Existential_theory_of_Victor_frankl.doc - THE...

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THE EXISTENTIALTHEORY OF VICTOR FRANKLBACKGROUND• Existential Psychology• Kierkegaard & Heidegger → Existential philosophers• Studied Freud & Adler → Freud placed undue emphasis on will to pleasure→ Adler focused too much on will to power• Third Viennese school of Psychotherapy. • Transcendental theory of being• Life is given to us so that we can find meaning, even in suffering. VIEW OF THE PERSON• Humans have been given the freedom to exercise responsibility• We live on a dimension of meaning in realizing timeless values emanating from a divine/transhuman dimension.1. The Freedom to be Responsible• Human being = Spiritual being→ Has freedom & responsibility. → Not just a highly developed animal• Free will = Freedom to choose→ Can’t blame our actions on conditioning or drives→ Have to bear responsibility2. A Level of Being Beyond Animal Existence•True fulfillment is impossible without a sense of purpose• Every situation contains a challenge to live our lives purposefully, with meaning. • Rejects psychoanalysts & learning theorists who explain all human behavior on the basis of subhuman levels of being• Physical, psychological and social aspects → are natural and do not radically distinguish humans from animals. • Self-Transcendence → Uniquely human→ We have the freedom to rise above conditions, and to think and do something about them • We are geared towards finding meaning in life, even if our will to meaning is dormant or suppressed. 3. The Transhuman Dimension• Freedom without responsibility is senseless Freedom to question life & its meaning is senseless if such meaning doesn’t exist. • Meaning → Not created or invented, but foundExists in an objective sense→ proved by the fact that we feel addressed by our conscience & called upon to act right→ Emanates from a transhumant dimension→ Have universal and timeless significance
→ can be discovered by anyone, at any time, under any circumstances.• Conscience→ The vehicle through which we detect meaning→ More than just the superego→ has transcendent qualities• Faith → Unshakeable belief that life has ultimate meaning→ The subjective experience of the objective existence of a Transhuman dimension→ “The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen”4. A Highly Personalised (Personally Accountable) Way of Being• Meaning of life cannot be incorporated by one religion• Dimension of meaning transcends our comprehension of it• Every person has the right & freedom to decide to what he is accountable• Something is meaningful only if it is personally experienced as such• Religion is genuine only when it is existentialp442THE STRUCTURE OF THE PERSONALITY1 The Three Dimensions of the Personality• Dimensional ontology → There are three levels/dimensions of existence→ Physical, psychological and spiritual• Physical → Complex biomechanical mechanism→ Similar to a machine

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