrinsic rather than chos en. homosexuality leads to make-believe. we sh all see. at once motivated and freely adopted. lesbianism.in this case. Sartre and their ilk to all those characteristics which we take to be facts about ourselves. in which woman solv es the problems posed by her condition in general. by her erotic situation in particular. Like all human behaviour. The truth is that homosexuality is no more a perversion deliberately entered into than it is a curse of fate. aims to 112 . laziness and falsity. frustration. or. It is an attitude chosen in a certain situation . in accordance with the manner of expression in actual living whether in bad faith. 1988: 444) nothingness. generosity. By pretending objectness.et-en-soi.physiological conditions.that is.
Th e person is avoiding confrontation with his actual freedom and nothingness by adopting the role as if this made him into an 0 bject. you Bastards' (ibid. farewell. To deny responsibility for th e meanings inevitably imposed on the situation is bad faith. we are led to understand. 1965). Why such violent language? • • 113 . Sartre describ es (1958:59) the cafe waiter who identifies so much with the role that he cannot be imagined-or imagine himself -as anything but a waiter. our pride and raison d' etre. Bad faith as unreflective acceptance of social attributions. A logical impossibility. The woman whose companion for the evening has begun to hold her hand. elegant in your little painted sanctuaries. farewell.: 138). you beautiful lilies. Th e novel Nausea (Sartre. may pretend ignorance that this has happened and that it calls for a choice of response (Sartre. Bad faith as refusal to tak e responsibility for choice. provides a telling example of bad faith. • Bad faith as th e identification of on eself with a role. The term is also used to refer to the refusal of responsibility for choices one has made-which are always made in fr eedom according to Sartre . Sartre is making it clear that to passively allow one's hand to be held is actually a choice and is not an escape from freedom. 1958:55). B"d f"ilh The anxiety of consciousness in the face of its nothingness is allayed by bad faith-the identification of consciousness with th e characterful self. In the example. To obj ectify oneself is bad faith. Yet this attempt at self-objectification is said to be the goal which everyone pursues.THE INDIVIDUAL CONSCIOUSNESS uncover a person's particular way of denying fr eedom and nothingness. you beautiful lilies. Having inspected th e picture gallery with its portraits of the great and good of the town ('Bouville'). Here the bad faith is in refusing responsibility for a choice by denying having made it. the character Roquentin turns to address th e worthies' portraits: 'Farewell.
an d it is laid out wi th me as the so ur ce of it s per spective. • Being-for-others and reflective consciousness. Self-awa reness has a social origi n. th e meaning of th e scene is ch an ged : it is no lon ger merel y for m yself . and (c) lead s to confl ict in int erp erson al relati on s. especially one's values. the bourgeois (less a class here than an attitude) of bad faith. relat ive di st ances. Sartre opposes thi s with lightn ess (which he does not expand on. and their values to be correct. at home. We may choose in bad faith to live out the roles or characteristics ascribed • 114 . (b) allows the possi bi lity of livin g in b ad faith in lin e w ith the objectificatio n of others. but is a scene for the othe r. but which seems to me a most important ethical notion ). Ca lled 'the Look ' . It involves taking one's social attributes. th e gaze of th e othe r is a deprivati on of spo nta ne ity. Interpersonal relations A basic difficulty in real ising freed om con sists in the conflict s th at are implicit in inte rs ubjectivity. Th e awareness of one 's objectness for others (a) allows th e possibility of reflective th ink ing (no ta bly con sciou sness of self). etc. an d. I am t aking a stro ll in the park. in that mom ent.PSYCHOLOGY A N D ' H UMAN N ATURE' Why such violent language? Sartre is accusing the smug. Freed om. an d I am part of that scene as far as th at ot he r per son is concerned. We are always subject t o th e ri sk of objectifica tio n in the eyes of othe r people. and objectificat ion by others. I real ise th at th er e is so meone sitti ng on th at ben ch . A descr ipt ion (Sartre. Th ey know themselves to be safe. of freed om. it arises in th e Look of th e other-we becom e th e focu s of our ow n awareness when we recogni se th at others have a point of view in which we figure as objects .a n ob ject of h er aware ness. bad faith . 1958:62 6) which is a version of bad faith . They have the 'spirit of Seriousness' (Sartre. Then. 195 8:2 55 ) dem on str at es th e objectifying nature of th e Look. serious ly as 'wired in' rather th an chosen. sudde nly. This gives us th e possibility of self-reflection. The emp ty scene is sprea d o ut befor e m y aware ness.
is to attempt to become the 'whole world' for the other person so that they freely enter into one's possession. This cannot be enslaved. The attempted solution. and seeing themselves as objectified. The ideal might seem to be a dual sadism/masochism. there are two consciousnesses. But this fails since the loved object is a consciousness. 115 . in the masochist. and this construction robs me of my status as a consciousness. Sartre seems to have worked on the purely abstract level. with one partner taking a submissive and the other a dominating attitude. would be an espousal of anxious freedom-in fact the choice of bad faith seems so inevitable that Fell (1970) has even argued that there is a deterministic theory of motivation hidden in Sartre's view of the desire to escape from anxious freedom. the attempt is made to dominate and objectify the other. and there is always residual freedom on their part. pretending that they are essential to us. at the same time I am engaged in the objectification of them. Sartre expands on intimate interpersonal relations at length in Being and Nothingness. which now. In masochism. concealing freedom in order to be the desirable thing for the other. Escape from bad faith. if possible. In a relationship with another person. Conflict is the central meaning of being-for-others. But this fails even as it succeeds because what was in view was the capturing of a freedom. In sadism. voluntarily goes into hiding. An irreconcilable conflict is intrinsic to interpersonal relations. Even at this stage it is right to mention that Sartre's view of human relationships as a battle of mutual objectification in the context of two distinct freedoms has been sharply criticised.THE INDIVIDUAL CONSCIOUSNESS to us by others. Conflict in interpersonal relations In In Camera (1946). Sartre says. but each perceiving the other as object. the character Garcin voices Sartre's own thought: 'Hell is other people.' I am an object for them. The main claim is that love entails the desire to possess the other person-but as a freedom. free and spontaneous. the attempt is made through voluntarily becoming an object for the other.
Sartre's antagonism to th e psychology of personality. For Sartre. human reality is to be viewed in terms of the 'ends it pursues'. in which participants are able to set aside concern with objectification and get on with their joint activities. For Sartre. they only do so within a mood of mutual scrutiny. he would have found that. the definition of the situation. How can this be? Sartre has dismissed the very idea of a psychology of personality that would account for the person's 'choices' as the lawful outcome of certain innate 116 . although the kinds of relationships he describes (and which Scheler  had earlier discussed und er th e h eadings idiopathic and heteropathic identification) certainly do exist. Existential psychoanalysis In the light of his refusal of characteristics to consciousness. Original project Now notwithstanding spontaneity and freedom. personal biology. I am responsible for the interpreted facts. If he had done so. especially psychoanalysis. This account underlines responsibility for actions. This en t ails the imaginative construction of the situation as currently entailing a lack which I can try to remedy. as M erleau-Ponty (1962:361) points out. Much interaction is carried out within a taken-for-granted framework of trust. 'Factual' things-my biography. place in societyprovide a situation in which I can apprehend a lack that gives a reason for action. The 'objective state of affairs' only leads to an action if it is constituted as a reason by consciousness. is understandable. a reason for an action specifies what in my world I want to change as a result of my action. a person's history of choices is not chaotic. and the focus of interpretation should be on the reasons they have for their actions rather than looking for blind causes. A person's aims should be sought in order to understand them.PSYCHOLOGY AND 'HUMAN NATURE' drawing out the implications of his consciousness/object distinction without going back to the actual phenomena of interpersonal relations.
the next. he wrote in Mon coeur mis a nu: 'Sense of solitude from childhood. he thought of himself as a son by divine right. The mother was an idol.. life had gone out like a tide leaving him high and dry. in anxiety in the face of the 'vacuum that consciousness is'.. his explanation of the nonchaotic nature of a person's behaviour is that. It is in Sartre's biographies that one sees existential psychoanalysis at work... This style reveals the meaning of the whole life. he did not yet realise that he existed as a separate person.. The justification for his existence had disappeared.. Rather. He was surrounded by every care and comfort... superfluous. In spite of the family. but felt that he was united body and soul to his mother in a primitive mystical relationship . Far from feeling that his existence was vague. When later on he thought of this moment. It is the 'original project'.THE INDIVIDUAL CONSCIOUSNESS or learned characteristics. Baudelaire was sent to boarding schooL.. one doesn't remarry. In November 1828 the mother whom he worshipped remarried. in Baudelaire (Sartre. For instance. Existential psychoanalysis investigates the biography of a person in order to uncover the pervading style of choices. aimless...' The sudden break and the grief it caused forced him into a personal existence without any warning or preparation. 1949) we see the formation of the original project of this poet in the disruption of his almost symbiotic relationship with his mother: Baudelaire was six when his father died. he made the mortifying discovery that he was a single person. 'When one has a son like me . One moment he was still enveloped in the communal religious life of his mother and himself. He worshipped his mother and was fascinated by her. the child consecrated by her affection for him.and above all when 117 ..His mother's second marriage was the one event in his life which he just could not accept. one chooses a kind of person to be.. that his life had been given him for nothing.
H e felt an d was det ermin ed t o feel that he was unique. can be devel op ed .. This br in gs us to th e point at whic h Ba ud elaire ch ose the so rt of per son he wo uld be. For R oger s. A gene ra l ass um ptio n of human fr eed om is also a do pte d by hum ani stic psych ol ogist s.' H e already thou ght of his isol at ion as a destin y. the t ypic al 118 . Perh ap s thi s exam ple is sufficient to give a flavour of th e sort of qu asi-psychological wo rk which Sartre's view po int permits. Th e det a il ed a na lyses o f Sa r t re h a ve n ot en te re d in to hum ani stic psych ol ogy ge ne ra lly. (Sartre. The aspect of ex iste n tia lis t th inking w hich is m o st cl earl y rec ogn isable is an em phasis on th e pr ima cy of perso na l view po int. hum ani stic psych ol ogi st s d o n ot ado pt the m or e ri gor ou s-or ex tre me p o siti on o f e xis te n tia lis m in v iew ing th e n othingn es s o f consc iou sn ess a n d the ch ar acterlessn ess o f the in divi d ua l as a necessar y correl at e of human fr eed om. 194 9:16-1 8) So Sartre's exis te ntial psych oan alysis of Baudelaire unc over s a pervasive project-to be uni qu e.. But this is n ot carried throu gh t o the ex te n t th at the conceptu al fr amew ork of human ist ic psychol ogy is gro un de d in univer sal cat egories of ex pe r ien ceph en omen ol ogy in its stri ct sense is n ot em ploye d. certainly t o the exte nt that a per son is under st ood t o be cap able of pe rso na l ch ange.. Sarlre and humanislic psychology I ment ioned th at exis te n tialis m h as h ad a sig ni fi ca nt im pa ct on humani stic psychol ogy.PSYCHOLOGY A N D ' HUMAN NATURE' sur ro un de d by childre n of my own age -I h ad a sense of bein g des ti ne d to ete rna l so litu de . wi t h a certain at ti t u de t ow ard s oneself. But h er e again. That meant that he did n ot acce pt it passively. Yet the n ature of that imp act is n ot clearcut. for in st ance. In so me formulati ons of hu m an ist ic psych ol ogy we find so me thi ng m or e lik e essentialism th an ex iste n tia lis m . Th e aim is to discover th e th eme of th e cho ices a person has mad e. in w h ich it is h eld th at ea ch per son h as a k ind of in n a te se lfhoo d w h ich.
THE INDIVIDUAL CONSCIOUSNESS
client 'in the therapeutic relationship, with its freedom from threat and fr eedom of choice' experiences a movement in which he can: permit himself freely to be the changing, fluid process which he is. He moves also toward a friendly openness to what is going on within him-learning to listen sensitively to himself. .. .It means that as he moves toward acceptance of the 'isness' of himself he accepts others increasingly in the same listening, understanding way. (Rogers, 1967:181) This characteristic passage indicates the actual gulf between Sartrean ex ist en t ia lism and humanistic psychology. And of course, for all his talk of 'existential psychoanalysis', Sartre was not himself putting forward a therapy. Indeed, Roger's clientcentred and non-directive approach to therapy presupposes the possibility of an unthr eatening relationship of mutual understanding which Sartre would regard as naive in the face of the clash of freedoms and mutual objectification of actual human relationships.
Sartre's theory is individualistic. The method of phenomenological
description does entail a starting point in individual experience. In Sartre, the tendency to see interpersonal relations as a threat is another indication of individualism.
Sartre's version of ex iste ntialism is irrationalist and pessimistic. People have no guidelines for ethical action, no hope
of attaining a solid and anxiety-free personhood/personality, and their choices ar e futile. A counter-claim might be to argue that, in existentialism, choices ar e genuine ones-not dictated by determinants or clear-cut rules. For choices to be fully moral, decisions must be made freely. It is in this spirit that Sartre opposes the acceptance-in-bulk of any ideology:
PSYCHOLOGY AND 'HUMAN NATURE'
I'd like to explain my opinion of the Communists I've met, under the circumstances in which I've met them. They smiled, they talked, they replied to the questions I ask ed them, but in fact it was not they who were replying. 'They' vanished and became characters whose principles one knew and who gave th e answer L'Humanite would have given in the name of these principles. (Sartre, in de Beauvoir, 1984:403)
Consciousness-when does it occur, and is it distinct from bodily functioning? It is essential to consciousness that it is inalienably self-aware. Part-and-parcel of being conscious of something is to be intrinsically aware of being conscious . Recently, Sartre's view of consciousness has been subjected to some major criticism in the light of the so-called 'problem of the long-distance truck-driver' (Armstrong, 1981). This refers to the common ex per ience of having driven for a distance with one's 'mind on other things' and then coming to a realisation that the road has been followed without mishap, but one has not been aware of it at all. Presumably one's body of itself is intentional in the phenomenological sense. There is a vast range of activitieshabitual ones, for instance-on which the full spotlight of consciousness does not need to be turned, yet they are carried out with real attunement to varying features of the external world. The literature of perception r eports other, less everyday, occurrences of successful judgements without awareness, such as 'blindsight' (see, for example, Weiskrantz, 1988). Surely the driver's successful driving despite lacking thematic awareness of the road means that Sartre's unitary notion of consciousness is incorrect. Do we say that not all consciousness is pour-soil Certainly the driver's skilful work has the hallmarks of intentionality: the events on the road are non-consciously 'understood' as meaningful and adjustments made. Yet this intentionality is not self-aware. Wider (1997) provides a detailed analysis of this issue. If consciousness loses its character of being intrinsically self-aware, then much of the rest of Sartre's work
THE INDIVIDUAL CONSCIOUSNESS
(freedom and responsibility-bad faith and original project) is at hazard. An over-emphasis on freedom. Of course, th e freedom Sartre discussed was not freedom of action (which very much depends on the factual conditions of the world) but the intrinsic freedom of consciousness to construe. But, just as we seem to have levels of appropriate attunement to our surroundings which are not fully op en to awareness, so our active construing and re-construing of our situation, which constitutes freedom in Sartre's sense, may be more limited in practice than he assumes. A related criticism is of Sartre's non-determinism. The central value given to freedom is the major source of the criticisms which psychologists would be expected to lodge against Sartre's version of existentialism. Determinism is presupposed by psychologists generally as a necessary assumption for scientific work. Yet the voluntarism of Sartre's theory rules out th e predictability of human action. To some extent, this is mitigated by the notion of 'original choice' which does reintroduce an element of continuity in individual personality which, while not determined in the strict sense, nevertheless provides predictability. Dualism and phenomenology. We have passed without comment over the centrality of the distinction between consciousness and its intentional objects, but many existential phenomenologists have regarded it as nonsense to separate the two (e.g. Luijpen, 1966). Consciousness as such can never be described in isolation, but only as a consciousness of something, an intentionality.
• Consciousness. This is the central fact of human nature in Sartre's account, and has a lengthy list of implications for his notions of freedom, selfhood, original choice, the meaning of the other, and the nature of personal responsibility. Selfhood is not intrinsic to consciousness. One espouses selfhood in escaping from the rootlessness of consciousness. This gives an ambiguity to the way in which self is constructed in the face
PSYCHOLOGY A N D ' HUMAN NATURE'
of othe r peopl e. They co nstrai n an d lab el us, but also provide th e mean s by whic h one kn ow s onese lf. The body is an o bject for co nsciousness. Therefor e, how it is cons true d is an achieve me nt of freed om . O ther people. In th e same way as th ere is am biguity abo ut th e self, ther e is am big uity abo ut othe r peopl e. Their Look is objectifying of one; it classifies one an d th erefor e lim it s one 's spo nta nei ty. Other s are im peria lists, and th e m or e intimat e th e relati on ship, th e m or e thi s is so. Yet it is in rel ati on ship with others th at reflect ive con sciou sness comes to be. The physical wo rld. For Sartre th e wo rld is meaningless and absurd, but th e raw mat erial for human mean ing-interpretat ion. Co nscio usness has not go t a fixed repertoir e of meanings th at it fixes on th ings. It is th e spo nta neo us act of con sciou sness to give m eaning. Yet the m eaning a per son ch ooses can be und erstood.
Jean-Paul Sartre's key existentialist work is Being and Nothingness (New York : Phil osophi cal Library, 19 5 8). It canno t be said t o be straightforwar d for the reader. His novel Nausea (London: Penguin, 1965) embodies the same outlook and is, in a certain sense, more enjoyable. Iris Murdoch's Sartre (London: Collins, 196 7) is an exposition and commentary drawing on both his philosophical and literary work. A.Danto, Sartre (2nd edn: London: Collins, 1991 ), takes the author's main conceptual analyses and expo unds them sympathetically and readably. The classic paper by Kvale and Grenness (1967) , mentioned at the end of the previous chapter, is well worth seeking out. My own 'L'Enfer, c'est les autres: GoHman's Sartrism' , Human Stud ies, 8, 97- 168 (1985), similarly attempts to clarify the thought of two important authors by allowing each to interpret the meaning of the other.
Mead Criticisms Erving Coffman What Coffman was trying to do Some key themes of Coffman's work Criticisms Discourse analysis and discursive psychology What discourse analysts are trying to do What is discourse? Discursive psychology as hermeneutics Discursive psychology and selfhood Criticisms Summary Further reading -wi 124 125 126 131 131 132 132 137 138 138 139 140 143 145 146 147 " :r a CD I11III • III • 0 123 • • .H . and presenting oneself as a person • George Herbert Mead What Mead was trying to do Essential elements of the social psychology of G .Chapter 6 Social being: interacting.
slim.H. Mead (1934:186) tells us. This Mead did. 1993. Selfand Society (Mead. The label must be viewed warily. Harre and Gillett. 'What I want particularly to emphasise is the temporal and logical pre-existence of the social process to the self-conscious individual that arises within it.Mead (1863-1931) and Erving Goffman (1922-1982). His written output was.' Mind and self are products of social interaction. Goffman would agree.G. 1994) that it is not misleading to present them all together. Hollway. who are generally classified as symbolic interactionists. 124 . 1934). and strongly influenced maybe three generations of sociologists through that teaching. His thought is best approached through secondary sources. I George Herbert Mead In the early 1900s it went without comment for an American philosopher to offer courses in social psychology to students with sociological interests. but there is no doubt about the similarity of approach of these two authors. and the books that bear his name are in fact posthumously edited. tends to be repetitive and inconsistent. Burman and Parker. Mind. The approach of Mead and Goffman has so much in common with discourse analysis and related recent tendencies within social psychology (Potter and Wetherell. in contrast. The volume that is most significant for our purposes. 1989. N THIS CHAPTER I BEGIN WITH TWO WRITERS. 1987. The symbolic interactionist view of human nature is radically social.
The pivotal argument of Mead. (Mead. 1986). but the actual development of his mind or intelligence itself. The human being's physiological capacity for developing mind or intelligence is a product of the process of biological evolution . but are required to show their valuable consequences. must proceed in terms of the social situations wherein it gets its expression and import. The discussion of mental events must be made compatible with the way events in the natural world are discussed. Beliefs are not to be held simply because they are in keeping with some general outlook. For example. It involves consequentialism. Interpersonal communication comes before the development of the individual's capacity for thought.1934:226) Mead is emphatic that mind and self are products of society.. Mead's claim that mind comes about through the internalisation of early communication between infant and caregiver enabled him to construct a unified scientific discourse. scientific and other knowledge. Pragmatism also holds that the tools of thought. but also because new phenomena emerge to be explained. That is. This school has a number of characteristics that are important for understanding his views. aimed at producing tangible results. including the capacity for self125 . Private events of the mind are understandable as equivalent to (and emerging in the history of the individual from) observable interaction between biological beings. the meaning of concepts lies in their consequences (Baldwin. are always tentative-partly because conceptions of the world continually develop. which embodied both pragmatism and anti-dualism is that mind and self are emergents of the social process. . given that capacity. Mead was also an anti-dualist: mind is part of the natural world. pragmatism regards formal thinking as a technology.SOCIAL BEING What Mead was trying to do Mead was a pragmatist philosopher.
Self and Society. (Mead. th e process of mind. instead . itself to presupp ose th at its focu s is on th e indivi dua l per son. mind is a k ind of activity . argued for th e pri ority of th e relationship of com m unication 126 . psychology 01 G. H ere we have th e interactio nist emphasis of 'symbo lic inter actionists'.. 'M ind-ing' is not a pr ocess th at th e bab y is imm edi at ely able to carry out. genera lly.Me"d I will describe M ead 's th eor y sim ply by expo unding th e three terms of th e title of his book Mind. then not only the origin of minds.not communicat ion through mind. 'p sychol ogy'. The ass umption th at th e develop ing infant's br ain ena bles him or her to enter mindfully into social inter acti on was rejected by M ead : If you presuppose the existence of mind at the start. as exp laining or making possible th e socia l pr ocess of experience. Thou ght and communication are both essentially symbol use. you regard the social process of ex perience as pri or (in a rudimentar y form ) to th e existence of m ind an d ex plai n th e origi n of minds in terms of the interaction amo ng individu als within th at process..H.1 elements 01 the soci". on the other hand.PSYCHOLOGY A N D ' HUMAN NATURE' reflection . th e ability to enter int o thi s activity. . Society provi des th e sym bo ls. M ind ar ises throu gh communicati on . For th e individua l. is p ossible becau se of th eir member ship of society. The br ain is a bodil y orga n. M ead . But if. th en th e origin of minds and th e int eracti on between minds becom e mysteries. 193 4:50) It is almos t built into the n ame of th e discipline. cease t o see m m yst eri ou s or miracul ou s. Mead insists th at it is th e use of lan gu age-or. a symbo l system-which allows th e development of mind. Essenti. but also the interaction amo ng mind s. Mind 'M in d' was not a simp le syno nym of 'brain' for M ead .
the review edited by Slater and Bremner. It also avoids solipsism. What sort of communication is possible without 'mind'? And how can the communication thus initiated be 'internalised' so as to allow 'minded activity' to take place? Mead begins with the un-minded. holding onto the cot rail and bouncing up and down is soon taken as meaning 'lift me up'. The infant. He argues that here we have a being who is capable of interacting in an elementary way but without the capacity to reflect on the action. As the infant experiences the responses of others to their early reflex movements. the parent leaning over the cot is gradually taken by the infant as 'meaning' the action of lifting. But there are two problems. A gesture in this sense is the initial stage of a piece of behaviour. They do not depend on thought. 1989). as we now know. It is such symbol use which constitutes the process of mind. these actions become gestures. Mead's approach certainly overcomes dualism in the sense of a distinction between an inner and an outer world. Thought arises in a social process. the view that individual thinking is from the start a solitary process. The responses of the newborn to the social activity of caregivers can be. However. reflex activity of the newborn child. for instance. So when behaviour ceases to be a mere reflex and the gesture becomes a sign for a completed act that is meaningful both to the person making the gesture and to the person perceiving it-then we can talk about the meaning of the situation being understood. Mead suggested that these responses are biologically preprogrammed. Mead regarded the use of language as developing out of the process of infant-caregiver interaction. which is in any case always dependent on the use of the social tool. Gesture is a movement which stands for the whole action and it comes to be 'significant'. and the individualising of thought is a later development.SOCIAL BEING between caregiver and infant as the source of the mentality of the infant. and that the sharing of thought between people is what is problematical. The development of the pointing gesture 127 . A significant gesture is one that is meaningful to both the interactors. which gradually stands for the whole action. language. For instance. quite complex (see.
. at birth. so to speak. or what we will later call discourse. So thinking and external communication are made of the same stuff. Thereafter it is possible for these meanings to be internalised-an anticipation of 128 . Firstly. in internalising language the child is not just internalising a symbol system but the system of activity. one's actions are seen to call forth a response in the other. (Mead. an external reflection of one's actions. . Yet it is spoken and heard language rather than nonverbal behaviour which is the paramount symbol system. meanings. one can build up a self-concept or identity.1934:135) By 'self'. but arises in the process of social experience and activity. Self is an activity of reflection where the focus of attention is on one's own actions. Self The self is something which has a development. it is not initially there. The other's reactions are. it refers to the child's growing capacity to engage in social interaction covertly.. The process of conversation is being internalised. How does the capacity for self-reflection develop? It is through the reactions of others to the child's behaviour. Mead expects no problem of translation of thought into word. (a) Self (like mind) is a process-something individuals do. Of course. not idiosyncratic.PSYCHOLOGY AND 'HUMAN NATURE' is a clear instance of this (Bates et aI. 1979). Significance comes about when the imaginary line from finger to the thing being pointed at is understood. Note also that. Mead refers to two separable things. (b) The selfconcept or sense of identity is derivative of self in the first sense. Mead points to this as a main basis of internalisation. this term is not supposed to imply that there is a quite separate inner world: rather. they are the meaning (for the other) of one's actions. It is important to notice that linguistic symbols are a system of shared. Having acquired the capacity to reflect on one's own actions. in interaction. symbols as part of interaction.
The self concept as a unity. producing spontaneous and unreflected actions. We shall see that Mead allows for the possibility of developing a unified self concept on the basis of others' responses. The 'me' can be updated by the actual reactions others are seen to have. It is pictured as a dialogue between an initiating '1'. The unitary structure of the self is thought by Mead to develop from social interaction. part of the very same process. So the capacity for reflection brought about by mind. 'I' generates a potential action which is adjusted by the 'me' in the light of the reactions others might have. The complexity of the structure of the self concept is increased together with the increasing sophistication of social interaction. In symbolic communication there is a growing capacity to take the attitude of the other into account in framing actions. They are.1. This means that there is a measure of sophistication in children's awareness of the attitude of others towards themselves. (And we may expect that 129 . in fact. viewed in the light of how others-in-general would view them. The self concept may have a certain autonomy. The 'I' is regulated by the 'me'. Mead introduces a confusing terminology to cover the internalised self-reflection. and an appraising 'me' -which has its origin in the anticipated reactions of the other person. Meltzer (1972). provides the capacity for reflecting on ourselves. rather than be changed by each and every response of others to one's behaviour. the internalisation of symbolic interaction. Then the appraisal of 'I' actions may be in terms of such a self concept rather than directly in terms of the expected reactions of others. and the resulting actions are appraised for their meaning for other people. What is happening is that awareness of the self and awareness of others develop hand-in-hand. is the range of actions of the individual. I and me. 'Me' can be regarded as a synthesis of others' attitudes. see Box 6. provides a valuable formulation of Mead's theory of the relationship between the self concept and social interaction. Development of the self concept.SOCIAL BEING the reactions of the other person to one's actions can become established. then.
'Game' stage involves imagining the attitude of a group to oneself. but in a rudimentary form. That is. different soci eti es ma y lead to var iations in the self-structure. Ultimately. d . the child copies others' actions and expressions .) The content of th e self concept involves reflection on on eself. the child is able to take the attitude of the 'generalised other' to him or herself. The child begins to cope with situations which call for taking the attitude of a number of people simultaneously. The child does not have to experience organised games . for instance.PSYCHOLOGY AND ' HUMAN NATURE' Box 6. and acting 'towards him/herself' from that imaginary external vantage point. There is no coherent self concept. The child taking imaginary roles. but here we may see the beginning of 'taking the attitude of the other' . With this comes a unified structure of the self. Mead claims.Mead: The co-development of the self and social interaction 1 2 3 Imitation . H arre. the child has to see him or herself from the vantage point of 'our team' and 'their team' -and. Children have no united perception of themselves as a single self at this stage. there are an unlimited number of analogies of 'teamplaying' in everyday interaction.H.1 G. Self-awareness is here. their activities are appraised by a 'me' that is able to take into account the responses of 'people in general' . 'Play' stage. This gives the child a basis for perceiving others' responses . In a team game. as Goffman (1971) points out. 130 . 1976. At an early stage of development.
some interactionists such as Goffman do not regard internalisation as a necessary concept (it smacks of dualism). Criticisms Of course Mead's social psychology was speculative. In contrast. Nevertheless. Mead's perspective makes interpersonal communication central. Self is exclusively regarded as a social product. Gillin. Self-awareness may not be exclusively social. Rather than the history and structure of society. But the details of the process of 'internalisation' are unclear-and. indeed. too voluntaristic (see Gonos. He focuses on the symbolic interaction of adults. 1979). 131 . 1975). and awaited evidence. Erving Go"man Mead's social psychology combats dualism by locating the origin of the individual mind and selfhood in early social exchange. 1977. The social origin of mind now does have support (see Ashworth. they share a conception of personhood as bound up with membership of society. Critics differ on whether Mead is too close to sociological determinism or. yet the reactions of others are not the only form of feedback that infants get as a result of their actions.SOCIAL BEING Society Mead says relatively little about society as such. and for this reason he comes under the criticism of many sociologists. seeing social interaction as a nicely poised process of negotiation. Mead concentrates on theorising about how the participants in the circle with which the child interacts provide the social experiences which constitute mind and self. Goffman has almost nothing to say about infancy and childhood.
Th e basic human mot ive for Go Hma n seems to be the avo idance of em barrassme nt. th at th is absolutely does not mean th at there is some underlying self which is being 'exp ressed' in th e presenta tio n. In other writings.PSYCHOLOGY A N D ' HUMAN NATURE' What Gollman was trying to do Th e pri macy of interaction as a resear ch concern. Interaction essentially invo lves a presentation of self. an d refusals of 'character' . fragile thing th at can be sha ttered by very mino r misha ps. There is no 'inner self' -the presenta tio n is all there is. Self is in th is way socially regulated (which is not precisely the same as 'socially determined '). Note. The indivi dual ta lks an d acts in such a way as to claim to be a par ticul ar 'ki n d' of perso n. Such resear ch would be concerned with inte raction rath er than the personalities of the inte ractors . religious ritu al (Co ffma n. what he ca lled (1983) the 'interaction or der' of analysis. Yet it is only in Presentation of Self th at he uses the dra ma as the source of the metaphors employed as a basis for the ana lysis of social interaction. H is social interactor is a conscious agent. Social behaviour is best ana lysed in terms of claims to. however. and are either socia lly valida ted or denied . an d othe rs respon d .g. Selves are present ed. 1971:63 ) Some key themes 01 Gollman's work Commenta to rs (e. ascriptions of. espionage (1972c). H arre and Secord. (Co ffma n. Coffma n focused on face -to -face interaction as suc h. Self is to be regarded as a social presentation . 132 . 1974 ) with the social structure within which th e inte rac tio n tak es place . Nor would it be concerned (Coffman. 1972b :47). We must be prepared to see th at the imp ression of reality fostered by a performa nce is a delicate. gambling (1972b:149) and games genera lly (1972a:15) are amo ng the resources he employs for carry ing out wha t is essentially the same kind of ana lysis. concerned with 'face' . Interpersonal validation is necessa ry. 1972 ) tend over-hurr iedly to describe Coffma n as a 'd ramaturgist' .
what seems to be a stro ng ly socially determinist picture of th e self: Th e self. The book is about interaction within 'total institutions' . cut off from th e wider society for an appreciabl e length of tim e. formally administered round of life' (ibid. This special kind of institutional arrangement does not so much suppo rt th e self as con stitute it. army camps. To be socially meaningful. The self as determined by social arrangements It is in As ylums (Goffma n. The per son is a presenter of meanin gful action. prison s. t ogether lead an enclose d.SOCIAL BEING Comme ntators can also lose a sense of C offma n 's underlying con sistenc y (see Ashworth. Action as socially situated and socially meaningful In every acti on. 1968a:154) 133 . otherw ise it is und erstandable neith er to th e actor nor to th e audience. th en. a communicati on is to be accomplished. : 11 ). action mu st be bound by cert ain rul es. 1985 ). In such contexts it may not be sur pr ising that Coffma n sugges ts. places 'of residence and work wher e a lar ge number of lik e-situated individu als. But his insistenc e that th e self is a social entity is typically symbolic int eractionist. but dw ells rather in th e pattern of social controls th at is exerte d in connect ion with a per son by himself and by those aro und him . Coffma n wa nts to layout th ese underlying rul es of actio n. So is th e em phasis on the id ea that beh aviour is t o be a n a lyse d in terms o f it s interp er sonal meaning. 1968a ) th at th e auth or is mo st profound in hi s account of the con struction of a self in inter action. can be seen as something th at resides in th e arrangeme nts prevailing in a social system for its member s. Th at is. monasteries and so on. first of all. Th e self in th is sense is not a property of th e per son to who m it is attr ibuted. (Co ffma n. ment al institution s.
Similarly. For a homosexual there is a choice of self-persentation. For Coffman either pr esentation is possible. If.'passing as normal' . the choice is to remain covert. then stigma is avoided but . Coffman discusses the plight of bodily disfigured people and those who are subjected to social persecution.2 Goffman on homosexuality In Stigma: Notes on th e Managem ent of Spoiled Identity (1968b).one decides to 'come out' .in line with the interactionist observation that the individual is their own observer (each person is a kind of mini-community) . The self as constituted by individual role-distancing and choice In contrast. there is effectively no other way that an individual can present themselves but as an example of that category. Rather. the focus is on interaction. in a pas sage in which Coffman discusses wa ys in wh ich prisoners use legitimate privileges for unintended purposes. There is no discussion of the historical or cultural or broadly political reasons for gender. not of morality.this can lead to a discomfort since I am pr esenting myself in one way (straight) to others and in another way to myself (gay) .then the dynamics of stigma will apply (in a homophobic setting) . 134 . If the choice is not to conceal in self-presentation one's sexual orientation . It is a matter of impression management. The bodily disfigurement (e. on the other hand.g. race or other social discrimination. where gender or race is treated as definitive of the person. he portrays the individual as aware of the self that the institution provides for th em. Nor are any personal motivational dynamics mentioned. in terms of the dilemmas for self-presentation which their situations pose .PSYCHOLOGY AND ' HUMAN NATURE' Box 6. a face spoiled by serious burns) of one of the participants may dominate the situation and subvert the interaction. but as standing apart from this (rol e-distancing) .
of course. a look of concentration. a naked unsocialised look. each performer tends to wear a single look. The fact that there is choice.SOCIAL BEING 50 the straightforwardly deterministic account of the way the self is formed by interaction does not exhaust the way self and group are related. the individual who performs the character will be seen for what he largely is. 1962). a solitary player involved in a harried concern for his production. Self-as-performance and consciousness-as-performer We have a self which is chosen from the range of possibilities which social arrangements provide. indicates personal agency 'behind' the selves that are enacted in social encounters. In Box 6. however constrained it might be. some elbow room. 1956). or argue that he seems to be suggesting an aspect of the individual which remains unsocialised (Naegele. between himself and that with which others assume he should be identified' (Coffman. and indeed Goffman says as much: Whether the character that is being presented is sober or carefree. Behind many masks and many characters. for individuals often distinguish between the self implied by the social roles they play. self presentation.2 I bring out some of the implications of Goffman's view of selfhood in the case of homosexuality. Commentators on Goffman have objected to this. (Goffman. and the attributes they are actually willing to accept and identify with. of high station or low. Coffman finds the social deterministic view of the self far too coarse-grained. They either complain that Goffman pays no attention to an 'inner self' (Caudill. The performer is a 'harried fabricator of impressions involved in the all-too-human task of staging 135 . a look of one who is privately engaged in a difficult treacherous task. 1968a:279). 'We always find the individual employing methods to keep some distance. But it is clear that Goffman (1971:222) divides the individual into two separate entities. 1971:207) The task being.
and savoir-faire.' Embarrassment is experienced when the face one is presenting in an encounter is 'discredited' . is 'a figure. tact. incidents do occur. how to behave.the crucial concern is the impression one makes on others. consciously or unconsciously. The interdependence of participants is shown by the fact that it is usually not only the discredited individual who is embarrassed. .PSYCHOLOGY AND 'HUMAN NATURE' a performance'. It is important to act so as to preserve the integrity of the interaction: By repeatedly and automatically asking himself the question. Employment of these performances requires the actor to monitor the encounter with circumspection for incipient threats to face. and mutual self-validation is suspended. a gesture. in contrast. This is because the discrediting of one person throws the whole encounter out of gear. together with the selves being performed in it. diplomacy. by a glance. Examples of facework are poise. typically a fine one. Embarrassment looms. The term 'facework' covers 'the actions taken by a person to make whatever he is doing consistent with face' (Goffman. whose spirit.. shrivelling up the reality in which it is lodged' (Goffman. is thrown into disarray. Each feels embarrassment on their own account. (Coffman. embarrassment has to do with the figure the individual cuts . 1972a:38). realities require tender care. or a remark. 'There seems to be no agent more effective than another person in bringing a world for oneself alive or. but the whole group. strength and other sterling qualities the performance was designed to evoke'. Despite all this guardedness. 'If I do or do not act in this way. will I or others lose face?' he decides at each moment. 1972b:12). 'Whatever else. Others are uniquely placed to threaten the definition of the situation. The self which is performed. Coffman (1972b:98) writes. The tenuousness of the reality of the encounter: embarrassment and face work An encounter constructs a reality which is easily destroyed and needs careful attention to sustain. 1972b:36) 136 . and the interaction.
but how. but the exa mples are fro m a restricted ran ge of AngloAmerican society. as Box 6. but em ploye d different systems of metaphor s which he deem ed appropriate to the particular analytic situation. 1988 ). Coffma n discusses th e plight of bodily disfigured peopl e and th ose wh o ar e subjecte d to social per secution. what Coffman is saying is th at it is irrelevant whether th e p er son engagi ng in so cia l int er act ion is saint or con-artist. th ey mu st be con vincing in getting their prese nta tion accepte d. Peopl e . partly through th e fact th at any cool description of beh aviour mak es it seem more calculati ve than it is. th erefore. and on the basis of wh at psychological tend encies? G o H ma n 's d e scription s see m cynical. th at th e wo rk is culture- bound. in terms of the dilemmas for self-presentation wh ich their situations pose. Can inter action be studied properl y like thi s? Gidden s also points out th at personal motivation is not investigated by C offm an. Coffma n is methodologically brazen.so the criticism s n eed to be consider ed in the light of the attempt t o delineate an ar ea o f research focu sed on interacti on as such. It is a 'flat ' th eor y (Gidden s. In essence. it is presupposed. and p artly through the effo r t t o ret ain the ga p bet ween con sciou sness and selfhoo d. Like M ead. social stru cture. It is possible. p ower. paying no heed to the usual rules of evidence. 137 . and social conflict. Coffma n implies that th e ba sic cat egor ies of int eract ion mu st be universal.2 indicates. No r did he develop a consistent set of concepts. ar e M achiavellian deceiver s. Criticisms Cr iti cs ha ve ofte n mi sunder st ood what Go ffm an w as trying t o do . Partly thi s comes ab out through his ironic literary sty le. there is a lack of concern with large-scale society .SOCIAL BEING In Stigma (196 8b). C offma n's account of society is lacking on history. We are certainly socialised.
th ey do things. ind ividuals are user s and recon structor s of the discursive resources of the culture. Despit e thi s. biol ogical science. They do not just describe things. th ey actively construct a vers ion of tho se things. A ctu al human psych ology is part of su ch cons truc tio n.exi sting socia lly avail able di scourse. The discourse an alyst will look for ways in which the spee ch (and action) of individu al s var ies 138 . 198 7:6 ) The use of the term 'construction' is intended to highli ght the way meaningful act ion (es pecia lly t alk ) is bu ilt fr om pre. not a n atural . 19 79 :405 ). events an d cat egories pr e-exi sting in th e socia l and n atural wo rld. In th eir spee ch and action individu al s draw on socially available texts or di scourse. Psychology is a hermeneutics-an interpret ati ve discipline.PSYCHOLOGY AND ' HUMAN NATURE' Discourse analysis and discursive psychology Whal discourse analysIs are Irying 10 do Social construction of reality. It is true th at many discourses are so firml y ass ume d as part of th e realit y of the everyday social world th at almo st no on e w ould contest th em. an d 'the ta sk of th e recon struction of society can be begun by an yon e at any tim e in any face to face encounter ' (H arre. an d thi s is n o less true whe n th e individual is pr esenting a self or m aking a sta te me nt a bout 'psychological' matter s. And the em ployme nt of these is wh at it is to be a person. is con structed by 'discourse': spo ke n inter act ion . for the individual. (Potter and Wetherell. Ther e ar e socially av aila b le resources for presenting on eself as a per son. It als o points to the individu al' s participat ion in the on going shap ing of the discursive resources of th e culture. Rather. an d meaningful actions-an d all thi s can also be referred to broadly as 'text' : We h ave tri ed t o sho w how socia l texts do n ot merel y reflect or mirror obj ect s. Reality. written mater ial of all kinds.
human mean ingful action may be tr eat ed as text. is to reveal th e currents of belief and argume nt th at are being espo used. Followin g Ricoeur (1971). rather th an on th e way in which individu als str ugg le to mak e use of th em or th e det ails of th e socia l negot iati on over th eir meanmg. Th e interest here is on the stru cture of th e discourses as such. borrowed from the culture. which mea ns (a) th at th e du alism which wo uld sepa ra te th e per son who is investigat ed and th e investigat or requires dem oliti on . argume nts. as it were. It also refer s to th e idea (c) th at th e th eoret ical stru ctures th at psych ologists build up are th emselves discourses. Burm an and Parker (1993 :4) n ot e the use of the term 'l in gu ist ic or inte r pre ta tive repertoires' in order to em phas ise 'the power of con ver sati on al context on wha t peopl e say a bo ut th em selves from mom ent to moment '. Such repertoires are. Certai n assum ptio ns. Potter and Wetherell (1995) emp hasise th at the way resources are utiliseddiscourse practice-is part of the subject matt er of discourse ana lysis. Th e con struction by peopl e of description s of the wo rl d can be 139 . Th is can be seen to be relat ed to th e position ing of th ose who purvey such lines. much used by discourse ana lysts. Knowledge is related to power. and shoe ho rne d int o th e purposes for which they are needed.SOCIAL BEING an d ther eb y em bo dies di stinct uersto ns of the wo rl d a n d of them sel ves. This is n ot the place t o dr aw out the dist inction s in det ail. however. One purpose of research. It also points t o the fact (b) th at the find in gs of psych ol ogy a p ply t o the psych ologist as well as to th e resear ch particip ant. but the foll owin g em phases sho uld be not ed . th e task of discourse ana lysis is to 'rea d' the text. beliefs are widely tak en for gra nte d to be 'common sense'. In thi s sense . lines of kn owledge. Reflexivity is a term. The as pects of discourse th at they stress in dica te th e specific n ature of th eir research. Wh"t is discourse "1 The way in which di scourse is under st ood by discourse ana lys ts va ries in det ail.
With this emphasis. I will call this work discursiv e psychology for present purposes: a sub-area of discourse analysis aimed at a new 140 . a felicity condition in some circumstances might be that the utterance is seen as truthful. A function of words and other meaningful actions is not simply to convey information but to have an effect (such as the effect in presenting a self that we have already seen exp lored by Goffman). Discourse analysis can focus on dil emmas (Billig. and indicates that people. w eighing up. not as true or false. but as conforming to felicity conditions-that is. Constructions of reality do not have to be explicitly verbalised. Viewed in this way. in presenting a stance. Discourse can be described in terms of the achievement of accounts since it consists of statements which constitute. Different repertoires will be drawn upon to account for or make sens e of different situations as they occur. a notion which develops the idea of the achievement of an account. referring to and discounting alternatives. It is expected that there will be variability. Of course. discourse is to be regarded primarily. or to swear an oath in a court of law. But he went on to say that there is a performatiue impact of all discourse. since discursive attempts by an individual are ex ercises in argument. Billig demonstrates in detail that the venerable discipline of rhetoric becomes relevant. for others' acceptance or rejection. it aims to be appropriate to the situation in the eyes of participants in the interaction. similarly to name a child or a ship. Accounting is achieved through the use of the repertoire(s). Austin (1962) pointed out that in certain formal circumstances it is obvious that to utter a particular form of words is thereby to do something. Proposing a toast at a banquet is done simply by the words.PSYCHOLOGY AND 'HUMAN NATURE' embedded in actions and activities. do not simply toe a 'line' but negotiate contrasting material. Discursive psychology liS hermeneutics I now want to consider the approach of discourse analysis to the core concepts of psychology. an object or event as having such-and-such a set of characteristics. 1996).
Rather. 3). indeed. The question to be tackled would be: What counts as an appropriate instance of 'doing remembering'? Thinking is. thinking. 1979: ch. Perceiving. motivation and emotion have received the interpretative attention of discursive psychology. Partly. Rather. the aim is to describe the way in which claims to be 'remembering' are achieved. 'Information' is already enmeshed in discursive relevances. first of all. In contrast. Psychologists. clarified by removing it from the exclusively inner realm. 4). Entirely in line with Mead. the utterances are treated as instances of 'thought'). This is not intended by any means as a new route to the discovery of the inner events taking place when such things as remembering occur. For instance. A hermeneutics is involved here. For discursive psychology the armoury of mental concepts is regarded as a set of social constructions. 141 . thinking and communication are one and the same (Ashworth. set up their theories and experiments on the basis of socially available discourses. the 'extraction of information from the environment' (Harre and Gillett. Perception is not the starting point in the formation of experience. as it is for cognitive psychology.SOCIAL BEING access to psychology's main concepts. moves the centre of psychological attention from representation of the world in our awareness through the interpretation of sensory input on the basis of relevant memories. to the discursive repertoires in which we are immersed and in terms of which we live. discursive psychology is concerned precisely with the discourses surrounding mental processes such as remembering. there is a naive acceptance of what 'remembering' is. Thinking draws on the available discourse for its elementsincluding the use of appropriate (Harre and Gillett. 1979: ch. 1994:170) is already within a social milieu (Ashworth. Thoughts are legitimated by their success in producing certain effects within the conversation (even if not actually persuasive. 1994:43) words and actions to indicate that the utterance is. in investigating 'mental processes'. as Potter and Wetherell (1987) have it. 'thought out' . this is to reveal the felicity conditions surrounding the claim to be remembering. remembering. Discursive psychology. of course.
or a matter of explaining one's choice. to be subject to particular inner processes but to draw on a socially available repertoire of 'emotion behaviour' which will be understood by oneself as well as others as 'indicating' . More recent attempts in the same vein include Potter and Wetherell (1987: ch. To 'be motivated' is not to be subject to certain bodily states which have a determinative effect. occasioned version of events. A person who. justifications. drawing on Heider's (1958) studies of the commonsense attribution of intention. The 'rememberer' is uttering a version of events-but rather than being concerned with the mechanism of the 'reach back' into the past. Harre and Gillett (1994:155) emphasise this feature 142 . it is claimed. Rather. discursive psychology takes the act of remembering in its present meaning. 7) provides an early example of a discursive psychology of motivation. in the middle of a furious argument. and a host of other discursive techniques. and focusing on the accuracy of the version.as it may be-anger. In any case it is about managing impressions in interpersonal settings using appropriate reasons. Edwards and Potter (1992). excuses. 1940). and Harre and Gillett (1994).PSYCHOLOGY AND 'HUMAN NATURE' Remembering in discursive psychology is different from its treatment in cognitive psychology. is showing the occasioned and presentational features of a psychological discourse. 1992:35) So again we have the 'mental process' placed firmly in the social world of conversation. 4). rather than taken as a window upon something else that is supposed to be going on inside the reporter's mind. To participate in discursive occasions of emotion is not. remembering is studied as action. and studiable as a constructed. one draws from a socially available 'vocabulary of motives' (Mills. It is studied directly as discourse. answers the telephone sweetly. and going on to show that motive-talk is usually either a matter of repairing a misunderstanding. with the report itself taken as an act of remembering. (Edwards and Potter. as Edwards and Potter argue: For discourse analysis. and in terms of its current function. Ashworth (1979: ch.
how is it theorised in discourse? (Potter and Weth erell. Stea rns (1995) ha s demonstr ated th e historical and cultural flexibility of th e significance of grief. th e 'discursive community'. 1998 ) has been pr ominent in thi s field . ar e seriously political matters-instances of th e exercise of power. Mo st recentl y. In th is vein. M ember s of different cultures ha ve different emotions ava ilable to them as resources for con veying to th emselves and othe rs th e 'p er sonal impact' of incidents an d events . In line with thi s emphasis th e individual is regarded as drawing on ass um ptions about what it is to be a per son in ach ievin g th eir ow n vers ion of per sonhood.SOCIAL BEING of emotions: th ey ar e 'm eaningful displa ys.3 ). H arre (mos t recently. h olds. And among th e comp on ents that an individual find s available to th em are im p licit ones-including the gram m a ti ca l features of the lan gu age. The qu esti on becomes n ot wh at is the true n ature of th e self. 19 87:102 ) Potter and Weth er all insist th at what a per son is 'allo wed' to be and wha t th ey can env isage th emselves as bein g (that is. st ressing in particular the way in which the gra m mat ical fir st143 . but ho w is the self t alked about. th e possibilities th at th e relevant discourses hold out for th em ). performed according to local convention s' . femini st researchers have shown how pervasive ar e th e discourses of gender-so that virtually any realm of society ha s impl icati on s for th e 'sorts of' fem ale who w ould be involved in th at realm (if women had any legitimat e po sition th ere at all ). Discursive psychology "nd sellhood Discourse analysts stress th at an y utterance ha s am on g its functions th e po sitioning of the individual within the ran ge of po ssibilities that th e society. Selfh ood is a th em e which is in extricable from di scourse ana lysis genera lly.which leads to a particular approach to the qu estion of homo sexuality (see Box 6.
Harre and Gillett seem to suggest that not all is text in th e analysis of th e discursive psychology of selfhood. Rather it is graphically illustrated by the nonsensicalit y of the following situation: 144 . The grammar pro vides an I. at th e int ersection of a number of discursive po sitions th at ma y be uniqu e to them. They draw a distinction between self-constructions and 'the question of our sense of personal individuality' (1994:102). However. No one can think of themselves as homosexual unless th is is a cultural category. as it were. th e self. a distinct personal style of life or unremarkable usualness) -depends on what verbal formulations and trends of action ar e at hand. person singular encourages the understanding that I refers to an entity with agency and per sonal characteristics. for discursive psychology postulates that human motivation is a social matter. The latter do es not mean th e individuality that an individual has simply by being. Thus discourse analysts will develop a research programme aimed at eliciting the meanings presented in talk and action which provide-probably several-possible identities for those who (for reasons which themselves are discursive in origin) wish or are driven to take them up. Finally.3 Discourses of homosexuality For discourse analysts. grounded in the vocabulary of kinds of people which is extant at a particular time in a particular society. that-if the discourse is lacking-a certain social type does not exist. discussed in the next chapter. th e truth is that th e I refers to a kind of social location. It will be clear that there is agreement here with the view of Foucault. and leads on e to assume that this points to a substantive entity. not to an inn er selfhood. And what such an attribution entails-in addition to a sexual preference for members of the same sex (ignominy or acceptance.PSYCHOLOGY AND ' HUMAN NATURE' Box 6. self-attributions of sexual orientation draw upon socially available discourses. I say that the origins of such motivation are themselves discursive.
the m or e a pp ro pr iate m odel m ay be con ver sati on. th e m od el of the t e xt i s a n ina ppro pri ate one. Criticisms The model of the text may betray the reality ofconversation. If Ric oeur is right. M ore t ellin gl y.' (Harre and Gillett. D iscourse ana lysis can sto p too early. then thi s underm in es the idea o f text an d d isc ourse em ploye d by discourse ana lysts. The text. Not all is text. Of course-rightly or 145 . the a uthors work ing w ith in othe r. acc ording to Ricoeur (1971). perh ap s. an d n ot all is con struction . Deeper research shows th at peopl e actively use th e discur sive resources beyond wha t is socially given to struggle. Since all is su pposed t o be text. I dr aw on thi s meaning of selfhood in th e Co nclusion. mainstr eam psych ological view poi nts are tr eat ed (dismissively) as mer ely developing alte rnative discourses. 1994:103 ) The self in thi s sense is pr esupposed in th e wh ole of psych ology even discur sive psychology. to make their ow n sense of th e lifeworld. Discursive psychology subverts psychological science. on th e boundar ies of under standabil ity.' Socially ava ilable di scourse is a glos s on th e indivi du al lifew orld. I am not th e person I th ou ght I w as. 'The primar y human realit y is per sons in con versat ion. H arre (1983:5 8) is one per son associat ed with th is school who tak es exa ctly thi s line. The resp on se of con structionism wo uld be to point out this dilemma: realism cannot descr ib e its ' tr ue wo rl d' which is sa id to lie behind con struction s wi tho ut ente ring into con struction itse lf. I am after all yo u. refer s beyond itsel f t o a worl d. given th e dynam ic processes which discourse ana lysis aims to research. 'I've discovered th at I' ve been wrong about myself all th ese yea rs. As soo n as the vario us stra nds of socially ava ila ble discourse becom e clear the interviews and th e ana lyses may cease.SOCIAL BEING Could I be mistak en abo ut who I am ? Could I wake up one morning and say to myself (whoever that might be! ).
The social construc tio nism sha re d. who attem pts integration by speculating on the br ain mech ani sms. The mean ing of th e bod y is mediat ed by lan gu age an d int erpretati on like any other object in th e wo rld. which allow the discur sive mind to develop . Genera lly. an d is th e tool. M ead stresses th e process of reflecti on: th e self is th at which can be an object of its own awareness. • • • 146 . It is the other who adj udicates one 's claim s to selfhood an d other 'm ental' claim s. Summary: Mead. and discourse analysis • Consciousness. con sciou sness mean s lingu isticall y medi at ed aware ness. selfhoo d is ena cte d in th e eyes of other people. by all th e w ri te rs d iscu ssed in th is c ha p te r m ean s th at conscio usness is n ot so mu ch a matter of perception as it is of depl oying socia lly available repertoires to achieve intera ctio n and to co lla bo ra te in th e building of int er subjective realiti es of vario us kinds. But ther e is also the tendency t o esta blish in divi dua lity of identity. It is a social con struction . an d the self is a di scursive pr oduct. and 'ta king the attitude of th e other' is a central feature of thi s. The body. Author s in th is cha pter do n ot regard othe r peopl e as sepa ra te d by a gulf of under st anding fr om oneself.this disconnects discursive psychology from the rest of the discipline. For Coffma n. Other s are the so ur ce of the individu al ' s development of mind an d self. Lan gu age or di scourse is sha re d. It is to be under stood in terms of th e socia l situa tio ns in w hich it is enacte d-socia l sett ings h old out a virtua l self for their member s. (b) Its structure develop s in par allel with the growth in sophisticatio n of interaction. (a) It arises in th e proc ess of social int eraction. Selfhood.PSYCHOLOGY A N D ' HUMAN NATURE' wro ngly. H arre is the only autho r. Goffman. O the r people. fir st of communicati on and then of individu al th ou ght. I th ink.
I. Accounts of the wo rld are versions of reality. Of Rom H ar re' s man y relevant books. and Wetherell. E. (ed s) (1993) Discou rse A na lytic Research: R epertoires and Readings of Tex ts in Action.M ead' s ow n nam e are not th e best introduction to his work.Gillett) Lond on : Sage (1994). (1972) Symbolic In teraction : A R eader in Social Psy chology (Boston: Allyn and Baco n) . Londo n: Routl edge. Burm an. Goffma n's w ork is read abl e. Further reading Book s und er G. and M eltzer. (1971) Th e Presen tation of Self in Everyd ay Life (Harm ondsw orth: Penguin) is ba sic.Stearns ) Londo n: Sage (199 5). Londo n: Sage. The followin g over view s of discourse analysis can be recommended: Potter. There are sever al edited collections of pap ers on sym bolic interactioni sm which include ar ticles on M ead.SOCIAL BEING • The physi cal w orld. G . In contra st to M ead. 147 . J. and readil y ava ilable: Go ffma n. B. (1987) Discourse and Social Psychology: Beyond A ttitudes and Behaviour. fun. J. H . E. One such is M ani s. M . and Park er.N . and Discursive Psychology in Practice (with P. these recent volumes are especially interesting: The Discursive Mind (with G. There is no unequivocal reality: the physical world is socially constructed.
Chapter 7 IHuman nature' as an outmoded cultural presupposition • • • • • • Modernity and postmodernity Psychology and postmodernism (1) Hermeneutics: a method for postmodernism Psychology and postmodernism (2) Michael Foucault and the archaeology of knowledge What Foucault was trying to do Foucault's work and the interpretation of 'human nature' Derrida and deconstruction What Derrida is trying to do Writing and speech Derrida and the deconstruction of psychology 150 152 153 155 156 156 157 164 164 165 167 149 .
and also in the image of the en t re p re ne ur and th e accumulation of wealth-is under challenge. Is John Cage's Four Minutes and Thirty -three Seconds .music? One formulation of postmodernism which is relevant here is that a work embodies its own 'rules' and should not be scrutinised for conformity to any external criteria of adequacy. especially in the basic assumption of a solid.in which the performers stay silent . the attempt to develop general laws on the model of nineteenth-century physics (positivism) is under increasing challenge. shown in such 151 .1 Some postmodern features of contemporary society Self-consciously postmodern art can involve lack of adherence to the 'rules' of the artform to which it is supposed to belong. there is a tendency for western science to have lost its absolute authority. In line with this. there can therefore no longer be clarity about the knowledge and understanding appropriate to the education of new members of the culture.AN OUTMODED CULTURAL PRESUPPOSITION Box 7. Another grand reeit is the notion of a disinter est ed search for truth. One indication of this is that students can study very diffuse modular courses rather than follow a syllabus upon which all experts agree . Modernism has a strong relationship to positivism. For instance. Although scientific knowledge is the most resistant to postmodernity. There is value diversity. religious belief is viewed as 'opinion' rather than an account of universal truth. Plainly. there is no longer universal acceptance of a distinction between high art and popular art in such areas as music and writing. alternative therapies seem to be regarded as on a par with orthodox medicine. In psychology and sociology. unequivocal reality which should be modelled in the theories of all sciences. culture-seen in such narratives as the em an cip a tion of the workers and the steady march of progress leading to the classless society. Thus.
postmodernism entails a fragmentation within the society. Postmodern thinking questions this (see Kvale. according to Derrida for instance. For Lyotard. looking in'.PSYCHOLOGY AND 'HUMAN NATURE' narratives as the progress of scientific research with its promise of the mastery of nature. most psychology-certainly the forms of it discussed in the first four chapters of this book-is modernist in its assumptions. More positively. Psychology and postmodernism «1) A further event within contemporary culture reinforces the postmodern attitude. in Lyotard's final pages. but can at best only be translated into another segment of discourse. Not legitimised by definite sets of rules-standards by which it would be possible to judge straightforwardly whether (to revert to our own concerns) a piece of work was 'good psychology' -a work has to em body in its own production some hint as to what it is about. All thes e narratives are bound up with the idea of an underlying true reality and therefore the possibility of progress. 1992). We have already seen. it means a certain em ancipation of human activity. Rather. and Marx's scientific socialism. and postmodernism rejects them. It is not detached. Plainly. This is the growth within semantics-the theory of linguistic meaning-of the view that the meaning of words and sentences is not based on their representation of facts in the real world. There is a true reality to be uncovered by the activities of researchers. there is nothing outside the 'text'. The truth of a piece of discourse cannot be independently validated. a lack of consensus. and findings at one moment in time are th e stepping stones to refined findings later on. 152 . and an important implication is that psychology can no longer present itself as 'outside human society. the way that this viewpoint has affected some work in psychology very fundamentally. in our discussion of discourse analysis in the pr evious chapter. This is not to say that all discourse analysis or discursive psychology is postmodernist.
This is th e view th at we can regard something as true when (a) th e representat ion of something in th ou ght and th eor y corresponds with or matches (b) realit y. But if th ere is only 'represe nta tio n' -discourse. since th e focus of research wo rk mu st be th e uncovering and int erpret ation of meanings. h ave to be judged in terms of th eir coh erence (they han g together an d mak e sense as a who le) and in terms of th e new light th at th ey seem to she d on some thing th at is otherwise obscure. An d. h ow ca n we p rocee d ? H ermeneutics seems to pro vide a way. then. (It is for thi s reason th at th e psychological noti on of valida tion cannot be a pp lie d t o the find in gs o f di sc ourse a na lysis . Hermeneutics: a method for postmodernism If the po stmod ern atti tu de is adopte d. b ut at te m pts t o ma ke us aware of the im plici t assu m ptio ns a bou t pe rso ns th at a re ava ila b le t o the member s of a social gro u p for the t im e bein g.AN OUTMODED CULTURAL PRE SUPPO SITION but part of the Babel of discourses wi thi n the cu lt ure. ther e is n o independent criterion aga inst which to jud ge th e correctness of th e findings. th e correspondence th eor y of truth will not wo rk. It can imm edi ately be seen th at thi s assumes th at a criterion of reality can be found which lies outside th e 're presenta tio n' . 153 .) Th e interpretati ons which result from herm eneutic wo rk. un iver sal hum an n atur e. Th e first thing to grasp abo ut thi s thinker is his rejection of the correspo nde nce theory of truth. and I mu st n ow indicat e th e direction which a relevant part of his wo rk tak es. or text-and th er e is n o underl yin g reality free of interpretation . O ne so ur ce of co ntempo ra ry hermen eutics is found in the work of H eid egger. as we saw in Cha pte r 6. So Fre ud's dr eam th eor y-whi ch I argued in Cha pter 2 was at least in pa rt a set of hermeneutic rul es for interpreta tio n-is to be jud ged by its value in illuminating th e man ifest content . disc ursive psycho logy does n ot pret en d t o pr o gr essivel y reveal t ru e. It can be seen th at the psych ol ogic al n otion of va li di ty is a versio n of the correspondence th eor y of truth.
we do not.e. (Heidegger. the discourses with which we are familiar). revises. since the qu estion is of the possibility of the human understanding of another person. and this involvement is one which gets laid out by the interpretation. the thing in question already has an involvement which is disclosed in our understanding of the world. In interpretation there ar e always presuppositions. So a cycle of interpretation is observed ever yw h ere. 1962:190-191) Interpretation depends on standpoint. throw a 'signification' over some naked thing which is present-at-hand.PSYCHOLOGY AND 'HUMAN NATURE' Now Heidegger argued that the process of interpretation is an everyday feature of human activity. Human beings are from the start immersed in the world (Heidegger  uses the term Being-inthe-world to refer to entities of the human kind). then illuminates. which determine the direction of interpretation: In interpreting. we are interpreters. In Truth and Method. but the issue is precisely the same when it comes to psychology. In Weinsheimer's summary of Gadamer: The question arises as to whether acquiring a historical horizon [i. This hermeneutic circle begins with our engagement with something in our world on the basis of a fore-understanding (or. but when something within-the-world is encountered as such. Gadamer (1975) developed Heidegger's thinking on hermeneutics. the acquisition of a general grasp of a particular past period] 154 . and from the start we are engaged in interpreting it. we do not stick a value on it. on the basis of gr eater involvement or experience with that thing. so to speak. enr iches the initial understanding. The human being is inescapably 'hermeneutic'. we might say. and the meaning of something has to be in terms of the relevance of the thing to the interpreter. The discussion below is specifically about history. Our new understanding can then be the starting point for future interpretative effort s. Further interpretation.
AN OUTMODED CULTURAL PRE SUPPO SITION
mea ns placing ourselves within the hor izon of a past tr ad ition so th at we cou ld understa nd it with its ow n eyes, from its ow n pers pective . Clearly, acquiring a histor ical h or izon does not mea n th at at all. We exist nowh ere but in our ow n time, within our ow n hori zon, and th ere is no magical tim e machine th at can tr an sport us anywhere else. (Weinsheimer, 1985:1 82-1 83 ) The em phasis of Ga da me r is clear. Ther e ca n be n o gene ral rules of hermen eutics (since ea ch inte r pre ta tio n is inevita b ly bound by a specific 'fore -un ders ta n ding '). An d our access t o othe r cultures - or, in dee d, our psych ol ogical access t o othe r people-cannot be throu gh atte mp ting to t ak e th e attitu de of th e othe r culture or per son. Rather we mu st recogn ise th at we tak e our pr esupp osition s to th e st udy, an d sho uld see our under standin g of th e othe rs as a kind of con ver genc e, where by our ass um ptio ns guide our appro ach to research, but th at the pheno me no n bein g stu die d ch allen ges th e ass um ptio ns so th at we en d up wi th a revision of un ders ta n ding. In effect, resear ch wo rk does n ot pr ovid e us w ith facts a bo ut the per son or th in g bein g researched ; rather, it lead s to an adustme nt of our pr ejudices. An d it is n ot ju st th at 'obj ectivit y' is a h ard qu alit y t o achieve, but that it is im possible- no t least becau se th ere is no unequivocal reality to be so ught. Ga da me r's ela bo ra tion o f H eid egger gives pr id e of place t o culture in th e for m of the avai la ble discourses on the basis of which we under st and. For the r esear cher , it is fr om the sta n d poi n t o f d isc our se th at a ll interpret at ion begin s an d en ds.
Psychology and postmodernism (2)
In earlier pages devoted to Fre ud, Skinner and discursive psych ology, I showed how vario us autho rs use th eir ow n th eoretical fram ew ork t o interpret ' psycho logi ca l pr oc esses' . We can see n ow th at hermen eutic th eor y wo uld not ex pect con ver genc e amo ng th ese research pro gramm es towards the 'true reality' of thinking, perceiving, dreaming, etc. Instead, they are to be seen as independent interpretative
PSYCHOLOGY A N D ' HUMAN NATURE'
activi ties, each with th eir ow n for e-understandings abo ut h um an nature, an d eac h develop ing deepen ed but differ ent ' bo dies of kn o wl edge' . Ther e would be co nve rge nce if ther e we re a n uncontro vert ible, solid reality to which all th e interp reta tive attempts we re direct ed, h ow ever differ ent their sta r t ing poin ts. But postm odernism excludes thi s. What we have, in th e sectio ns of previou s ch apters lab elled 'he rme ne utics', is th e autho r's inter pre ta tio n, taking off fr om a specific for e-under st anding of human n ature an d bu ilding an increasing ly sophis ticate d but never fin al versio n of psych ol ogy within th at horizon . We now turn our attentio n to two specific postm od ern writers whose wo rk brings out some of th e implicati on s of thi s viewpo int for the und erstanding of (wha t will be a probl ematical term for them ) 'huma n nature' -Fouc ault and Derrida.
Michel Foucault and the archaeology of knowledge
What Foucault was trying to do
Hi s int ention can best be under stood by coming to a realisati on of th e mean ing of th e following appa rently opa que sta tement: M y aim was t o ana lyse this hi st or y [of thou ght], in the discontinuity th at no teleology wo uld reduce in adva nce; .. .to allow it t o be depl oyed in a n ano ny mity on w hi ch n o transcendental constituti on wo uld impose the form of the subject; to open it up to a temp or ality th at wo uld not promise th e return of any dawn . M y aim was to clean se it of all tr an scendental narcIssism .. . (Foucault, 1972:202-20 3 ) The first feature of th e above qu ot e which deserves our atte ntion is th at Foucault sees th e history of thought as discontinuous and with no direction orpurpose. Altho ugh Foucault's work varies in the extent
AN OUTMODED CULTURAL PRESUPPOSITION
to which history is treated as discontinuous, the idea of teleology (development towards a future goal, where the goal dictates the direction of development) is consistently avoided. The thought of a period of history is impersonal. It should be analysed without regard to particular individuals, for it is the culture as a whole which must be seen to have a particular 'outlook'. What is more, the study of the history of thought must be detached from concern for the mental life of members of the culture. Foucault especially rejects (in line with Gadamer) the idea that the truth of historical understanding can be guaranteed by present-day readers sympathetically 'entering into' the experience of the participants. In this context, it is regarded by postmodernists generally as essential to reject the Husserlian phenomenological approach to knowledge that we saw in Sartre (Chapter 5). They absolutely deny that one can discover facts about reality by carefully analysing human experience. Experience is within discourse; it cannot be a criterion of the accuracy of discourse. To think otherwise is 'transcendental narcissism' -human self-aggrandisement through the exaltation of supposed structures of the mind. Additionally, Foucault is throughout concerned to show the roots
of contemporary, modern discourse and reveal its fundamentally coercive nature. We shall see that he concerns himself with the social 'rational' control of the individual. To be able to claim knowledge is
to have power. Psychology and its associated technologies-social work, criminology, psychiatry, etc. -are part of the modern attempt at a bureaucratisation of the individual, moulding and controlling the person.
Foucault's work and the interpretation 01 'human nature'
I will try to show how Foucault uncovers the way in which human nature was understood in previous epochs by selectively describing particular lines of work.
Madness and Civilization (1971), and the history of 'insanity'
Foucault inaugurated a new area of historical research by looking at the cultural assumptions underlying the way 'mental illness' has
PSYCHOLOGY AND ' HUM AN NATURE'
Box 7.2 Foucault and discontinuities in the western understanding of 'madness' Medieval view of madness as sacred: The person deemed mad was seen as a 'holy fool'; during the Renaissance this view was maintained. Madness was a special kind of ironical, elevated reason: the wisdom of folly (d. Don Quixote). Mid-s eventeenth-century move towards hospitalisation: The mental hospital was not intended to be therapeutic but to confine the mad until they had been 'corrected' . The insane were isolated from the sane, though not driven out entirely-simply held in separate institutions. In the late eighteenth century reforms started. The insane were now viewed differently from other deviants (whereas previously madness and criminality were both versions of abnormality) and attempts at therapy began . Foucault evaluates this reform, surprisingly, negatively. From his perspective, not only were bodies now confined and excluded, but therapy meant that there was even an attempt to capture the minds of the mad. The contemporary world blurs the distinction between sanity and madness-it is a continuum, with a variety of neuroses (each having different degrees of impact on society and the person) . The idea of a continuum weakens the attitude that calls for the mad to be confined to an 'asylum' . But it means that the scope for 'doctors of the mind' of a number of kinds becomes greater-no one is qu ite sane. Therapy becomes ever more pervasive.
been dealt with. H e claims that 'the' discourse on insanity ha s gone through a number of discontinuous phases (see Box 7.2) . Foucault (1971 ) is conc ern ed with a 'presentist' history, trying to uncover th e roots of contemporary discourse. So th e persp ective is necessarily differ ent from that of a historian whose work is focus ed on understanding a particular past epoch. N evertheless, critics dispute the 'historical facts' . The phases ar e not as clearcut as Foucault pr et ends (for instance, som e kind of therapy was
Now we ar e in a quandary. and changes from one to the next are fundamental shifts in thinking . It is of interest here in moving towards a new way of thinking about history-on e which was not so e v ide n t in Madn ess and Civilisation. It considers the wider social context of medical thought and practice. and grammar! philology-and searches for what he assumes there must be: strong similarities (at some level) between these three areas within a given period. and more variety within periods too . 159 . 1973a) is a book from the same period of Foucault's work. Finally. constituting the period's episteme. On our decision as to the resolution of dilemmas like this our appraisal of postmodernism generally must be based. unconscious cultural codes which provide an order for experience. Foucault chooses to examine natural history/biology. Birth of th e Clinic (Foucault. but analyses discourses in order to disinter (hence 'archaeology') the underlying conceptual system-the basic. the evaluat ion of eighteenth -centu ry reforms as repressive IS perverse. economics. as I have said. These codes are 'epistemes' . Can a postmodern account be criticised for its lack of historical accuracy? Such attacks assume a solid past reality about which one can be correct or wrong.AN OUTMODED CULTURAL PRESUPPOSITION often attempted during the seventeenth century) . and is concerned with the different historical perceptions of the body and of disease. Foucault-here in the spirit of Gadamer -is providing a story of the past intended to illuminate the present rather than be 'accurate'. impersonal. The 'Archaeology' and epistemes The Order ofThings (1973 b) do es not continue with the 'articulation' theme. and tries to show how medical discourse is 'articulated' (links and connects) with other institutions and activities. And in any case. Epistemes are radically different from each other. And Foucault's interpretation of the changes as moving from permissiveness to an increasingly intrusive and bureaucratic rationalism is inadequate to account for the facts. There is more continuity across periods than Foucault presumed.
The mid-seventeenth century suddenly saw the end of the episteme of resemblances. in setting out on a quest for everything that might reveal some sort of kinship. analogies between words and things signified real connections: so 'signatures'. they can arise from the working-through of mathematical models with no direct relation to experience. Foucault suggests (though the book hardly deals with the contemporary episteme). Here words and things are part of a unified whole. to mid-seventeenth century. 'The activity of mind. we see the eclipse of individual experience as the basis of truth. that is. Foucault stresses that the episteme of this period did not treat Homo sapiens as ontologically distinct. this is the period of Linnaeus's biological taxonomy. The contemporary world. stressing evolution. indicated the appropriateness of certain plants for treating certain diseases. or secretly shared nature within them.. This development-which included the rise of psychology-is to be regarded as simply a feature of the modern episteme.will therefore no longer consist in drawing things together.3 Four world-views and the rise (and fall) of psychological science Pre-classical. with its Renaissance episteme.PSYCHOLOGY AND 'HUMAN NATURE' Box 7. the 'modern' age. and words and things relate to each other in terms of resemblances or correspondences. (We might provide the example here.) 160 . Rather than ordering. maybe found in the shape of the leaf. attraction. in which. on the contrary. establishing their identities' (Foucault. historicising takes precedence-the time dimension comes to the fore. 1973b:55). The late eighteenth century until the end of the Second World War. since 1950. but. . For example. in discriminating. that scientific theories do not need to be 'understandable'. production and the roots of language. The 'classical' episteme was concerned with ordering and classifying. saw the movement from a 'tabular' to a 'dynamic' episteme. It is in this context that the human being becomes identified as a specific object of discourse. is postmodern.
But his historical facts are inaccurate. and replaces it with an assertion of the primacy of discourse. it seems. He drops the notion of epistemes. There is no idea of progress from one historical episteme to another. Four epistemes are delineated during the period Foucault covers. simply change. Additionally the lack of discussion of the physical sciences and mathematics misses ways of thinking that contradict particularly tellingly Foucault's account. There is external control of the individual in that 'everyone' recognises that there are only certain doable and sayable things. So it is possible to refer to discoursespace. the notion would cease to be postmodern. (If it did. Similarly. Foucault starts focusing on the relationship between knowledge and power. Importantly.AN OUTMODED CULTURAL PRESUPPOSITION The thinking of one episteme is not understandable to another. Discipline and Punish (1977). or discourse and control. and Foucault's account of power The history of punishment in this book begins with the pre-nineteenth century. Foucault has no concept of objectivity. and that this attention to the individual is in decline (a point emphasised at the end of the book and which I will discuss later). for Foucault the power of discourse comes not from the individual speaker-actor. Discontinuities are stressed. Foucault is concerned with the past-not for its own sake. which Foucault characterises as typified by public torture. Following his slightly later Archaeology of Knowledge (1972). and these are outlined in Box 7. Discourse constrains and even constitutes the individual. but to elucidate contemporary knowledge. Note that discourse does not differentiate science and ideology.3. 161 . Of particular interest is the claim that human beings were delineated as distinct relatively late on. so the same line of criticism can be made as for Madness and Civilisation. There is also inner control. Again. since the very sense of self is located within the historical discoursespace of what a person is taken to be. meaning a particular realm of social cognition and practical activity with its own rationality.) At this stage. Foucault implicitly acknowledged the criticisms of his analysis of the conceptual forms underlying historical epochs as too monolithic.
But Foucault is again adamant that reforming humanitarianism is basically concerned with control and power. health. is 'for their own good'. by no means exclusively exercised through discourses of punishment. hospital and school he sees as being similar. and restoring the criminal to their lawful place in it. Much control. Even more control is exercised through arrangements that are willingly entered into by individuals because they make for comfort. greater coercive value in a system which all are logically bound to agree is legitimate than in the despotic exercise of terror. Bentham's 'panopticon' -a prison architecture in which all inmates were simultaneously visible to the warders-is an example of the aim of observation to maintain control and establish discipline. There is. A culture has intrinsic understandings of what it is to be a person. security. And. In this context. but Foucault lists other foci for the institutionalised imposition of power. Note that control is. justifiable. New methods of punishment were aimed at restoring the wrong done to society. punishment must be seen as non-arbitrary. etc. for Foucault. rational reform associated with the Enlightenment involved a new understanding of crime. in the form of guidance. Reformed incarceration entailed as thoroughgoing an observation of the prisoner as possible.PSYCHOLOGY AND 'HUMAN NATURE' in which control is exercised through physical terror. and in terms of which individuals are constructed. Factory. the production of individuals themselves is within a discourse-space with associated controls. and there are similar complaints concerning the one-sided interpretation of reform as fundamentally coercive and intrusive of the individual. in effect. The prison is a clear case. most importantly in his concluding writings. Subsequently. Similar issues of historical accuracy arise in this work as in the studies of clinical medicine and the treatment of insanity. in making concrete the discourse of discipline. It was not now seen as a personal attack on the sovereign but as a breach of the social contract which underpinned civil society. 162 .
But it also makes the point about control-through-discourse (i. Discourses are tactical elements . the realm of what is is the realm of discourse.. on the one side. knowledge/power) e ve n more Box 7. There is not.made possible a strong advance of social controls into this area of 'perversity'. a discourse of power.AN OUTMODED CULTURAL PRESUPPOSITION The History of Sexuality (1981.1981:101) 163 . but it also made possible the formation of a 'reverse' discourse: homosexuality began to speak in its own behalf. from socially available discourse: The appearance in nineteenth-century psychiatry. then no one is 'a homosexual'. does not exist. another discourse that runs counter to it. to demand that its legitimacy or 'naturality' be acknowledged.e. 1990) and the discursive self Foucault's last. When such discourse did emerge. using the same categories by which it was medically disqualified [i. Thus we have an instance of the construction of identity. jurisprudence. (Foucault. 1987. as designating the sexual orientation of a person.e.. uncompleted. This is not to say that activities and affections that could be so designated do not occur (they may even be separately characterised in discourse) but a person is not characterised as such. and the formulation of a demand that such an identity should be accepted. Thus. and far more scholarly. and opposite it.4 Foucaultian theory and discourses of homosexuality For Foucault. then those who found themselves open to its labelling employed exactly the same categories as the repressive society-though with reversed intention. and literature of a whole series of discourses on the species and subspecies of homosexuality. work is in some ways far less strident. in cultures in which the element 'homosexual'. . . often in the same vocabulary. ruled unacceptable].
a proc ess of person al self-mo nito ring is esta blishe d: a kind of inner pan opticon. Foucault finds it no accide n t t ha t moral it y gets tr eat ed m ost cen tra lly as sex ua l mo ra lity. and lat er (with Pr ot est antism ) self-exa mina tio n. Sexuality is.4). H e further argues th at th ere is a pervasive form of pr ejudice in favour of individu al ex perie nce w hic h enta ils pr iorit isin g spee ch ove r cultural forms w hi ch are n ot d irectly linked to 'the spea ker' . and th e attempt to locat e th e self within thi s discourse is itself productive of unh appiness. residu al hu man ism in th is pr ejudice. for in th e self-exa mi natio n th at awareness of sexuality entai ls. Fouc ault regards th e idea of person al sexua lity as develop ing in tandem with th e emergence of th e modern individu al self. Ther e is. lik e Fouc ault ' s. is a ime d at th e eradication of the idea that truth is grounded in the clarification ofindividual experience . and self-scru tiny within a discourse of sexuality becom es a powerful mechani sm of control. our ongo ing use of hom osexu ality as an exa mple of th e applicatio n of the th eories is particularly appos ite here (see Box 7. for Derrida. Lat er. Derrida and deconstruction What Derrida was trying to do Derr id a ' s p o stmoderni sm . for Fouc ault. Earl ier norms of confession lim ited it t o th e occasiona l examina tio n of ex te rna l indicat ion s of pr opriet y. Plainly. 164 . Note th at thi s is not anything to do with Freudian notion s of the repr ession of sexuality and the developm ent of th e ind ividu al supe rego.PSYCHOLOGY A N D ' HUMAN NATURE' stro ng ly becau se it arg ues coge ntly th at th e discourse-space of sexuality is one in w hic h th e individual defi nes himself or herself. produced within a particul ar discursive milieu. and it was infrequent. H e calls thi s pr ejud ice logocentrism. Foucault' s acco unt of th e Christia n era shows an increasing emphasis on confession . H e tr ies t o show th at writing is as basic as speaking. it becam e linked with self-scr utiny. Writing is at a rem ove fr om th e 'thinki ng' of th e per son-and th er efor e tends to be im plic itl y devalu ed .
AN OUTMODED CULTURAL PRE SUPPO SITION
Yet this is n ot t o say th at we ca n fin d some un equivocal so urce of truth in wri ti ng . Rather, wi th deconstruction, D errida ca n b e see n as d o in g ve ry r ad ic al h ermen e ut ic s-but a h er men eutics which co mes ou t in principle wi th th e claim that we cannot fin all y know w ha t is meant. The effo rt t o show in a pa r ti c u la r ca se th e undecid ab il it y o f a piece o f w ri ti ng is ' deconstr uctio n' . Whereas Fo uca ult was, at least at one stage, intereste d in th e artic ula tio n between discourse and othe r socia l features, Derrida regards all as, in th e end, discourse. This also contrasts with Fre ud who, in Ricoeur's acco unt, aime d at gro un ding interpret at ion in the b iol o gic al pr oc esses o f lib id o. For D err id a th er e is no herm eneutically privileged realm-som e area of knowl ed ge in whic h th e certaint y of abso lute tr uth can be found. All is text and all is equivo cal.
Writing "nd speech
Text and per sonal expression Th e distinction between writing and speech is not eas ily dr awn (of course! - it is itself ultimately undecidable). But th e main issue seems to be abo ut speech as bein g th e per son al express ion of ex perience, an d th erefor e relat ing closely to th e ' prese nce' of external reality to th e spea ker. Writing is rem oved from dir ect ex perience. The better forms of writing are closest to speech (the 'w ritten wo rd'), so Plat o wro te dialogues. M aybe th e strongest acco unt of his reject ion of th e pr ejudice in favour of speech is Derrida's (1981) deconstruction of part of the Phaedrus by Plat o . In th at wo rk, Plat o tr ies at length to show how much speech is to be preferr ed over wr iting. Plat o recounts a myth in which th e Egyptia n King Th amus is offered th e gift of writing by th e go d Th oth. Thamus rejects it, with th e follow ing arguments. Spo ken lan gu age is a living, real pr esence, whereas writing is dead inscription . Power s of mem or y wo uld decline; authentic wisdo m wo uld be repl aced by mere kn owledge; students wo uld be able to be widely read w itho ut th e benefit of a teach er' s instruction . And,
PSYCHOLOGY AND 'HUMAN NATURE'
in spoken discussion, people can be questioned about what they mean; a book is not interactive. In his deconstruction of Plato's Phaedrus, Derrida tries to show how anomalous this rejection of writing is. It cannot be unequivocally understood. Why does Plato use myth (a form of which he is otherwise disdainful as being an inadequate vehicle for the truth-effectively a form of writing)? Why does Plato use phrases in praise of spoken language such as 'written in the heart' (using a metaphor drawn from the very thing which is being criticised)? Most tellingly, Plato is guiltily condemning writing in writing. Derrida particularly likes to meditate on th e use by philosophers of words with reversible senses, and discusses at length a term which Plato uses in connection with writing, pharmicon, which has two chief meanings: 'poison' and 'cure' (d. 'drug') . Translators pick the alternative that seems to them to fit best in a given context, but Derrida insists on maintaining the ambiguity of writing as both poison and remedy. Texts, intertextuality and the universality of textuality The writing per se is to be addressed in Derrida's work. There is no recourse to the modernist insistence that texts have authors and that the hermeneutic aim should be to uncover the intention of the author. That rests on the prejudice in favour of experience and the prioritising of speech. Further, texts should not be regarded as delimited by the 'authority' of their official presentation. In Of Grammatology (1976), Derrida points out that a book, for instance, is supposed to be taken as the self-sufficient utterance of its author. But as discourse the text relies on its relationship to other texts; indeed, the meaning of the text is for the most part interpretable only by its implied reference to other texts. And the interpretations which are possible of it ar e themselves, of course, textual. There is no escape, as it were, onto solid ground. What would 'solid ground' be?
AN OUTMODED CULTURAL PRESUPPOSITION
Derrida and the deconstruction 01 psychology
Of course, Derrida co uld turn his atte ntio n to th e writings of psychological authors and dem on strate th e ultimate undecidability of th eir statements. Many of th em, for instance, could be shown to make use of th e pronoun I in a wa y th at asks th e reader to assum e that th e writer is a rational conscio us agent, while th e th eor y th ey ar e expo unding pictures individuals as an ything but th is. Derrida co uld also criticise, in th e manner of the discourse an alysts, th e claim of many psychologists to be uncovering a true underl ying reality: human n ature. This id ea is thoroughly problem atical for all po stmodern thinkers.
Irrationality, normlessness, political standpointlessness
Postmodernity is pla yfully irr esponsible in its denial of values and criteria of judgement. All such criteria are held to be exam ples of an underl yin g power rationale of all discourse. Po stmodernism is profoundly relativist and gives us no ba sis for th e choice of on e narrative or discourse over another. For thi s reason, Habermas (198 7) has claimed that it is 'neo-conservati ve': demystifying and critically an alysing culture is onl y of emancipatory value if th ere is some standard by which valid knowledge can be judged, but postmoderni sts offer no justific ation of an alt ernative to th e social sta tus quo . All that can be done is to snipe, and to relativise.
Anti-humanism or a way 01 emancipation'?
As I m entioned in d iscu ssion of Foucault on the hi story of knowledge, he took th e view that th e id ea of 'the per son' is of 'r ecent in vention': One thing in any case is certain: man is neith er the oldest nor the most constant problem that has been posed for human knowl edge.
PSYCHOLOGY AND 'HUMAN NATURE'
Taking a relatively short chronological sample within a restricted geographical area-European culture since the sixteenth century-one can be certain that man is a recent invention within it.... As the archaeology of our thought easily shows, man is an invention of recent date. And one perhaps nearing its end. (Foucault, 1973b:386-387) What are the implications of the deconstruction of the 'subject' -the human agent? For both Derrida and Foucault, the individual self is to be regarded as the product of the discourses in which it is situated. If there is no socially available discourse of human nature then there is no human nature. And the modes of humanity available to us-if we are members of a culture in which self-definition is required-are just those of our society. There are two conflated purposes in this postmodernist attack on the self. One of them is not dissimilar from that of Sartre; for him also, the self is extrinsic to consciousness, though he does not tie our construction of a self to discourse. The other purpose is more radical. Here the attack is on the view of personal awareness as giving access to truth. The postmodernists regard this attitude as giving rise to the notions of both objectivity (as awareness shorn of bias) and subjectivity (the personal perspective) -both of which they regard as pernicious. Given the rejection of the human standpoint, both as source of truth and as a basic value, it is somehow contradictory that postmodernist writers see themselves as concerned with emancipation. What for?
I ought, in line with the rest of the book, appraise postmodernist social theory in terms of the views it adopts on what we have treated as the main categories of human reality. But these categories themselves are, of course, open to deconstruction. What discourse constitutes these categories as being 'the main categories of human reality' ?
is to be tr eated as a feature of the discour se of a par ticular cultu re at a pa rticular time. in the list which I have used to summarise each of the chapters. there is a more rad ical criticism avai lab le in pos tmodernism. G.. This is revealed. The very idea of 'human na ture'.. In so far as his work is relevant to our questio n. It has a built-in th eme implying certain presuppositions about what human nature is. (1985 ) Foucault (Londo n: Fontana) for an overview. since there is no thing ou tside the text. The 'grand recit' (Lyota rd) underlying a book about 'human nature' would seem to be the centrality of the person. And for pos tmodernis ts th is do es no t simp ly mean tha t there will be no mo re talk about it.. S.AN OUTMODED CULTURAL PRE SUPPO SITION Consciousness. The m ost accessi ble account of postmoderni sm for psycho logists is the book edite d by Kvale. 169 . Derrida is made as clear as he can be by Norris. Maybe th ere will soon be no such thing as 'human nature'. Rath er. (1987) D errida (Londo n: Fonta na) . and no mo re power in th e concept. which touches psycho logy gene ra lly. acco rding to the pos tmodernists. sellhood. for instance. C. ]. (1992) Psychology and Postm odernism (Londo n: Sage). Further reading Most of Foucault's wr iting is of direct relevance to th e question of human natu re. It sta rts wit h individual consciousness and 'works ou tward'. Both of these boo ks ar e in the Modern Masters senes. but see Merquior. If t his offers a line of critique of the book itself in its inte rp retation of 'human na tu re'.' world. there will be no such thi ng as 'human nature'. the body. other people. no mo re writing about it. the physic. as Foucault pro claims.
intersubjectivity and individual creativity The primacy of the first-person viewpoint The human level versus postmodern and evolutionary purposelessness The lifeworld as neither exclusively subjective nor exclusively objective The subjective individuality of the person must be presupposed 176 177 178 • 178 179 • CD 171 .Chapter 8 Conclusion • • • Language.
It is said that only in such contexts can scholarly thought and even 'objective' scientific thought be properly appraised.I have not traced the flux of authors' views and located them within their biography. locating it within our own personal concerns and relevances. instead. I do not wish to carry out a final critical review of these theories.1 provides something along these lines. Box 8. Increasingly. In my view this opinion is exaggerated. For it seems to me A 172 . worked. Therefore I wish to explicitly invite the reader to enter into debate with the standpoint of the book in general and with the views of each of the authors presented in it. disapproval is ex pre ssed of those who comment on th eories without locating th em historically or biographically. but some indication of their historical location might be valuable. shortly present a personal perspective on what I take to be some central issues of human nature-issues which I believe we should not allow ourselves to forget. a word more about the blind eye which I have turned to history in the course of this book. in this Conclusion. can hardly fix the interpretation of their theory.LL THE THEORIES DISCUSSED in the pages of this book are alive in the sense that they each contribute to contemporary debate on human nature. That is the one which we-as readers and interpreters-bring. and-while not going as far as one emin en t teacher is reported to have done when lecturing on Aristotle (he 'was born. How could it? But there is a more immediate basis of the understanding of a theory for us. and also within that author's personal concerns. In any case. The chapters are not arranged historically. the location of an author's thought within the ebb and flow of the currents of opinion and other influences of the time. I have rarely referred to historical debates or historical sequ ence within the chapters. Before this. however. However. I will. and died') .
The Ultimate Biological Motive: Th e Evolutionary Perspective • C. trans. Two influential texts are: • EC. Th e Interpretation of Dreams. trans.ESkinner (1904-1990) Science and Human Behaviour (1953) The Individual Consciousness: Anxiously Free in a Meaningless World • J. Being and Nothingness (1958) 5 173 .Not Separable from the World: Skinner's Radical Behaviourism • B.Neisser. 3.. actual publication 1899. Remembering: A Study in Experim ental and Social Psychology (1932) • U.Kelly (1905-1967) The Psychology of Personal Constructs (1955) 2. 1913) An Inner World: Cognitive Psychology • The study of cognitive processes does not have a clear founding figure..1 Some major authors and publication dates 1.Sartre (1905-1980) L'Etre et le Neant (1943). Cognitive Psychology (1967) On cognitive 'content' see: • G.-P.Freud (1856-1939) Die Traumdeutung (dated 1900. 4 .Wilson (1929-) Sociobiology: The N ew Synthesis (1975) Mental Conflict: Biological Drives and Social Reality • S.O .Bartiett.CONCLUSION Box 8.A.Darwin (1809-1882) Th e Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection (1859) • E.
Th e Archaeology of Knowledge (1972) • J.Heidegger (1889-1976) Sein und Z eit (1927).Gadamer (1900-) Wahrh eit und M ethode (1960). In trying to do this I ha ve avoided the approach of mainstream em pir ical ps ychologyproceeding from experiment al study to experiment al study in a search.-H.H. curiosit y. (posthumous. affecting on e's own view of on eself and others .Foucault (1926-1984) L'Archeologie du Savoir (1969). trans.Goffman (1922-1982) Th e Presentation of Self in Ev eryday Life (1956) 'Human Nature' as an Outmoded Cultural Presupposition • M. Truth and M ethod (1975) • M. The orientation of this book has ind eed been to stir puzzlement.Mead (1863-1931) Mind. with no limits of sacredness or taboo-are always and everywhere contestable. 1934) • E. Being and Tim e (1962) • G. trans. through piecemeal accumulation of evidence.2 I th erefore suggest som e lines of thought which ma y encour age such debate and critique. Additionally it is a founding value of western higher education that human conceptualisations-all of th em. for the whole picture. This is a view I ferv ently hold. trans. and Presenting Oneself as a Person • G. This modernist wa y of tackling th e qu estion of human nature is governed by the assumptions of its starting point. In Box 8. Self and Society. which I feel genuinely contribute to th e qu estion of the m eaning of human 174 . Writing and Difference (1978) 7 a matter of some seriousnes s to either adopt or reject a view of human nature-especiall y if this is done deeply. and would not ena ble that wide vari ety of viewpoints.PSYCHOLOGY AND ' HUMAN NATURE' 6 Social Being: Interacting. trans . and critique.Derrida (1930-) L'Ecriture et la Difference (1967).
to debate with it: 1 The mainstream psychologist will judge claims about some aspect of human behaviour in terms of the strength of experimental evidence . selfhood. How would you adjust it to concord with yours more exactly? What would your alterations do to the argument of the original theory? Does a personal view of human nature matter? 2 3 4 5 6 7 175 . other people.2 Debating with the book: some issues for consideration All books are written from a point of view.CONCLUSION Box 8. of course. The reader might consider the following issues in order to interact with this point of view. the body. What are the presuppositions about human nature which the prioritising of such evidence carries with it? Are these presuppositions justifiable? Could the more speculative assertions of some of the authors in this book be framed as research hypotheses? Among those that cannot. do you regard any as worth consideration? Are there ways in which they could be argued for persuasively? This book has been roughly arranged in terms of two parameters: biology versus society. What other parameters might be useful? What selection of writers would be included and excluded? Would different disciplines be included? I have summarised each view of human nature in terms of the stance taken on consciousness. Suggest a different set of phenomena on which to compare theories. and determinism versus voluntarism. Would you remove some of mine? Why? What do your responses to the matters raised above say about your own approach to the question of human nature? Maybe one of the views discussed in this book comes closest to your own viewpoint. and the physical world.
to be discussed. Text has an outs ide. Th e con str aint on languages-that th ey relate to a wo rld with certain esse ntial par am et er s-does n ot in itse lf contrad ict the linguistic determinism th at is em phas ised by th e inter acti oni sts and discourse ana lysts of Cha pter 6. but th ey have to be there. Ther e is n o doubt diver sity in the way in which th ese truths of experience are found in discourse. a particular lan gu age w ill pr op agat e a particul ar vers io n o f them . Co m plete relati vity is wro ng since language mu st echo these (and doubtless other) essential cat egories. Yet I have some hesitation s regarding a strong postm od ern position . the ass umptio n of people's real ex iste nce (in te rs ubjectiv ity). th erefor e. In pa rticula r. insta nces of essentia l features of any under standing of human nature wha tsoever. therefo re. 176 .to human n ature. Of course. th e idea th at th ere is a fixed set of criteria of adeq uacy of theor ies has been suspended). Language. There is a sense. thou gh I wo uld not dissent fr om the postmod ern em phas is on the centralit y of lan gu age-and th e culture it em bo dies .PSYCHOLOGY A N D ' HUMAN NATURE' nature. it is becau se of th eir solid reality in the lifew orld th at I chose th em as the ba sis for sum ma risi ng th e th eor ies covered in thi s book . ide nti ty. an d the pr esupp osit ion of the 'o ute r' wo rl d . em bo dime nt. User s o f a particul ar langu age are given the opport unity to see th eir wo rld from a cert ain perspective. Of course. These are. I ca nno t accep t the position of Derrida regarding th e exclusive an d per vasively p ar amount n ature of the text. in so doin g. But is it who lly th e case th at th e cat egori es of my lan guage cannot be tr an scended? Surely th ey can . in which thi s very plan of approach to th e questio n of human nature is pos tmodern (for insta nce. intersubiectivity and individual creativity Firstl y. it ass umes certain realities wh ich are esse ntial t o our ex perie nce of any wo rl d wha tsoever. These incl u de ones that are central t o the st udy of hum an n ature: con sciou sness.
that it is only in terms of o ur act ua l subje ctive lived ex perie nce of such thin gs as iden tity an d pe rceptio n that objective acco unts of these things h ave any mean in g. Bartlett' s (1932: 2 13) ea rly asse rtion of consciou sn ess as permitting th e indi vidu al to 'turn round up on its own schema ta '.the individua l per spect ive th at I m yself h ave (it is my lifew orld ) -must be the positio n fr om w hich st udies of human n ature in gene ra l an d of psych ol ogy in pa rticular sta rt. mu st begin wi th the fir st-per son view point on the lifew orld. if not the foundation of thi s human cha racteristic. forget . Rather th an sim ply being cha nnels of discourse. certainly grea tly enha nces it. 177 . which ass ume that we are a feature of the bi ol ogy or of th e imper son al socia l worl d. as essentia l to con sciousness. an d w hi ch descr ib e an d ex p lai n us as suc h. th er efor e. Yet th e first-per son view po int. Research. it is also o p po r t u ni ty. Lan guage is a door to freedom rather th an a deterministic fett er. sets asi de the per son al pers pective. in em phasising the way in which the per son is enmes he d in th eir cultural an d hi st or ical mom ent. and Sartre's (1958) discovery of freedom. th en. as do most of the view points reviewed in this book. T he cr eative potent ial o f langu age is h ard t o overem phas ise. it wo uld seem to me. I wa nt to assert th e human ro le as an agent of disco urse-at least po tentially. Lan gu age. Kelly's (1955) emphasis on th e cap acity of th e individual to exhi bit 'constructive alterna tivism'. all ind icat e the imp ortanc e (whether it is em ba rrass ing to th e scientific enter prise or n ot ) of th e self-referentia l nature of con sciou sness. as M erl eau-Ponty (1962: ix) pointed out. Lan guage is a tool of th ou ght. The primacy of the first-person viewpoint Postmod ernism. even if thi s capacity is rar ely fully realised. For lan guage is not just constra int. We are the thing we are stu dy ing in thi s instanc ewe ourselves . Objective acco unts of human n ature. in the same sense.CONCLU SION and consta ntly are.
there is no 'p urpose' to be soug ht. or a member of my cultu re. arguing that individua ls are bes t unders tood and their actions explained when an external (bio logica l. or as the mere locus of interac tion of a number of varia bles. T he first-p erson viewpoint I h ave just em phasised is rejected .g. co nce rn wi th psychodynamics. An d this requ ires ana lysis. when it comes to un dersta nding at th e level of th e in divid ua l. Both schoo ls of thought have taken pride in having shifted resear ch from a human focus. th ere is any teleological arrow. The lifeworld as neither exclusively subiective nor exclusively obiective The asse rtio n of the prim acy of the firs t -pe rso n viewpoint in understa nding the human world carries with it a danger. I am not contradicting the mai n insights of the various schools of thought discusse d in th e book . ' behavioura l' or societa l) perspective is adopted. In advocating a position which is co unter to th ese. There is no built-in directio na lity to hu man nature. In th is sense it is right to say th at . 1993 ) has not tired of arguing. if 'viewpoint' is regarded as purely subjective . As Smail (e. pos tmodern and Dar winian th inking teac h us th at the biological and the socia l h ave no 'aim'. I do n ot ta ke th e view th at . the inner worl d and subjectivity may neglect th e fact th at th e per son 's lifeworld-their 17 8 . I am to be understood as an example of my species. O ne line of action is chos en over ano ther in order to fulfil some aim . On the other hand. The individual is a pa rticipant in neith er a grea t chai n of evo lu tio nary progress n or a h ist or ical movement of societa l improvement. on th e gra nd scale of society or bio logy. th en it is right to see choice amongst alternatives as purposeful. Moreover. whether we are to tackle h um an nature fro m a biological or a socia l directio n.PSYCHOLOGY A N D ' H UMAN N ATURE' The human level versus postmodern and evolutionary purposelessness It wou ld seem arbitrary to both postmodern and Darwinist autho rs to centre on the human person as a basis of study.
The self in this latter sense is. presupposed in th e whole of psychology. or discovered. and see that th e personallifeworld relates to a real context and needs to be und erstood with regard to that context. I am bound by my own lived experience of personhood to assent to th e Sartrean assertion of the irreducible personal existence of th e individual. derived. with his argument for the non-reducibility of consciousness. is an important ally her e. lived experience. race.is not on e-sidedl y subjective but ha s to do with th e real. outer world of relationships (or loneliness). th e notion of selfhood is best regarded as a construction. However. Whatever causal conditions-social or biologicalwhich may in some sense have occasioned the development of personal characteristics (and th e reader will have formed th eir own prefer ences amongst the viewpoints discussed here). The first -person viewpoint is of th e real world (from my position) -or equally it is my personal view of th e (real) world. which will provide on e 'pole' of their lifeworld. It is of great importance for th e correct understanding of human nature to avoid that dualism which separates th e inner and the outer. It is worth mentioning here that th e material circumstances of the person. work (or unemployment) and so on . I cannot conscientiously doubt my inn er 'ownership' of that person. Searle (1997). In other words neither subj ectivity nor obj ectivity alone ar e appropriate. I think (and this is a point made by William James .CONCLUSION actual. It is not deduced. and class inequality. include th e social and econ omic facts of gender. As we have seen at various points in this book. and society supplies th e means by which self-reflection can occur and a 17 9 . The subiective individuality of t he person must be presupposed Finally. th e lifeworld is a personal amalgam. If biolog y supplies the preconditions for selfhood. this is not th e case with on e's sense of personal individuality. This do es not prejudge the issue of freedom or agency. What it do es do is to qu estion the systematic forg etfulness within psychology of th e 'deep subj ective reality' with which it deals.
PSYCHOLOGY AND 'HUMAN NATURE' specific personal identity be espoused. in itself and before itself. The personal sense of being a self must.. and-most importantly-a suggestion of the fundamental value which should govern both theoretical and applied work in these disciplines. 1985:242-243) With this insight we hav e a statement of the limit of the analysis of human nature. as I say. one that is in a certain manner infinite.. be presupposed by psychology. 180 . the person's being . is a total. profound reality. it is not open to further investigation. What is there. It is the being. in de Beauvoir. nevertheless. an indication of the experiential basis on which psychology and r elated sci ences ar e founded.. As Sartre put it: My being was that deep subj ective reality which was beyond everything that could be said about it and which could not be classified. (Sartre. the personalsense of being a self cannot be assimilated to these structures and processes.
thinkin g a nd r em emberin g which su p poses th at th ey can be mod ell e d in t erm s o f th e tr an sf orm ati on o f inform ati on . as a matter o f fa ct . b ut arg ues th at . Words in d efinition s whi ch a re printed in bold a re d efin ed else whe re in the Glossa ry. ag ency Th e ca pacity o f th e indi vidu al to a ctively a nd p urp osely ca use effe cts in th e world . 181 . indi vid ual beh a vi o ur I S d et ermin ed b y 'forces in th e env iro n me n t' . c a use d b y fact or s ou ts ide th e con sci o us int ention of th e per son . cogni tivisrn An a p proach to th e in vesti gati on o f suc h co gniti ve pr oc esses as per ceivi ng. This is d eni ed by d et erminists for whom a ll a ctions a re. behaviourism M eth od ol ogi cal beh avi ourism r estricts in vesti g ati on to ob s erv abl es (s t i mu l i a n d associa te d resp on ses ) on th e grou nd of scie nt ific o bject ivity. H er e I co n fine m y a tte n t io n t o technical terminolo gy with gene ra l a p plica t io n . Skinner's radi cal behaviour ism mak es no such stipu la t io n. in the fin al a na lys is.Glossary Terms spec ific to parti cular th eories a re define d in the r el e vant ch apt er s .
it refer s to th e real wo rl d from th e individ ual' s per spective.which affect the individual. modernism Th e view th at th ere is a discernible. Social con structionism em phas ises th e rol e of socially availa ble resources such as language in such con structs. und erlying realit y to which human knowledge can pro gressively approx ima te. some 'objective reality'. the capacit y to constru e is freedom. and act in th eir world. individ uals mak e choices in th e ver y manner in which th ey construe th eir situa tion.GLOSSARY constructionism Rather than thinkin g or acting directly by reference to. wh ich brin gs to light inconsistenci es o f man y kinds such th at . indi vidu als are assumed to be sim ply the chann els of such resources rather than havin g any trul y per son al per spective. in th e end. deconstruction Th e inv esti gation of text. constructioni sm takes the view that the individual' s behaviour is the ou tcome of their personal construction of the situa tion. often th e m ental and th e physical. discursive psychology Th e spe cific a p plica tio n of discourse analysis to th e in vesti gation o f p sycholo gic al di sco ur se. existentialism Th e view th at. An ama lga m of obj ecti vit y and subjectivity. rath er th an sim ply ex p ress ing ' h uman nature' . In th e end the individual has no personal agency. discourse analysis Th e study of th e socially availa ble reso urces which individuals employ to mak e sense of. It is su ppose d th at all text s a re. hermeneutics Th e clarificati on of th e way in which meaning is em bodied in a text or text -an alo gue. as a result of ada ptedness to th e environment. Self is the patt ern of such choices. Typic ally. evolution Th e th eor y th at species are diff erentiat ed . epist emology Th e philo sophical search for a mean s of esta blishing th e undoubted truth of the 'facts' we claim to know. For in st ance . and either surv ive or become extinct. firm criteria by which effort s in every field can be judged. 182 . Akin to sociobiology. Thus th ere are. determinism Th ou ght and action is to be understood as the lawful o utcome of cert ain factors-maybe biological. th e meaning is shown to be ind ecipher abl e. or in response to. evolutionary psychology Th e char act eristics of contemp or ar y human beings are re gard ed as th e product o f ea rl ie r evolutionar y se le ct io n . ultima tely. maybe social. ano ma lo us. in principle. or a na log ies to text . So hermen eutics is th e th eor y of int erpretation. but emphasisin g th at co gnitive tr aits ou ght to be see n as underlying behavioural ones. how d o es o ne justifiabl y present oneself as 'doing remembering'? dualism Th e ontologica l view th at th ere are tw o q uite distinct realm s of realit y. lifeworld Th e per son 's o wn ex perience or underst anding of th eir situ a tion.
sociobiolog y Th e exp lanat ion of an imal behavio ur.GLO SSARY on tolo gy Th e philosophical searc h for an indubi tabl e basis for assert ing in what the natu re of rea lity cons ists. which is also a hermeneutic th eory. in ter ms of its ada ptiveness. and of ex perience as such. it is not assumed that there is one unequivocal re alit y to w hic h k nowledge gra du a lly a ppr ox ima tes. at some stage. postmodernism In contrast to moderni sm. po sitivism The mod ern ist view of scientific research that assumes that there is one unified and consistent underlying reality which may be progr essively uncovered and modelled. a soc ia l constructionist view is taken of know ledge. Th e con clusion of man y thin kers is that reality has two modes: the mental a nd the ph ysical (see du alism ). it is the descript ion of the essent ial char acter istics of the var ious for ms of ex perience. psycho anal ysis A theory of psychological determ inism. systems of variables---eauses and effectsexpress ible numerically. Th e interp retation of behavio ur in ter ms of such causes is int ended and ex pected to have a ther a peut ic effect. In co ntrast. cause-and-e ffect processes ha ve the cause pr ecede its effect. sy m b o lic in teractioni sm Hu ma n beh a vi o ur is p rim arily to be see n a s t he outcome o f the indi vid ual 's membership o f th e soc ia l group . t el eolo gy An y accou nt o f a pr o cess wh ic h en ta ils p urp o sef ul d irect ion o r some go a l to wh ich t he pro cess ten ds . any theory which takes personal experience as basic is written of as 'pheno menological' . emp hasising th e unconscious causes o f thought and a ction . ideally. and our understand ing of the world is taken to be culturally determined. incl udin g that of h umans. but the eventu al description greatly refines these. M ental ac t iv it y a n d id entit y are outco mes o f ea rl y socia l ex pe rience . It is as if the reason for a n event lies in the futu re. 183 . in the evolut ion of the species (see evolut ionary psychology). Th e theo ry of being. Ord inary experiences may be the starting point. Ra th er.the paramo unt system of which is la n gua ge. phenomenology Often. Th o ugh t and act io n are medi ated by sym bo ls. Such models are. M or e pro perly.
Ne w York: Freema n. A. P. Badd eley. Su nd e rl an d . (1986) Inquiring Man: Th e Th eory of Personal Cons truc ts (3 rd ed n ). D . H ov e .D .D . (199 0) Cogni tive Psy ch ol ogy and its Implications (3rd edn ). (19 8 1) Th e Natu re of M in d. Chiches ter: John Wiley.R . Ar m s tr on g. Ba nnist er. J . Ba ldw in . (198 4) Animal Behavior : A n Evo lutiona ry Appr oa ch (3 rd ed n}. A. J .Bibliography Alc ock . Ox fo rd: Ox ford University Press. J . ( 1986) W o rk ing M em or y. (198 5) ' L ' En fer. UI II1II II -r -o II -a 185 . (1979) Socia l Inte ra ct i on and Consciousness. Aust in . 8. J . P. Brighton : H ar vest er. As hw ort h . Ca lif. D .168 . F. New bury Park . M a ss .M . Badd ele y. (1962) H ow t o D o T h ings wi t h W o rds.D .D . And er son . : Sin a uer. Human Studies. London : Ro utledge. (199 0) H um an M em ory: Th eo ry and Prac tice .: Sage .97. As hw ort h . (1986) Geo rge H erb er t M ead : A Unifying Th eory fo r Socio log y. UK : La wr ence Erl ba um Associat es Ltd . ces t les a ut res : Go Hma n's Sarrrism' .D . O xford : Ox for d Univer sit y Press. a nd Fra nse lla.
Zeitsch rift fu r T iederpsy chologie. 366-369. R . ([18 59 ] 1 9 94 ) Th e O rigin of Species by M ean s of Natura l Selection. Bat es. (199 5) I n tr od u cti o n t o Psy ch oa n alys is : Contem po rary Th eory and Practice. (193 2) R em emb er ing : A Stu d y in Ex pe rimenta l an d Socia l Psy chol ogy. V. (198 4) A dieux: A Farewe ll to Sartre. (1979) Th e Emergence of Sym bo ls: Cognition and Communication in In fan cy. Ca m bridge: Ca m bridge Univer sity Press.. de Beauv oir.. A. Da wkins. van d en Ber g. Bark o w. 184-200. W. Cos m ides. (1991) Sartre (2nd edn). Lon don : Routledge. Cho msky. Billi g . (1 9 92 ) Th e A dap t ed M in d : Evo lu tionary Psy ch ol ogy an d the Ge ne ration o f Cu lture.H . 51 . 1.H . Cr aik. Ne w York: Acad emic Press.Skinne r and G. L. Burman . (1976) Th e Selfish Gene. London: Collins. Beni gni . R. Ca rnaio ni. D . L. Jou rnal of th e Ex perimental A naly sis of B ehavior. E. Ne w York: H arper and Ro w. Am er ica n J ou rnal of Socio logy. a nd To o b y. New York : Ox ford University Press. Lon don : Whurr. ] .BIBLIOGRAPHY Bar ash . C . a n d Park er. and Volterra . a n d Holm es. Ca m br idge : Ca m b r idge Univ er sit y Press. Caud ill. Breth erton . (1991) 'B. (1996) Arg ui ng an d Th ink in g : A Rh e t ori cal Appr oa ch t o Socia l Psy ch ology (2 n d edn }. Bat em an . Dawkins. R. (1962) ' Re view of Goff ma n.] . (1988) The Secon d Sex. (1979) Socio bio logy: T he W hisp erings W ith in. (1992) In vit ati on t o Personal Co ns truc t Psy ch ol ogy . (19 43) T h e Na tu re of Ex plana tion. 35. EC . 68. Pittsbur gh : D uqu esn e Uni ver sit y Press. Language. ] . E. ] . Lon don : Ro utl edge. a nd Butt . 2 6-5 8. M . (1972) A D i f fe ren t Ex is tence: P ri n ciples of Ph en om en ol ogical Psy ch op a th ol ogy. Asylum s'. Danto .W.E.F. N . S. ] . (eds) (1993) D is co ur se A n alyti c R esear ch : R epertoires and R eadi ngs of Texts in A ction. Blackman . D arwin . (19 8 2) Th e Ex te nded Ph e n otyp e. Bartl ett . K. 55 . D. Oxford: Oxfor d Univer sity Press..H . London: Pan Book s. L.Mea d: on biological science and socia l science'. Ca mbridge : Cam bridge Univ ersity Press. de Beauvoir. V. 1. D a wkin s . (1979) 'Twe lve mi sunder st andin gs of kin selectio n'. London: Sen at e. Burr. A. 251-265 . . S. O xford : O xford 186 . (19 59) ' A review of Skinne r 's Verbal Behavior'. T. Lon don : Penguin .
London : Allen Lan e. Lo nd o n : R o utled ge a n d Keg an Paul. Lo ndo n: Sage . M . 4 . H ar mondsworth : Pen guin . (197 3a) Birth of t he Clin ic: An Archaeology of Medical Perception.BIBLIOGRAPH Y Un ivers it y Press . O . M . Edwards. Lo n d on : Th e Hogart h Pr ess a n d Th e In sti tu te of Psych o-Anal ysis (p p. J. (19 81) Dissemination.Century-Cro fts . M . New Yor k: Ap pleton. D awkins . 1 (2) . (196 5) 'Co uld meaning be an r ?'. M . B. Foucau lt. T. vo l. Fell. J .A.F. and Skin ner. (19 37) G en etics and th e Origin of Sp ecies. Foucault. D . M . Lon do n: Tav istock. 3 ). Foucau lt. D err ida . Lo ndo n: The At hlo ne Press . Foucau lt . (1992) Discursive Psych ology. (19 89) Th e Selfish Gene (2 nd ed n ). Freud . Derrida .D av ies ) (1994) Meist er Eckhart: Selected Writings. Freud. (1 974) In t rodu ct ory L ectu res on Psych oanalysis (Pelica n Freu d Library vo l. (1957) Schedules of Reinforcement. S. R. (1 9 78) Writing and Difference. Fo ucau lt. J. J .Freud (1957) Standard Edition (vo l. (1973 b) The Order of Things : An Archaeo logy of the Human Sciences. H armo ndsworth : Penguin . Ba lt i more . S. Journal of th e British Society for Phenomenology. 73. (19 81) Th e Will to Know ledge (T he H istory o f Sexua lity. 4 ). 12 ). Dob zh a nsk y. Ferster. New York: Vintage . Foucau lt . 2 ). H ar mondsworth : Penguin . Foucault. vo l. (19 12) 'The d ynam ics o f tr ans ference'. New York : Co lu m bia University Press. Lon don: Tav istock. 1 ). and Potter. (1976) T he Int erpretation of D ream s (Pelica n Fr eud Lib rary vo l. (197 2) Th e Archa eology of Know ledge. (1971) Madness and Civilization : A History of Insanity in th e Age of Reason . J. (1 9 87) Th e Use of Pleasur e (T he H istory of Sexua lit y. 97 .10 8). 187 . B. M d . J . (1 976) O f Gramm at ol ogy. C. Foucau lt .8 1. Fo do r. M . H armo ndsworth : Pengu in . in S. H ar mondsworth : Pen guin . M . vo l.: Jo hns Hopk i ns Un ivers ity Press. (1 990) Th e Care of the Self (T he H istory of Sexualit y. S. 1). New York: Vint age . Lo nd on: Pen gu in .P. O xford: O xford Un iversity Press . (1977) Discipline and Punish . M . Journal of Verbal Learning and m Verbal Behavior. (1970) 'Sartre's theory of moti vatio n: some cla rifi catio ns' . 2 7-3 4 . Freud. Derr id a. Eck hart (ed .
37. H ar mo ndsworth: Pengu in. (1 97 1) Th e Pres entation of Self in E v ery day L i fe. (1 9 6 8a) Asy lums: Essays on th e Social Sit uation of M ental Patients and O ther Inmates. H ar mondsworth: Penguin. Go Hman. Oxford: Blackwell. (19 86) Hist orical and Exp ository Works on Psych oana lysis (Pelica n Freud Lib rary vol. Freud. Ca m bridge: Polit y Press (p p. GoHman. Go Hman . New York : H arper and Row. S. 9 ). Gad amer. S. Giddens. E. 20 -24. (197 2d) Relations in Publi c. H ar mondsworth: Pengu in. H ar mon dsworth: Penguin. E. (197 2a) En counters: Tw o Studies in the Sociology of Interaction. (1975) ' Fr eed o m a n d t he li mi t s of soc ia l beh av iour ism : a compar ison o f se lected t hemes from t he works of G . A. GoHm an. S. (19 8 8) ' GoHma n as a syste mat ic soc ial theorist' . H ar mondsworth: Penguin. (196 8b) Stigma: Notes on th e Mana gem ent of Spoiled Iden tity. (197 2 b) In teraction Ritua l: Essays on Face-to-Fa ce Behavi our. (1977) On Sex uality (Pelica n Freud Li b r a r y vol. (1 97 4) Fram e Analysis : An Essay on th e Or gani zation of Experience. T he N ew York R evi ew of Bo oks . 11 ).Drew and A. (19 83) 'T he intera cti on order'. E.-G . 15 ). (1972 c) Strat egic Interaction.T. H . S. H ar mondsworth: Penguin. GoHm a n.BIBLIOGRAPH Y Freud. in P. 12 J une. New York : H ar per and Row. Gill in.] . (1977) ''' Situ a tio n '' versus " frame" : Th e " interaction ist " a nd the " st r uctu r a list" a na ly se s of ever yd a y li fe ' . Natural Hist ory.] .47 . 42. 854-86 7. (1977) 'Caring groups and selfish genes'. 24. 86 (12).1-1 7. E. E. C . E. Giorgi. GoHma n. S. Sociology. Go Hm an . (1 97 9) Case Histori es II (Pelica n Freud Libr ar y vo l. Am erican So ci ological Review. 188 . H ar mondsworth: Penguin. New York : Seabury Press .P. H armondsworth: Penguin. 9. Go nos . GoHman . 4 8. (1 9 84) On Metapsych ology: Th e Th eory of Psychoana lysis (Pelica n Freud Librar y vol. Gould. (1 9 97) ' Da rw in ia n fu nd amenta lis m'. S. (197 0) Psychology as a Human Science: A PhenomenologicallyBased A ccount.Me ad a n d M arti n Buber ' . H ar mondsworth: Penguin. Ameri can Sociological Revi ew. 250-279 ). G. H ar mondsworth: Pengu in. E.H . A. E.Wootton (ed s) Erving G offman : Exploring th e In teraction Order. 7) . E. Freud. 34. GoHm an. Freud. (197 5) Truth and Meth od. Gould.
P. (ed.S. N ew York: Holt. (1983) Pers onal B eing : A Th eor y fo r In d iv id ual Ps y ch ol og y. Ha r re. O xford: Blackwell. 189 . (1995) D iscursive Psy chology in Practi ce. (1987) The Phi loso phical D iscou rse of M odernity. R. Ha r re. G. E. a nd Stea rns. Ill. 3. London : Sage . T. a nd M orris.J . (1994) Th e Discursive Mind . W. H usse r l .D . (ed.Trilling and S. S. (1972) ' Alt ru is m a nd r el at ed ph en om en a . W.Ma rcus) (1964) Th e Li fe and Work of Sigmu nd Freud. Oxfo rd : Black well. and Gre nness. H ollway. Harre. Chicago : Chicago Uni versit y Pr ess. R . W. (1989) Su bjectivi ty and Meth od in Psychology: Gender. (196 2) Being and Time . Ha r re. m ainl y in socia l in sects' . Oxfor d: Blackw ell. a n d Seco r d. Eva nsto n. P. E (19 58) Th e Psychology of Int erpersonal Relat ions. G. O xford: Black well. (19 5 5) T he Psy ch ol ogy of Pe rsona l Const ructs (2 vo ls). : No rt h wes te r n Univ er sit y Pr ess. R . Oxfo r d: Blackwell. Ne w York: John Wil ey. Oxford: Black well. London : Sage. and Gillett. Oxfor d: Blackwell. (1979) Socia l Being: A Th eor y fo r Social Psy ch olog y. Meaning and Science . H eid er. (199 1) Phy si cal B eing: A Theory for a Cor poreal Psy ch ol ogy. London : Penguin . Kvale. Kell y. Chiches ter : John Wiley. Ha m pso n. New York: N ort on [reprinted 1991 . London : Sage.BIBLIOGRAPHY Ha berrnas. H arr e. Harre. 12 8-14 8. (1970) Th e Structure of Scien tific R evolutions (2nd edn). Ha rre. R . London : Routledge]. 7. C. London : Sa ge. Kuhn . Kval e. Jam es. London : Sage. H arr e.) (1976) L i fe Sen tences: A sp ects of the Socia l R ol e of Language. (eds L. E.E.E (1972) Th e Ex p lana tion of Social Beh aviou r. S. (197 0) T h e Crisi s of Euro pean Sciences an d Tr an s cen dental Ph en om en ol og y. R. (19 67) 'Sk in ne r a nd Sartre: towar ds a radi cal ph enomenol ogy of beh aviour? ' . R . (1996) Unders tanding Cognition. P. 1 9 32 32 .) (1977) Persona lity. R. Ca m bridge : Polit y Press. Jon es. J .E . Review of Existen tia l Psy chology and Psy chiatry. Annual R eview of Eco log y and Systema tics . R . (ed . (1998) T he Singu lar Self.A.) (1992) Psychology and Postm odernism . He idegge r. Ha m i lto n. R. (189 0) Th e Principles of Psychology (2 vols). Harre. M . P.
U.. M urdoch. E. American Sociologica l R eview. (197 2) H um an Inform ati on Processing: A n Intr oduction to Psychology. London : Fo nta na. (1967) Sartre. J.H . London : Ro utl edge and Kegan Paul. A. N or ris. Palmer. G. (1962) Phen om enol ogy of Perception. Ne w York : Appleton-Cent ur yCro fts. Boston: Allyn and Bacon . London : Fontana. (1 95 6 ) ' R eview o f Go ff ma n. Ch icago : C h icago Uni ver sit y Press.H . Ne we ll. Naege le. M ah er. J. Pi a get . W.D . R .Sp atial W ork ing M em ory. 1. and Simo n. Popper.N. D ilth ey. K.H. (1966) Phenom en ology and H um anism. J . and Ga da mer. C. J . (1969) H erm eneutics: Interpretat ion T heory in Sch leiermacher. K. N ew York: Acad emic Press. C. Merquior. (193 4) M in d. in J . Boston: Allyn and Bac on (pp.. H armond sworth : Penguin . and M elt zer. 5. Ne w York: Wil ey. Mills. Ill. M elt zer (eds) Sym bo lic In teraction (2nd ed n).A. Science.: Wiley. M crl ea u-Ponty. Pittsb ur gh : Duquesn e Univer sit y Press.N. 2011-201 7.A. London : Collins. (1987) Derrida. Minneap olis: Universit y of Minnesot a Press.A. W.N . (1961) 'Com pu te r simu la tion of h um an thinking' . 21 . B.BIBLIOGRAPHY Lind sa y. M o wr er. M elt zer. (199 5) Visu o. Rin ehart and Win ston. Shaw. G. G . Self and Society.G.H. : No rt h wes te rn Univer sit y Press. a nd Norman . P. D .Mani s a nd B. Lo gi e. B. (19 4 0) ' Situa te d actions a nd vo cabularies o f motive' . O . (198 4) Th e Postm odern Condition: A R ep ort on Knowledge. UK : La wrenc e Erl bau m Associ at es Ltd . 190 . 904-913 . Ne isser. (196 0) Plans and the Struc ture of Behavior. H eidegg er. Th e Presentat i on o f Se lf in Eve ryday L ife'. B. 63 1-63 2. Eva ns to n. Lyot ard . (198 5) Foucault. Huntington. Ne w York: Holt. Mill er. 134. A m erican Sociologica l Review.G. J . H . Hove. N . K. Ga lla nter. N ew York: H arper a nd R o w. a nd Pribrarn . 4-22 ). M ea d .E. Luijpen .A . M . R . (eds) (1972) Sym bolic Interaction: A R eader in Social Biology (2nd edn).Y. (19 59) Th e L ogic of Scien tific D iscovery. M ani s. (1977) Th e O rigin of Int elligen ce in th e Child.-F. (1960) Learning Th eory and th e Sym bo lic Processes. (1972) ' Mea d's so cia l psychol o gy' . (1967) Cogni tive Psychology. (1969) Clinica l Psy ch ol og y and Pers onal it y : Th e Co llec ted Papers of Geo rge Kelly.
(1996) Putti ng Psy chology in its Place: An Introduction from a Critica l Hist orical Perspective. and Weth er ell. 191 . (19 58) Being and No thingness. J. P. F. R. P. Chicago: Chicag o Universit y Pr ess (pp. London: Penguin . London: The H ogarth Pr ess a nd Th e Insti tute of Psycho-Anal ysis. van Lan genh o ve (eds) R et h ink ing M eth od s in Psy ch ol ogy. B. Sch eler. (197 1) 'T he mo d el o f th e text : meanin gful a ctio n con sid er ed as text' . Sartre. Potter. ]. Sartre. (19 65) Nausea. Rich ards.-P. London : Cons ta ble. (1977) T he Use and Ab use of B iol og y : An Anth rop ol ogi cal Critique of Socio biology. La Salle. London : Hamish H amilton. Sartre.-P. J. (19 57) Th e Transcend en ce of th e ego.A. Ca m bridge : Polit y Pr ess. G. an d Wether ell. Social R esearch. New York: Farrar. B. M . C. (ed . 79. London : M eth uen .-P. Ri che lle. J . Sa hi in s.: Op en Court. N ew H aven . Ricoeur. Lon don : Ro utl edge. M . R . in j . (19 53) Science an d H uman Behaviou r. N . R o ger s. Searl e. H o ve.-P.Wann . Sk inn er : A R eappraisal. R . B. London : Tavi stock. (1993) B.-P. 38. J . Rico eur. Sartre. (1998) Critique and Conviction. Conn. London : H ori zon Press. (198 1) The Philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre.F. (1972) Th e Psychology of Imaginat ion. (1949) Baudelaire. Sartre. in T.B . London: Gra nta.R. Hill sd ale.W. (1997) Th e My stery of Con sciou sness. (1946) In Came ra. J . J. (1995) 'Disco urse a na lysis'. (19 54) T he Nature of Sym pa thy. Ill. Ne w York: Phil osophical Libr ar y.H arre a n d L. J.BIBLIOGRAPHY Pott er.F. Sartre. P. Skinn er.Srnith. R o sch . P. (1970) Freud and Philosophy: A n Essa y on In terpretati on. E. M .J. Str a us and Giro ux .) Behavior ism an d Ph en om en ol ogy : Cont ras ting Bas es fo r M od er n Psy ch ol ogy . Sartre. Schilpp. N ew York : Th e Fr ee Press.N .108) . Skinner. (e ds) (1978) Cognition and Ca tegorisa tion . Schaf er. Ricoeur. (196 4) 'Beha viorism a t fift y' . Skinner. M . a n d Llo yd . N ew York: Appleton-Century-Crofts. (1962) Sketc h fo r a Th eory of th e Emotions. M .: Lawr enc e Erl bau m Associ at es Inc . (19 57) Verbal Behavi or. Lon d on : Sage (pp.-P. London : Sage.: Yale Univ ersit y Press. J . 52 7-5 62. (1983) Th e Analytic Attit ude.-P. J . London: Routled ge a nd Kegan Paul. 80-92) . UK : La wrence Erlaum Associ at es Ltd .F. (1987) Discourse and Social Psychology : Bey ond Attitudes and Behaviour. (1967) On Becom ing a Pers on : A Th erap ist 's Vie w of Psycho the rapy. London : M eth uen . B.
(198 5) Gadamer's Hermeneut ics: A Reading of 'Truth and Meth od '. London: M eth uen . in A.J. (1993) Th e O rigins of Unha ppiness: A New Unde rstanding of Personal Distress. E. (1993) A bou t Behaviourism. Ca m bridge. Psychological R eview. Ne w H aven . (1971) Beyond Freedom and Dignity. Eng lewoo d Cliffs.J. 46. : H ar vard Univer sit y Press. Smith .Barko w.Bisia ch (e ds) Consciousness in Con tem po rary Science. Ha rre. K. R. (1983) Elemen ts of Episodic Mem ory.e. N . Cosmid es a nd J . Ca m b r idge.BIBLIOGRAPHY Skinner. London: Sage.57. (1978) R efl ections on Behav iorism and Socie ty. Sk in ne r. (eds) (1989) In fan t D evel op m en t. New York: Knopf. Sm ail . E. N ew York : O xford Universit y Press (pp. L. (196 8) Fundamen tals of Skill. St earn s. (eds) (199 5) Rethinking Meth ods in Psycho logy.F.: Prentice-H all.O . Slater . Th e A dap t ed M ind : Evo lut iona ry Psy chol ogy and the Gene ration of Cultu re.V. and van Lan genh ove. New York : Oxford Universit y Press (pp. Qua rterly Review of Biology. A. A. Val entine. B. M ass. Co nn. M a ss. Englew oo d Cliffs. (1992) 'The psych ological foundati on s of cult ure '. London : Sage . in R i H a rr e a n d P. and Cos rnides. Oxfo rd: Oxfo rd Univ er sit y Press. (198 0) No tebooks.T. (1988) ' Some contrib uti on s o f neuropsych olo gy of vision a nd mem or y to th e problem of con sciou sn ess' .St earn s (eds) Discur siv e Psycho logy in Practice. Lon d on : Routled ge. J . 78 2-79 l. 19-13 6 ). (1978) On H u m an Natu re.H . B. Welford.O . Trivers. (199 5) 'E mot io n '. (1997) Th e Bod ily Na ture of Consciousness.. P.L. J . L. G . (1971) 'The evo lu tion of recip roc al a ltru ism'. D . in J . L. Wein sh eim er.]. Wid er. 35. J. Ward . Tul vin g. London : H arper Collins.M arcel a nd E. R . E. L. 105 . Oxfo rd : Oxfo rd Univer sit y Press. E.: Harva rd Universit y Pr ess. Lon don : Penguin . B. N .To ob y. (1992) Conce ptual Issues in Psy ch ol og y (2 nd edn ). B. (1998) 'H erita bility and biolo gical ex pla na tio n'. Hove. Wil son . Turkh eim er. K. Ne w York : Co rne ll Univer sit y Press. 183-1 99 ). UK : La wr ence Erl ba um Associ ates Ltd . (1975) Socio bio logy: Th e Ne w Syn thesis. To ob? .F. Weiskrantz. Skinn er. Skinner.F. : Prentice-H all. (1998) Religion and H um an Na ture. E. a n d Bremner. 192 .: Yale Universit y Pr ess. Wil son.F.
c. 193 . (1996) In Search of Nature. ( 196 2) Animal Disp ersion in Relation to Social Behaviour. Wynne-Edwards.BIBLIOGR APHY Wilson.O . London: Penguin . V. New York : H afner. E.
13 . 76 cha ining 86 Chomsky. 30.5 8-79. 25 altru ism 19-24.120. 131 . 100 . 76. 28 ana l stage 49 Anderson . 11 7 Aristotle 172 Armstron g. see social int eracti on consciousness 63.H .28.181 Alcock. 69. 30.O .D. 79 Butt.1 76 Bremn er. 52 Billig. 120 . 93. 177. 7. 12 8 Baud elair e. 76.]. S. 98. 99 cognitiv e psychology. 62. L. 67. 77 . 54 . 30 biolo gy: its ontological prim acy 3. T. 4.121 .1 76 constructionism 59. 180 behaviourism 5. 78 anx iety 111-113. 141 . 11 8 de Beauvoir.1 35. 58.1 36. E. ] . e. 76. 75. 49. 82. 70. 168. 115 .Index agency 69.1 73.M . 112 . 31 Bartl ett . 78. 151 castr ati on anx iety 42 . 1671 68 . 99. place in understa nding hum an nature 7. A. D. 76 Baldwin. 78 . 13.173. 135 . ]. 50 Ca udill. 181 Benth am . 135 central executive 65.nding h uman nature 8. 23.124 Banni ster. 7. 60. 82-101 . 50 Bat es. 66 Ashw orth.66-69. 140 biological inheritanc e 17. cogniti vism 5. 69. 28.E. 105 . see so cia l inter action Cosrnides. 6. 168. P.11 6. 120 art iculatory loop 65. 91. 69. E. ]. 12. nc. 182 con structive alterna tivism 70. 100 .1 73. 61.H . 177 conver sation .D. 146 .1 77. 179. 11 7. 140 bad faith 113-115. 127 Burman .169. 45 . 10 8112 . 79 Cage. 146 . 62. 31 . V.79 Bar ash. 13 3.12.R.1 69. 162 van den Berg.]. A. W. 29 Barkow. 90. D. G. D. 122 . 122 . 66. 179. M .181 communicati on . 54 .124 . 110 . 6.]. D. 6. 121 . 142 Austin .83 Blackman . 60 .147 Burr. 90 . 65-69.1 39. 70. 177 Bat eman . 77.35. 101 bod y: place in understa . ] .]. N . 121 Badd eley.
131 Giorgi. 13. 92 196 . 79 freedom 3.15 6.1 82. 84. 7.147. 22-24.1 65 . 124 . 74. 146. 49-51 .]. 169 Grenness.32. 153. 30. 6.152. 2 7.125 .147. 91. 142 . 179 generalised ot her 13 0 genita l stage 50 .1 83 discourse 139. 97.13 0.20. 13 evolutiona ry psych ology 12 . 6.147. P. 182 .21 .1 74 Heider. 110.1 21 . 29. 2 8. 141 .1 82 Eckha rt. 11 9 Hus ser!. F.111-115. 52. 10 9. 92.11 9. 152 . 104 .104.1 64-1 69.109 Fell.121 .1 74 Fra nsella. 75. 29. 15 6-1 65 .1 79.1 82 discursive psycholo gy 3. 50 homosex ualit y 5. G. 152 . 90. 140 . 132. 173. 84.INDE X counter-resista nce 44 cou nter-tra nsference 41 Cra ik. M eister 15 Edwa rds. 112. 61. M . 16. facework 132. 5. 14 3. 53 Hollway. 137 Gillett. 136. 141 .55. 24-26. K. A. 53 herm eneutics of sus picion 40 . 16. 60 Crick. 32. 163 humani stic psychology 11 8. 6 dr eam s 36. 15 3-155 . C B. 173. 173. 115 Ferster. 177. 4 Danto . 152 . 89.183 herm eneutics of meanin g-recollection 39.D. 178 Fodor. d ef ence m ech ani sm s 48 em barrass ment 132. 98. 92. 48 . 154 . 124.1 67 Hamilton. 122. 142 effort after meanin g 66 eg o 4 7 . 88 first-p erson view point 177. 10 6. S. 63. 37. G.48 inclu sive fitn ess 20-22. A.-G. 176. 10 8. 182 Derrida. T. 105 .A . 52 Goffma n.]. 174 game 130 gend er 110 .34. R. 118 evolution 4. 140 . 124 . 136.11 8. 98. 15 3 dualism 35.1 6 8 discourse ana lysis 6.140. 131. 109.1 30-1 37.4 0.1 61. 182 existent ial psych oan alysis 10 6.1 79 Freud .44. W. 142 herm eneutic s 36.127. M .23 Hamp son . 147 Gillin.153. 122 Darwin. R.138. CE. 144. 111.P.15 7. A.1 76.45. 91. 163-1 65 . 5 3. 4. 178 . 157 112 9.] . F. 90-98. ].]. 173.6. 72 Gada mer. E. 155 . C T.E. inn er experience 91.121 . 62 Fou cau lt.1 76 determini sm 4.115. 178 Dawkin s. 122 Hab erm as. 124 . 167-1 69. 101 . 35-39. 124 Holm es.1 65 fund am ent al postul at e 71. 134.32 decon struction 164-1 69. 137 emo tions 75.40. 52. 26. 141-147 Heidegger.1 74 . W. and cult ure 12 . 144 . 20 . 153-155. 14 0.]. 77. 144. 145 . 116-11 9 existent ialism 104-122. essence 3. 138.1 74 Gonos. 137 feelings. 12. 155 . 96.155. 2 9 inequalit y 179 information proc essing 59. 182 face. 138 .].1 82 Dob zhan sky. 29. 60. 109.23.153. 6.144 id47. 131 Go uld. 39 episteme 15 9-1 61 essent ialism. 51 geno ty pe 18 gestu re 127 Gidde ns. F. 84. 113 . ] . 142 energetics 35-37. 69 int entionalit y 10 8. 7. 16. 79 Harr e. 15 9. 15 7.1 33-1 35 . 12-32 . 34. 18 Donne.1 82. 10 8.P.]. 18 cultu re: its onto logical primacy 3.1 31 . S. 76. C 13-20.29 grands reeits 150-152. H . 121 interacti on order 132 int erpretati on (see also herm eneutic s) 24 .W.2 8. D.
K. histo ry of 15 7-159 M ah er. 68-76.157.G.A. W.A. 39 par adi gm 58 Parke~ 1. 2 6. 173. A. 122. K. 139. 169 madn ess. wor king 65. 178.146. 100 . 141-143.11 6. 10 8.152.29 psychoan alysis 34. 178 197 . 31. 70 M ani s. 76. 31. 86. 111 .H .147 M ar x. 79 No rris. 98. 24-2 6. 110 .142 min d (Mea d) 124-128.A. 58 Kvale. 101 . 93. 62. 141 . 78. 174 . 10 8. 11 8 objectification 10 6.6 1 Norma n. C. 66. W. 11 8. 9 1-93.-B. 122 .147.147. 2 7 physical wo rld: place in understa nding human natur e 9.1 68. 122 mu tationi sm 18 Naege le. 82.H . 52 positivism 59. ] . 15 7.1 69. 182.-F. see social int eracti on person al con stru cttheor y 69-79.1 29. 128.1 83 phenotype 18.D .169. 7. lon g term 63. 146. 10 7. 36 Lam ar ck. 13 1 mod ernit y.B . 104 . 121 . 139. E.A. 183 opera nt cond itioning 85. 73 Plato 165 . 124 .B. 62 M urd och. G. 124-131 . G. 54 . 10 7.1 74 M eltzer. 138.121 Oedipus complex 4 9. 152. 147 powe r 10 6.J. 66. 183 M orri s.143. 173.1 83 Pot ter. 10 8.A. 17 M erleau-P on ty. 89 ora l stage 48 or igina l proj ect 116-11 8. 79 moti vation 141 . 1. 6. 143. 173 phallic stage 49 phenom enology 105 .1 76 Piaget. 177 kn owin g how/knowin g th at 95 Kuhn . 137.1 77 M erq uior.} .INDEX int er subj ecti vit y.J. 96. 182 Lind say. 72. C. 48 Popper. 179 Jon es. 79. 183 psychological life: its onto logical prim acy 3. 95.J.50 onto logy 3.E. 100 . 107. 10 8. 176 178. 6. 10 9. 101 . 105 .H. 84. episodic 68. iconi c 65.55. 50 Kelly. 141 . P. 46. 54 . 10 9.1 69 meth odological behaviouri sm 61. 65 Luijp en . R. 124. 121 ot her peopl e: place in understa nding human natur e 8.J. 61 Mills.1 39. see so cia l in ter acti on Jam es. 2 7 lan guage 7. 76 M endel.152 me 129 M ead .147 percepti on 63. T. 150. 121 Luke 28 Lyot ard. D. mod erni sm 150 .S. 150-152. 10 9. C. 173.W. G. 65. 13 5 Ne isser.N .1 7.G. 65-67.146 person relationships. O . 12 7.1 76 Palm er. 78. B. 160 Lloyd. 183 postm oderni sm 7.1 76. 99. 142 M owr er.146.11 6. 65. G.147 meme 26 memor y: echoic 65. 145 .1 68. sema ntic 68 sho rt term 63-65. 79 Linnaeus.E. 68 Logie. 152.J. 90 Miller. 173 Newe ll.1 77 latency stage 50 libido 35. 48 lifeworld 100 . U. 177. 166 play 130 pleasure principle (or desire) 46. 74. 10 7. 169 nothin gness 10 9-1 13 . B.112. 113-11 6 objects of consciousness 105 . K. P. 151 . 122.144. 169 Lacan . 161-1 64 pragmati sm 125 proc edural kn owledge 67 preposition al kn owledge 67 pro xim al moti vati on 14 . 78. R. S.1 69.J. 37. M .
P.1 73 Slater. 168. 100. 36. 130 . 183 text 36. 31 tran scend ental narci ssism 15 6.124. 73-75. E. 14 6 teleology 16. M . M . 139. A.97-99. 96. 101 . 82.1 76.156. subjectivity 99.143-145. as presentati on . 12 7.P. 164 sha ping 86 significant gestu re 12 7 Skinner.C 154 .L. 119. 10 6. place in understanding human nature 8. 10 9. J. E. 110. 21 . 25 takin g th e att itu de of th e other 130 . C R. 141 . 84 visuo-spati al sketchpad 65. 38. 173 Wynne-Edward s.1 76 society.1 83 Symo ns. 141. 14 7 stigma 134 stru ctu re of mind 38. performanc e 132136.T. 144. 68 ultim at e moti vati on 14 . see freedom Ward.J. 39. 30. 2. 46 Valentin e. 157. 66 volunta rism.145. 44 .D .1 82 therap y 35. 69 Schilpp . 77. 99. 114-11 6. 63-68 subject. 169. 40 . 89 sexua lity. 19.1 65 Rogers. 59. histor y of 163. 53 reflexivit y 139 reinforcement 85-99 relati on ship in th erap y 41--44 remembering 63-69. 12 1. 32. A. D. 41-44. 101 Ricoeur. 39. 47. P. 94.1 66. 144.C 20 198 . G. 16. 104-1 22 . 165. 14 7 Wider. 182. 116 schemata 67. 18 Weinsheimer. 88.J. 7.126-1 34.V. 141 Tooby. 125.12. 29 Sartre. 146.180.O . 9. 13.11 5. 15 6. 10 8. 53.1 83 speech ve rsus writing 164-1 66 Stearn s. 155 Weiskr antz. 178 .R. R. 173. P. 62-66.J.1 77-1 80 superego 47--49 symbol 12 6-12 8 symbolic int eractioni sm 6. 120 Welford . E.E 132 self 75. 6 Richelle. 153.45 Searl e. J. 22. 145.101. 89. 35-37.A.E 5. 104 Schreber. R. 124. 168. 4 8. 168. 40--45.22-24 sexua l moti ve (see also libid o ) 5. D. K. 119 role dista nce 134 roles in psychoan alysis 40 .N .1 76.125.1 73.1 77.1 79. 142 replicator 22-24 resistan ce 41-44 Richard s. B.145 . 53 Scheler. L.13 8. 138.1 61-1 64 . V. P. 24-26. 120 Wilson . 88. 6. 128. 142 . 15 7.49 sexua l orienta tion (see also hom osex ualit y) 28-29.141 .1 78 realit y principle (or necessity) 46. 173. 178 social con structionism 138.K. E. 14 3. development of 129. 30.4 Wat son . 2. 12. 15 7 tr an sference 41--43 Trivers. 179 Secord .78. 145. 124. D. 69 Wetherell.1 80 Schafer.137.139. 139.-P. 12 8-1 36. 22 truth as correspondence 153 Tulvin g. 183 social interacti on 6. 29 uncon scious 36. 68 Sahlin s. 6.INDE X pur poselessness 14. see cult ure socio biology 12-32 .M. 152.11 9 thinking 61-69. 61. 41 Rosch.11 9. 127 Smail.25 . M . 141-143.26. 176 selfish gene 16. 167. 155 .