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 aim of realizing brain as a writer of meanings. basically through breaking out of the restrictions imposed via a computational version of brain do we clutch the detailed interplay by which brain either constitutes and is constituted via tradition.

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Extra info for Acts of Meaning (Four Lectures on Mind and Culture - Jerusalem-Harvard Lectures)

Example text

But to say something useful· about truth, he goes on, is to "explore practice rather than theory . . "34 Let me illustrate with a little case study. We want to know more about intellectual prowess. So we decide, unthinkingly, to use school performance as our measure for assessing "it'' and predicting "its" development. After all, where intellectual prowess is concerned, school performance is of the essence. Then, in the light of our chosen perspective, Blacks in America have less "prowess" than Whites, who in their turn have slightly less than Asians.

The so-called universals of human narure, is not a cause of 20 • The Proper Study of Man • action but, at most, a constraint upon it or a condition for it. The engirie · in the car does not "cause" us to drive to the supermarket for the week's shopping, any more than our biological reproductive system "causes" us with very high odds to marry somebody from our own social class, ethnic group, and so on. Granted that without engine-powered cars we would not drive to supermarkets, nor perhaps would there be marriage in the absence of a reproductive system.

2~_!!. ~g_~ze~-~. ~~e believe (or "know") that people hold beliefs not only about the present but about the past and future, beliefs that relate us to time conceived of in a particular way-our way, not the way of Fortes's Talensee or Mead's Samoans. We believe, moreover, that our beliefs should cohere in some way, that people should not believe (or want) seemingly irreconcilable things, although the principle of coherence is slightly fuzzy. Indeed, we also believe that people's beliefs and desires become sufficiently coherent and well organized as to merit being called "commitments" or "ways of life," and such coherenccs arc seen as "dispositions" that characterize persons: loyal wife, devoted father, faithful friend.

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Acts of Meaning (Four Lectures on Mind and Culture - Jerusalem-Harvard Lectures) by Jerome Bruner

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