Arnold H. Modell

Arnold H. Modell is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

  • Imagination and the Meaningful Brain

    Imagination and the Meaningful Brain

    Arnold H. Modell

    The ultimate goal of the cognitive sciences is to understand how the brain works—how it turns "matter into imagination." In Imagination and the Meaningful Brain, psychoanalyst Arnold Modell claims that subjective human experience must be included in any scientific explanation of how the mind/brain works. Contrary to current attempts to describe mental functioning as a form of computation, his view is that the construction of meaning is not the same as information processing. The intrapsychic complexities of human psychology, as observed through introspection and empathic knowledge of other minds, must be added to the third-person perspective of cognitive psychology and neuroscience.

    Assuming that other mammals are conscious and conscious of their feelings, Modell emphasizes evolutionary continuities and discontinuities of emotion. The limbic system, the emotional brain, is of ancient origin, but only humans have the capacity for generative imagination. By means of metaphor, we are able to interpret, displace, and transform our feelings. To bolster his argument, Modell draws on a variety of disciplines—including psychoanalysis, cognitive psychology, neurobiology, evolutionary biology, linguistics, philosophy of language, and philosophy of mind. Only by integrating the objectivity of neuroscience, the phenomenology of introspection, and the intersubjective knowledge of psychoanalysis, he claims, will we be able fully to understand how the mind works.

    • Hardcover $35.00
    • Paperback $35.00

Contributor

  • Psychological Agency

    Psychological Agency

    Theory, Practice, and Culture

    Roger Frie

    A multidisciplinary exploration of agency as a central psychological phenomenon based on the affective, embodied, and relational processing of human experience.

    Agency is a central psychological phenomenon that must be accounted for in any explanatory framework for human action. According to the diverse group of scholars, researchers, and clinicians who have contributed chapters to this book, psychological agency is not a fixed entity that conforms to traditional definitions of free will but an affective, embodied, and relational processing of human experience. Agency is dependent on the biological, social, and cultural contexts that inform and shape who we are. Yet agency also involves the creation of meaning and the capacity for imagining new and different ways of being and acting and cannot be entirely reduced to biology or culture. This generative potential of agency is central to the process of psychotherapy and to psychological change and development. The chapters explore psychological agency in theoretical, clinical and developmental, and social and cultural contexts. Psychological agency is presented as situated within a web of intersecting biophysical and cultural contexts in an ongoing interactive and developmental process. Persons are seen as not only shaped by, but also capable of fashioning and refashioning their contexts in new and meaningful ways. The contributors have all trained in psychology or psychiatry, and many have backgrounds in philosophy; wherever possible they combinetheoretical discussion with clinical case illustration.

    Contributors John Fiscalini, Roger Frie, Jill Gentile, Adelbert H. Jenkins, Elliot L. Jurist, Jack Martin, Arnold Modell, Linda Pollock, Pascal Sauvayre, Jeff Sugarman

    • Hardcover $12.75
    • Paperback $6.75