By Jerome Bruner

ISBN-10: 0674003608

ISBN-13: 9780674003606

Jerome Bruner argues that the cognitive revolution, with its present fixation on brain as "information processor; " has led psychology clear of the deeper target of knowing brain as a writer of meanings. simply by means of breaking out of the constraints imposed by way of a computational version of brain will we grab the particular interplay during which brain either constitutes and is constituted via tradition.

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Example text

But even scientific psychology will fare better when it recognizes that its truths, like all truths about the human condition, are relative to the point of view that it takes toward that condition. And it will achieve a more effective stance toward the culture at large when it comes to recognize that the folk psychology of ordinary people is not just a set of selfassuaging illusions, but the culture's beliefs and working hypotheses about what makes it possible and fulfilling for people to live together, even with great personal sacrifice.

I take openmindedness to be a willingness to construe knowledge and values from multiple perspectives without loss of commitment to one's own values. Open-mindedness is the keystone of what we call a democratic culture. We have learned, with much pain, that democratic culture is neither divinely ordained nor is it to be taken for granted as perennially durable. Like all cultures, it is premised upon values· that generate distinctive ways of life and corresponding conceptions of reality. Though it values the refreshments of surprise, it is not always proof against the shocks that open-mindedness sometimes inflicts.

And though it changes, it resists being tamed into objectivity. For it is rooted in a language and a shared conceprual strucrure that are steeped in intentional states-in beliefs, desires, and commitments. And because it is a reflection of culrure, it partakes in the culrure's way of valuing as well as its way of knowing. In fact, it must do so, for the culrure's normatively oriented instirutions-its laws, its educational instirutions, its family strUctures-serve to enforce folk psychology. Indeed, folk psychology in its rum serves to justify such enforcement.

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Acts of Meaning: Four Lectures on Mind and Culture by Jerome Bruner


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