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A Postcognitive Negation: The Sadomasochistic Dialectic of American Psychology


Paperback, 380 pages

ISBN 0982706766

ISBN-13 9780982706763

In this, his first book, Matthew Giobbi takes the reader from the earliest days of the experimental psychology movement, continues through the media manufacturing of the social "need for psychology," and brings us to the current political and economic power structure of American psychology. ------ As a critical theorist, Giobbi draws the reader's attention to the unconscious motivations of both the psychologist and the experimental psychology movement itself. He then introduces a way forward through Heidegger and presents a psychological ontology which asks the reader to reconsider what psychology and human Being really are. ------ "From an upstart position to a restart opportunity, Giobbi argues for and provides a well-documented background check on the modern paradigm of cognitive psychology--with all of its scientistic and positivistic presumptions. Systematically, yet paralogically, Giobbi turns his readers toward seeing what still remains concealed and hidden in modernist thinking: namely, the "sadomasochistic event" of mind-body split, master-slave relations, and subject-object dualisms. Giobbi prescribes a post-cognitive psychology of unconcealedness by way of a Heideggerian philosophy of Dasein." -Victor J. Vitanza, Professor of Rhetoric and Philosophy, EGS

Customer Reviews:

  • Giving Up the S&M Psychological Ghost

    American psychology exists in a pathological state where a sado-masochstic relationship between experimental and non-experimental approaches risk devaluing both endeavors. To confront this problem head on, Giobbi masterfully narrates the "power-structure in which experimental psychology maintained its dominance through a self-promoted legitimation structure that ensured its predominance as the legal way of doing psychology" (267). With his formidable command of psychology, philosophy, cultural studies, and transdisciplinary psychology, this meditation/analysis/manifesto explores many unspoken (and feared) questions from within the field.

    POSTCOGNITIVE NEGATION is not yet another critique of psychology from the outside (humanities, literature, etc.); it's a revolution staged from within the event of thinking which is rightly described as postCartesian. Giobbi focuses his attention on the events of scientific psychology which the power/knowledge S&M institutionalization of the field conceals. In order to dislodge the experimental paradigm from its position of privilege, POSTCOGNITIVE NEGATION then deterritorializes the field of psychology by way of a deployment of hybrid forces: Reich, Fromm, Foucault, and Lyotard. His analysis of the apparent power structure of American psychology confronts the quagmire of ideology, one which pits empiricism against empiricism itself in order to deconstruct the inherent pathologies which each expression of empiricism discloses.

    Giobbi's clear willingness and unmistakable ability to encourage experimental psychologists to let go of (in the Heideggerian sense, to allow for new possibilities of) their own privileged center and experience the ideology of a non-experimental paradigm envisions a more useful science. His vision extends beyond the narrow definitions and S&M obsessions of this stifling empiricism. Furthermore, POSTCOGNITIVE NEGATION proposes a radically transcendent model which seeks to achieve not a new empiricism but an authentic acquisition of knowledge.

    Forgetting momentarily Giobbi's painstakingly detailed and unique historiography of the problem itself; beyond his radical re-readings of established source materials; and for the moment bracketing his symphonic command of multiple disciplinary problems, needs, solutions, and "unthought" haeccities which exceed and overwhelm the problem at hand--what could be called his negation remix of empirical sciences and rearticulation of Newtonian obsessions within Lyotard's differend and Heidegger's mitzein in and of itself would mark POSTCOGNITIVE NEGATION as a wholly individuated and masterful study of contemporary psychology. Combine his accomplishments just described with the empirical deconstructions and Giobbi has achieved the near impossible: a first book whose challenges go beyond the contemporary debates within psychology and restages the history of the problem itself without losing site of the vitality and necessity of a radicalized transdisciplinary psychological model.

    Dr. Robert Craig Baum, PhD
    Vermont, USA
    source: Amazon, by user: A3PWDE72DHJRLK
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