Persons and their Minds (Open Access): Towards an Integrative Theory of the Mediated Mind, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Persons and their Minds (Open Access)

Towards an Integrative Theory of the Mediated Mind, 1st Edition

By Svend Brinkmann


140 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

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*Open Access content has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND) license

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Today’s approaches to the study of the human mind are divided into seemingly opposed camps. On one side we find the neurosciences, with their more or less reductionist research programs, and on the other side we find the cultural and discursive approaches, with their frequent neglect of the material sides of human life. Persons and their Minds seeks to develop an integrative theory of the mind with room for both brain and culture. Brinkmann’s remarkable and thought-provoking work is one of the first books to integrate brain research with phenomenology, social practice studies and actor-network theory, all of which are held together by the concept of the person.  

Brinkmann’s new and informative approach to the person, the mind and mental disorder give this book a wide scope. The author uses Rom Harré’s hybrid psychology as a meta-theoretical starting point and expands this significantly by including four sources of mediators: the brain, the body, social practices and technological artefacts. The author draws on findings from cultural psychology and argues that the mind is normative in the sense that mental processes do not simply happen, but can be done more or less well, and thus are subject to normative appraisal.  

In addition to informative theoretical discussions, this book includes a number of detailed case studies, including a study of ADHD from the integrated perspective. Consequently, the book will be of great interest to academics and researchers in the fields of psychology, philosophy, sociology and psychiatry.


"Persons and their Minds is a remarkably elegant, deeply scholarly and integrative proposition for a new "hybrid psychology". Drawing on classical and current debates in philosophy, cognitive sciences, social sciences and psychology, Svend Brinkmann proposes an original theory of persons, with their minds as sets of practices and dispositions, mediated by their brain, bodies and social worlds. Written with simplicity and humor, this monograph brings much-needed theoretical and epistemological clarifications – demonstrating why, among other things, people’s actions cannot be explained by brain mechanisms. This groundbreaking work offers a new basis for understanding psychopathology and paves the way for an integrative psychology of people’s everyday life in society." - Professor Tania Zittoun, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland.

"Brinkmann’s book provides the long-sought integration of the various strands of psychology and will be the starting point of the unification of the sciences of the mind.?" Professor Rolf Reber, University of Oslo, Norway.

Table of Contents

Series Editor's Preface



1. The Concepts of Mind and Person

2. The Mind and the Brain

3. The Mind and the Body

4. The Mind and Society

5. The Mind and Things

6. The Mind between the Brain and Culture

7. Persons and Disordered Minds References

About the Author

Svend Brinkmann is Professor of Psychology in the Department of Communication and Psychology at the University of Aalborg, Denmark. His primary research areas are general psychology and qualitative methods. He is currently Co-director of the Center for Qualitative Studies at the University of Aalborg and member of the Center for Cultural Psychology.

About the Series

Cultural Dynamics of Social Representation

The series Cultural Dynamics of Social Representation is dedicated to bringing the scholarly reader new ways of representing human lives in the contemporary social sciences. It is a part of a new direction – cultural psychology – that has emerged at the intersection of developmental, dynamic and social psychologies, anthropology, education, and sociology. It aims to provide cutting-edge examinations of global social processes, which for every country are becoming increasingly multi-cultural. Therefore, social sciences need new ways of considering how to study human lives in their globalizing contexts. The focus of this series is the social representation of people, communities, and – last but not least – the social sciences themselves.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Applied Psychology