Today’s approaches to the study of the human mind are divided into seemingly opposed camps. On one side we find the neurosciences, with their more or less reductionist research programs, and on the other side we find the cultural and discursive approaches, with their frequent neglect of the material sides of human life. Persons and their Minds seeks to develop an integrative theory of the mind with room for both brain and culture. Brinkmann’s remarkable and thought-provoking work is one of the first books to integrate brain research with phenomenology, social practice studies and actor-network theory, all of which are held together by the concept of the person.
Brinkmann’s new and informative approach to the person, the mind and mental disorder give this book a wide scope. The author uses Rom Harré’s hybrid psychology as a meta-theoretical starting point and expands this significantly by including four sources of mediators: the brain, the body, social practices and technological artefacts. The author draws on findings from cultural psychology and argues that the mind is normative in the sense that mental processes do not simply happen, but can be done more or less well, and thus are subject to normative appraisal.
In addition to informative theoretical discussions, this book includes a number of detailed case studies, including a study of ADHD from the integrated perspective. Consequently, the book will be of great interest to academics and researchers in the fields of psychology, philosophy, sociology and psychiatry.