Michael K. Choi
Psychology 402 (WI)
Dr. Leon James
February 2, 1993
I. Third-Force Psychology
Franz Brentano, the leading phenomenologist--refers to any methodology that focuses on cognitive experience as it occurs, without attempting to reduce that experience to its component part--of the l9th century considered human emotions as extremely important mental events. Brentano thought that human feelings and thoughts intended something outside itself. Another phenomenologist, Edmund Husserl considered the conscious experience must precede any other human knowledge. Husserl discovered pure Phenomenology; a person turned inward instead outward. Later, Husserl's philosophy became existential psychology.
B. Existential Psychology
Martin Heidegger was one of the leading existentialists who tried to restore the importance of human feeling and choice. Heidegger believed that, in ourselves, everything can be found. Heidegger used the term "dasein" which meant being in the world. Our attitude and behavior often reflect our inner feelings, but, according to Heidegger, the inauthentic people cannot show their inner feelings like the authentic people do. Ludwig Binswanger used the term "Weltanschauung" which meant world-design. According to Binswanger, a person's world-design must be effective, for that person to control the emotions of own. Binswanger thought that it was therapists' job to give the clients to get a new world-view when their world-view is not effective.
Rollo May thought that neurotic anxiety occurred because of shutupness and self-alienation. According to May, the healthy persons should follow free emotions so that they don't get neurotic anxiety or feel guilty.
C. Humanistic psychology
Abraham Maslow was the man who was responsible for the new branch of psychology, the Third-force psychology or Humanistic psychology. Like any other existentialists he stressed the full range of human emotions although he once was trained to become a behaviorist who didn't heavily emphasize on the process of mind. In his hierarchy of need, Maslow considered the self-actualization as the highest needs we would get. The rest of steps were all related to human emotions: physiological needs (e.g., hunger, thirst, and sex); the safety needs (e.g., protection from the elements, pain, and unexpected dangers); the belonging and love needs (e.g., the needs to love and be loved, to share one's life with a relevant other), the self esteem needs (e.g., to make a recognizable contribution to the well-being of one's fellow humans); and, finally, when all needs are satisfied, the self actualization can be obtained. The key word was the satisfaction. The restraint for achieving the satisfaction, he called a fear of self-knowledge or the Jonah complex. Carl Rogers was the pioneer of the client-centered therapy which stressed the importance of clients' emotions rather than transferring the therapists' clinical knowledge to the clients. Rogers, like Rousseau, believed the primacy of personal feelings was guides for action. Rogers might be one of the most influential humanistic psychologists who greatly emphasized the importance of human emotions. A person must be true to his or her own feeling to become a congruent person. Rogers' terms, genuiness, unconditional positive regard, and empathic understanding were related to human emotions, the delicate, worthy, natural and unique traits of human beings. Not like Rogers, George Kelly was more like an existential psychologist. For instance, he used terms such as "constructive alternativism." Kelly's ideas were restrictive and less optimistic; however, he was considered as a humanistic psychologist. One of the interesting contributions by Kelly was fixed-role therapy which client and therapist interacted as they were not themselves but actors.
II. No Function Without Structure
A. The Existence of Mind
A plant has structure, thus it also has function. Mind is like a plant; it exists, does things and has anatomy or a certain mechanism. Humanists claim that materialism is insanity. The humanistic values counterbalance with materialistic behaviorism; however, the existence of mind can be explained by a behavioralist theory. That is to say, there is no function without structure. There is mind; otherwise, we won't talk about it.
B. Our Subjective Reality
Subjectivity is relatively truth. Our self-witnessing reality depends on our observation in the objective world, but not in all cases. When we look inward, we face phenomenology, understanding and insights. There is truth in our subjective reality. We can find spirits and good truths in our mind. There are truths when we face the physical world; however, the physical world is not the only existing world. Eventhough we can't prove some subjectivity--like a simple joke--objectively, subjectivity is truth; however, subjective world is objectively real and can be meditated on it.
III. Hergenhahn's view
A. The Antithesis to Status Quo
A protest movement against behaviorism and psychoanalysis was the purpose of humanistic psychology in the beginning. Humanists criticized scientific psychology in general. Humanists didn't like the attitude of scientific psychology that assumed determinism and sought lawfulness among classes of events. Unfortunately, its extreme protest happened to be the antithesis to status quo; humanists refused to recognize the important segments of behaviorism and psychoanalysis.
B. Not Supported By the Facts
The protest was quite sensational; however, humanists were criticized for not having specific theories or proofs to support their arguments. Humanists were too busy to criticize behaviorism, psychoanalysis, and science in general. The significant contribution of humanists ended without important work of polishing or completing their own ideas.
C. More to Come in the Future
Hergenhahn doesn't believe that humanists can support their views with the facts; however, he believes that the contribution of humanists are significant because humanistic psychology does very important function. That is rescuing psychology from the piles of theories. Hergenhahn hopes that the important contribution of humanists to be recognized by serious psychology students.
IV. True Dualism
In the beginning of the text, Hergenhahn points out that Descartes was the starter of the modern dualism. However, Hergenhahn doesn't credit him making the theory for a pure scientifical purpose. Descartes' dualism could survive because the theory could be supported by the dominant authority of the time. If humanists could recognize the view of behaviorism and psychoanalysis, their idea could be much more embraced by the majority of the people who studied psychology. Their mistake was the false dualism, that is "I'm O.K, but you are not O.K." Swedenborg said that a man was to be loved according to the quality of the good that is in him, then he added that good itself was essentially the neighbor.
According to Prof. James, subjectivity can be objectively proven. My subjectivity, influenced by Swedenborg and Prof. James, is that there exists the true dualism. Things are divided to two very extreme structures; however, they interact each other all the time. They do change forms. A lot of the changes we don't even know. This is very good explanation to me because the hypothesis matches with the philosophy and religion I have been growing up with. Humanists refused to explain this objectively because they were too skeptical about the scientific theories. Modern psychologists, as we have read in the chapter 18, tends to use eclectic views from various psychological approaches so that they can solve the problem easier; and I too believe that eclecticism will work better to explain psychological problems.
V. Wishful Thinking vs. Reality
The true dualism is very important in my life. In our society, there are many conflicts. People rebel against the authority; people compete each other; and people sometimes want to hurt each other. The chaotic disorder can be fixed when we realize that I'm O.K, and you're O.K. It doesn't mean that I'm you, and you are me, but it means that we are all O.K. If I believe this firmly, this subjectivity comes to reality. The wishful thinking never comes to reality because it doesn't have any base in the physical world. My reality can be explained either subjectively or objectively. Reality is not wishful thinking, it is there, and whether they are subjective or objective I can prove the existence and meditate on it.
|A Personal View On Swedenborg's Divine Love and Wisdom|
|Human Behaviors and Human Spirits: Quest for the Good and Truth|
|Function Without Structure|
|Rationalism. Topic: Do We Have Free Will or Not?|
|Heaven Is A Place On Earth: A Religious Self-Examination Experiment|
|Dr. James' Homepage|