Looks at the limits of free will in human action.
Disciplinary psychology has failed to achieve a coherent conception of human agency. Instead, it oscillates between two differing conceptions of agency that are equally untenable: a scientistic, reductive approach to choice and action, and an instrumental approach that celebrates a romantic notion of free will. This book examines theoretical, philosophical psychology and argues for a historically and socioculturally situated human capacity for choosing and acting in ways not entirely determined by culture and/or biology. The authors present a detailed developmental theory of how agentic capability emerges from the pre-reflective activity of humans in a real physical and social world. Implications of the theory are considered for psychological research and practice, and for the broader socio-political impact of disciplinary psychology in Western liberal democracies.
Jack Martin is the Burnaby Mountain Endowed Professor of Education at Simon Fraser University. He is the coeditor (with Lisa Tsoi Hoshmand) of Research as Praxis: Lessons From Programmatic Research in Therapeutic Psychology, and the author of several books including (with Jeff Sugarman) The Psychology of Human Possibility and Constraint, published by SUNY Press. Jeff Sugarman is Assistant Professor of Education and Janice Thompson is Associate Dean of Education at Simon Fraser University.