The Marketing Character Type

This blog originally appeared on October 23, 2011. When Jean-Paul Sartre described a life lived etre de mauvaise foi (bad faith) he was not speaking so much of dishonesty or destructiveness to others, but rather, a dishonesty to oneself. The bad faith examined by Sartre is the life lived in what Heidegger called  fallenness. Heidegger described the person who hasContinue reading “The Marketing Character Type”

The Birth of Science: A Primer on Intellectual History (Part 3)

Empiricism, Sensationalism, Rationalism, & Positivism As we described in Part 2, science is a distinct type of philosophy. The Renaissance and Enlightenment philosophers who established what we today think of as science are customarily classified by their stance on a few basic, philosophical, perspectives: empiricism, sensationalism, rationalism, and positivism.   Empiricism and sensationalism both refer to the belief thatContinue reading “The Birth of Science: A Primer on Intellectual History (Part 3)”

The Birth of Science: A Primer on Intellectual History (Part 2)

PART 1 Vitruvian Man, Leonardo da Vinci The Late Renaissance Another critical element for the Renaissance was the mechanical movable type printing press, which was introduced in Germany in 1450. The printing press afforded thinkers like Martin Luther, Desiderius Erasmus, and later, Niccolo Machiavelli an amplified voice. With the printing press, Renaissance thinkers shared theirContinue reading “The Birth of Science: A Primer on Intellectual History (Part 2)”

Rethinking Reductionism With Google Maps

This blog originally appeared on March 28, 2013   “The romantic spontaneity and courage are gone, the vision is materialistic and depressing. Ideals appear as inert by-products of physiology; what is higher is explained by what is lower and treated forever as a case of ‘nothing but’ -nothing but something else of quite an inferior sort.Continue reading “Rethinking Reductionism With Google Maps”

Erich Fromm’s Taxonomy of Bad Faith: Sartre & Character Types

This blog first appeared on October 23, 2011. “In the nineteenth century the problem was that God is dead. In the twentieth century the problem is that man is dead.” -Erich Fromm   I was recently asked to address a group of students on this question: what is the single most important issue facing America today? AsContinue reading “Erich Fromm’s Taxonomy of Bad Faith: Sartre & Character Types”

Ways of Thinking: From Art to Social Science

This blog originally appeared on September 11, 2013. The chromatic gradation effect. I entered into psychology as many of us do; through the life-theorists. I call them life-theorist because they are not merely clinicians who treat the psychologically disturbed, but also, they think about our common experiences of living, and how to go about those experiences mostContinue reading “Ways of Thinking: From Art to Social Science”

A Quality of Mercy: How we Resent the Other as we Resent Ourselves

Leonard Nimoy in A Quality of Mercy (1961). In the third season of The Twilight Zone (1961), Leonard Nimoy played a minor role in a tale of personal transformation penned by Rod Serling and Sam Rolfe. Typical of Serling’s Twilight Zone series, the episode deals with social issues of prejudice, hatred, and personal blindness toContinue reading “A Quality of Mercy: How we Resent the Other as we Resent Ourselves”

The Birth of Science: A Primer on Intellectual History (Part 1: From Antiquity to the Renaissance)

For over a decade I have been teaching a course on the history and systems of psychology at Rutgers University at Newark. The class, which serves as a capstone course for undergraduate psychology students, surveys an intellectual history from antiquity through the 21st century. It is my goal in this course to help students toContinue reading “The Birth of Science: A Primer on Intellectual History (Part 1: From Antiquity to the Renaissance)”

Theodor Reik Part 5: Ashamed of Ourselves

In Chapter VII of Listening With The Third Ear, Theodor Reik’s self-analysis, three sensitive and significant thoughts are sketched out: The significance of embarrassment, the necessity of looking inward, and the privileged position of emotion over intellect. It is common, in everyday experience, to look outward for the cause of our emotional state. What in our circumstancesContinue reading “Theodor Reik Part 5: Ashamed of Ourselves”

American Sniper and Fifty Shades of Grey: Sadomasochism and the American Unconscious

In the psychodynamic tradition, we hold that culture–that is, the artifacts that are created by those whom we call artists–is the manifestation of the unconscious struggles of the individual with society. We hold that there is not only a personal unconscious which moves individuals, but also a social unconscious that moves society. By examining theContinue reading “American Sniper and Fifty Shades of Grey: Sadomasochism and the American Unconscious”