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Bradford, D.T. (2006). J. W. Brown: Process and the Authentic Life: Toward a Psychology of Value. Heusenstamm: Ontos Verlag, 2005 (North and South America: Piscataway, NJ: Transaction Books.). ISBN 3-937202-73-0, 699 pp., $142.00.. Neuropsychoanalysis, 8(2):208-209.
(2006). Neuropsychoanalysis, 8(2):208-209
J. W. Brown: Process and the Authentic Life: Toward a Psychology of Value. Heusenstamm: Ontos Verlag, 2005 (North and South America: Piscataway, NJ: Transaction Books.). ISBN 3-937202-73-0, 699 pp., $142.00.
David T. Bradford
Jason Brown has written a 699-page essay that extends his theory of cognitive microgenesis into process philosophy, focusing on moral concepts and the origins and experience of value. His project, broadly conceived, is “a process monism where subjective and objective realms of existence mirror a foundational world of process iterated in cycles and framed by object-categories” (p. 584). Feeling is viewed as the medium of process and the genesis of value, which differentiates along subjective and objective vectors meanwhile undergoing transformation into varied types and giving rise to drives, interest, desire, and worth. “Existence is the progressive elaboration of value” (p. 677).
Brown's (1972, 1977) earliest scientific interests were the development and pathologies of language. Such work anticipated microgenetic theory, hi which the process of whole-to-part specification that guides cognition is analogous to the process shaping ontophylogenesis. In tune, the theory encompassed all major neuropsychological syndromes and provided novel, historically informed perspectives on the clinical phenomenology of mental illness (1988a, 1988b, 1991/2002). The theory's application to philosophical topics later assumed focal importance (1996, 2000). He has also periodically addressed psychoanalytic theory (e.g., 2000, chaps. 4, 5).
Microgenetic theory focuses on the cognitive epoch, which mediates self-realization and the appearance of the phenomenal world. Related characterizations include “the mind/brain state,” “a cycle of change,” and “the momentary state” (Brown, 1991/2002, 1996).
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