2017-09-16: Personality #14


discussion notes

  • Is Frankl an existentialist?

    • Lecture 11

      • 48:26 - slide - existentialism is not a school of thought nor reducible to any set of tenets. The three writers who appear invariably on every list of existentialists - Jaspers, Heidegger, and Sartre - are not in agreement on essentials. Such alleged precursors as Pascal and Kierkegaard differed from all three men by being dedicated Christians; and Pascal was a Catholic of sorts, while Kierkegaard was a Protestant’s Protestant. If, as is often done, Nietzsche and Dostoevsky are included in the fold, we must make room for an impassioned anti-Christian and even more fanatical Greek-Orthodox Russian imperialist. By the time we consider adding Rilke, Kafka, Ortega, and Camus, it becomes plain that one essential feature shared by all these men is their perfervid individualism. The refusal to belong to any school of thought, the repudiation of the adequacy of any body of beliefs whatever, and especially of systems, and a marked dissatisfaction with traditional philosophy as superficial, academic, and remote from life - that is the heart of existentialism. - that is another element of individualism, the locale of action is in the individual, you are fated in some sense to suffer and to be an individual, so the right level of analysis is at the individual, which is a primary tenant of individual psychotherapy
    • You need to be able to find meaning in anything that you do

      • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logotherapy

        • Finding meaning, in yourself, or other people, or in a goal

        • The following list of tenets represents basic principles of logotherapy:

          • Life has meaning under all circumstances, even the most miserable ones.

          • Our main motivation for living is our will to find meaning in life.

          • We have freedom to find meaning in what we do, and what we experience, or at least in the stance we take when faced with a situation of unchangeable suffering.

    • Sacrifice for one’s values

      • A set of values that one can achieve, and work towards, and sacrifice themselves to achieve that

        • When the person’s wife has died, he saved his wife who he loved
    • Is using hypotheticals ethical or unethical? Are they white lies?

      • Metaphysically true versus objectively true

      • Should we even bother with that is not metaphysically true? (Dawkins, Harris)

        • Perhaps as meatbags we need to believe in certain things that are not objectively true - love perhaps

        • Nihilism equally probable as true as “everything happens for a reason” - one is useful, the other is not

        • We also need to have cognitive structures that are suitable for our own cognitive circumstances and development - children take time to develop theory of mind, understanding deception, understand compassion

    • Survivor’s guilt

discussion resources