Frankl - ViktorFrankl(19051997 22:08 (1946 mates Frankl:;

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Viktor Frankl (1905-1997) 22:08 Man’s Search for Meaning  (1946) Writes about own experience and examines psychology of him and prison  mates Starts to make psychological claims about the importance of meaning A theory of Human Nature Frankl: humans’ primary motivational drive is “will to meaning”; a drive to find  meaning in our lives Rejects rival theories: o Happiness (Aristotle, John Stuart Mill) o Pleasure/Sex (Freud) o Power/Social Influence (Adler) o Money & material possessions An “Existential Vacuum” Without seeing a meaning for their lives, people fall into despair, and lose the  will to live, either committing suicide or succumbing to illness o Those who survived Nazi concentration camps (Frankl) were those who  had strong sense of self and meaning for their lives o Losing loved ones, retiring from work can often cause someone to lose the  will to live and degenerate quickly The modern age: afflicted with a crisis of meaningless/nihilism (Nietzsche) Objection: perhaps we only need meaning in order to cope with great  suffering, and not when all is going well o Frankl: in the absence of suffering, meaninglessness manifests itself in  boredom; to address this we seek artificial stimulants to distract us from  the meaninglessness of our lives    Logotherapy Logotherapy seeks to rescue people from despair not by treating mental 
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