Reflections on the Human Venture

Reflections on the Human Venture

Reflections on the Human Venture

Reflections on the Human Venture

Excerpt

We have frequently been troubled by the fact that both students and laymen find so many books in psychology not only insufferably dull but also unconvincing and unrewarding. The views of human nature provided by the psychologist for the student or for the inquiring layman often seem to offend his sense of the dignity of man by their narrow intellectualism, while many generalizations stemming from segmented research seem either downright implausible or inconsequential. Somewhere along the line too much of human experience has been left out of account.

The characteristics and qualities that make human experience what it is must first be recognized before they can be described and then dealt with. It is the sensitive novelist, poet, or prophet who seems so far to have done best in combining such recognition with faithful description.

Hence, many books which deal with "human nature" at the level of scientific conceptualization do not seem to ring true. They do not seem to describe or to explain satisfactorily the process of living as the reader knows it in terms of his own immediate, firsthand experience. The result is that both the student and the layman frequently indicate that they can learn more about "human nature" from reading good literature than from taking courses in psychology. And they are probably right.

It is our hope that the readings brought together here with our own textual material will contribute to the development of a more adequate understanding of human living so that people everywhere may have some guideposts for enhancing the quality of their . . .

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