- Paperback: 432 pages
- Publisher: Penguin / Arkana; 1st edition (October 1, 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0140194703
- ISBN-13: 978-0140194708
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.9 x 7.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 27 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,168 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Farther Reaches of Human Nature Paperback – October 1, 1993
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About the Author
Abraham H. Maslow taught at Brooklyn College and the Western Behavioral Sciences Institute, and was Chairman of the Department of Psychology at Brandeis University. From 1967 to 1968 he was Preseident of the American Psychological Association. Dr. Maslow was one of the foremost spokesmen of the humanistic, or "Third Force," psychologies, and author of many books and articles, including Toward a Psychology of Being, The Psychology of Science, and Religions, Values, and Peak-Experiences.
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This book is different. It is a collection of later essays mostly about spiritual needs. In these essays, the pyramid is flipped-- as if the spiritual needs are the base of the pyramid rather than food and shelter.
Maslow comments on things other psychologists in the sixties were commenting on: existentialism, creativity..
Existentialism here is defined as the study of human need for meaning. Where some use the term existentialism to mean the position that humans need meaning and there is no inherent meaning (authors like Camus, Kafka and Douglas Adams), Maslow agrees with Viktor Frankl in saying that life does have inherent meaning and Existentialism is the study of what that meaning is and how to get it. Hence the title, "The Farther Reaches of Human Nature." Human Nature is not fallen, doomed, or inherently separate from meaning, but human nature is capable, naturally drawn and inherently connected.
By the way this book is not available for kindle. Why not? Please click the button if you'd like to see this as a kindle book. It certainly deserves to be read by a new generation of readers, at a time when inherent meaning is again questioned.
However, he does have some chapters that require your own research in order to follow his writing. Maslow has a way of almost talking to himself in his writing, and he says some things that aren't very easy to pick up on. But don't let that hinder you. There are many enlightening ideas that would give any reader who is interested in psychological well being that little 'head buzz.'
The first part of the book was extremely well written, and it contained truly revolutionary ideas. Most of us think of Maslow's contribution as "the pyramid of the hierarchy of needs", since that is probably what is usually taught about him. But this book is much more than that, and it delves insightfully into the realization of the full human potential, including knowing, perceiving, being, needs, metaneeds, aesthetics, etc.
Because the book is an unedited, unfinished draft of a book, the second part reads like it. It is difficult to enjoy the last half of the book because it reads as the personal notes of a writer planning his essay. Despite its "annotated outline" format, one can still get glimpses of sheer genius in those notes, and it truly is a shame and a loss for our intellectual inheritance that the book wasn't finished. Of course, as unedited notes often do, these contain material that is deleterious to the overall quality of Maslows well-thought ideas. The editors (or perhaps un-editors) failed in this respect.
It is remarkable how timeless, elegant, and structured the first finished part of the book is, in contrast with some of the "culturally dated" second part of the book.
None-the-less, this book is well worth the time to read it. It is a brilliant piece of work, and Maslow is truly one of the great psychologist-philosophers of the 20th century.
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