Affect Imagery Consciousness: The Complete Edition: Two Volumes

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Springer Publishing Company, Feb 15, 2008 - Psychology - 588 pages
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"...brilliant..."--Malcolm Gladwell, Author of Blink

"The writings for which this essay is offered as a Prologue consumed him from the mid-1950s throughthe end of his life in 1991. Knowing it was his žlifework,Ó Tomkins conflated žlifeÓ and žwork,Ó reifyingthe superstition that its completion would equal death and refusing to release for publication long-completedmaterial. He knew the risks associated with this obsessive, neurotic behavior, and the results were as bad aspredicted. The first two volumes of Affect Imagery Consciousness (AIC) were released in 1962 and 1963,Volume III in 1991 shortly before he succumbed to a particularly virulent strain of small cell lymphoma, andVolume IV a year after his death. This last book contains TomkinsŪs understanding of neocortical cognition,ideas that are even now exciting, but until this current publication of his work as a single supervolume, almostnobody has read it. The bulk of his audience had died along with the enthusiasm generated by his ideas. Bigscience is now more a matter of big machines and unifocal discoveries as the basis for pars pro toto reasoningthan big ideas based on the assembly and analysis of all that is known. Tomkins ignored nothing from anyscience past or present that might lead him toward a more certain understanding of the mind. Every idea,every theory deserved attention if only because significant observations can loiter in blind alleys."--From the Prologue by Donald L. Nathanson, MD

Volume 1 of Springer's magisterial new two-volume edition of Tomkins's magnum opus comprises The Positive Affects and The Negative Affects.

 

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About the author (2008)

Silvan S. Tomkins, PhD, (1911-1991) was one of the most influential theorists of 20th-century psychology and is generally considered the founder of modern affective science. He was educated at the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied psychology and playwriting as an undergraduate, then philosophy as a graduate student. In 1937, while attending Harvard University on a post-doctoral fellowship, he met Professor Henry A. Murray, the prominent personality theorist and then director of Harvard's Psychological Clinic. Under Murray's influence, Tomkins dedicated his professional career to studying personality, motivation, and emotion.

From 1947 until his retirement in the 1975, Tomkins taught at Princeton University, The CUNY Graduate Center, and Rutgers University. According to a paper he published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in 1981, he claimed that the question that guided his professional career was "what do human beings really want?" In addition to a Career Scientist Award from the National Institute of Mental Health, Tomkins received the Bruno Klopfer Distinguished Contribution Award of the Society for Personality Assessment, The Distinguished Contribution Award from Division 12 of the American Psychological Association (APA), and the Henry A. Murray Award of APA's Division 8. In the August 5, 2002 edition of "The New Yorker", Malcolm Gladwell published "The Naked Face" -- an article about Tomkins's influential work on nonverbal behavior and deception. The article was later reproduced in Gladwell's best selling book "Blink", which sold over 1 million copies in 2005 and introduced Tomkins's ideas to a new generation of social and behavioral scientists.

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