Page: Philosophy . Metaphysics Philosphers
Philosophical writings that I find interesting.
Philosophy is the study of the general and fundamental nature of reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. The Ancient Greek word (philosophia) was probably coined by Pythagoras and literally means "love of wisdom" or "friend of wisdom".
Philosophy has been divided into many sub-fields. It has been divided chronologically (e.g., ancient and modern); by topic (the major topics being epistemology, logic, metaphysics, ethics, and aesthetics); and by style (e.g., analytic philosophy).
As a method, philosophy is often distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its questioning, critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument. As a noun, the term "philosophy" can refer to any body of knowledge.
Historically, these bodies of knowledge were commonly divided into natural philosophy, moral philosophy, and metaphysical philosophy. In casual speech, the term can refer to any of the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group.
Cicero’s Practical Philosophy marks a revival over the last
two generations of serious scholarly interest in Cicero’s political thought.
Its nine original essays by a multidisciplinary group of distinguished international scholars manifest close study of Cicero’s philosophical writings and great appreciation for him as a creative thinker, one from whom we can continue to learn.
This collection focuses initially on Cicero’s major work of political theory, his De Re Publica, and the key moral virtues that shape his ethics, but the contributors attend to all of Cicero’s primary writings on political community, law, the ultimate good, and moral duties.
Room is also made for Cicero’s extensive writings on the art of rhetoric, which he explicitly draws into the orbit of his philosophical writings.
Cicero’s concern with the divine, with epistemological issues, and with competing analyses of the human soul are among the matters necessarily encountered in pursuing, with Cicero, the large questions of moral and political philosophy, namely, what is the good and genuinely happy life and how are our communities to be rightly ordered.
Cicero’s Practical Philosophy
I have tried in this revision to incorporate the main lessons of the last sixteen years.
These lessons have been considerable.
I consider it a real and extensive revision-even though I had to do only a moderate amount of rewriting-because the
main thrust of the book has been modified in important ways which I shall detail below.
When this book appeared in 1954 it was essentially an effort to build upon the classical psychologies available rather than to repudiate them or to establish another rival psychology. It attempted to enlarge our conception of the human personality by reaching into the "higher" levels of human nature. The title I had first planned to use for the book was Higher Ceilings for Human Nature.
If I had had to condense the thesis of this book into a single sentence, I would have said that, in addition to what the psychologies of the time had to say about human nature, man also had a higher nature and that this was instinctoid, i.e., Part of His Essence. And if I could have had a second sentence, I would have stressed the profoundly holistic nature of human nature in contradiction to the analytic dissecting atomistic Newtonian approach of the behaviorisms and of Freudian psychoanalysis.
Or to say it another way, I certainly accepted and built upon the available data of experimental psychology and psychoanalysis. I accepted also the empirical and experimental spirit of the one, and the unmasking and depth-probing of the other, while yet rejecting the images of man which they generated. That is, this book represented a different philosophy of human nature, a new image of man.
However, what I took then to be an argument within the family of psychologists has in my opinion turned out since then to be rather a local manifestation of a new Zeitgeist, a new general comprehensive philosophy of life. This new "humanistic" Weltanschauung seems to he a new and far more hopeful and encouraging way of conceiving any and every area of human knowledge: e.g., economics, sociology, biology, and every profession: e.g., law, politics, medicine, and all of the social institutions: e.g., the family, education, religion, etc.
I have acted upon this personal conviction in revising this book, writing into the psychology presented herein, the belief that it is an aspect of a much broader world view afl(l of a comprehensive life-philosophy, which is already partly worked out at least to the point of plausibility, and must, therefore, be taken seriously.
I must say a word about the irritating fact that this veritable revolution (a new image of man, of society, of nature, of science, of ultimate values, of philosophy, etc., etc.) is still almost completely overlooked by much of the intellectual community, especially that portion of it that controls the channels of communication to the educated public and to youth.
For this reason I have taken to calling it the Unnoticed Revolution. Many members of this community propound an outlook characterized by a profound despair and cynicism which sometimes degenerates into corrosive malice and cruelty. In effect they deny the possibility of improving human nature and society, or of discovering intrinsic human values, or of being life-loving in general.
Doubting the realness of honesty, of kindness, of generosity, of affection, they go beyond a reasonable skepticism or a withholding of judgment into an active hostility when confronted by people whom they sneer at as fools, "Boy Scouts," squares, innocents, do-gooders, or Pollyannas.
This active debunking, hating and rending goes beyond contempt; it sometimes looks like an outraged counterattack against what they consider to be an insulting effort to fool them, to take them in, to pull their legs. The psychoanalyst would, I think, see in it a dynamics of rage and revenge for past disappointments and disillusionments.
This subculture of despair, this "more corrosive than thou" attitude, this counter-morality in which predation and hopelessness are real and good will is not, is flatly contradicted by the humanistic psychologies, and by the kind of preliminary data presented in this book and in many of the writings listed in the Bibliography.
While it is still necessary to be very cautious about affirming the preconditions for "goodness" in human nature (see Chapters 7, 9, 11, 16), it is already possible to reject firmly the despairing belief that human nature is ultimately and basically depraved and evil. Such a belief is no longer a matter of taste merely. It can now be maintained only by a determined blindness and ignorance, by a refusaI to consider the facts. It must therefore be considered to be a personal projection rather than a reasoned philosophical or scientific position.
The humanistic and holistic conceptions of science presented in the first two chapters and in Appendix B have been powerfully corroborated by many developments of the past decade, but especially by Michael Polanyi's great book Personal Knowledge (376). My own book, The Psychology of Science (292), carries forward very similar theses.
These books are in blunt contradiction to the classical, conventional philosophy of science still too widely prevalent, and they offer a far better substitute for scientific work with persons. The book is holistic throughout, but a more intensive and perhaps more difficult treatment is contained in Appendix B.
Holism is obviously true-after all, the cosmos is one and interrelated; any society is one and interrelated; any person is one and interrelated, etc.-and yet the holistic out1ook has a hard time being implemented and being used as it should be, as a way of looking at the world.
Recently I have become more and more inclined to think that the atomistic way of thinking is a form of mild psychopathology, or is at least one aspect of the syndrome of cognitive immaturity.
The holistic way of thinking and seeing seems to come quite naturally and automatically to healthier, self-actualizing people, and seems to he extraordinarily difficult for less evolved, less mature, less healthy people. To date this is only an impression, of course, and I do not want to push it too hard. Yet I feel justified in presenting it here as a hypothesis to be checked, something which should be relatively easy to do.
The motivation theory presented in Chapters 3 through 7, and to some extent throughout the book, has had an interesting history. First presented in 1912 to a psychoanalytic society, it was an effort to integrate into a single theoretical structure the partial truths I saw in Freud, Adler, J sing, D. M. Levy, Fromm, homey, and Goldstein.
I had learned from my own scattered experiences in therapy that each of these writers was correct at various times and for various persons. My question was essentially the clinical one: which earlier deprivations produce neurosis? Which psychological medicines cure neurosis? Which prophylaxis ¡'tvents neurosis? In which order are the psychological medicines demanded? Which are most powerful? Which most basic?
It is fair to say that this theory has been quite successful in a clinical, social and personological way, but not in a labClassical Antiquity and experimental way. It has fitted very well with the personal experience of most people and has often given them a structured theory that has helped them to make better sense of their inner lives. It seems for most people to have a direct, personal, subjective plausibility.
And yet it still lacks experimental verification and support. I have not yet been able to think of a good way to put it to the test in the labClassical Antiquity.
Part of the answer to this puzzle came from Douglas McGregor (332), who applied this theory of motivation to the industrial situation.
Not only did he find it useful in ordering his data and his observations, but also these data served retroactively as a source of validation and verifica. don for the theory.
It is from this area, rather than from the labClassical Antiquity, that empirical support is now coming.
The Bibliography contains a sampling of such reports.
The lesson I had learned from this and from subsequent validation from other areas of life was this: when we talk about the needs of human beings, we talk about the essence of their lives.
How could I have thought that this essence could be put to the test in some animal labClassical Antiquity or some test tube situation?
Obviously it needs a life situation of the total human being in his social environment.
This is where confirmation or disconfirmation will come from.
Chapter 4 betrays its clinical-therapeutic origins by its stress on neurosis - producers rather than on motivations which do not make trouble for the psychotherapist, e.g., inertia and laziness, sensory pleasures, and the need for sensory stimulations and for activity, the sheer zest for life, or the lack of it, the proneness to hope or to hopelessness, the tendency to regress more or less easily under fear, anxiety, scarcity, etc., not to mention the highest human values which are also motivators: beauty, truth, excellence, completion, justice, order, consistency, harmony, etc.
These necessary complements to Chapters 3 and 4 are discussed in Chapters 3, 4, and 5 of my Toward a Psychology of Being (295), in the chapter on Lower Grumbles, Higher Grumbles and Metagrumbles in my Eupychian Management (291), and in A Theory of Metamotivation: the Biological Rooting of the Value-Life (814).
Human life will never be understood unless its highest aspirations are taken into account.
Growth, self-actualization, the striving toward health, the quest for identity and autonomy, the yearning for excellence (and other ways of phrasing the striving 'upward") must by now be PDF compression, OCR, web optimization using a watermarked evaluation copy of CVISION PDFCompressor Preface xiii accepted beyon(l question as a widespread and perhaps universal human tendency.
And yet there are also other regressive, fearful, self-diminishing tendeticies as well, and it is very easy to Workshopt them in our intoxication with "personal growth," especially for inexperienced youngsters.
I con- sider that a necessary prophylactic against such illusions is a thorough knowledge of psychopathology and of depth psychology.
We must appreciate that many people choose the worse rather than the better, that growth is often a pain f ul process and may for this reason be shunned, that we arc afraid of our own best possibilities in addition to loving them (S 14) and that we are all of us profoundly ambivalent about truth, beauty, virtue, loving them and fearing them too (295).
Freud is still required reading for the humanistic psychologist (his facts, not his mctaphysics).
I should like also to recommend an extraordinarily sensitive book by Hoggart (196) which will certainly help us to understand corn- passionately the pull toward the vulgar, the trivial, the cheap and the fake in the less educated people he writes about.
Chapter 4, and Chapter 6 on "The Instinctoid Nature of Basic Needs," coiistitutc for me the foundation of a system of intrinsic human values, human goods that validate themselves, that are intrinsically good and desirable and that need no further justification.
This is a hierarchy of values which are to be founel in the very ssence of human nature itself.
These are not only wanted and desired by all human beings, but also needed in the sense that they are necessary to avoid illness .and psychopathology.
To say thç sa!ne thing in another vocabulary, these basic needs and the metaneeds (314) are also the intrinsic reinforcers, the un- conditioned stimuli which can be used as a basis upon which can be erecteØ ai sorts 9f sinn.ça l,arniigsnd conditionings.
That is to s t) ih-it in ordem to get icsc trmnsmc goods animals and men are willing to leärn practica1lyary .ing that will achieve for them these ultimate goods.
I want to be sure to mention here, even though I do not have the space for expanding impon the idea, that it is legitimate and fruitful to regard instinctoicl basic needs and the metaneeds as rights as well as needs.
This follows immediately upon granting that human beings have a right to be human in the saine sense that cats have a right to be cats.
In order to be fully human, these need and metaneed gratifications are necessary, and may therefore be considered to be natural rights.
The hierarchy of needs and metaneeds has been helpful to me in another way.
I find that it serves as a kind of smorgasbord table from which peoPDF compression, OCR, web optimization using a watermarked evaluation copy of CVISION PDFCompressor xiv Preface pie can choose in accordance with their own tastes and appetites.
That is to say, that in any judging of the motivations for a person's behavior, the character of the judge also has to be taken into account.
He chooses the motivations to which he will attribute the behavior, for instance, in accord with his generalized optimism or pessimism.
I find the latter choice to be made far more frequently today, so frequently that I find it useful to name the phenomenon "downievelling o the motivations." Briefly put, this is the tendency to prefer, for explanatory purposes, the lower needs to the middle needs, and the middle needs to the higher.
A purely materialistic motivation is preferred to a social or meta;notivatcd one, or to a mixture of all three.
It is a kind of Paranoid-like suspicion, a form of devaluation of human nature, which ¡ see often but which, to my knowledge, has not been sufficiently described.
I think that any com- plete theory of motivation must include this additional variable.
And of course I am sure that the historian of ideas would find it very easy to lind many examples, in different cultures and in different tinies, of either a general trend to downievelling or uplevelling of human mo- tivations.
At the moment of writing, the trend in our culture is very clearly toward widespread downlevelling.
The lower needs are being heavily overused for explanatory purposes and the higher and metaneeds are being badly underused.
In my opinion this tendency rests far more on preconception than an empirical fact.
I find the higher needs and metaneeds to be fai more determinative thati my subjects themselves suspect, and certainly far, far more than contemporary intellectuals (lare - admit.
Obviously, this is an empirical and scientific question, and just as obviously it is far too important a matter to be left to cliques and in-groups.
I had added to Chapter 5 on gratification theory a section on the l)athIOIogy of gratification.
Certainly this is something that we were not pteporel for fifteen or twenty years ago, that pathological consequences might ensue after having attained what one had been trying to attain, and which was supposed to bring happiness.
We have learned with Oscar Wilde to beware of what we wish-for the tragedy may come about that our wishes may be granted.
This seems to be possible at any of the mo- tivational levels, whether the material, or the interpersonal, or the transcendent.
We can learn from this unexpected finding that the gratification of the basic needs does not in itself automatically bring al)out a system of values in which to believe and to which one may commit himself.
Rather, we have learned that one of the possible consequences of -basic need PDF compression, OCR, web optimization using a watermarked evaluation copy of CVISION PDFCompressor Preface xv gratifications may be boredom, aimlessness, anomie and the like.
Apparently we function best when we are striving for something that we lack, when we wish for something that we do not have, and when we organize our powers in the service of striving toward the gratification of that wish.
The state of gratification turns out to be not necessarily a state of guar.
anteed happiness or contentment.
It is a moot state, one that raises problems as well as solving problems.
This discovery implies that for many people the only definition of the meaningful life that they can think of is "to be lacking something essential and to be striving for it." But we know that self-actualizing people, even though all their basic needs have already been gratified, find life to he even more richly meaningful because they can live, so to speak, in tise realm of Being (295).
The ordinary, widespread philosophy of a meaningful life is, therefore, a mistaken one, or at least an immature one.
just as important for mc lias been the gros%'ing realization of what I save been calling Grumble Theory (291).
In brief, what I have observed is thai.
need gratifications lead to only temporary hhppiness which in turn tends to be succeeded by another and (hopefully) higher (liscontent.
It looks as if ¿he human hope for eternal happiness can never be fulfilled.
Certainly happiness does corne and is obtainable and is real.
But it looks as if we must accept its intrinsic transience, especially if we focus on its more intense forms.
Peak experiences do not last, and cannot last.
Intense happiness is episodic, not continuous.
But this amounts to a revision of tise theory of happiness that has ruled us for three thousand years and that has determined our concepts of heaven, of tise Garden of Eden, of the good life, the good society, the good person.
Our love stories have traditionally ended "And they lived happily ever after." And so also have our theories of social improvement and social revolution.
So also, for instance, have we been over-sold-and consequently disillusioned-by the very real though limited improvements in our society.
We were over-sold on the benefits of labor unionism, of women's suffrage, of the direct election of Senators, of the graded income tax, and of many other improvements that we have built into, e.g., the amendments to tbe Constitution.
Each one of them was supposed to bring a milleniuni, eternal happiness, the final solution of all problems.
The result lias tended to be disillusionment after the fact.
But disillusionment means that there had been illusions.
And this seems to be the clear point to make, diat we may reasonably expect improvements PDF compression, OCR, web optimization using a watermarked evaluation copy of CVISION PDFCompressor xvi Preface to take place.
But we can no longer reasonably expect perfection to come to pass, or permanent happiness to be achieved.
I must call attention also to what has been overlooked almost universally even though now it seems very obvious, namely that the blessings we have already achieved come to be taken for granted, to be forgotten, to drop out of consciousness, and finally, even, not to be valued any more -at least until they are taken away from us (see also 483).
For instance, it is characteristic of the American culture as I write this preface in January, 1970, that the undoubted advancements and improvements that have been struggled for and achieved through 150 years are being flicked aside by many thoughtless and shallow people as being all a fake, as being of no value whatsoever, as being unworthy of fighting for or protecting, or valuing, just because the society is not yet perfect.
The present struggle for women's "liberation" will serve as a single example (I could have chosen dozens of others) to illustrate this complex but important point, and to show how many people tend to think in a dichotomous and splitting way rather than in a hierarchical and integrative way.
In general it may be said that today, in our culture, the young girl's dream, a dream beyond which she cannot see, is most often of a man who falls in love with lier, who gives her a home, and who gives her a baby.
In her fantasies she then lives happily ever after.
But the fact o the matter is that no matter how much one longs foi- a home or for - a baby, or for a lover, that sooner or later one can become sated with these blessings, will take them for granted, and will start to feel restless and discontented as if something were lacking, as if something more had to be attained.
The frequent mistake then is to turn upon the home and the baby and the husband as something of a fake, or perhaps even a trap or an enslavement, and then to long for the higher needs and higher gratifications in an either/or way, e.g., for professional work, for freedom to travel, for personal autonomy, and the like.
The main point of Grumble Theory, and of HierarchicalIntegrative Theory of Needs, is that it is immature and unwise to 'think of these as mutually exclusive alternatives.
It is best to think of the discontented woman as profoundly wishing to hang on to everything that she has and then-like the labor unionists-asking for ,norc! That is to say that she generally would like to keep all her blessings and have additional ones as well.
But even here it is as if we have not yet learned this eternal lesson, that whatever she yearns for, a career or whatever, when it is achieved the whole process will repeat itself.
After the period of happiness, excitement, afl(l fulfillPDF compression, OCR, web optimization using a watermarked evaluation copy of CVISION PDFCompressor Preface xvii ment comes the inevitable taking it all for granted, and becoming restless and discontented again for More! I offer for thought the real possibility that if we become fully aware of these human traits, if we can give up the dream of permanent and un- interrupted happiness, if we can accept the fact that we will be only transiently ecstatic and then inevitably discontented and grumbling for more, that then we may be able to teach the general population what self-actualizing people do automatically, i.e., to be able to count their blessings, to l)e grateful for them, and to avoid the traps of mking either/or choices.
It is possible for a woman to have all the specifically female fulfillments (being loved, having the home, having the baby) and then, without giving up any of the satisfactions already achieved, go on beyond femaleness to the full humanness that she shares with males.
for example, the full development of her intelligence, pf any talents that she may have, of her own particular idiosyncratic genius, of her own individual fulfillment.
fhe main thrust of Chapter 6, "The Instinctoid Nature of Basic Needs," has shifted considerably.
The great advances of the last decade or so in the science of genetics lias forced us to assign somewhat more determining power to the genes than we did fifteen years ago.
Most important of these discoveries for the psychologists has been, I think, the various things that can happen to the X and Y chromosomes: doubling, tripling, loss, etc.
Chapter 9, "Is Destructiveness Instinctoid?," has also been considerably changed by these new discoveries.
Perhaps these developments in genctics may help to make my position more clear and communicable than it apparently has been.
Currently, debate on the role of heredity and environment is almost as simplistic as it has been for the last fifty years.
It still alternates between a simplistic theory of instincts on the one hand, total instincts of the sorts found in animals, and on the other hand, a complete rejection of the whole instinctual point of view in favor of a total environmentalism.
Both positions are easily refuted, and in my opinion are so untenable as to be called stupid.
In çontrast with these two polarized positions the theory set forth in Chapter 6 and throughout the remainder of the book gives a third position, namely that there are very weak instinct.remnants left in the human species, nothing that could be called full instincts in the animal sense.
These instinct-remnants and instinctoid tendencies are so weak that culture and learning easily overwhelm them and must PDF compression, OCR, web optimization using a watermarked evaluation copy of CVISION PDFCompressor xviii Preface be considered to be far more powerful.
In fact, the techniques of psychoanalysis and other uncovering therapies, let alone the 'quest for identity," may all be conceived as the very difficult and delicate task of discovering through the overlay of learning, habit, and culture, what our instinctremnants and instinctoid tendencies, our weakly iildiCate(i essential nature may be.
In a word, man lias a biological essence, but this is very weakly and subtly determined, and needs special hunting techniques to discover it; we must discover, individually and subjectively, our animality, our specieshood.
\'Vhat this anounts LO is the conclusion that human nature is extremely malleable in the sense that it is easy for culture and environment to kill off altogether or to diminish genetic potential, although it cannot create or even increase this potential.
So fai as society is con- cerned, this seems to me to be an extremely strong argument in favor of absolute equality of opportunity for every baby born into the world.
It is also an especially powerful argument in favor of the good society, since human potentials are so easily lost or destroyed by the bad environment.
This is quite apart from the contention already put forward that the sheer fact of membership in the human species constitutes ipso jacto a right to become fully human, i.e., to act ualire all the human potentials possible.
Being a human being-ui the sense of being horn to the human species-must be defined also in terms of becoming a human being.
In this sense a baby is only potentially a human being, and must grow into humanness in the society and the culture, the family.
Ultimately titis point of view will force us to take far more serioisly than we do the fact of individual differences, as well as species membership.
We will have to learn to think of them in this new way as being, I) very plastic, superficial, easily changed, easily stamped out, but producing thereby'all sorts of subtle pathologies.
This leads to the delicate task, 2) of trying to uncover the temperament, the constitution, the hidden bent of each individual so that he can grow unhampered in his own individual style.
This attitude will require far greater attention than has been given by the psychologists to the subtle psychological and physiological costs and sufferings of denying one's true bent, sufferings that are not necessarily conscious or easily seen from the outside.
This, in turn, means much more careful attention to the operational meaning of "good growth" at every age level.
Finally, I must point out that we shall have to prepare ourselves in principle for the shaking consequences of giving up the alibi of social injustice.
The more we continue to reduce social injustice, the more we shall find this replaced by "biological injustice," by the fact that babies PDF compression, OCR, web optimization using a watermarked evaluation copy of CVISION PDFCompressor Preface xix arc born into the world with different genetic potentials.
1f we get to the point of giving full opportunity to every baby's good potentials, then this means accepting poor potentials as well.
Whom shall we blame when a baby is boum with a bad heart, or weak kidneys, or with neurological defects? 1f only nature is there to blame, what will this mean for the self-esteem of the individual "unfairly" treated by nature itself? In this chapter, and also in other papers, I have introduced the concept of "subjective biology." I have found this to be a very helpful tool in bridging the gap between the subjective and the objective, the phenomenological and the behavioral.
I hope this discovery, that one can and must study one's own biology introspectively and subjectively, will be of hei1) to others, especially to biologists.
Chapter 9 on 1)estrtmctivcness has been extensively reworked.
I have subsumed it under the more inclusive category of the psychology of evil, hoping to demonstrate by this careful treatment of one aspect of evil, that the whole problern is empirically and scientifically workable.
Bringing it under the jurisdiction of empirical science means for nie that we an confidently look forward to steadily increased understanding whelm always has meant being able to do something about it.
Aggression, we have learned, is both genetically and culturally determined.
Also i consider extremely important the distinction between healthy and unhealthy aggression.
Just as aggression cannot be blamed entirely on either society or inner human nature, so also is it already clear that evil in general is neither a social product alone or a psychological product alone.
This may sound too obvious to be mentioned, but there are today many people who riot only believe in these untenable theories but who act I1Ofl them as well.
I have introduced in Chapter lO, "The Expressive Component of Behavior," the concept of Apollonian controls, Le, desirable controls which do not endanger gratification but rather enhance it.
I consider this concept to be profoundly important both for pure psychological theory and foi- applied psychology.
lt has enabled me to differentiate between (sick) impulsivity and (healthy) spontaneity, a distinction very badly needed today, especially by young people, and by many others who tend to think of any controls as necessarily repmessive and evil.
i hope this insight will be as helpful to others as it has been to me.
I have not taken the tizne to bring this conceptual tool to bear upon the old problems of freedom, ethics, politics, happiness, and the like, but PDF compression, OCR, web optimization using a watermarked evaluation copy of CVISION PDFCompressor xx Preface I think its relevance and power will be obvious to any serious thinker in these fields.
The psychoanalyst will notice that this solution overlaps to some extent with Freud's integration ol pleasure principle and reality principle.
To think through the similarities and differences will, T think, be a profitable exercise for the theorist of psychodynamics.
In Chapter 1 1 on self-actualization I have removed one source of con- fusion by confining the concept very definitely to older people.
By the criteria I used, self-actualization does not occur in young people.
In our culture at least, youngsters have not yet achieved identity, or autonomy, nor have they had time enough to experience an enduring, loyal, postromantic love relationship, nor have they generally found their calling, the altar upon which to offer themselves.
Nor have they worked out their own system of values; nor have they had experience enough (responsibilit)' for others, tragedy, failure, achievement, success) to shed perfectionistic illusions and become realistic; nor have they generally made their peace with death; nor have they learned how to be patient; nor have they learned enough about evil in themselves and others to be compassionate; nor have they had time to become post-ambivalent about parents and elders, power and authority; nor have they generally become knowledgeable and educated enough to open the possibility of becoming wise; nor have they generally acquired enough courage to be unpopular, to be unashamed about being openly virtuous, etc.
In any case, it is better psychological strategy to separate the concept of mature, fully-human, self-actualizing people in whom the human potentialities have been realized and actualized f'omn the concept of health at any age level.
This translates itself, I have found, into "goodgrowth-toward-self-actualization," a quite meaningful and researchable concept.
I have done enough exploration with college age youngsters to have satisfied myself that it is possible to differentiate "healthy" from "unhealthy." It is my impression that healthy young men and women tend to be still growing, likeable, and even lovable, fee of malice, secretly kind and altruistic (but very shy about it), privately affectionate of those of their elders who deserve it.
Young people arc unsure of themselves, not yet formed, uneasy because of their minority position with their peers (their private opinions and tastes are more square, straight, metarnotivated, i.e., virtuous, timan average).
They are secretly uneasy about the cruelty, meanness, and mob spirit so often found in young people, etc.
Of course I do not know that this syndrome inevitably grows into PDF compression, OCR, web optimization using a watermarked evaluation copy of CVISION PDFCompressor Preface xxi the self-attialization I have described for older people.
Only longitudinal studies can determine this.
I have described my self-actualizing subjects as transcending nationalism.
I could have added that they also transcend class and caste.
This is true in my experience even though I would expect a priori that affluence and social dignity arc apt to make self-actualization more probable.
Another question which I did not anticipate in my first report has been this: Arc these people capable of living only with "good" people and in a good world only? My retrospective impression, which of course remains to be checked, is that self-actualizing people are essentially flexible, and can adapt themselves realistically to any people, any environment.
I think they are ready to handle good people as good people.
while also being able to handle bad people as bad people.
Another addition to the description of self-actualizing people emerged from my study of "grumbles" (291) and the widespread tendency to undervalue one's already achieved need-gratifications, or even to devalue them and throw them away.
Self-actualizing persons are relatively exempted From this profound source of human unhappiness, in a word, they are capable of "gratitude." The blessedness of their blessings remains conscious.
Miracles remain miracles even though occurring again and again.
The awareness of undeserved good luck, of gratuitous grace, guarantees for them that life remains precious and never grows stale.
My study of self-actualizing persons has worked out very well-to my great relief, I must confess.
It was, after all, a great gamble, doggedly pursuing an intuitive conviction and, in the process, defying some of the basic canons of scientific method and of philosophical criticism.
These were, after all, rules which I myself had believed and accepted, and ¡ was very much aware that I was skating on thin ice.
Accordingly, my explorations proceeded against a background of anxiety, conflict, and self-doubt.
Enough verifications and supports have accumulated in the last few decades (see Bibliography) so that this kind of basic alarm is no longer necessary.
And yet I am very much aware that these basic methodological and theoretical problems still confront us.
The work that has been done is a bare beginning.
We are now ready for far more objective, consensual and impersonal team methods of selecting self-actualizing (healthy, fully.
human, autonomous) individuals for study.
Cross-cultural work is clearly indicated.
Follow-ups, from the cradle to the grave, will furnish the only truly satisfactory validation, at least in my opinion.
Sampling the total population is clearly necessary in addition to selecting, as I did, the PDF compression, OCR, web optimization using a watermarked evaluation copy of CVISION PDFCompressor xxii Preface equivalent of Olympic gold medal winners.
Nor do I think we can ever understand irreducible human evil until we explore more fully than I did the "incurable" sins and the shortcomings of the best human beings we can find.
Such studies I am convinced will change our philosophy of science (292), of ethics and values (314), of religion (293), of work, management and interpersonal relations (291), of society (312), and who knows what else.
In addition, I think that great social and educational changes could occur almost immediately if, for instance, we could teach our young people to give up their unreal perfectionism, their demands for perfect human beings, a perfect society, perfect teachers, perfect parents, perfect politicians, perfect marriages, perfect friends, perfect organizations, etc., none of which exist and simply can not exist-that is, except for transient moments of peak-experience, of perfect fusion, etc.
Such expectations we already know, even with our inadequate knowledge, arc illusions and, therefore, must inevitably and inexorably breed disillusionment along with attendant disgust, rage, depression and revenge.
The demand for "Nirvana Now!" is itself a major source of evil, I am finding.
If you demand a perfect leader or a perfect society, you thereby give p choosing between better and worse.
If the imperfect is defined as evil, then everything becomes evil, since everything is imperfect.
L believe also, on the positive side, that this great frontier of research is.
our most likely source of knowledge of the values intrinsic to human nature.
Here lies the value system, the religion-surrogate, the idealismsatisfier, the normative philosophy of life that all human beings seem to need, to yearn for, and without which they become nasty and mean, vulgar and trivial.
Psychological health not only feels good subjectively but is also correct, true, real.
In this sense, it is "better" than sickness and superior to it.
Not only is it correct and truc, but it is more perspicuous, seeing more truths as well as higher truths.
That is, the lack of health not only feels awful but is a forni of blindness, a cognitive pathology as well as moral and emotional loss.
Furthcrmore, it is a form of crippling, of loss of capacities, of lesser ability to do and to achieve.
Healthy persons exist even though not in great numbers.
Health with all its values-truth, goodness, beauty, etc.-having been demon.
strated to be possible is, therefore, in principle an attainable reality.
For those who prefer seeing to being blind, feeling good to feeling baci, wholeness to being crippled, it can he recommended that they seek psychological health.
One remembers the little girl who, when asked why PDF compression, OCR, web optimization using a watermarked evaluation copy of CVISION PDFCompressor Preface xxiii goodness was better than evil, answered, "Because it's nicer." I think wc can do better than that: the same line of thinking can demonstrate that living in a "good society" (brotherly, synergic, trusting, Theory Y) is "better" than living in a jungle society (Theory X, authoritarian, adversary, Hobbesian) both because of biological, medical and Darwinian survival values, and growth values, both subjective and objective (314).
The same is true of a good marriage, a good friendship, good parents.
Not only arc these desired (preferred, chosen), but they are also, in specific senses, "desirable." I realize that this can make considerable trouble for professional philosophers, but I am confident that they will manage.
Thc demonstration that wonderful people can and do exist-even though in very short suppiy, and having feet of clay-is enough to give us courage, hope, strength to fight on, faith in ourselves and in our own possibilities for growth.
Also, hope for human nature, however sober, should help us toward brotherliness and compassion.
1 have decided to omit the last chapter of the first edition of this book, "Toward a Positive Psychology"; what was 98 percent true in 1954 is only two-thirds true today.
A positive psychology is at least available today though not very widely.
The humanistic psychologies, the new transcendent psychologies, the existential, the Rogerian, the experiential, the holistic, the value-seeking psychologies, are all thriving and available, at least in the United States, though unfortunately not yet in most departments of psychology, so that the interested student must seek them out or just stumble across them.
For the reader who would like to taste for himself, I think a good sampling of the people, the ideas and the (lata is most easily available in the various books of readings by Moustakas (344), Severin (419), Bugental (69), and Sutich and Vich (441).
For addresses of the appropriate schools, journals, societies, I would recommend the Eupsychian Netwok, an appendix in my book, Toward a Pcychology of Being (see 295).
For uneasy graduate students I would still recommend this last chapter in the first edition, which is probably available in most university libraries.
Also recommended is my Psychology of Science for the same reasons.
For those who are willing to take these questions seriously enough to work hard at them, the great book in the field is Polanyi's Personal Knowledge (376).
This revised edition is an example of the increasingly firm rejection of traditionally value-free science-or rather of the futile effort to have a value-free science.
It is more frankly normative than it was, more conPDF compression, OCR, web optimization using a watermarked evaluation copy of CVISION PDFCompressor xxiv Preface fidently affirming science to be a value-instigated search by valuc-sccking scientists who can, I claim, uncover intrinsic and ultimate and specieswide vaLues in the structure of human nature itself.
To some this will seem like an assault upon the science that they.
love and revere, and which I do too.
I accept that their fear is sometimes well founded.
There are many, especially in the social sciences, who see total political commitment (by definition in the absence of full information) as the only conceivable alternative to value-free science and mutsially exclusive with it.
Embracing the one means for them necessarily rejecting the other.
That this dichotomizing is sophomoric is at once by the simple fact that it is best to get col-recE inFormation even when you are fighting an enemy, even when you are avowedly a politician.
But quite beyond this self-defeating foolishness, and addressing ourselves to this very serious question at the highest levels of which we are capable, I believe it can be shown that normative zeal (to do good, to help mankind, to better the world) is quite compatible with scientific objectivity and indeed even makes conceivable a better, a more powerful science with a far wider jurisdiction than it now has when it tries to be value-neutral (leaving values to be arbitrarily affirmed by non-scientists on noii-factual grounds).
This is achieved simply by enlarging our con- ception of objectivity to include not only "spectator-knowledge" (laissezfaire, uninvolved knowledge, knowledge about, knowledge from the - outside) but also experential knowledge (85) and what I may call love-knowledge or Taoistic knowledge.
The simple model of Taoistic objectivity comes from the phenomenology of disinterested love and admiration for the Being of the other (B-love).
For instance, loving one's baby, or friend, or profession, or even one's "problem" or field in science, can be so complete and accepting that it becomes non-interfering, non-intrusive, i.e., liking it just as -it is and as it will become with no impulse to change it or improve it.
It takes great love to be able to leave something alone, to let it be and to become.
One caii love one's child that purely, letting him become what is in him to become.
But-and this is the point of my argumnent-one can love the truth in 1/te same way.
One can love it enough to trust also its becoming.
Lt is possible to love one's baby even before it is born, and to wait with bated breath and with great happiness to see what kind of person it will be, and now to love that future person.
A priori plans for the child, ambitions for it, prepared roles, even hopes that it will become this or that-all these are non-Taoistic.
They represent demands upon the child that it become what the purent has PDF compression, OCR, web optimization using a watermarked evaluation copy of CVISION PDFCompressor Preface xxv already decided it should become.
Such a baby is born into an invisible straitjacket.
Similarly, it is possible to love the truth yet to come, to trust it, to be happy and to marvel as its nature reveals itself.
One can believe that the uncontaminated, unmanipulated, unforced, undemanded truth will be more beautiful, more pure, more truly true than that same truth would have been had we forced it to conform to a priori expectations or hopes or plans or current political needs.
Truth also can be born into an "invisible straitjacket." Normative zeal can be wrongly understood and can distort the truth-to-come by a priori demands, and I am afraid that some scientists do just this, in effect giving up science for politics.
But this is not at all a necessity for the more Taoistic scientist who can love the truthyet-to-be.born enough to assume that it will be for the best and, for this reason, will let-it-be, precisely for the sake of his normative zeal.
I too believe this: that the purer the truth, and the less contaminated it is by doctrinaires whose minds are made up in advance, the better it will be for the future of mankind.
I trust that the world will be more benefited by the truth of the future than by the political convictions which I hold today.
I trust what will be known more than I trust my present knowledge.
This is a humanistic-scientific version of "Not my will but Thine be done." My fears and hopes for mankind, my eagerness to do good, my desire for peace and brotherhood, my normative zeal-all these I feel are best served if I remain modestly open to the truth, objective and disinterested in the Taoistic sense of refusing to pre-judge the truth or to Lamper with it, and if I continue to trust that the more I know the better helper I can become.
At many points in this book, and in many publications since, I have assumed that the actualization of a person's real potentialities is conditioned upon the pesence of basic-need satisfying parents and other people, upon all those factors now called "ecological," upon the "health" of the culture, or the lack of it, upon the world situation, etc.
Growth toward self-actualization and full-humanness is made possible by a com- plex hierarchy of "good preconditions." These physical, chemical, biological, interpersonal.
cultural conditions matter for the individual finally to the extent that they do or do not supply him with the basic human necessities and "rights" which permit him to become strong enough, and person enough, to take over his own fate.
PDF compression, OCR, web optimization using a watermarked evaluation copy of CVISION PDFCompressor xxvi Preface As one studies these preconditions, one becomes saddened by the ease with which human poentia1ity can be destroyed or repressed, so that a fully-human person can seem like a miracle, so improbable i happening as to be awe-inspiring.
And simultaneously one is heartened by the fact that self-actualizing persons do in fact exist, that they are therefore possible, that the gauntlet of dangers can be run, that the finish line can be crossed.
The investigator here is almost certain to be caught in a cross-fire of accusations both interpersonal and intrapsychic, about being either 'optimistic" or "pessimistic," depending on where he is focusing at the moment.
So also will he be accused from one side of being hereditarian, from the other of being environmentalist.
Political groups will certainly try to plaster him with one or another label, depending on the headlines of the moment.
The scientist of course will resist these all-or-none tendencies to dichotomize and rubricize, and will continue to think in terms of degree, and to be holistically aware of many, many determinants acting simul.
He will try as hard as he can to be receptive to the data, differentiating them as clearly as he can from his wishes, hopes, and fears.
It is now quite clear that these problems-what is the good person and what is the good society-fall well within the jurisdiction of.
empirical science, and that we may confidently hope to advance knowledge in these areas (316).
- This book focuses much more on the first problem-the fully-human person, than on the second problem-what kind of society makes him possible.
I have written a good deal on the subject since 1954 when this book first appeared, but have refrained from trying to incorporate these findings into this revised edition.
Ins(ead i will refer the reader to some of my writings on the subject (291, 301, 303, 3lla, SUb, 312, 315) and also urge as strongly as i can the necessity of becoming acquainted with the rich research literature on normative social psychology (called variously Organizational Development, Organization Theory, Management Theory, etc.).
The implications of these theories, case reports and re- searches seem to me to be profound, offering as they do a real alternative, for instance, to the various versions of Mandan theory, of democratic and authoritarian theories, and of other available social philosophies.
I am again and again astonished that so few psychologists are even aware of the work of, for instance, Argyris (15, 16), Bennis (42, 43, 45), Likert (275), and McGregor (332), to mention only a few of the well-known workers in the field.
In any case, anyone who wishes to take seriously the theory of self-actualization must also take seriously this new kind of PDF compression, OCR, web optimization using a watermarked evaluation copy of CVISION PDFCompressor Preface xxvii social psychology.
If I were to choose a single journal to recommend to the person who wishes to keep in touch with the current developments in this area, it would be the Journal of Applied Behavioral Sciences, in spite of its totally misleading title.
Finally, I wish to say a word about this book as a transition to humanistic psychology, or what has come to be called Third Force.
Immature though it yet is from a scientific point of view, humanistic psychology lias already opened the doors to study of all those psychological phenomena which can be called transcendent or transpersonal, data which were closed off in principle by the inherent philosophical limitations of behaviorism and Freudianism.
Among such phenomena I include not only higher and more positive states of consciousness and of personality, i.e., transcending materialism, the skin-bounded ego, atomistic-splittingdivisive-adversary attitudes, etc., but also a conception of values (eternal verities) as part of a much enlarged self.
Already a new Journal of Transpersonal Psychology has begun publishing on these subjects.
It is possible already to start thinking about the transhuman, a psychologyand a philosophy which transcends the human species itself.
This is yet to come.
A. H. M. W. P.
Laughlin Charitable Foundation
Maslow Motivation and Personality - Download HERE
THIS is primarily an enquiry into the nature and justification of scientific knowledge.
But my reconsideration of scientific knowledge leads on to a wide range of questions outside science.
I start by rejecting the ideal of scientific detachment.
In the exact sciences, this false ideal is perhaps harmless, for it is in fact disregarded there by scientists. But we shall see that it exercises a destructive influence in biology, psychology and sociology, and falsifies our whole outlook far beyond the domain of science.
I want to establish an alternative ideal of knowledge, quite generally. Hence the wide scope of this book and hence also the coining of the new term I have used for my title: Personal Knowledge. The two words may seem to contradict each other: for true knowledge is deemed impersonal, universally established, objective. But the seeming contradiction is resolved by modifying the conception of knowing. I have used the findings of Gestalt psychology as my first clues to this conceptual reform.
Scientists have run away from the philosophic implications of gestalt; I want to countenance them uncompromisingly. I regard knowing as an active comprehension of the things known, an action that requires skill. Skilful knowing and doing is performed by subordinating a set of particulars, as clues or tools, to the shaping of a skilful achievement, whether practical or theoretical. We may then be said to become Subsidiarily aware’ of these particulars within our ‘focal awareness’ of the coherent entity that we achieve.
Clues and tools are things used as such and not observed in themselves. They are made to function as extensions of our bodily equipment and this involves a certain change of our own being. Acts of comprehension are to this extent irreversible, and also non-critical. For we cannot possess any fixed framework within which the re-shaping of our hitherto fixed framework could be critically tested. Such is the personal participation of the knower in all acts of understanding.
But this does not make our understanding subjective. Comprehension is neither an arbitrary act nor a passive experience, but a responsible act claiming universal validity. Such knowing is indeed objective in the sense of establishing contact with a hidden reality; a contact that is defined as the condition for anticipating an indeterminate range of yet unknown (and perhaps yet inconceivable) true implications.
It seems reasonable to describe this fusion of the personal and the objective as Personal Knowledge. Personal knowledge is an intellectual commitment, and as such inherently hazardous. Only affirmations that could be false can be said to convey objective knowledge of this kind. All affirmations published in this book are my own personal commitments; they claim this, and no more than this, for themselves.
Throughout this book I have tried to make this situation apparent. I have shown that into every act of knowing there enters a passionate contribution of the person knowing what is being known, and that this coefficient is no mere imperfection but a vital component of his knowledge. And around this central fact I have tried to construct a system of correlative beliefs which I can sincerely hold, and to which I can see no acceptable alternatives. But ultimately, it is my own allegiance that upholds these convictions, and it is on such warrant alone that they can lay claim to the reader’s attention.
Polany - Personal Knowledge
Platonism, rendered as a proper noun, is the philosophy of Plato or the name of other philosophical systems considered closely derived from it. In narrower usage, platonism, rendered as a common noun (with a lower case 'p', subject to sentence case), refers to the philosophy that affirms the existence of abstract objects, which are asserted to "exist" in a "third realm" distinct both from the sensible external world and from the internal world of consciousness, and is the opposite of nominalism (with a lower case "n"). Lower case "platonists" need not accept any of the doctrines of Plato.
In a narrower sense, the term might indicate the doctrine of Platonic realism. The central concept of Platonism, a distinction essential to the Theory of Forms, is the distinction between the reality which is perceptible but unintelligible, and the reality which is imperceptible but intelligible. The forms are typically described in dialogues such as the Phaedo, Symposium and Republic as transcendent, perfect archetypes, of which objects in the everyday world are imperfect copies.
In the Republic the highest form is identified as the Form of the Good, the source of all other forms, which could be known by reason.
In the Sophist, a later work, the forms being, sameness and difference are listed among the primordial "Great Kinds". In the 3rd century BC, Arcesilaus adopted skepticism, which became a central tenet of the school until 90 BC when Antiochus added Stoic elements, rejected skepticism, and began a period known as Middle Platonism.
In the 3rd century AD, Plotinus added mystical elements, establishing Neoplatonism, in which the summit of existence was the One or the Good, the source of all things; in virtue and meditation the soul had the power to elevate itself to attain union with the One.
Platonism had a profound effect on Western thought, and many Platonic notions were adopted by the Christian church which understood Plato's forms as God's thoughts, while Neoplatonism became a major influence on Christian mysticism, in the West through St Augustine, Doctor of the Catholic Church whose Christian writings were heavily influenced by Plotinus' Enneads, and in turn were foundations for the whole of Western Christian thought.
This page was last updated January 6th, 2018 by kim
Where wealth like fruit on precipices grew.
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