Problems of Theoretical Psychology - ISTP 1995

Charles W. Tolman, Frances Cherry, René van Hezewijk & Ian Lubek  (Eds.)

Captus University Publications, ISBN 978-1-896691-17-6 (1996)
402 pages, 730 g, 7 X 10, $40.00 (US$32.00)

The problems of theoretical psychology are many and varied, and this volume covers the range. A new case is made for cooperation; "groupthink" is found to be a "fiasco" three times over; male friendships are reconsidered; subjectivity is given a critical twist; habit is rethought as habitus; pain is analyzed phenomenologically; and more. On a broader scale, implications of social constructionism for the theoretical enterprise itself are explored, yielding varying prognostications. Methodological and theoretical concerns converge on a series of issues in cognition and language: explanations and connectionist nets; levels of reality and explanation; semiotics; the heuristic power of conceptual semantics; and more. As always, historical figures like Bekhterev, Dilthey, Vygotsky, James, and Dewey continue to provide sources for fresh perspectives on theory as, more recently, do feminism and postmodernism. This volume is required reading for anyone wishing to stay au courant theoretically in psychology.

Table of Contents   top




  • Wittgenstein in Practice: From the Way of Theory to a Social Poetics (J. Shotter)
  • Theory under Threat: Social Constructionism and Identity Politics (K. J. Gergen)
  • Theory and Practice (H. J. Stam)
  • Comment: Up, Down, and Sideways: The Possible Futures of Theory (L. Rappoport)
  • Comment: On Re-working Theory in Psychology (L. P. Mos)


  • The Critical Psychological View of Subject and Subjectivity (C. W. Tolman)
  • Subjectivity and the Practice of Psychotherapy (O. Dreier)
  • Historicity of the Subject: Subjectivity and Life History (W. Maiers)
  • Prometheus Rebound: The Subject and Technology (E. Schraube)


  • Upgrading Psychology: A New Role for Semiotics (R. J. Jorna)
  • The Heuristic Power of Conceptual Semantics: An Investigation of Spatial Knowledge (E. van der Zee, J. Rypkema, and B. Busser)
  • Towards a Constructivistic Theory of Language Acquisition (J. W. de Graaf and G. Breeuwsma)
  • The Representation of Word Meaning: An Evaluation of Fuzzy Set Theory and Conceptual Semantics (I. Scheltens and E. van der Zee)
  • Young Adults' Epistemic Understandings: A Discursive Approach (H. L. Radtke and M. C. Boyes)
  • Dimensions of the Meaning/Sense Concept in the Psychological Context (D. A. Leontiev)


  • Observations on Vygotsky's Reception in Academic Psychology (D. D. Papadopoulos)
  • Imaging: Theoretical Alterations (G. Kose and D. Corriss)
  • Levels: Reduction and Elimination in Cognitive Neuroscience (H. Looren de Jong)
  • On Levels: Reality or Explanation? (R. van Hezewijk and S. Bem)
  • Level, Scope, and Context: An Approach to Stratification Levels in Psychology (J. F. H. van Rappard)
  • Folk Psychology and Computational Models of Common-Sense Reasoning (W. F. G. Haselager)
  • Representations Reconsidered: An Overview of Cognitive Science (S. L. Russel and H. Looren de Jong)
  • What Kind of Explanation, If Any, is a Connectionist Net? (C. D. Green and J. Vervaeke)


  • Bingo! The Case for Cooperation Revisited (W. Thorngate, M. Hotta, and C. McClintock)
  • Groupthink: A Triple Fiasco in Social Psychology (V. Wekselberg)
  • Is There a Season for Theory? Theoretical and Methodological Writings of Men and Women Social Psychologists over the Lengths of Their Careers (B. Ross, A. Febbraro, H. Thoms-Chesley, N. Bauer, and I. Lubek)
  • Reconsidering Male Friendships: A Social-developmental Perspective (J. V. Botschner)
  • Theory and Context: Bekhterev's Collective Reflexology (L. Strickland and T. Dobreva-Martinova)


  • The Postmodern Reconstruction of Self (D. B. Hill)
  • The Holocaust and the Postmodern Trend in Human Science (L. Rappoport and G. Kren)
  • Practical Reason in Psychology: Postmodern Discourse and a Neo-Modern Alternative (T. Teo)
  • Out of Our Minds, In Our Bodies: Women's Embodied Subjectivity and Self-Help Culture (G. M. Perini and B. M. Bayer)
  • Two Russian Subjectivities: Civil Individual or Cultural Personality? (N. Avtonomova)
  • Clinical Psychology in Post-Totalitarian Bulgaria (P. Petkova and T. Dobreva-Martinova)


  • Using an Archaeology to Contest the Voice of Reason: A History of the Present Psychological "Regime of Truth" (L. Blackman)
  • Concept Clarification as a Community Research Tool (A. Taylor and J. Lord)
  • A Phenomenological Analysis of Mental and Physical Pain (R. Kugelmann)
  • John Dewey and William James on Religious Experience (S. Miedema)
  • Habit and Habitus: Historical and Social Conceptions (C. L. Scott and H. J. Stam)
  • Immanent Critique of Experience: Dilthey's Hermeneutics (L. P. Mos)


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About the Author   top

Charles W. Tolman is Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Emeritus Fellow in the Centre for Studies on Religion and Society at the University of Victoria, Canada. He is author of Psychology, Society, and Subjectivity (Routledge, 1994); editor of Positivism in Psychology: Historical and Contemporary Problems (Springer-Verlag, 1992); co-editor with Wolfgang Maiers of Critical Psychology: Toward an Historical Science of the Subject (Cambridge University Press, 1991); and co-editor with Ian Lubek, René van Hezewijk, and Gail Pheterson of Trends and Issues in Theoretical Psychology (Springer Publishing, 1995). His current activities include a book with Klaus Holzkamp and Ute Osterkamp on the discourse of racism, Constructing the Alien Other, a Brief History of Psychology in English Canada, and a lecture series on "Reason, Religion, and Racism."

Frances Cherry is Associate Professor of Psychology at Carleton University, Canada, a Teaching Fellow at Carleton's Teaching and Learning Centre, and is involved in teaching psychology in native communities across Ontario and Quebec. She was the first director of the Institute for Women's Studies at Carleton, and currently is serving as Archivist for the Canadian Psychological Association and as co-chair of the International Society for Theoretical Psychology. She is co-author with Barbara Carroll of Some Advice for Overcoming Barriers to Women's Achievement in Nontraditional Occupations (Canadian Institute for the Advancement of Women, 1988); author of The 'Stubborn Particulars' of Social Psychology (Routledge, 1995). She is working on a book to be titled Doing Justice to Social Psychology.

René van Hezewijk is Associate Professor in the Department of Psychonomics at the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands, where he teaches Theoretical Psychology and History of Psychology. He is co-editor with William Baker, Michael Hyland, and Sybe Terwee of Recent Trends in Theoretical Psychology (Springer-Verlag, 1990) and co-editor with Ian Lubek, Gail Pheterson, and Charles Tolman of Trends and Issues in Theoretical Psychology (Springer Publishing, 1995). He currently serves as Secretary and Newsletter Editor for the International Society for Theoretical Psychology. His current research interests are imagery, categorization, and theory. He is the editor of the Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Psychology, The main Dutch language journal for general psychology.

Ian Lubek is Professor of Psychology at University of Guelph, Canada, and works with the Applied Developmental and Social Psychology Doctoral Programme. He also is a frequent visiting researcher at the GEDISST/IRESCO/CNRS in Paris. His research interests include theory, metatheory and epistemology; violence; history of social psychology; and gender issues in the social psychology of science. He has co-edited special issues of Canadian Psychology (1992, 33, 3) and Societes Contemporaines (1993, 13) on history of social psychology. He is co-editor with René van Hezewijk, Gail Pheterson, and Charles Tolman of Trends and Issues in Theoretical Psychology (Springer Publishing, 1995). He served as co-chair of the International Society for Theoretical Psychology from 1993 to 1995. His global perspective simultaneously propels him as an indefatigable academic conference participant and collector of antique coloured siphon bottles.