- 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: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #224,556 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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Top Customer Reviews
Keep in mind that Abraham Maslow died before he was able to make a final edit of this book, and it shows. The second half of the book is almost a verbatim repetition of the earlier sections, and Maslow tends to harp on the same concepts endlessly. Some of it comes across as a very generic self help book designed to be consumed by the masses. In other sections, he seems to start over right from square one, as if some of the essays were meant to stand alone and were not meant to follow other essays that were extremely similar. I would say nearly half of this book should have been relegated to an expanded appendix - but I guess it would be strange to have a book where full half of it consisted of an appendix. I'm sure that Maslow would have fixed these problems had he lived long enough, but we will just have to accept this book for what it is and try as best we can to extrapolate something useful from it.
To conclude, I must still vehemently stress the importance of at least the first half of this book. If you grow bored with it, just stop reading. The editors of this book obviously elected to take a throw-it-all-against-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks approach, and I suppose there is no harm in that. Just remember that the original author was not around to oversee the final editing, and the result is a large dose of disjecta and detritus towards the end of the book. Nevertheless, do not let this minor disclaimer prevent you from exploring the wonderful ideas of this brilliant man.
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.
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.
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