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Discourse and Cognition

Discourse and Cognition

February 1997 | 368 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Offering a profound yet accessible engagement with language and cognition from a discourse-based viewpoint, Discourse and Cognition is a reappraisal of some of the deepest debates in psychology in light of the most exciting theoretical and empirical developments in recent years. Author Derek Edwards examines a wide range of theory and debate to show how the dominant, cognitive approach to psychology falls, and makes a compelling case for seeing language as best understood as a kind of activity, as discourse. The book is founded in ethnomethodology, conversation analysis, linguistic philosophy, and social science. These influences underpin a fascinating intellectual survey ranging across cognitism, discursive psychology, shared knowledge, categories and metaphor, emotion and narrative. The emphasis throughout is on the value of close empirical study of text and talk, through which the topics of mind, world, and "who we are" seen as "ways of talking." Engagingly written throughout, Discourse and Cognition will be essential reading for students and academics in social, discursive and cognitive psychology and across the social sciences.

An Informal Introduction
Cognitivism and Cognition
Discourse and Reality
Talk as Action
Shared Knowledge
Scripts and Dispositions
Categories I
Language and Perception

Categories II
Bodily Experience and Folk Psychology

Stories and Rememberings

Children, Animals and Machines


`For those already familiar with discursive work it will be a joy - Edwards writes with enormous clarity and insight. For psychologists whose work involves an understanding of the relations between language and cognition this book will be essential reading.... This is a demanding book that will repay close attention. It can also be dipped into as a resource for the brilliant reworkings of traditional psychological topic areas, such as emotion, language, cognition, categories, AI, narrative, scripts and developmental psychology. If you want a glimpse into the future of psychology, get this book - the end of cognitivism starts here' - History and Philosophy of Psychology

`This volume has the rare potential to capture the interest of theoretical psychologists, researchers, practitioners, and students alike. Those with passing interest will be captivated by intrguing argument, and experts will be drawn into a rigorous debate around previously commonly held understandings. At issue are relationships between reality, cognition, and language.... Edwards combines scholarship, expertise, and originality, with a tangible enthusiasm for his topic.... a valuable addition to the library of readers committed to exploring new ideas and investigating alternative research and practice approaches.... The value of this volume rests in the writer's ability to respect the traditional and the contemporary while simultaneously demonstrating the greater contribution that may be made by both in the light of suggested new understandings about discourse and cognition. Minimally, the invitation is a tantalizing one; maximally, Edward's discursive psychology may prove an exciting idea that is worth embracing' - Contemporary Psychology

` This is a fascinating book which courses effortlessly along the boundaries of what were once condsidered to be distinct academic disciplines, but which, at least since the issue of "blurred genres" was raised by Geertz (1983), have become the most fertile of zones.... In summary, much that is in this book (as well as Potter's equally impressive Representing Reality...) alerts me to the ambitious scale of the discursive endeavour: with their work the "discursive turn" has found its most ardent spokesmen. And as with writers like Geertz and Clifford in cultural anthropology, their work is so reflexively constructed as to be lit by its own candle, that is, this is scholarship that makes everything seem interesting, including (perhaps especially) the light with which we regard it' - Journal of Sociolinguistics

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