any given instant, and some only marginally.nFurther, those stimuli that arenattended to are often perceived differentlynby various people. Differences innthe accompanying instructions result innthe people “seeing” different things innidentical situations. The young cognitivenpsychologists understood that perceptualnselection was talcing place; somenstimuli were being excluded and othersninterpreted. Previously held opinionsnalso influenced perceptual selection andnorganization of stimuli. Formerly thenproblem of admission or exclusion ofninformation had been conceptualized bynthe “Judas Eye” concept. This homunculus-likenidea of an “inside person”nscanning the data and refusing some of itnin favor of the rest was derided bynantimentalistic psychologists. Othernimportant sources of ideas from outsidenpsychology proper were informationntheory and computer science. Thesenprovided useful metaphors for Bruner’snthinking about issues arising from thenstudy of perception. The solution of then”Judas Eye” dilemma was aided bynobserving the filtering functions performednby computers when they “decided”nwhat should be displayed. Informationntheory provided ideas that led tonthe notions of “perceptual readiness”nand “cognitive strategies,” furthernclarifying the perceptual process.nUndeterred by the tradition of dividingnpsychology into areas, such asnlearning, perception, and the like,nBruner followed his ideas across thesenartificial and counterproductive boundariesnand studied “thinking.” Whilenexamining thought processes it becamenclear to him that meaning dependednupon context and use rather than onnsome intrinsic quality of things, sonBruner found himself studying how andnwhen mind developed in the young. Anfurther step across traditional boundariesnwas necessitated by his developingnconviction that the growth and form ofnthe mind was greatly influenced bynculture and language. An interest inneducation followed naturally from theninsight that things children learn influ­nence how they see the world, andnBruner began studying how childrennacquire knowledge in general andnlanguage in particular. His ensuing forayninto curriculum development led himninto political controversy; this storm wasnnot about his methods, however, butnwas over the content of his curriculum.nDespite the success of the cognitivenrevolution, the deeper character ofnAcademic Psychology asserted itself innthe end, leaving Bruner feeling thatnpsychology was “more splintered” andn”beset by contradictions” than when henentered the field. Bruner would undoubtedlynstiU see Wittgenstein as fuUynjustified in describing psychology asnbarren and as failing to bring its problemsnand its methods into any usefulnjuxtaposition. It is difficult to assessnBruner’s achievements in psychology.nHe does not do so directly in his autobiography.nIndirectly, his indictmentnof psychology is perhaps an admissionnthat he did not succeed in puttingnpsychology on the right road, either innterms of breaking down its little artificialnkingdoms or in getting the hard butnnnfruitful questions asked and thenmethodology adjusted to them.nDuring the course of his long careernJerome Bruner hobnobbed with manynbrilliant and creative individuals, all ofnwhom were leaders in their fields. Henwas a faculty member at highly distinguishednschools and published a largennumber of scientific articles and books.nHis advice was sought by political figuresnwho had important roles in shapingnpolicy for the U.S. government. It’snevident that he was a highly inspirationalnand charismatic figure to both graduatenstudents and peers, and that his charismanwas backed up by intellectuail soundness.nHow, then, did a man of suchnbreadth and substance turn out a shallownand tedious book? This is all thenmore curious since he lived so intimatelynin the world of ideas that thenbook is intended to portray.nBruner is most interesting (and isnperhaps most interested) when he dealsnwith paradoxes or dilemmas of anstrongly philosophical bent, as, fornexample, when he quotes Lionel Trillingnabout the “wound” suffered by thennonscientific intellectual in the face ofnhis inability to fully comprehend then”deep and powerful” ideas of science.nSuch a wonderfully titillating theme isnimmediately dropped, however, and isnfollowed by another story that is nevernfinished. Bruner is perpemally beginningnthings and never finishing them or evenndeveloping them very far in this book.nOne suspects that this is the case becausenBruner can never bring himself tondiscuss anything unpleasant except innthe most general terms. This was truenwhether the subject is the politicalndisagreements that tore apart Bruner’snintellectual world or the sources of hisnmarital failures. Bruner’s failure tondevelop his intellectual themes beyondna superficial level and his unwillingnessnto provide the full dimensions of interpersonalnrelations between thenluminaries whose names fill this booknmake for singularly disappointing andninsubstantial fare. Dni25nDecember 1984n