This insightful book offers contemporary psychologists and other social theorists an understanding of the comprehensive system of thought developed by the German scholar William Stern (1871–1938) known as critical personalism.

Expanding the author’s ongoing efforts in this area, the book considers, firstly, how critical personalism could ground a needed revival of psychological science, a need created by the field's gradual transformation, through its widespread adoption of aggregate statistical methods of investigation, into a discipline better characterized as 'psycho-demography.' Consistent with Stern's own view of the potential of critical personalism vis-a-vis socio-ethical concerns, the book then explores how the framework could facilitate a transcendence of thinking about racial and other social relationships beyond currently prevailing narratives about personkinds into narratives that are actually about persons. This part of the book includes a chapter discussing Stern's own historical efforts in this direction, serving to highlight the non-individualistic nature of critically personalistic thinking. Throughout, Lamiell constructs a clear case for the merits and applicability of critical personalism in modern psychology and social thought.

Primer in Critical Personalism will interest established psychological scientists and advanced students in the field, as well as those who are concerned about our contemporary socio-cultural ethos and the prospects for its improvement, including philosophers, sociologists, educators, journalists, clerics, and thoughtful laypersons alike.

part I|50 pages

Rudimentary Considerations

chapter 1|16 pages

On the Need to Revive Psychological Inquiry

The Historic Transformation of Empirical Psychology into Psycho-Demography

chapter 2|14 pages

Critical Personalism

Its Core Philosophical Tenets

chapter 3|18 pages

The Challenge of Reviving Psychological Studies

Some Further Historical Perspectives and Some Possibilities for Moving Forward

part II|55 pages

Toward a Critical Inter-personalism in the Grounding of a Socio-Cultural Ethos

chapter 6|16 pages

Toward a Broadened Perspective

Navigating Some Conceptual Obstacles to Critically Personalistic Thinking