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Actual Minds, Possible Worlds

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  132 ratings  ·  9 reviews
In this characteristically graceful and provocative book, Jerome Bruner, one of the principal architects of the cognitive revolution, sets forth nothing less than a new agenda for the study of mind. According to Professor Bruner, cognitive science has set its sights too narrowly on the logical, systematic aspects of mental life--those thought processes we use to solve puzz ...more
Paperback, 222 pages
Published October 15th 1987 by Harvard University Press (first published 1985)
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3.95  · 
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 ·  132 ratings  ·  9 reviews

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David Schaafsma
Jun 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: education, theory
Accessible and lucid, psychologist Bruner's text focused on the power of narrative to imagine possible worlds. The one thing I found problematic that he later corrected in his approach to the mind is that he saw thinking as essentially divided into two categories, analytical and narrative, not an original idea, but binary, limited. My view is that narrative permeates all thinking, it is fundamental in constructing reality, and this is something he came to agree with me about, eventually. :)

For r
Erin Reilly-Sanders
Jan 17, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: adult, non-fiction
Dry to the point of unnecessarily unreadable, poorly organized with occasional little gems of thought. Probably a good book to read about rather than actually try to read. Might be a lot better if you're reading it as from a literary perspective rather than educator trying to learn about learning.
Narrative constructs how we view and make sense of the world and who we are in that (infinite varieties of) the world. Constructivist.
Mar 02, 2010 is currently reading it
I'm still on page 5.
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: partly-read
Too limited.
Eliezer Sneiderman
Chapter 9 is one of the best descriptions of constructionism that I have seen.

"There is no aboriginal world that exists apart from our understanding".
Apr 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Another book for class. Less scientific that all the others I've read so far, so I have a much greater understanding of the book!
Dec 06, 2016 marked it as to-read
Cited in Telling Our Own Story: The Role of Narrative in Racial Healing
Jan 24, 2016 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Steve by:
Shelves: ui-lib
This book is highlighted in a Brain Pickings review on the psychology of what makes a great story.
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Jerome Seymour Bruner is an American psychologist predominately in the fields of developmental, educational, and legal psychology, and is one of the pioneers of the cognitive psychology movement in the United States. He is a senior research fellow at the New York University School of Law. He received his B.A. in 1937 from Duke University and his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1941. During World ...more
“Contrary to common sense there is no unique "real world" that pre-exists and is independent of human mental activity and human symbolic language; that which we call the world is a product of some mind whose symbolic procedures construct the world.” 1 likes
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