The foundations of critical psychology

Authored by: Andrew Clark , Alexa Hepburn

Handbook of Critical Psychology

Print publication date:  April  2015
Online publication date:  April  2015

Print ISBN: 9781848722187
eBook ISBN: 9781315726526
Adobe ISBN: 9781317537182


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For the last few decades, French post-structuralist critical thinking has provided one of the most important areas of impetus for the development of new ways of considering psychology. The philosophy of figures such as Michel Foucault and Roland Barthes has provided a dramatic reconceptualization of the human subject. The deconstructive philosophy of Jacques Derrida has been central to this post-structuralist revolution, but it has yet to be comprehensively integrated into the discipline of psychology. We argue that, insofar as it can be understood as a form of philosophical psychology, Derrida’s thought has profound implications for the discipline on three interconnected levels: as a way of theoretically conceptualizing the subject of psychology, by placing the regional science of psychology under a broader ontological scope; as a way of considering the pivotal role that a theory of language plays in the conceptualization of the subject; and as a way of interpreting the texts that form the tradition of the discipline itself.

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