Maps of the Mind: Charts and Concepts of the Mind and Its Labyrinths. Charles Hampden-Turner. Macmillan.

Maps of the Mind: Charts and Concepts of the Mind and Its Labyrinths Book Cover Maps of the Mind: Charts and Concepts of the Mind and Its Labyrinths
Charles Hampden-Turner
January 1, 1981

‘What is the mind?’ is a question that has intrigued people from earliest times. Now Charles Hampden-Turner presents the first comprehensive attempt to collect, describe, and draw in map form the most important concepts of the human mind put forth by the world’s greatest writers, painters, philosophers, and psychologists.

Beginning with historical and religious ideas (Greek, Chinese, Christian and Cartesian), Maps of the Mind differentiates among more than 50 main concepts, including those of Freud, Jung, Fromm, Marx, Erickson, Piaget, Maslow, Russell, Buber, Chomsky, and Marcuse.

Each idea is described clearly and represented schematically in diagrams, or ‘maps,’ to show its relationship to other theories. Using these ‘maps’ as vantage points, Hampden-Turner creates a composite picture of the way our minds work and of the processes of human thought, not only in science and philosophy but also in myth, poetry, cinema, literature, and art.

Further sections (called ‘levels’) look at different theories in the fields of psychological development, physiology of the brain, artistic and creative thinking, language and symbolic interaction, cybernetics and psychobiology, the paradigmatic mind, and mythic and structural thought.

Throughout the book, Hampden-Turner relates level to level and map to map, concluding with an overview of the different concepts he has analyzed. With the help of literary examples, the author shows how similar many of the ideas are. Finally Hampton-Turner puts forward a theory of his own in the form of a highly original and thoughtful meta map.

Charles Hampden-Turner former president of the Association for Humanistic Psychology, is the author of a number of books, including Radical Man and Sane Asylum. A graduate of Cambridge and Harvard universities, Hampton-Turner has taught at Harvard, the University of California at Berkeley, Brandeis University, and the Tavistock Institute in London, where for the last two years he has been a visiting scientist.

He is the winner of the Douglas McGregor Memorial Award and the Columbia University Prize for the Study of Organizations, and is a former Guggenheim Fellow and a Rockefeller Humanities Fellow.