Susan Sugarman

Office Phone
527 Peretsman Scully Hall

Ph.D., University of California


One line of my research, on the psychology of ordinary mental life, involves the study and analysis of aspects of everyday human experience that elude explanation and thus force us to think beyond customary categories of understanding. A developmental psychologist by training, I am especially interested in experiences that may be illuminated by comparisons of childhood and adulthood. Topics I have explored in that vein include why choosing is difficult for people when it is and what it is to hope.

A second line of work, falling in the interstices of psychology, philosophy, and the history of ideas, uses analysis by reasoning and example to examine ways of understanding the mind. I am currently working on a history of psychological thinking from Aristotle to Freud, mining texts in Western, and to a limited extent Eastern, thought for what a truly revelatory and generative psychology of the human mind might be. I also write on Freud, whose theories provide a fascinating case study in how to think and argue about subjective experience in a systematic way. A videotaped interview regarding my work on Freud may be found HERE.