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Conceiving of Personality

by Michael Robbins

  • ISBN: 9780300064223
  • ISBN10: 0300064225

Conceiving of Personality

by Michael Robbins

  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Yale Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 08/01/1996
  • ISBN: 9780300064223
  • ISBN10: 0300064225
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Description: The quest to comprehend the essence of human nature is as old as the capacity for reflective thought. In this provocative book, Dr. Michael Robbins proposes a new approach that draws upon psychoanalysis but is shaped by awareness of the limits that the particular circumstances of historical epoch, Western culture, male gender, and modal population from which psychoanalysis was derived imposed on its modernist claims to being a universal theory. Dr. Robbins addresses these limitations from the perspective of philosophy of science, focusing on the paradigm shift from logical positivism to the postmodern emphasis on pluralism and on relativistic, contextual, evanescent knowledge. He examines the implications of this shift for neuroscience, psychoanalysis, gender studies, anthropology, and sociology. After considering whether typical personality has changed over time, he studies the cross-cultural diversity of human nature, the relationship of gender to personality, the spectrum of personality variability within Western culture, and the relationship of the contextual embeddedness of the conceiver to his or her theory. He then proposes a dialectical conception of personality based on systems and chaos theories that respects its multiple guises and circumstantial richness of content without abandoning the quest for universal principles.
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