Epilogue

A king once announced that the person who executed the most extraordinary act would be given permission to marry the princess. A herald carried this message to all parts of the kingdom and, following local competitions, three finalists were selected to display their creative products. When the first applicant brought forward a handcrafted harpsichord, the king declared it to be an extraordinary object of great beauty. When the second candidate displayed a painting of the forest behind the palace, the king declared it an even more extraordinary work of art than the harpsichord. When the final applicant carried in a porcelain clock, the king was so overwhelmed by its exquisite detail, he announced that it was the most extraordinary thing he had ever encountered. He was about to give his daughter to the clock maker when a young man in the audience leapt up, brought a hammer down on the clock, and smashed it into pieces. The king gasped and, after a pause, declared, "That is the most extraordinary thing I have ever experienced!" and awarded the princess to the aggressor.

Even though the scientific view of human nature is like a mirror that shatters every two or three generations, I am unwilling to be viewed as the man with the hammer and wish to make four constructive suggestions for those who work in the social and behavioral sciences.

-195-

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Three Seductive Ideas
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Prologue 1
  • Chapter One - a Passion for Abstraction 13
  • Chapter Two - The, Allure of Infant Determinism 83
  • Chapter Three - the Pleasure Principle 151
  • Epilogue 195
  • Notes Acknowledgments Index 201
  • Notes 203
  • Acknowledgments 219
  • Index 221
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