Review of Wittgenstein And Psychology- A Practical Guide by Harre and Tissaw (2005)(review revised 2019)

In The Logical Structure of Human Behavior. Las Vegas, NV USA: Reality Press. pp. 309-324 (2019)
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Abstract
A major flaw of the book is its failure to note Wittgenstein’s role in destroying the mechanical or reductionist or computationalist view of mind. These continue to dominate cognitive science and philosophy, in spite of the fact that they were powerfully countered by W and later by Searle and others. There is much talk of W’s use of terms like “grammar”, “rules” etc. but never a clear mention that they mean our Evolved Psychology or our genetically programmed innate behavior. There are references to Baker and Hacker's works and to Malcolm Budd, but none to many standard W refs such as ter Hark, Johnston, and especially to the searchable Intelex CDROM and online sites of his complete works, nor to Searle, and none to the vast literature of evolutionary psychology. Many sections of the book are reasonably successful in describing W’s work but there is much aimless wandering and many mistakes and confusions. These will hopefully be obvious to those who read the above and my other reviews as I cannot recount more than a few of the hundreds of critical comments I made in my two readings of this book. A major flaw, common to most writing in the behavioral sciences, is the lack of awareness of the S1/S2 two selves or two systems of thought mode of describing personality that W pioneered (though nobody noticed) and a failure to be clear about nature/nuture issues. The fast, automatic perceptions, ‘rules’ and behaviors of S1 are mushed together with the slow conscious dispositional thinking, believing and rule following of S2 and neither are clearly or consistently distinguished from arbitrary cultural behaviors. Like all authors until very recently, they fail to give Wittgenstein’s last work “On Certainty” the prominent position it deserves, and likewise fail to take advantage of the powerful dual systems of thought framework. Nor have they adopted the useful extensions of Wittgenstein’s work made by John Searle. So, I first lay out a framework for intentionality (behavior) and then provide some detailed comments. This book is a reasonable first attempt to bring W’s pioneering work on higher order thought to the attention of psychology but it has many failings and needs a thorough rewrite. Those wishing a comprehensive up to date framework for human behavior from the modern two systems view may consult my book ‘The Logical Structure of Philosophy, Psychology, Mind and Language in Ludwig Wittgenstein and John Searle’ 2nd ed (2019). Those interested in more of my writings may see ‘Talking Monkeys--Philosophy, Psychology, Science, Religion and Politics on a Doomed Planet--Articles and Reviews 2006-2019 3rd ed (2019), The Logical Structure of Human Behavior (2019), and Suicidal Utopian Delusions in the 21st Century 4th ed (2019)
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Archival date: 2019-02-23
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