When psychologists speak of human memory as a matter of 'retrieving' earlier 'input' from 'storage', they are basing their discussion of memory upon a series of metaphors drawn from cybernetic theory (the science of communications and control) and computer technology. Similarly, when clinical psychologists try to 'relieve' the 'pressure' that someone has been 'repressing' inside, their actions are directed by the hydraulic metaphors that have shaped their understanding of the 'linear workings' of 'psychodynamics'. The contributors to this volume argue that psychologists and their predecessors have invariably turned to metaphor in order to articulate their descriptions, theories, and practical interventions with regard to psychological functioning. By specifying the major metaphors in the history of psychology, these contributors have offered a new key' to understanding this critically important area of human knowledge.
Metaphors in the History of Psychology describes and analyses the ways in which psychological accounts of brain functioning, consciousness, cognition, emotion, motivation, learning, and behaviour have been shaped - and are still being shaped - by the central metaphors used by contemporary psychologists and their predecessors. The volume is a stylistically and substantively coherent work of essays on a theme which has become an issue of central concern in a variety of disciplines ranging from linguistics and literary studies to cognitive science, psychology, and philosophy. Through the identification of these metaphors, the contributors to this volume have provided a remarkably useful guide to the history, current orientations, and future prospects of modern psychology.
'This book can be read by psychologists, historians, philosophers, and students for great profit. Despite the complexity of the topic, it is highly engaging, well written and coherent. Regardless of one's orientation or explicit reason for perusing the volume, a reader is likely to come away from the experience not only better informed but also more attentive to and self-conscious about the use of metaphors in one's own work.' Contemporary Psychology 'The substantial empirical work presented in Metaphors in the History of Psychology will make it an indispensable source of stimulation not only for historians of science but also for theorists of metaphors who seek to explain patterns of human understanding.' Philosophical Psychology