Den potentiella människan En undersökning av teorier om självförverkligande
Sammanfattning: “What characterizes an acceptable theory of self-realization?” The thrust of the present dissertation is towards seeking an answer to this central problem, which stems from the fundamental human experience that life involves change, and that in a modern society such change is often expected to be towards a realization of potentials and the good life for the individual. The dissertation has a three-fold purpose. The first is to clarify the content of five modern theories of self-realization from three academic fields. The theories are those of the psychologist Abraham H. Maslow, the philosophers Charles Taylor and Alan Gewirth, and the theologians Reinhold Niebuhr and Bernard Lonergan. These are methodologically studied by the help of seven analytical questions. The second purpose is to perform a lengthwise comparatative analysis of the five theories, the results of which lead to the third; namely to critically discuss several elements of the reality of human life which have proven to be missing or supressed in much of the material.The theoretical framework for the dissertation runs along two axes: one concerns what is developed as a distinction between internalism and relationalism, and the other is to cast a critical light on the lack of attention paid by the the theories of self-realization to experiences which run counter to optimistic ideas of individual development, such as death, loss and dependence. The dissertation concludes with an outline for a constructive position based on the necessity of a theory’s closeness to experience, and on the need for reconcilitation of what may seem to be unabridgeble in human life. A theory of self-realization must do more than formulate positive conditions for change. It must also take into consideration conditions that are not directly related to, and sometimes even run contrary to, realization of the self.
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