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Unread September 11th, 2004, 05:15 PM
Manu Jaaskelainen Manu Jaaskelainen is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Kerava, Finland
Posts: 68
Default Re: Comments on Adlerian teleology

I have been thinking somewhat about this teleology-issue both from a general philosophical point of view, and from Adlerian point of view. Nietzsche influenced Adler strongly as we all know, and he was 100% determinist. In his opinion, criminals are sick people who are in need of treatment, not prison. Nietzsche's views were very radical for a century ago, and he was not heard - a madman in the periphery. Today, many of us accept this viewpoint. However, if we accept the teleological nature of human personality (as we should), the question arises again. In "The Neurotic Character" Adler discusses teleology and seems to conclude that "philosophers and psychologists considered as a principle of teleology what was actually a calculated attempt at orientation towards a point that was assumed to be fixed."(p.48) In other words, there is teleology in human behavior but this is by no means in conflict with the idea of determinism. The "guiding idea" of the person determine his/her directions of striving. However, later on Adler introduced his ideas about some kind of creative indeterminism of human personality. This creativity may be positive or negative, but there is unquestionably some unpredictability of human behavior. - In practical life, we should consider the total situation of the person before making moral or legal judgements. There is such a thing as "general interest", but there are also "individual human rights". Only in absolutely totalitarian societies "general interest" has total power over individual human rights. I have worked myself in administration, so the moral problems involved here are known to me. In my opinion, all democratic societies should accept some "exceptions to the rule", but these exceptions cannot be too many in the case of any individual. Otherwise we leave the limits of organized, lawful society. As the German philosopher George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel said, freedom is only possible in a society governed by some law and order. It is the task of parents and the educational system to awaken this feeling in us. It is a part of the community feeling. But here you may also find, if you so like, the weak point in my argument: what if the "tender age" of the person in question had such a character that this kind of Gemeinschaftsgefuhl never was developed in the mind of this person?
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