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  #61  
Unread November 6th, 2004, 08:35 PM
George Neeson George Neeson is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 2, Chapters XIII & XIV (Child's Need for Affection)

Sorry I got out of order. Someone has said to me "If all else fails, read the instructions".
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  #62  
Unread November 7th, 2004, 11:00 AM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol. 2, Chapters XIII & XIV (Child's Need for Affection)

Manu, I glad you brought up Stern's influence and Personalistic Psychology. In "The Neurotic Character," Adler refers to Stern several times, stating that independently, Stern had reached identical conclusions about the personality. Ansbacher devotes a page to Stern in "The Individual Psychology of Alfred Adler. Do you know of any correspondence between Stern and Adler? Did they ever meet? For anyone not familiar with Stern's life and work, an end note about him from "The Collected Clinical Works of Alfred Adler," Volume 1, is reproduced below.

William Stern, (1871 Berlin - 1938 Durham/USA): He studied, and did his thesis and doctorate, with the experimental psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus in Berlin and (from 1897) Breslau; was professor in Breslau and Hamburg (from 1916), in 1906 doctor honoris causa at Clark University (together with Freud and Jung), in 1933 he was dismissed from his position because he was Jewish, and he emigrated to Holland, then America. In very diverse fields of research, Stern entered new directions that were to be revolutionary for the development of psychology: differential psychology, child psychology, particularly research of children's diaries (together with his wife Clara Stern), the practical use of psychology in (among others) education, the psychology of evidence, the psychology of intelligence and talent. From 1908 he published, together with Otto Lipmann, the 'Zeitschrift für angewandte Psychologie.' Stern's 'critical personalism,' his understanding of the individual as a teleological unity and his quest for 'weltanschauung' is very closely related to Adler's ideas. For Stern, a 'person' is 'a being which, notwithstanding its manifold parts, forms a genuine unity, with its own character and worth, and as such, despite the manifold functions of its parts, succeeds in creating a unified, goal-directed self-activity' (1906, 16). In his functioning (causality) the 'indivisible' person is goal-directed (causa finalis) (1918, 5ff.). Stern and Adler always appreciated one another. Stern considered Adler's 'school' as the 'next step' of psychoanalysis and he followed it polemically and critically.
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  #63  
Unread November 8th, 2004, 04:21 PM
Manu Jaaskelainen Manu Jaaskelainen is offline
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Default Re: Cumulative Discussion of Adler's Journal Articles, Vol. 2, Chapters I-XIV

You asked whether I (or anyone else) knows whether Adler and William Stern possibly met. I have not seen any direct documents (the famous "smoking gun"), but at least I know in this case something about smoke (there's smoke there's fire!). There is a special issue of a German academic journal for psychology that is devoted to William Stern on the occasion of his 60. birthday. Among the editors, Alfred Adler is mentioned. In other words, this issue is a Festschrift devoted to William Stern. For this issue, Alfred Adler has written a paper. It is not very probable that you publish a paper in a Festschrift-publication devoted to a person if you have never met him or her, or that you act as one of the editors for such a publication.
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  #64  
Unread November 9th, 2004, 03:39 AM
Manu Jaaskelainen Manu Jaaskelainen is offline
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Default Re: Cumulative Discussion of Adler's Journal Articles, Vol. 2, Chapters I-XIV

Henry, concerning the question whether Adler met William Stern. I want to make here a more precise statement about the Festschrift-publication, and Adler's contribution: The publication was "Beiheft 59 zur Zeitschrift für angewandte Psychologie, Leipzig 1931, pp. 1-14. The name of the paper is: Der nervöse Character (The Nervous Character). The paper is printed in a collection of Adler's Essays in German, as a part of the Werkausgabe - edition of Adler's works in German, see Psychotherapie und Erziehung. Ausgewählte Ausätze [Psychotherapy and Education. Selected Essays], ed. by Heinz L. Ansbacher and Robert F. Antoch, Vols. I - III, in Vol. II, pp. 159-172 , Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1982. In this paper, Adler credits Stern for his contributions in giving philosophical foundations for finalistic thinking in Individual Psychology, and for his contributions in providing a deeper and more profound knowledge about the differences and variations in the minds of the children. Because of these remarkable credits, Adler devotes his paper to William Stern.

Last edited by Manu Jaaskelainen; November 9th, 2004 at 04:45 PM. Reason: Some minor revisions
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  #65  
Unread November 10th, 2004, 04:09 PM
Manu Jaaskelainen Manu Jaaskelainen is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol.2, Chapters XV-XVII (Prostitution and Neurosis)

In Chapter XV, Adler explores two dreams of a prostitute. It is well known that Adler's clientele consisted of people in different social classes, not only of well to do - middle class people, or rich people. Comparative studies demonstrate Adler's wide interest in all kinds of people, somewhat in contrast to Freud. However, the form of this paper is somewhat apocryphic: Adler says that he was asked for his opinion about two dreams of a prostitute that were told to him. Could Adler himself be this friend? Possibly, but not necessarily. Adler uses this kind of indirect story-telling also in other places, compare e.g. with Ch. IX on "Inspired Numbers". Ch. XV is very psychoanalytically oriented in its interpretations, but it witnesses also of Adler's remarkable interest in social conditions prevailing in fin de siècle - Vienna. Fear of sexual diseases, religious and moral ideas, and images of the evil are all there, just as you may find them in any Victorian novel. There is a gloomy and somewhat anxiety-provoking atmosphere that is characteristic for this case-study. As possible causes of prostitution, Adler mentions in the first place economic factors, and difficulties in sexual identification.
The next chapter XVI "On The Neurotic Disposition" is dated 1909, but the publication date is again the appearance of "Heilen und Bilden". However, this work was published only in 1922 (first edition). Our confusion is increased by the fact that Adler is using the concept of "Individual Psychology" in this paper that stems from 1909. However, it is known that this concept was established only in 1913. It is probable that this paper was originally published in 1909, but modified for the 1922 publication. It was clear that Adler could not then use the concept "psychoanalysis" that was possibly originally used in the 1909-version. The paper contains a number of interesting case-studies. Adler conludes that certain type of "hypersensitivity" is typical for neurotic people. Often this hypersensitivity means reactions to physical stimuli. Sexuality and aggression in addition to the drive-concept play a remarkable role in this paper indicating that this article was heavily influenced by psychoanalytic influences. Adler summarizes his findings concerning neuroses in a way that is decisively more psychological than some of his earlier attempts. Of course, the idea of organ-inferiority is still there, and plays the role of the conductor, or at least of the first violin. It is absolutely one of the attractions of CCWAA that the reader is able to study the development of Adler's thought because the papers are organized in chronological order.
The third paper, Ch. XVII, on "Myelodysplasia" contains some further information on the way Adler understood the idea of organ inferiority. Adler refers to his work on "Organ Inferiority". The paper contains many contemporary references to medical and physiological studies that may be partly outdated today. What is interesting is the way Adler presents his idea of organ inferiority. Inferiority that is biologically rather limited and well definable, may cause a psychological feeling of inferiority that is rather extensive and that is not well definable. So the psychological effects of biological organ inferiority may be out of proportion if one compares the resulting psychological damage with the biological handicap. Adler also demonstrates his psychosomatic insight insisting that there are biological symptoms that may have psychogenetic origin. In addition to organ inferiority, Adler introduces here the idea of corresponding brain-function. Even the idea of overcompensation is discussed in this paper.

Last edited by Manu Jaaskelainen; November 12th, 2004 at 04:38 PM. Reason: Some linguistic revisions
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  #66  
Unread November 10th, 2004, 06:31 PM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Re: Cumulative Discussion of Adler's Journal Articles, Vol. 2, Chapters I-XIV

My curiosity about Stern's work, led me to several Internet searches. At http://www.pol-it.org/ital/docum6-i.htm, I found an article by Robert Holt, "Individuality and Generalization in the Psychology of Personality: A Theoretical Rationale for Personality Assessment and Research," containing a modest section on Stern (reproduced below).

William Stern, a man of some influence in psychology, must be at least briefly mentioned even though he began in intelligence testing and his work converged only rather late with the main line of development traced above. The nomothetic-idiographic distinction played no part in his writings, though he was influenced by verstehende psychology. He had been a pioneer and an established figure in child psychology and the psychology of individual differences, when he became convinced that conventional psychology was wrongly conceived. As differential psychologists, he said, we are studying isolated mental functions, the ranges and correlates of their variations, but overlooking the important fact that all such functions are embedded in personal lives. As child psychologists, we talk about the growth of intelligence or the like, forgetting that only persons grow. Reasoning thus, and basing his psychology on his personalistic philosophy, he decided that a radical rebeginning was imperative; psychology had to be rebuilt with the indivisible, individual person as the focus of every psychological investigation. Even Gestalt psychology with its emphasis on totalities and its similar antielementarism was insufficient, for: "Keine Gestalt ohne Gestalter." Stern went into most of psychology's classical problems, such as perception, making the point that there are not separate problems of spatial perception in hearing, vision, touch, etc. there is only one space, personal space, and it is perceived by whatever means is appropriate. Most of the facts that had been established in traditional general psychology were brought in, with this new twist.

Stern's theory of motivation was a complex one, including drives (directional tendencies), instincts (instrumental dispositions), needs, urges, will, pheno-motives and geno-motives, etc., in too subtle and highly elaborated a structure to be recounted here. He did not have a theory of personality as such; rather, the personalistic viewpoint pervaded all of his general psychology. There was a specific theory of character, however, conceived of as the person's total make-up considered from the standpoint of his acts of will, his conscious, purposive striving. Though stratified, character is a unified structure and may be described by a list of traits, but this is only the beginning; much stress was laid on the particular, concrete structure. Particular traits, said Stern, no matter how precisely described, have meaning only when you see what function they play in the structure of the whole personality.
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  #67  
Unread November 11th, 2004, 02:13 PM
Manu Jaaskelainen Manu Jaaskelainen is offline
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Default Re: Cumulative Discussion of Adler's Journal Articles, Vol. 2, Chapters I-XIV

Yes, Stern was all that Henry mentions but in addition something more. He is considered as a founder (some people say, the founder) of applied psychology. He started systematic studies in the field of the psychology of testimony (witnessing before jury), and he also edited the basic publication in Germany on occupational and vocational psychology. His three volume work Person und Sache contains the ideas that were important for Adler. He wrote his General Psychology on Personalistic Foundations in 1935, in exile in Holland. It is one-volume work in German (Allgemeine Psychologie auf personalistischer Grundlage), and may be more accessible for interested modern readers than his heavily philosophical earlier works. It contains also lots of interesting viewpoints on concrete psychological questions.
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  #68  
Unread November 11th, 2004, 06:14 PM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol.2, Chapters XV-XVII (Prostitution and Neurosis)

Manu, your comment about studying the CCWAA chronologically to appreciate Adler's development is quite important. I recall a conversation many years ago with my mentor, Sophia de Vries, who studied with Alfred Adler. Her personal stories about Adler's work and character, as well as many of his associates in Vienna, were moving and illuminating. She was aware of the handicap that future generations would face, never having face-to-face contact with or studying with Adler himself. Her suggestion was to compensate for this lack of direct connection by deeply studying everything he wrote, then discussing it in depth with knowledgeable associates. Just reading some his later writings, or other authors about Adler's theory, does not begin to bring the totality of his theory and philosophy alive. The depth and nuances of his work are distributed over nearly forty years of published and unpublished material. By saturating oneself with the full range of his material, one begins to gain the depth of "feeling" and levels of meaning behind the words. Condensations of Adler, never capture this essential quality; his popular books are excellent for the general public, but mental health professionals need to study his clinical writings. It was quite revealing to search the body of Adler's work for each of his constructs. (Having it all on a computer, makes the task more manageable.) The concept of the feeling of inferiority is evident in almost all of Adler's writings, but the expressions of it vary considerably. In each book, article, or manuscript, Adler may use a subtle variation of the idea. By examining and comparing all of them, the richness of the idea is better appreciated. The limitations of language inhibit the full representation of a construct in one mere word or phrase. Also, Adler refined his ideas over time. Often, psychology text books refer to the early meaning of a construct, without clarifying Adler's later evolution of that idea. This awareness of Adler's development is important for the clinician and student, and essential for anyone teaching Individual Psychololgy.
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Last edited by Henry Stein; November 11th, 2004 at 09:58 PM. Reason: Corrected spelling.
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  #69  
Unread November 11th, 2004, 10:55 PM
George Neeson George Neeson is offline
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Thumbs up Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol.2, Chapters XV-XVII (Prostitution and Neurosis)

I must say I very strongly agree with Henrys comments about reading Adler in order. Any attempt to take it to pieces, even though so obviously well intended as with the Ansbachers monumental work in attempting to organize the information, does do some violence to the essence of his thinking. Although I have not been very active in this thread because of that other thread, I have been reading the assigned chapters. Each time I read these new translations, I gain a new and deepened appreciation for the evolution of his thinking. I know he "tinkered" with the content of these articles over time ( or at least it is not unreasonable to conclude that he did), the flavour of the man is best experienced by me by just plodding through his writings again and again. He does not have an easy and fluid style, at least in translation, but he sure touches all the bases which is crucial. A home run will not count, if you fail to touch the bag at 3rd! Thanks Henry for your wonderful contribution to his legacy in leading this translation project.
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  #70  
Unread November 12th, 2004, 10:27 AM
Henry Stein Henry Stein is offline
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Default Re: Discussion of CCWAA, Vol.2, Chapters XV-XVII (Prostitution and Neurosis)

Twelve years later, in his article Individual Psychology of Prostitution (CCWAA, Volume 4, Chapter XXIII), Adler looks at its social, economic, and psychological roots, and amplifies insight into the customers, procurers, and prostitutes. He summarizes the dynamics between customer and prostitute succinctly: "Both arrived at a fiction that deceives them into feeling personally predominant." This prototype of superiority/depreciation uncovers the mutually exploitive mischief that characterizes many corrosive sexual relationships.
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