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Unread November 19th, 2004, 05:24 PM
Manu Jaaskelainen Manu Jaaskelainen is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Kerava, Finland
Posts: 68
Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol.2, Pt. II (A Study of Organ Inferiority)-Artists

Henry, since you mentioned Stalin among the historical persons, I would add following observation on him: there are some general traits that are common to Stalin and Hitler. Both were educated in families where the fathers were extremely cruel and barbaric persons. Both were physically abused as children. They had mothers who tried to protect them against the tyranny of their fathers and who spoiled them. According to Adler, this is a combination that leads to a risk that a criminal person may develop out of such a family-dynamics (although not all children with such families will develop criminal traits).
About Lange-Eichbaum: I have no idea whether this book was ever translated into english. Possibly not. The book is interesting, but its weakness is that it is a huge compilation of facts and theories. The authors have not always exercised their critical abilities and decided, what to take and what to leave. Anyway, it is interesting. There are, as I told you, a number of Adler-citations, one of them refers to the organ-inferiority work of 1907: "Aus Degeneration wird Neurose und daraus Genie durch Kompensation einer Organminderwertigkeit." I checked Stalin's pathography, and I find it very interesting. Stalin's paranoia is mentioned, as well as the psychopathic traits in his personality, but not his physical ailments. In Lange-Eichbaum's theory, there are different factors that help to make a genius: 1) the personality of the person in question, strong points, weak points, creativity ("Genie"), 2) the pathological traits ("Irrsinn"), and 3) social and cultural factors ("Ruhm"). So the final produkt, "Genius", is made up of different biological, psychological, and social-cultural factors. However, today the book makes a somewhat outdated impression. The concept of "race" plays some role in the book, although it is definitely not in the racist sense of the word. I have tried summarize here those traits that I consider having some interest today. Lange-Eichbaum feels that there are some racial differences between the different counties of Germany - I find this conception somewhat funny and over-stretched. It is very difficult to find any sense in such a conception, although the author may be right that there are some political and cultural centers where one may find a concentration of exceptionally talented people. Today, we think in a more global way and are more disposed to a cultural relativism.

Last edited by Manu Jaaskelainen; November 19th, 2004 at 05:25 PM. Reason: Some linguistic revisions
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