A Critical Approach


Andy Blunden presents a critical review of theories of Concepts in cognitive psychology, analytical philosophy, linguistics, conceptual change theory and other disciplines. The problems in these disciplines has led many to abandon the idea of Concepts altogether, particularly those taking an interactionist approach. Blunden responds with an historical review focussing on the idealist philosophy of Hegel, its reception and transformation in the development of positive science and finally the cultural psychology of Lev Vygotsky. He then proposes an approach to Concepts which draws on Activity Theory. Concepts are equally subjective and objective, units of consciousness and of the cultural formation of which one is a part. This continues the author’s earlier work in An Interdisciplinary Theory of Activity (Brill 2010).
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Biographical Note

Andy Blunden is an independent scholar in Melbourne, Australia. He works with the Independent Social Research Network and the Melbourne School of Continental Philosophy. His Interdisciplinary Theory of Activitywas published by Brill in 2010.

Table of contents

Introduction Part I. Contemporary Theory 1. The Psychology of Concepts 2. Narratives and Metaphors 3. Conceptual Change and Linguistics 4. Robert Brandom on Concepts 5. Where we are Now with Concepts Part II. Hegel 6. The Story of the Concept 7. Hegel’s Logic 8. The Genesis of the Concept 9. The Realisation of the Concept 10. Hegel’s Psychology Part III. From Philosophy to the Human Sciences 11. The Critical Appropriation of Hegel 12. Sources of Cultural Psychology Part IV. Vygotsky 13. Concepts in Childhood 14. Vygotsky on ‘True Concepts’ 15. Concepts and Activity Part V. Conclusion. Acknowledgments References Index


Those interested in all currents Psychology, particularly educational psychology, education and development, and in Critical Theory, Linguistics, Hegel, Philosophy of Mind, Marxism, Social and Political Science, mostly undergraduates and graduates.