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Hero, artist, sage, or saint? : a survey of views on what is variously called mental health, normality, maturity, self-actualization, and human fulfillment

Author: Richard W Coan
Publisher: New York : Columbia University Press, 1977.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Examines the evolution and elaboration of the basic ideas or models of the ideal person or the optimal personality. Coan's study ranges over a wide variety of disciplines and cultural settings and includes the perspectives of contemporary theorists as well as their historical predecessors. Beginning with such basic dichotomies in the traditions of Western thought as intellect versus emotions, individualism versus  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Richard W Coan
ISBN: 0231038062 9780231038065 0231083556 9780231083553
OCLC Number: 2695039
Description: xiii, 322 pages ; 24 cm
Contents: Basic perspectives on the optimal personality --
Traditions in western thought --
Western thought in the modern era --
Traditions in eastern thought --
Sigmund Freud and psychoanalysis --
Carl Jung and analytical psychology --
Other theories related to psychoanalysis --
Existential philosophy and psychology --
Other contemporary perspectives --
The optimal personality: a reexamination of the domain.
Responsibility: Richard W. Coan.

Abstract:

Examines the evolution and elaboration of the basic ideas or models of the ideal person or the optimal personality. Coan's study ranges over a wide variety of disciplines and cultural settings and includes the perspectives of contemporary theorists as well as their historical predecessors. Beginning with such basic dichotomies in the traditions of Western thought as intellect versus emotions, individualism versus love, and materialism versus spiritualism, the book surveys the rich assortment of ideas on the ideal mode of living which modern man has inherited from the ancient Greek philosophers, Christianity, the Renaissance, and the Enlightenment. With the rise of modern science and the industrial state and with a decline in the influence of conventional religion, people have looked increasingly to psychology for a prescription for meaningful living. Hero, Artist, Sage, or Saint? provides an in-depth analysis of the outlook on the human condition that characterizes the mental health professions. Wary of highly value-laden terms like adjustment and maturity, Coan contrasts them with the Hindu and Buddhist traditions of Eastern thought. The author reviews the ideas of the optimal person as found in the writings of major figures in the history of modern psychology--Freud, Jung, Adler, Rank, Fromm, Erikson, Assagioli, Berne, Skinner, Allport, Rogers, Maslow, Perls--as well as such important existentialist philosophers and psychologists as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Jaspers, Marcel, Sartre, Binswanger, and Laing. In the concluding chapter, Coan presents a multivariate analysis of the optimal personality realm. Coan artgues that all the ingredients of our concepts of the ideal condition can be reduced to five basic modes of human fulfillment: efficiency in the intellectual, social, or physical realm; creativity; inner harmony, a cooperative functioning of all parts of one's being; relatedness, the orientation toward positive interaction with others; and transcendence, the experienced dissolution of one's separate individuality.

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