The central project of this multidisciplinary volume is a wholesale reappraisal of psychological concepts of human action, mental states, language and social interactions. Derek Edwards reviews a wide range of thought and research to demonstrate how the dominant cognitive approach to psychology has failed. He makes a compelling case for language to be best understood as a kind of activity, as discourse.
The argument draws upon ethnomethodology, conversation analysis, linguistic philosophy and social studies of science. These influences underpin a fascinating intellectual survey ranging across cognitivism, discursive psychology, shared knowledge, categories and metaphor, emotion and narrative. The emphasis throughout is on the value of close empirical study of text and talk, through which the topics of mind, world and `who we are' are seen as `ways of talking'.