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Is consciousness socially constructed?

 

 
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In a new theory published in New Ideas in Psychology, consciousness is suggested to be the result of discourse. In other words, consciousness is socially constructed. It would be interesting to know how the author avoids a circularity in how the learning of a common thought, e.g. in development. For example, a child pointing at […]

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Posted October 1, 2006 by thomasr

 
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mother-child.jpgIn a new theory published in New Ideas in Psychology, consciousness is suggested to be the result of discourse. In other words, consciousness is socially constructed. It would be interesting to know how the author avoids a circularity in how the learning of a common thought, e.g. in development. For example, a child pointing at something which is later named by the caregiver already presupposes a conscious thought. This problem is also known for theories of thought as the internalization of speech, e.g. in the early work of Lev Vygotsky.

Mind, self, and consciousness as discourse
Shi-xu
Institute of Discourse & Cultural Studies, Zhejiang University, Zijingang Campus, 310058 Hangzhou, China

New Ideas in Psychology
Volume 24, Issue 1 , April 2006, Pages 63-81

Abstract
The present paper argues for the essential relationship between discourse and the human mind. Drawing upon the critical insights from a range of social sciences including Cultural Psychology and Discourse Studies, I outline in the first part of the paper a discursive account of the mind—of cognition, emotion, self and consciousness and the like: the human mind is constituted in text and talk which are situated in cultural and historical context. The discursive account is based on a social constructionist view of the human cultural world as meanings constructed primarily through linguistic communication in order to accomplish interactional purposes. The central argument here will be that our thinking and feeling are discursive by nature and in origin. Specifically, our minds are (a) derived from, (b) constrained by, (c) utilized in (d) modelled upon, (e) distributed through, and (f) begun with discourse. In the second part, I try to show how, in modern Western linguistics, metaphors from the natural sciences have come to define, and become part of, “the human mind” itself.


thomasr

 


One Comment


  1.  
    Elyse Goldstein-Sienna

    I would like to use the photo of the mother and child in a power point presentation I am doing about “Spiritual Parenting.” Is this possible? Can someone direct me to the person who can give permission? Thanks-Rabbi Elyse Goldstein





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