Acts of Meaning: Four Lectures on Mind and Culture by Jerome Bruner

By Jerome Bruner

Jerome Bruner argues that the cognitive revolution, with its present fixation on brain as "information processor; " has led psychology clear of the deeper target of knowing brain as a author of meanings. purely by means of breaking out of the constraints imposed via a computational version of brain do we take hold of the specified interplay during which brain either constitutes and is constituted through tradition.

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Carl Hempel's celebrated essay "The Function of General Laws in History" is typical.

After all, it 18 The Proper Study of Man has now been a quarter-century since John Austin's introduction of speech act theory. 26 To those who want to concentrate upon whether what people say predicts what they will do, the only proper answer is that to separate the two in that way is to do bad philosophy, bad anthropology, bad psychology, and impossible law. Saying and doing represent a functionally inseparable unit in a culturally oriented psychology. When, in the next chapter, we come to discuss some of the ''working maxims" of folk psychology, this will be a crucial consideration.

14 With the new attack on mental states and intentionality came a related attack on the concept of agency. Cognitive scientists, in the main, have no quarrel with the idea that behavior is directed, even directed toward goals. " But cognitive science in its new mood, despite all its hospitality toward goal-directed behavior, is still chary of a concept of agency. For "agency" implies the conduct of action under the sway of intentional states. So action based on belief, desire, and moral commitment-unless it is purely stipulative in Dennett's sens~is now regarded as something to be eschewed by right-minded cognitive scientists.

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