Overview

Know thyself, a precept as old as Socrates, is still good advice. But is introspection the best path to self-knowledge? Wilson makes the case for better ways of discovering our unconscious selves. If you want to know who you are or what you feel or what you're like, Wilson advises, pay attention to what you actually do and what other people think about you. Showing us an unconscious more powerful than Freud's, and even more pervasive in our daily life, Strangers to Ourselves marks a revolution in how we know ...
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STRANGERS TO OURSELVES

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Overview

Know thyself, a precept as old as Socrates, is still good advice. But is introspection the best path to self-knowledge? Wilson makes the case for better ways of discovering our unconscious selves. If you want to know who you are or what you feel or what you're like, Wilson advises, pay attention to what you actually do and what other people think about you. Showing us an unconscious more powerful than Freud's, and even more pervasive in our daily life, Strangers to Ourselves marks a revolution in how we know ourselves.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Freud introduced the West to the unconscious, but the last half-century of psychology has reinvented it, argues University of Virginia psychology professor Timothy D. Wilson. In Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious, Wilson attempts to explain why there' s so much about ourselves that we fail to understand, which can lead to misdirected anger. He points to a revised, post-Freudian understanding of how the mind works: the reason that their own judgments, feelings, [and] motives remain mysterious to people is not repression, as Freud argued, but efficiency so that the mind can process and analyze multiple things at once. Wilson looks at ways that readers can probe their unconscious, suggesting that soliciting the opinions of others is actually more valuable than introspection. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
How well do we really know ourselves? How well can we know ourselves? Wilson (psychology, Univ. of Virginia) convincingly argues that our conscious minds are but the tip of the iceberg in deciding how we behave, what is important to us, and how we feel. Surveying a variety of contemporary psychological research, this book describes an unconscious that is capable of a much higher degree of "thinking" than previously supposed by adherents of either Freudian or Behaviorist branches of psychology. Capable of everything from problem solving and narrative construction to emotional reaction and prediction, the adaptive unconscious is a powerful and pervasive element of our whole personalities. Indeed, it may be the primary element of our personalities, controlling our real motivations, judgments, and actions. Wilson examines the evolution of the idea of the unconscious, the various ways in which it operates within us, and how we can look at our actions-rather than our thoughts-to truly know ourselves. A fascinating read; for large public libraries.-David Valencia, King Cty. Lib. Syst., Seattle
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674045217
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 6/30/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 270,263
  • File size: 339 KB

Meet the Author

Timothy D. Wilson is Sherrell J. Aston Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia.

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Table of Contents

Preface

1. Freud's Genius, Freud's Myopia

2. The Adaptive Unconscious

3. Who's in Charge?

4. Knowing Who We Are

5. Knowing Why

6. Knowing How We Feel

7. Knowing How We Will Feel

8. Introspection and Self-Narratives

9. Looking Outward to Know Ourselves

10. Observing and Changing Our Behavior

Notes

Bibliography

Index

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