Psychology is About Persons: On Brinkmann's Expansion of Harré's Hybrid Psychology

Alfredo Gaete, Carlos Cornejo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Brinkmann has recently put forward an integrative theory of the mind by expanding Harré's hybrid psychology. The theory is integrative because it establishes that in order for one to gain a full understanding of the mind-which is represented as a set of dispositions-one has to take into account theories about the brain, the body, social practices, and technological artifacts. All of these are said to be 'mediators' upon which the mind depends. An important claim underlying the theory is that in psychology the basic ontological unit is the person. We agree with Brinkmann both on this and on the dispositional nature of the mind. Still, he does not make a strong case for the latter. Furthermore, we believe the concept of mediation is by no means helpful to produce an integrative view in psychology, not only because the theoretical job of such a concept is unclear but also because qua unifying concept it may end up undermining the ontological primacy of the person (in psychology). In this paper we refer to these issues and suggest some ideas that may help improve Brinkmann's (and Harré's) proposal. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)70-77
Number of pages8
JournalIntegrative Psychological and Behavioral Science
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes

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