Rethinking Cognition: On Coulter on Discourse and Mind

Jonathan Potter, Derek Edwards

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


This paper responds to, and comments on, Coulter's (1999) critique of discursive psychology with particular reference to how cognition is conceptualised theoretically and analytically. It first identifies a number of basic misreadings of discursive psychological writings, which distort and, at times, reverse its position on the status of cognition. Second, it reviews the main ways in which cognition, mental states, and thoughts have been analytically conceptualised in discursive psychology (respecification of topics from mainstream psychology, studies of the psychological thesaurus in action, and studies of the way psychological issues are managed). Third, it considers two of Coulter's substantive issues: the role of correct usage and the role of conceptual vs. empirical analysis. A series of problems are identified with Coulter's development of both of these issues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-181
Number of pages17
JournalHuman Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Philosophy


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