Human Minds: 2an Exploration

Margaret Donaldson, Author Viking Books $25 (320p) ISBN 978-0-7139-9081-2
In this densely written but often simplistic treatise, Donaldson ( Children's Minds ) maps a theory of how the mind develops and works. She posits four distinct yet interdependent modes of mental functioning: living in the here and now (``point mode''); acknowledging one's personal past and future (``line mode''); active concern with the wider world (``construct mode''); and the ``transcendent mode'' exemplified by logic, mathematics and certain types of spiritual experience. A developmental psychologist who holds an honorary chair at Edinburgh University, Donaldson attempts to trace the interplay of these four modes in the origins of religion and science, in artistic creativity, in psychoanalysis and cognitive therapy, and in specific historical epochs. She pays particular attention to Buddhism, which she views as a system for escaping undesirable modes at will. Donaldson calls for a ``dual enlightenment''--a sustained effort to develop children's intellectual skills and the cultivation of transcendent experience which, she feels, modern society tends to suppress. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/04/1993
Release date: 01/01/1993
Hardcover - 978-0-670-84499-9
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-14-017033-7
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