A new memoir from psychologist Michael Wertheimer will be of interest to AHP readers. The autobiography, Facets of an Academic’s Life: A Memoir, is available now from Springer and is described as follows:
This is the life story of the oldest living member of the famous Wertheimer family, beautifully narrated and richly illustrated from the author’s vast stock of memorabilia and his unfailing memory. It is a memoir, but at the same time a document of the exodus of German-speaking psychologists to the New World, which left the homeland scientifically shattered. This lovingly-written pictorial archive of 80 years of the history of modern psychology, shaped by the momentous events of WWII, belongs on the shelf of every psychologist, theoretical, experimental, and clinical, as it gives us the story of how the scientific heritage in Europe and America merged to form the broad and strong disciplines now in our hands, told by one of its premier historical representatives.
Prof. em. Lothar Spillmann, University of Freiburg, Germany
A new book by Roger Smith may be of interest to AHP readers: The Sense of Movement: An Intellectual History. The book is available as both an e-book and print book. Details below:
The sense of movement, the feeling of one’s body or limbs in motion, has a rich history over the last three centuries. Differentiated from general touch, linked to intuition of agency, tied to the feel for reality, associated with the notion of force in natural philosophy, close to the sense of life, it has sometimes been called ‘the sixth sense’. Inquirers have re-described it as kinaesthesia, proprioception and haptic sense. Talk of sensed movement abounds in contemporary arts and performance, in the life of sport and walking, and in the sciences of cognition and motor control. This book is the first to place this talk in its full historical setting. It combines original history with philosophical elucidation of the concepts and arguments at work when people say sensing movement matters. The book is wide in range, synthesizing discussions otherwise separated by discipline boundaries between physiology, psychology, philosophy, cultural history and history of science. The writing combines the voice of a scholar with the voice of a participant in movement.
Under the editorship of Kieran O’Doherty and Jeffrey Yen at the University of Guelph, Lisa Osbeck at the University of West Georgia, and Ernst Schraube at Roskilde University, a new volume of interest to our readership, Psychological Studies of Science and Technology. This book is intended to present “critical and situated approaches to the psychological study of science and technology;”
Demonstrate “how an expansion of dialogue between psychology and STS can contribute to the development of psychological theory, methodology, and practice;”
and focus “on a variety of issues relating to the psychological study of science and technology in our contemporary world.”
Here is an in-depth synopsis from Palgrave Macmillan:
This book provides a significant contribution to scholarship on the psychology of science and the psychology of technology by showcasing a range of theory and research distinguished as psychological studies of science and technology. Science and technology are central to almost all domains of human activity, for which reason they are the focus of subdisciplines such as philosophy of science, philosophy of technology, sociology of knowledge, and history of science and technology. To date, psychology has been marginal in this space and limited to relatively narrow epistemological orientations. By explicitly embracing pluralism and an international approach, this book offers new perspectives and directions for psychological contributions.
The book brings together leading theorists and researchers from around the world and spans scholarship across a variety of traditions that include theoretical psychology, critical psychology, feminist psychology and social constructionist approaches. Following a historical and conceptual introduction, the collection is divided into three sections: Scoping a New Psychology of Science and Technology, Applying Psychological Concepts to the Study of Science and Technology and Critical Perspectives on Psychology as a Science. The book will interest interdisciplinary scholars who work in the space of Science and Technology Studies and psychologists interested in the diverse human aspects of science and technology.
Follow this link to find out more
AHP readers will be interested in a new book on the history of colour in America: The Republic of Color: Science, Perception, and the Making of Modern America by Michael Rossi. The book is described as follows:
The Republic of Color delves deep into the history of color science in the United States to unearth its origins and examine the scope of its influence on the industrial transformation of turn-of-the-century America.
For a nation in the grip of profound economic, cultural, and demographic crises, the standardization of color became a means of social reform—a way of sculpting the American population into one more amenable to the needs of the emerging industrial order. Delineating color was also a way to characterize the vagaries of human nature, and to create ideal structures through which those humans would act in a newly modern American republic. Michael Rossi’s compelling history goes far beyond the culture of the visual to show readers how the control and regulation of color shaped the social contours of modern America—and redefined the way we see the world.
Table of Contents
Introduction / Cloven Tongues of Fire
Chapter One / Modern Chromatics: Ogden Rood and the Wrong-Workings of the Eye
Chapter Two / From Chemistry to Phanerochemistry: Charles Sanders Peirce and the Semiotic of Color
Chapter Three / Pathologies of Perception: Benjamin Joy Jeffries and the Invention of Color Blindness
Chapter Four / Colors and Cultures: Evolution, Biology, and Society
Chapter Five / The Pragmatic Physiology of Color Vision: Christine Ladd-Franklin and the “Evolutionary Theory” of Color
Chapter Six / Small Lies for Big Truths: Standards, Values, and Color Terms
Chapter Seven / The Logical and the Genetic: Bodies, Work, and Formal Color Notations
Conclusion / Talking about Color
AHP readers may be interested in a new book, How the Brain Lost Its Mind: Sex, Hysteria, and the Riddle of Mental Illness, written by neurologist Allan H. Ropper and mathematician Brian David Burrell. As the publisher describes:
How the Brain Lost Its Mind tells the rich and compelling story of two confounding ailments, syphilis and hysteria, and the extraordinary efforts to confront their effects on mental life. How does the mind work? Where does madness lie, in the brain or in the mind? How should it be treated?
Throughout the nineteenth century, syphilis–a disease of mad poets, musicians, and artists–swept through the highest and lowest rungs of European society like a plague. Known as “the Great Imitator,” it could produce almost any form of mental or physical illness, and it would bring down a host of famous and infamous characters–among them Guy de Maupassant, Vincent van Gogh, the Marquis de Sade, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Al Capone. It was the first truly psychiatric disease and it filled asylums to overflowing. At the same time, an outbreak of bizarre behaviors resembling epilepsy, but with no identifiable source in the body, strained the diagnostic skills of the great neurologists. It was referred to as hysteria.
For more than a century, neurosyphilis stood out as the archetype of a brain-based mental illness, fully understood but largely forgotten, and today far from gone. Hysteria, under many different names, remains unexplained and epidemic. These two conditions stand at opposite poles of the current debate over the role of the brain in mental illness. Hysteria led Freud to insert sex into psychology. Neurosyphilis led to the proliferation of mental institutions. The problem of managing the inmates led to the abuse of lobotomy and electroshock therapy, and ultimately the overuse of psychotropic drugs.
Today we know that syphilitic madness was a destructive disease of the brain while hysteria and, more broadly, many varieties of mental illness reside solely in the mind. Or do they? Afflictions once written off as “hysterical” continue to elude explanation. Addiction, alcoholism, autism, ADHD, Tourette syndrome, depression, and sociopathy, though regarded as brain-based, have not been proven to be so.
In these pages, the authors raise a host of philosophical and practical questions. What is the difference between a sick mind and a sick brain? If we understood everything about the brain, would we understand ourselves? By delving into an overlooked history, this book shows how neuroscience and brain scans alone cannot account for a robust mental life, or a deeply disturbed one.