PSYC 4010 Chapter Notes - Chapter 8: John Dewey, Margaret Mead, Active Minds

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Published on 15 Apr 2013
School
York University
Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 4010
Professor
PSYC 4010 - Developmental Psychology
Child Development Thinking about Theories
Chapter 8 Notes
The historical event: Contextualism
Introduction
Basic tenets of contextualism
Contextualism is based on assumptions fundamentally distinct from those of the
dialectical (organismic) paradigm
Contextualism is based on the idea of the unique historical event
Four themes in contextualism (Rosnow and Georgoudi):
1. The historic event is the basic unit of analysis with a consequent focus on change
and development
2. The context consists of all the conditions surrounding the event. The sociocultural
context in which the event takes place provides meaning to the event
3. Variability and chance are an integral part of contextualism because contexts
themselves are ultimately developed and impermanent realities
4. Action and knowledge
William James and functionalism
Went to medical school
Had a friend by the name of Peirce focused on the link between theory and practice and
particularly the application of philosophy to everyday life; truth was discovered through
scientific method and then the next step was to apply it to solve everyday problems
James developed his own version of pragmatism; appealed to the practical-minded
those interested in using science to solve everyday problems
James argued for adaptive functioning
The mind is seen as constantly engaged in interaction with adaptation to the environment;
he emphasized the selective function of consciousness; he argued that thoughts and
feelings exist
Jamess main point was that development of a functional psychology whereby the aim
was not to reduce psychology to its constituent elements, but rather to study
consciousness as an ongoing process or stream
He proposed that history was simply a collection of unrelated facts, without any
assumption about what the end state would be, or that it would represent an improvement
John Dewey: active minds in cultural settings
Dewey developed a rather idealist philosophy, perhaps influenced by the writings of
Rousseau; his philosophical system was related to a whole in a manner consistent with
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Document Summary

Contextualism is based on assumptions fundamentally distinct from those of the dialectical (organismic) paradigm. Contextualism is based on the idea of the unique historical event. Four themes in contextualism (rosnow and georgoudi): the historic event is the basic unit of analysis with a consequent focus on change and development, the context consists of all the conditions surrounding the event. The sociocultural context in which the event takes place provides meaning to the event: variability and chance are an integral part of contextualism because contexts themselves are ultimately developed and impermanent realities, action and knowledge. James developed his own version of pragmatism; appealed to the practical-minded those interested in using science to solve everyday problems. The mind is seen as constantly engaged in interaction with adaptation to the environment; he emphasized the selective function of consciousness; he argued that thoughts and feelings exist .

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