American psychology exists in a pathological state where a sado-masochstic relationship between experimental and non-experimental approaches risk devaluing both endeavors. To confront this problem head on, Giobbi masterfully narrates the "power-structure in which experimental psychology maintained its dominance through a self-promoted legitimation structure that ensured its predominance as the legal way of doing psychology" (267). With his formidable command of psychology, philosophy, cultural studies, and transdisciplinary psychology, this meditation/analysis/manifesto explores many unspoken (and feared) questions from within the field.
POSTCOGNITIVE NEGATION is not yet another critique of psychology from the outside (humanities, literature, etc.); it's a revolution staged from within the event of thinking which is rightly described as postCartesian. Giobbi focuses his attention on the events of scientific psychology which the power/knowledge S&M institutionalization of the field conceals. In order to dislodge the experimental paradigm from its position of privilege, POSTCOGNITIVE NEGATION then deterritorializes the field of psychology by way of a deployment of hybrid forces: Reich, Fromm, Foucault, and Lyotard. His analysis of the apparent power structure of American psychology confronts the quagmire of ideology, one which pits empiricism against empiricism itself in order to deconstruct the inherent pathologies which each expression of empiricism discloses.
Giobbi's clear willingness and unmistakable ability to encourage experimental psychologists to let go of (in the Heideggerian sense, to allow for new possibilities of) their own privileged center and experience the ideology of a non-experimental paradigm envisions a more useful science. His vision extends beyond the narrow definitions and S&M obsessions of this stifling empiricism. Furthermore, POSTCOGNITIVE NEGATION proposes a radically transcendent model which seeks to achieve not a new empiricism but an authentic acquisition of knowledge.
Forgetting momentarily Giobbi's painstakingly detailed and unique historiography of the problem itself; beyond his radical re-readings of established source materials; and for the moment bracketing his symphonic command of multiple disciplinary problems, needs, solutions, and "unthought" haeccities which exceed and overwhelm the problem at hand--what could be called his negation remix of empirical sciences and rearticulation of Newtonian obsessions within Lyotard's differend and Heidegger's mitzein in and of itself would mark POSTCOGNITIVE NEGATION as a wholly individuated and masterful study of contemporary psychology. Combine his accomplishments just described with the empirical deconstructions and Giobbi has achieved the near impossible: a first book whose challenges go beyond the contemporary debates within psychology and restages the history of the problem itself without losing site of the vitality and necessity of a radicalized transdisciplinary psychological model.
Robert Craig Baum, PhD