Psychology and Paradox

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Reviews the book, Freedom and Destiny by Rollo May (see record 2006-03361-000). This book, is perhaps the best place to start in considering (or, for the initiated, reconsidering) May's books. First published in 1981, it bears the hallmark of psychological tension in its very title. Neither the reductive determinism of the behaviorists nor the glib proclamations of joy and freedom by the “popular” and “positive” psychologists, this book is a sobered meditation on the contradictions of life for those willing to think honestly and who will not be appeased by half-truths or false assurances. Here we encounter what May liked to call “the joy of thinking” as we are immersed in a cross-disciplinary reverie on the “paradoxes of freedom.” Cleaving to either extreme, freedom or limitation, leads necessarily to error. And error, as Nietzsche had taught, is cowardice, a diminution of the truly human. Freedom and Destiny, is arguably the representative work of a very great man. It is difficult to think of higher praise than this. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved)

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