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Psychosis – Toward a humble, intelligent and ethically sound approach

Psychosis is usually described within psychology and psychiatry as a fundamental break with reality. Current theories say this apparent break is caused by biological and environmental factors, resulting in a breakdown or disintegration of the personality where normal judgement is … Continue reading


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Who’s got the power?

Way Back The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle defined power in a way that remarkably prefigures Sir Isaac Newton‘s three laws of motion. Aristotle says power is The agent causing a change in something The ability or potential in an object enabling … Continue reading


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Poststructuralism – Another label to be avoided?

Poststructuralism could be defined as an approach to knowledge that appeared in the social sciences during the 1960s to 70s as a reaction against or outgrowth of structuralism. The term poststructuralism was most chic within academic circles during the mid-1980s to … Continue reading


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Postmodernism – Not necessarily absurd or without wings

The term postmodernism became popular in the 1970s and 80s but has roots reaching back through the centuries. Social theorists usually try to define concepts through a key set of ideas and parameters. Postmodernism challenges conventional perceptions of “the definition” … Continue reading


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Participation Mystique – An alternative to secular materialism

Participation Mystique is a psychological and spiritual idea proposed by the anthropologist Lucien Lévi-Bruhl. It concerns the alleged mystical relationship that so-called primitives had with objects in their environment. In Lévi-Bruhl’s own words: In the collective representations of primitive mentality objects … Continue reading


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Dialectical Materialism – It sounds like “diabolical” but it’s not quite that bad

Dialectical Materialism is a school of thought which emerged from Karl Marx‘s theory of history. Marx is said to have turned the Hegelian dialectic on its head. That is, Hegel envisioned the world as spirit unfolding in matter and, by … Continue reading


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Structuralism – another ‘religious’ belief?

Structuralism is an approach found in the Social Sciences. Its adherents maintain that human beliefs, practices and interactions follow natural, universal patterns.¹ In psychology, structuralism is usually contrasted with functionalism. Structural approaches also appear in anthropology, linguistics, sociology and religious … Continue reading


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The changing face of scholarship

Embed from Getty Images Pierre Bourdieu at an unemployed demonstration in front of ‘Sciences Politiques’ and ‘Normale Superieure’ schools in Paris, France on January 16, 1998. Like most things in life, the idea of scholarship has many meanings. Many people … Continue reading