Social Cognition: Beyond an Illusory Science?

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1993, Vol 38(12), 1285–1287. Reviews the book, Explanations, Accounts, and Illusions: A Critical Analysis by John McClure (see record 1991-98799-000). The organizing principle of this book is a search for a functional alternative to the limiting extremes of positivistic and phenomenological views regarding the nature of ourselves and our social environment. Throughout the book, McClure attempts to identify contemporary approaches or theories that are compatible with his “critical” perspective (i.e., that are capable of integrating mechanical or “efficient” causes with intentions and motivations into their understanding of behavior). Perhaps the greatest weakness of this book is the relative absence of consideration of recent (i.e., post-1985) research and theory. It seems clear that, in some instances, McClure's apparent purpose would have been well served by greater reference to recent literature. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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