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Faculty and Staff Profiles

John Greenwood



Division of Humanities and the Arts




NAC 5/136C

p: 212-650-7637


  • Education

    University of Oxford. Doctor of Philosophy in Philosophy Thesis title: Explanatory Structures in Natural and Human Science Supervisor: Rom Harré Examiners: Mary Hesse, William Newton-Smith

    University of Edinburgh. Master of Arts in Mental Philosophy
    First Class Honors

  • Research Interests

    History and Philosophy of Social and Psychological Science; Philosophy of Science; Philosophy of Mind; Personal Identity

  • Publications


    2006: A Conceptual History of Psychology. New York: McGraw-Hill. In press

    2004: The Disappearance of the Social in American Social Psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press. Cambridge
    Studies in the History of Psychology.
    "Greenwood's book is unequalled in its sustained conceptual analysis of what was lost during the historical development of social psychology. It represents a profound theoretical contribution, sympathetic to empirical work, and offers an insightful commentary on the field's current problems." Kurt Danziger, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, York University, Toronto

    "This book by an outstanding scholar is a major contribution to understanding social psychology. The author spells out how early 20th century views of the ‘social’ were ignored or discarded, resulting in a contemporary social psychology that is too individualistic. He points the way to bringing the ‘social’ back in."  Paul F. Secord, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of Houston

    1994: Realism, Identity and Emotion: Reclaiming Social Psychology. London: Sage.
    "This challenging an unmistakably gifted full of surprising, refreshing ideas...Greenwood shows that the attribution of social dimensions to psychological phenomena is no threat to the objectivity of scientific theories [of identity and emotion]. Whether one agrees with Greenwood's ideas or not, his approach is thought-provoking." De Psycholoog

    1991: Relations and Representations: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Social Psychological Science. London: Routledge.
    "In this complex and challenging work, Greenwood critically examines the predominant empiricist paradigm in social psychological theory and what many see as its major
    alternative, so-called social constructivism, and, finding both seriously in error, presents a realist philosophy of science as an alternative to both...The book...presents a very different perspective on the science and subject-matter of social psychology from that found in most mainstream and alternative excellent introduction to an important philosophical challenge to the accepted ways of conducting social psychology.

    1989: Explanation and Experiment in Social Psychological Science: Realism and the Social Constitution of Action. New York: Springer-Verlag.
    "Greenwood’s impressive heir to Harré and Secord’s The Explanation of Social Behavior should become required reading for serious practitioners of the philosophy and science of social the course of clarifying what constitutes the subject matter of social psychology, he has both given us powerful rejoinders to the social constructivist critique and deepened our understanding of basic problems in theory and research. Greenwood offers us a view of the crisis in social psychology that is a call to develop our science rather than despair of it. "

    Contemporary Psychology Edited Collections:
    1997: The Mark of the Social: Discovery or Invention? Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.

    1991: The Future of Folk Psychology: Intentionality and Cognitive Science. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    1987: The Idea of Psychology. Singapore & Athens: Singapore & Ohio University Press.

    1977: A Selective Bibliography of Philosophy of Science. With R. Harré, J. Hawthorn, and W. Newton Smith. Oxford: Hannon. 

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