Unstable Ideas by Jerome Kagan
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Unstable Ideas
By Jerome Kagan

Unstable Ideas

Temperament, Cognition and Self

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Format: Paperback

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Unstable Ideas by Jerome Kagan

Book Description

In this work, Jerome Kagan demonstrates that innovative research methods in the behavioural sciences and neurobiology, together with a renewed commitment to rigorous empiricism, are transforming our understanding of human behaviour. Kagan argues that behavioural scientists have reached less-than-satisfactory answers to the fundamental questions about temperament, cognition and the self because they have failed to appreciate the biases inherent in their frame of reference and the limitations of their investigative procedures.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780674930391
ISBN-10: 0674930398
Format: Paperback
(235mm x 155mm x 17mm)
Pages: 328
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 2-Nov-1992
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author Jerome Kagan

On Being Human by Jerome Kagan On Being Human, Hardback (May 2016)

A revered psychologist invites us to re-examine our thinking about controversial contemporary issues, from the genetic basis for behaviors to the functions of education

Human Spark by Jerome Kagan Human Spark, Hardback (May 2013)

Taking into account how far the science of child development has advanced over the years - with the ascendancy of cognitive psychology, neurobiology, and molecular biology, as well as research into development on the broader human scale, the author explores the tension between influences of biology and environmental factors in development.

Psychology's Ghosts by Jerome Kagan Psychology's Ghosts, Hardback (April 2012)

A leading psychologist takes a hard look at his profession today and argues for important changes in practices and attitudes

John Bowlby - From Psychoanalysis to Ethology by Jerome Kagan John Bowlby - From Psychoanalysis to Ethology, Hardback (April 2011)

Work by John Bowlby, one of the founders of attachment theory, has been voted among the five most revolutionary studies in child psychology. Drawing on unique evidence from oral histories and little-known archival material, this book describes the cross-fertilization of attachment theory and ethology.

» View all books by Jerome Kagan


US Kirkus Review » A far-reaching discussion of human psychology and traditional methods of investigation. The author, a professor of psychology at Harvard, is known for his research on child development (The Growth of the Child, 1978; The Second Year, 1981). These studies are reflected in this book, for instance in a discussion of inhibited and uninhibited children, but the main concern here is with such profound problems as the meaning of human consciousness and the relation between our sense (or illusion) of having free will, and the forces of a biological determinism of which we are largely unaware. Inevitably involved with this dilemma of will and destiny, argues Kagan, is the question of method. If human consciousness gives an inherently incomplete picture of reality, then conscious methods of scientific investigation are limited to precisely the same extent. The discussion is carried on with masterful control of a vast past and present scientific and philosophical literature, together with its moral and political contexts and implications. One of the most arresting chapters here deals with "Creativity in Science," where Kagan tries to understand how it is that people like Einstein, Mendel, and Pavlov came to make their miraculous discoveries. In conclusion, two fictional characters, Simpliciter and Reflectiva, engage in a witty dialogue about the concept of self-consciousness. Highly stimulating and rewarding work for readers willing to grapple with hard concepts, detailed discussions, and a sweeping range of allusions. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Jerome Kagan

Jerome Kagan is Daniel and Amy Starch Professor of Psychology at Harvard University.

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