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  #21  
Unread April 6th, 2005, 11:27 AM
Trevor Hjertaas Trevor Hjertaas is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 4, Chapt. XVII & XVIII (Dostoyevsky, Child Guidance)

This chapter on Dostoyevsky was a real pleasure to read. There is so much of value in his writings which can teach the psychologist about life at both its most primordial and its most refined (at least in those values which an Adlerian would hold as true).

Dostoyevsky's reconciling of contrasts into complex, unified wholes (as Adler emphasizes) is always so astonishing to read and is such a lesson, as is his emphasis on understanding the other and seeking a feeling of compassion. Also of great value, I think, is Dostoyevsky's fascination with psychopathology in its many manifestations, his "penetrating to the very edge of reality" - as Adler says - and finding in these unusual expressions something still very human.

There is also in his writings the reconciliation between upward striving and community feeling. As Adler so penetratingly interprets: "It is the wolf that drives him back to humanity....The fear he had of isolated heroism was the wolf of his past experience."

Again, it was a great pleasure for me to read this essay (I recall it from older works by Adler, but this seemed a good translation) and I look forward to reading the comments of others in this forum.

Trevor Hjertaas, Psy. D.
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  #22  
Unread April 8th, 2005, 09:41 AM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 4, Chapt. XIX & XX (Bolshevism, Power, War Neurosis)

On April 11th, we will begin a discussion of The Collected Clinical Works of Alfred Adler, Volume , Chapters XIX & XX. The following chapter summaries were prepared by Manu Jaaskelainen.

Ch. XIX, Bolshevism and Psychology (1918), is a rare piece. It is a political and sociological study of the Russian revolution. The paper has been very difficult to obtain, and it is a real asset to have it in CCWAA. The chapter begins with a lamentation: "The means of power have been torn from us Germans." In other words, Germany and Austria have lost the war. Then follows the mea culpa: We were never more miserable that at the height of our power! In other words, the will to power misled the people. The deep tragedy experienced by German-speaking countries was conditioned by the faked striving for power, exercised by the ruling classes. "Only in socialism did the feeling of community remain as the ultimate goal and end as demanded by unhampered human fellowship." However, according to Adler, there is no hope for this fraternity of humans, because "The reign of the Bolshevists is like that of all other governments founded on the possession of power. They were seduces by and intoxicating power." Adler refers to "old friend, true comrades, who reached dizzying heights, misled by the drive for power." Here he means Trotsky. So Adler warns that people should not be misled by the Bolshevist propaganda. Instead, Adler speaks for developing and furthering the feeling of community.

Ch. XX, New Aspects on War Neurosis (1918) is a paper on the problems in clinical psychology during the war. Adler reviews a number of contemporary methods used in order to "cure" war neuroses. He finds psychotherapy unsatisfactory. Most other methods in current use were also found to be unsatisfactory by Adler. Adler rejects the use of electrotherapy ("shock therapy"). Adler refers favorably to a paper by Liebermeister, that suggests "to avoid every method of treatment that offends human dignity." The paper is a most important survey of the available methods of treatment during the WW I. It contains 33 references to different papers by psychiatrists and psychologists on the contemporary problems in treating the neuroses caused by the war. Adler himself stresses the importance of the attitudes of the patient. Neurosis is, according to Adler, attitudinal illness.

To order your copy of Volume 4, go to http://go.ourworld.nu/hstein/cwaa-v4.htm.
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  #23  
Unread April 12th, 2005, 08:44 PM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 4, Chapt. XIX & XX (Bolshevism, Power, War Neurosis)

As a counterpoint to Bolshevism and Psychology, and the Russian Revolution, in Danton, Marat, Robespierre: A Character Study (CCWAA, V.5, 1923) Adler examines the leading characters of the French Revolution. I'm not sure if Adler also commented on the American Revolution. However he made some general comments about revolution in Mass Psychology (CCWAA, V.7, 1937).
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  #24  
Unread April 14th, 2005, 05:27 PM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 4, Chapt. XXI & XXII (National Guilt, Masculine Attitude)

On April 17th, we will begin a discussion of The Collected Clinical Works of Alfred Adler, Volume , Chapters XXI & XXII. The following chapter summaries were prepared by Manu Jaaskelainen.

Ch. XXI, The Other Side. A Mass-Psychological Study of a Nation's Guilt (1919), is study on the psychological situation of Austria after WW I. Originally, this paper was published in the form of a pamphlet. It was customary in those days to publish political or polemical papers as pamphlets. The message in Adler's paper is hard and brusque: Adler argues that the people were not guilty of the war, the leaders were. Adler describes in a very eloquent way how the people were taught to be obedient and subservient. The impact of propaganda is analyzed in detail: "The came the general staff with their lies. Poisoned wells were uncovered, dynamited bridges discovered far inland, and tales were told of the martyrdom of citizens living along the borders." All these details lead Adler to the inevitable conclusion that "the people totally lost their heads; no one trusted anyone". The failing morale of the Hapsburg-empire is presented and analyzed. What Adler tells here, and how he tells it, is a lesson for everyone interested in the psychological correlates of the historical processes. Adler tells that a passive resistance among the people was the result. "When the final collapse came, the people rejoiced, feeling that they had regained their freedom." Adler tells us all the complicated nuances behind the scenes. This paper was written in the midst of turbulent times, and at the same time it stands above those times, providing us with warnings: beware. However, what the humanity has really learned during the century since the processes told us in such an eloquent way by Adler took place? Are we living in a world that is wiser and better prepared against lies and false rulers?

Ch. XXII Concerning Female Neurotics and the Masculine Attitude (1920) is a study on the female dilemma. The chapter begins with a citation from Immanuel Kant's "Anthropology" that says that many women prefer to be men because in that way they have greater freedom, but "no man would want to be a woman." The paper contains some case-studies and many interesting dreams with interpretations. Adler concludes that "The main direction of a dream runs parallel with the effort of safeguarding one's personality and personal superiority. The dreamer seeks to attain the masculine line and defends himself against the nascent feeling of a defeat in terms of his lifestyle. The intention always is to move upward, toward the masculine protest." In this paper, Adler once again cites Ludwig Klages, in discussing the two main directions of the dreams (one direction of the movement is backward, to the childhood, another one is the anticipation of future actions and reactions). Think about the aphorism by the great Danish philosopher Sören Kierkegaard: "The life is understood backward, but it must be lived forward."

To order your copy of Volume 4, go to http://go.ourworld.nu/hstein/cwaa-v4.htm.
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  #25  
Unread April 21st, 2005, 11:43 AM
Manu Jaaskelainen Manu Jaaskelainen is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 4, Chapt. XXI & XXII (National Guilt, Masculine Attitud

Some additional comments might be useful here: on page 150, Adler mentions count Stürgkh who was reproached by the members of the parliament that with shutting down parliament the anticipated enthusiasm for war among the Slavic nations was tempered. One may study the feelings among Czechs reading the book by Jaroslav Hasek, The Good Soldier Svejk. In his excellent study, "Prague in Black and Gold", Peter Demetz is somewhat critical to Hasek's work and seems to think that the book and the writer are a "Dada enterprise". However, the book contains probably at least some seeds of truth. The critical and defiant attitude spread widely in the Habsburg-monarchy, not only in Czech. In fact, Adler writes in the paper that passive resistance was found among the population, and that the morale of people failed as the war continued beyond all expectations. - On page 152 Adler says that Friedrich Adler's act awakened quiet admiration in many. What was this act? Friedrich Adler (1879-196), the son of the Austrian socialist leader Victor Adler (1852-1918), shot count Karl von Stürgkh (1859-1916), the prime minister of the Empire, in a Viennese café. Friedrich Adler was sentenced to death, but due to the war-time conditions and general confusion, the sentence was not executed. Later on, following the death of Emperor Franz Joseph II, Karl, the last Emperor of the Empire, granted him amnesty. - Friedrich Adler and Victor Adler were not related to Alfred Adler, neither was Max Adler (1873-1937), a professor of sociology and austromarxist, even if Max Adler made a talk before the group of individual psychologists in Vienna and knew well Adlerians and Adlerian psychology.

Last edited by Manu Jaaskelainen; April 21st, 2005 at 12:24 PM.
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  #26  
Unread April 22nd, 2005, 10:18 AM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 4, Chapt. XXIII & XXIV (Prostitution, Neglected Children)

On April 24th, we will begin a discussion of The Collected Clinical Works of Alfred Adler, Volume , Chapters XXIII & XXIV. The following chapter summaries were prepared by Manu Jaaskelainen.

Ch. XXIII, The Individual Psychology of Prostitution (1920) is a study on the sociological and psychological aspects of prostitution. Somewhat surprisingly, the chapters starts with some reflections on the philosophy of science. Adler says that it is necessary to examine critically one's own viewpoints and to compare them with other viewpoints. This brings to mind the philosopher Karl Popper who was during the early years of his career an Adlerian and worked as a voluntary educator. He published even some papers on education. Later on, he criticized Adler that Adler's theories are untestable. Popper presented his critical viewpoints to Adler, and it is possible that this challenge led Adler to think about the testability of his theories. It should be added that Popper was even more critical to Freud's psychoanalysis. Adler continues by arguing that society brands prostitution as "appalling and even criminal" but continues to tolerate it. For society, prostitution is a kind of "emergengy exit". In contrast to some other contemporary authors, Adler examines prostitution not only from the standpoint of the individual prostitute, but also from the standpoint of the customers--they create the system and the trade, not the women who are there to provide the services. Adler finds three categories involved in this social system: those in need of prostitution, the procurers, and the prostitutes. Many of those who are in need of prostitution suffer from a feeling of inferiority, lack of self-confidence, and are afflicted with a pathological drive for esteem.

Ch. XXIV Neglected Children (1920) is a study on the social situation of Austria after WW I. The paper is deeply human and moving study of the ordeals of those children who had to grow in a society afflicted by the war, and in poor conditions. Many of them were neglected. Adler says that the majority of delinquent children are not mentally sub-normal. However, once they fail, that failure turns into a fear of life that they cannot overcome. Adler emphasizes strongly the need for positive achivements and positive feedback. Adler discusses some problems that are found in schools--the overcrowded classes and inadequate teachers. Problems may arise, because the attention of the teachers are focused only on keeping the discipline without giving any thoughts to the methods used. Adler's advice is that counseling centers in affiliation with schools are badly needed, and teachers should become familiar with Individual Psychology.

To order your copy of Volume 4, go to http://go.ourworld.nu/hstein/cwaa-v4.htm.
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  #27  
Unread April 25th, 2005, 11:07 AM
Trevor Hjertaas Trevor Hjertaas is offline
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Default Re: Cumulative Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 4 (Ch. I-XXII)

These comments refer to Chapter XXII, Concerning Female Neurotics and the Masculine Attitude.

I was impressed by Adler's symbolic interpretation of the armless (helpless, incapable) state of the Venus de Milo. Adler clearly had such sensitive and intuitive understanding of these phenomena which would be therapeutic just to experience - to be understood at that level.

Adler's later observation "where other girls had their morals, she had her fear and her hysterical pains" also shows his intuitive understanding of the unconscious purpose of this patient's symptoms. One can imagine the positive effect of having this gently explained to her.

Trevor Hjertaas, Psy. D.
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  #28  
Unread April 25th, 2005, 02:46 PM
Manu Jaaskelainen Manu Jaaskelainen is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 4, Chapt. XXIII & XXIV (Prostitution, Neglected Childre

Edward Hoffman in his Adler-biography provides a vividly written background for these two papers. Hoffman refers to Stefan Zweig's autobiography where he describes the social situation in Vienna where "the sidewalks were so sprinkled with women for sale that that it was more difficult to avoid them than to find them". World War I had actually worsened this misery because of the many social problems caused by the wars. In many cases, there was no father in the family, and the job-opportunities for women were very restricted. - Hoffman comments also on the social problems of children and youth in post-war Vienna. It is difficult today really to understand the miserable living-conditions prevailing in the country. A brief but vivid description is provided by Phyllis Bottome in her book on Adler. Many people were in fact starving. The situation in cities was worse than in the countryside. Adler understood very clearly this misery and the adverse effects on young minds. He defined a clear programme for the society to alleviate this condition. I have seen a photograph where Adler is leading a group of children who are travelling to Switzerland in order to have some recreation, decent food and possibly some medical attention. Many voluntary organizations were working in Vienna in order to help people at that time. Adler knew that a responsible nation must take care of its children, and needs to educate them not only professionally and intellectually, but also in recreating new social feeling and solidarity among the people.
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  #29  
Unread April 26th, 2005, 10:32 AM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 4, Chapt. XXIII & XXIV (Prostitution, Neglected Children)

It is curious that Ansbacher, Hoffman, Bottome, and Ellenberger never mention Popper's criticism of Adler's "untestable" theories. Was Popper aware of Hans Vaihinger's views on the value of scientific fictions, deliniated in The Philosophy of As If?
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  #30  
Unread April 28th, 2005, 07:26 AM
Manu Jaaskelainen Manu Jaaskelainen is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 4, Chapt. XXIII & XXIV (Prostitution, Neglected Childre

I just made a fast check of some of the literature available to me. In the two biographies of Popper (Manfred Geier and Morgenstern & Zimmer), Vaihinger is not mentioned. Neither does Popper mention Vaihinger in his "Conjectures and Refutations". However, one should study some recent large biography about Popper. It is difficult to imagine that Popper had no knowledge about Vaihinger - Vaihinger was one of the "big names" in contemporary philosophy, but he was a Kantian, and Kantians were very much appreciated by the philosophers in the camp of the logical empirist school. It is only logical that Geier's small and very competent history of the Vienna Circle contains no references to Vaihinger. However, Vaihinger was known among the people who convened to discuss science and philosophy and who, somewhat reluctantly, recognised the name "Vienna Circle" (except Popper and Wittgestein who definitely rejected any membership). In the book by Victor Kraft, "Theory of Knowledge", an argument by Vaihinger is discussed in detail. Kraft was a member of the Vienna Circle, so one may assume with good reasons that Vaihinger was known among the members. On the other hand, even if Popper never accepted a membership in the Circle, he took part in the discussions (or in some discussions), so he was well informed about what was going on there. So I assume that Popper knew about Vaihinger, but from his point of view Vaihinger was a Kantian, and not very interesting. This may sound harsh, but there exists among the philosophers a division in different "tribes". If you are using wrong concepts, you are identified as a member of an "alien" tribe, and your arguments are excluded from ongoing conversation.
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