Table 5. The "Meaning in Life" Scale (shortened)
Variable Mean SD Correlation
1. Regards self as generally
enthusiastic 4.5 2.0 .65
2. Finds life exciting 3.5 2.2 .60
3. Has clear goals 4.0 2.4 .64
4. Believes personal existence
has meaning 4.7 2.0 .68
5. Perceives each day as
different 3.4 2.1 .55
6. Glad to have been born 4.8 2.0 .41
7. Plans still to things
he/she wanted to do 4.8 2.0 .58
8. Satisfied with achievements
to date 5.0 2.0 .52
9. Finds life full of
interesting things 4.6 1.9 .81
10. Believes life has been
significant 5.2 1.9 .67
Cronbach's alpha = .88
Table 6. Multiple Regression Analysis on Meaning in Life
Independent Variable B SE beta
(0=infrequent, 1=frequent) 1.07 .22 -0.37***
religious) 0.44 .22 .15*
3. Continuity in lifestyle
(ten point index) 0.13 .05 .19**
4. Prior socioeconomic
situation (0=poor, 1=satisfactory,
good) 0.52 .21 .18*
5. Current health situation
(0 = poor, 1 = satisfactory, good) 0.49 .24 .16*
R^2 = .39
adjusted R^2 = .37
David Guttman, D. S. W., is the former Dean of the School of Social Work at the University of Haifa, Israel. He is the author of several books on ageing and ethnicity, of numerous articles in professional journals and of chapters in books. In 1981 he organized two White House Mini-conferences on the European-American elderly for the White House Conference on Ageing. He has been engaged in research, teaching and training, as well as consultation in gerontology for the past two decades. His main areas of academic activity and interest are related to gerontology, social work education, ethics and logotherapy. He has translated from English to Hebrew three books on logotherapy by the late Hiroshi Takashima and by Dr. Elisabeth Lukas.
Ben Zion Cohen, Ph.D., holds the Chair of the M.A. Program at the School of Social Work, University of Haifa, Israel. Formerly serving as Director of the Israeli Adult Probation Services, Dr. Cohen is an experienced social work educator, practitioner, and researcher. His articles in professional journals and chapters in books deal with a wide range of issues in social work education, correctional services, poverty and ageing. He served in the past as Editor-in-Chief of the Israeli Journal "Society and Welfare".
Eclecticism, Evidence, and Logotherapy: a Study on the Foundations of Human Psychology with Special Reference to the Contributions of Viktor Frankl
James M. DuBois
This paper is concerned with three basic themes. First, it is argued that eclecticism must be based upon a psychological metatheory: an underlying system of beliefs about the structure of the human person and human behavior. Second, in order to avoid having one notion of evidence for our metatheory and another for our practice and research, a broad notion of evidence is presented which justifies the use of many methods of gaining knowledge and thereby preserves the unity of psychological inquiry. Third, a presentation is made of some basic tenets of Viktor Frankl's logotherapy which the author thinks ought to be at the basis of all psychological endeavors. Among these basic tenets are the rationality of the person, the freedom of the will, and the recognition of values. These tenets may be justified using the notion of evidence sketched within the paper, and they provide sound criteria for selecting theoretical beliefs and tools of practice.
Dieser Beitrag behandelt drei Grundprobleme der psychologischen Forschung und Praxis: die Natur der Evidenz, die Notwendigkeit einer psychologischen Metatheorie, und der Inhalt solcher Metatheorie. Erstens wird behauptet, daß der Eklektizismus auf eine Metatheorie gegründet sein muß, d.h. ein zugrundeliegendes System von Grundsätzen, die sich auf das Wesen des Menschen und des menschlichen Handelns beziehen. Zweitens wird ein umfassender Begriff der Evidenz als "Gegebenheit" (à la Scheler und die Münchener Phenomenologen) vorgestellt; mit Hilfe dieses Konzepts können wir die Einheit der Wissenschaft vom Menschen erhalten. Dieser Begriff der Evidenz wird die Verwendung vieler Methoden der wissenschaftlichen Forschung rechtfertigen, nicht nur der empirischen, sondern auch der philosophischen. Drittens stellen wir einige Grundgedanken von Viktor Frankls Logotherapie vor, die der Autor als unerläßlich für die psychologische Praxis betrachtet, und die zu jeder psychologischen Metatheorie gehören sollten. Zu diesen Prinzipien zählen die Vernünftigkeit des Menschens, die Freiheit des Wollens, und die Erkenntnis von Wert an sich. Diese Ideen können mit dem vorgestellten Begriff der Evidenz gerechtfertigt werden, und sie bieten uns brauchbare Kriterien, auf Grund deren wir theoretische Behauptungen und praktische Methoden auswählen konnen.
This study begins with the modest assumption that no psychological model to date offers a wholly adequate account of human being and behavior, but that each major model has something to offer. Accordingly, at least two possibilities present themselves. Either the psychologist adheres dogmatically to one model, hoping that someday it shall provide for what is now missing, or he begins to adopt techniques and theses from more than one model. However, as soon the latter (and I think wiser) course of action is adopted, an obvious question arises. According to which principles, if any, is the individual (perhaps an eighteen year old student) to take or to leave a given tenet of psychology?
An answer to this question is highly desirable, for unless principles for a meaningful coherence are established, eclecticism will invariably proceed in an idiosyncratic and arbitrary fashion, producing a system without "explanatory power, internal consistency, or heuristic value" (McBride and Martin, 1990, p. 500). Moreover, Brammer (1966) claims that knowledge of theoretical rationale aids counselors in adapting to new situations and in developing new techniques. This is also what one would intuitively expect. Those who understand why something works may also understand why it breaks down, they may understand how to repair it and how to improve upon its design. Thus eclecticism cannot replace theoretical understanding, but should rather be built upon it.
To solve this problem of arbitrary eclecticism McBride and Martin (1990) have proposed immersion into two or more theoretical models such as the psychoanalytic, the behavioristic or the client centered model. But it seems evident that such immersion itself is in no way a guarantee that the resulting system will be consistent and meaningful. If the selective activity of the eclectic psychologist is to produce a coherent system, then it must be based upon one unified, underlying, system of beliefs. Frankl writes, "There is no psychotherapy without a theory of man and a philosophy of life underlying it. Wittingly or unwittingly, psychotherapy is based on them" (1988, p. 15). This is illustrated by Corey (1977), who begins each chapter of his Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy by explicitly exposing the view of human nature espoused by the theory under consideration.
In the light of our opening statement concerning the inadequacy of any model taken by itself, we can see that without an underlying view of human nature we would find ourselves in a serious predicament. On the one hand, without eclecticism our theory is inadequate, but with eclecticism our theory is arbitrary and in all likelihood incoherent. The satisfactory theory and practice of psychology, then, requires what might be called a psychological metatheory: an underlying system of beliefs which will allow us to select consistently elements from the various psychological models available today.
Once the importance of a sound metatheory is established, the question remains as to how it is to be developed. It is often said that psychology is an empirical science. One aim of this thesis is to show that psychology cannot be only an empirical science, it must be a hybrid science, drawing also from the traditional methods of philosophy. However, in saying this we do not want to destroy the unity of psychological inquiry as a scientific endeavor. Thus, an attempt will be made to present a notion of evidence which is sufficiently broad to encompass the methods of philosophy and the empirical sciences. Only then shall we examine a series of assertions about the nature of the human person which I believe to be evident, and to deserve a place in all psychological metatheories.
Throughout this study special attention will be paid to the writings of Viktor Frankl. Frankl states that it is "not the aim of logotherapy to take the place of existing psychotherapy, but only to complement it, thus forming a picture of man in his wholeness" (1986, xvii). Yet it would be a mistake to view logotherapy as merely one among many possible supplements, as merely another item on the table which the eclectic psychologist may take or leave. I am convinced that one does not begin to tap into the full value of logotherapy unless one grasps the unique way in which it provides the psychologist with a metatheoretical foundation upon which one may build not only a consistent, but a sound eclectic system.
Evidence and the Methodology of Psychology
A proper understanding of the nature of evidence will aid us not only in the construction of a sound metatheory, but it will help us to restrict the scope of our conclusions to what is truly justified. Frankl (1988) has noted that the field of psychology is growing increasingly specialized. In and of itself this is not problematic: "What we have to deplore ... is not that scientists are specializing but that the specialists are generalizing" (p. 21). To cite one out of thousands of possible examples, we might consider the statement by D. O. Hebb which provides the opening citation to a popular text in biological psychology:
Modern psychology takes completely for granted that behavior and neural function are perfectly correlated. ... There is no separate soul or life force to stick a finger into the brain now and then and make neural cells do what they would not otherwise. ... One cannot logically be a determinist in physics and chemistry and biology, and a mystic in psychology. (Kalat, 1992, inside cover).
Notice that Hebb attempts not only to speak for himself, but the whole of modern psychology as he moves out of his area of expertise, i.e. the physiology of the brain, to discuss the general structure of personal, conscious behavior and life. The justification which some scientists feel in making generalizations stems at least in part, I believe, from the restricted views of science and evidence which they espouse. According to Hebb, views which would recognize a soul or a lifeforce are not possibly the product of another nonempirical science, but only of mysticism. And this view is hardly the exclusive property of Hebb. A similarly constricted notion of science is to be found in Skinner (1990). Here he identifies as "prescientific" the view which claims that "a person's behavior is at least to some extent his own achievement" and opposes this to the "scientific view" according to which a person's behavior is determined by "a genetic endowment traceable to the evolutionary history of the species and by the enviromental circumstances to which as an individual he has been exposed" (p. 96). Once again we find that the empirical sciences are not contrasted to nonempirical sciences, but rather to prescientific approaches to reality; and it is only the latter which would recognize the freedom of the person.
In restricting the methods of science to empirical observation and experimentation with objects which are definable in quantifiable terms, we put ourselves in the artificial position of needing to ignore or to deny a wealth of data which can never be given through these means.
In order to do justice to the inexhaustably deep phenomenon of the human person, we must study it as a whole. Eclecticism as such will not ensure that this happens, for it remains possible that one picks and chooses conclusions gained only through empirical methods. A wholistic approach to the study of human being and behavior requires that we carry out our investigations using a broad notion of evidence which allows for the use of many different methods of gaining knowledge.
Following the early phenomenologists, I suggest that we understand evidence as any form of givenness of an object to a personal subject. This notion of evidence is admittedly broad, but I think that this is precisely its strength. For thousands of years philosophers have argued about what should be counted as evidence, and they have often settled upon what is given through one or another particular form of knowing to the exclusion of others. At times Plato seems to restrict evidence to the intuition of the eternal and unchanging; Hume restricts evidence to our knowledge of perceptions and images; the Vienna Circle restricted evidence to that which is empirically verifiable; Franz Brentano at times restricts evidence to that which is given through inner perception; and the list goes on. Each of these restricted notions of evidence ultimately led to grave errors, and to the impossibility of justifying many truths which are evidently known, and in some cases, (e.g. positivism) the impossibility of justifying the notion of evidence itself.
In contrast to those who restrict the notion of evidence to what is given through a particular mode of knowing, or to a particular kind of given object, Scheler writes that "what constitutes the unity of phenomenology is not a particular region of facts, such as, for example, mental or ideal objects, nature, etc., but only self givenness in all possible regions" (1973, p. 145). Likewise, in the writings of Reinach (1989) and Hildebrand (1991) both of whom were colleagues of Scheler in Göttingen we find "evidence" described as above: any form of givenness of an object to a personal subject. This also seems to be the notion of evidence which Frankl, being deeply influenced by the writings of Scheler (Spiegelberg, 1972), begins with. He states that the philosophical foundations of logotherapy arose from the analysis of those data which "yield to that empirical approach which, since Husserl's days, is called phenomenological" (p. 18). And this, as Frankl understands it, means nothing other than basing our investigations upon experience, "rather than interpreting a given phenomenon after preconceived patterns" (p. 18).
Among Frankl's credentials as a psychiatrist must be counted not only his studies in philosophy and medicine, but also his experiences as a Jew in the death camps of Nazi controlled Germany. This perhaps makes it more understandable why he is less inclined to theorize on the basis of experimentation alone, independently of human experience in the world. His logotherapeutic metatheory has truly arisen phenomenologically, through reflection on his intimate contact with what is unambiguously given in human experience.
And there can be no substitute for such a phenomenological approach to the person. Firstly, it is only in this fashion that we allow the object of knowledge to determine how we come to know it. That we must allow the object to determine our mode of knowing is taken for granted in day to day living. We observe that colors can only be seen, sounds can only be heard, numbers can only be intuited, and so forth. Yet in science there is often the tendency to determine the methods first, and then select the object of study.
Secondly, the phenomenological approach to the person is indispensible because in approaching objects phenomenologically, we recognize that not all beings are, so to speak, onedimensional; we recognize that many beings must be known through more than one medium. Thus it is that Frankl (1988) has come to speak of a "dimensional ontology" (p. 23). He recognizes that there are many dimensions to the human person, and that these different dimensions may produce images which seemingly contradict each other, except when grasped in the context of the whole. This may be strikingly witnessed through consideration of the human body from the points of view of Leib ( the body as we consciously live through it) and Körper (the body as a mere biological organism). Seifert (1973; 1989) draws this out in a brilliant fashion. On the one hand, when considered from the point of view of the lived body, the brain may seem so insignificant. It is not something we are aware of: unlike our hands, it feels no pain; unlike our eyes, it cannot express sorrow or love. Yet on the other hand, when considered as a biological organ, it is vastly more important than our hands or eyes. Without our hands and eyes we may continue to live, to feel pain and to demonstrate emotion; without our brains we may do nothing; we are dead. Each of these different perspectives is legitimate, though their evaluations of the brain seem opposed.
Likewise, data such as motivation may be approached from the inside or the outside. That is to say, that apart from the scientific endeavors which try to get at the structure of motivation through the observation of behavior, it is possible that through inner perception one may know the source of a particular action immediately: e.g. I ate the pizza because I was hungry. One may immediately question the value of such knowledge for science: knowledge gained through inner perception does not give us cause to accept any general statements about motivation. But, this being true, such subjective knowledge may nevertheless be sufficient to reject a general scientific claim. For example, one may reject the claim that all behavior is primarily motivated by personal gratification so long as one can cite one instance in which his primary motivation was both clearly given, and directed towards another. Such evidence may not be public, but its epistemological status surpasses any attempt to get at the datum from the outside.
There is yet another mode of knowing which must be discussed here. Like inner perception, it is perfectly valid and unused by most psychologists in the course of research. But unlike inner perception it allows for knowledge which is general in nature and, at least in principle, public in nature. This method has been called insight or essential intuition, and it is the most important method used in philosophy; for no deductive argument can provide us with new truths unless it uses as premises truths which are known directly. Insight, in the strict sense of the term, entails that one has apprehended directly (that is, not via deduction or induction) a necessary state of affairs rooted in the nature of a given object. For example, it is of the nature of responsibility that it presupposes freedom. Many would refuse to accept such an assertion without being given "proof" of its truth. But in fact no proof need be given, and in spite of the great intelligibility of the assertion it may even be that no proof, in the strict sense, can be given. It is of the greatest importance, however, that one realize that proofs are only one form of evidence, they are only one way in which something may become "given" to a subject, and they are not the most important. In the modern usage of the term, "evidence" is typically something e.g. an argument or a collection of data offered in support of a claim the truth of which is not immediately given. If it were immediately given, it should be self evident and would require no evidence offered in its support. That is to say, we offer evidence only in the case that something is not directly evident. Thus, as Hildebrand (1991) and Seifert (1987) observe in their profound analyses of the nature of philosophical knowledge, from the point of view of evidence, the object of philosophical insight ought to be most highly esteemed insofar as it is intelligible or knowable in itself, without recourse to another state of affairs.
In spite of the fact that the word 'phenomenology' today so often connotes a subjectivistic approach to reality, the early phenomenologists of Munich and Göttingen viewed the subject in relation to a highly structured, mind independent, world. In contrast to Kant, they viewed necessity as a characteristic of states of affairs and not of thought. For example, Husserl, in his first work of significance, the Logical Investigations (1970), showed that the necessary, exceptionless laws of logic could not be derived from contingent probabilities concerning human thought processes. Further, many of the early phenomenologists saw that this sphere of necessary and exceptionless laws extends far beyond the realms of logic and geometry, into the spheres of civil law (e.g. as it is related to promising (Reinach, 1983)), of responsibility, freedom, and moral goodness (Scheler, 1973a; Hildebrand, 1972), of sympathy and empathy (Scheler, 1954; Stein 1989), and many other facets of personal and inter personal existence.
In particular, Reinach and Hildebrand took notice of the fact that it is not a peculiarity of method, so much as a peculiarity of the object known which allows for intuitive knowledge or insight. Consider for example the difference between the following data, both of which are of interest to the psychologist: the workings of the brain vs. the nature of volition. On the one hand, if I wish to come to know the way in which the brain functions, there is no alternative but to proceed empirically. The relationships between brain parts and their functions are contingent and subject to change and development. There is no peculiar phenomenological method which will allow us to gain an insight into the functioning of brain parts simply by considering the nature of the part. Repeated observations are necessary in order to draw tentative conclusions. But on the other hand, the nature of volition is in large part accessible to the phenomenologist. For example, only by insight can we know that willing by its very nature presupposes not only knowledge of a state of affairs which we wish to bring about, but it presupposes that the state of affairs has some kind of importance, whether this importance be merely for the subject or intrinsic to the state of affairs (Hildebrand, 1960). The truth of such a claim need not be verified empirically, and it is not asserted tentatively as though an exception might be found in the future. So long as one keeps clear the distinction between motivated volitional acts on the one hand, and compulsions on the other, we see that this fact about the nature of willing is necessary, and therefore universal in its application. Such necessary and intelligible truths are accessible to philosophical modes of knowing, though they may escape the notice of one looking for evidence solely in the realm of what is empirically verifiable.
Thus, it may be that certain psychological theses neither need to be, nor can be, verified using experimental methods. Moreover, while clinical verification is highly desirable, it too is not necessary in order that the psychologist be justified in making particular claims. It is important to see that this in no way contradicts the statement made above that a human science must have constant reference to lived experience. The claim is that there are data which can be known in a perfectly universal fashion on the basis of even just one lived experience. It is for this reason that we may take seriously and evaluate the assertions about self actualization, freedom, love and other human phenomena as made by psychologists such as Maslow, May, and Fromm, even though in places they offer no experimental, and little clinical, evidence in support of these assertions. They may not speak in terms of gaining insight into a necessary state of affairs, but given the universality of some of their assertions in the absence of empirical evidence, I believe that this is in fact what they are attempting to achieve. Moreover, particular dimensions of the human person, such as the structure of volition, can only be known adequately in this fashion.
Skinner is to be admired for his attempts to draw out the philosophical implications of his research. But in his philosophy, it seems that nowhere does he allow for the evidence of inner perception through which sources of motivation might be given, and nor does he investigate the necessary structures of philosophical objects, for example, freedom. He rather philosophizes from within a closed system. Thus, though he philosophizes, he does so in an inadequate and even illegitimate fashion.
If we recognize more forms of evidence, we can expect likewise to recognize more of being, which in the end is clearly more authentically scientific. Certainly some of the reductionistic tendencies found in psychology stem from wanting to achieve scientific goals: some believe behavior can only be predicted and controlled if freedom is denied, or that the desired public verifiability of scientific knowledge is attainable only if knowledge is restricted to what is known through experimentation. But in science today it seems that some cases of reductionism arise from a concern for economy for its own sake. An economy of principles is somehow considered an obvious virtue of a scientific model. But here I can only agree with Smith (1978) when he observes that an overconcern for theoretical economy has led to the perversion of a legitimate principle: "Ockham's perfectly uncontroversial razor: thou shalt not multiply entities without necessity," was perverted into, "thou shalt deny entities wherever possible, that is to say, wherever compatible with one's particular short term philosophical purposes" (p. 43). In such cases we can only insist that all of the really existing dimensions of the human person be given precedence over the desire for theoretical simplicity, a desire which ultimately leads to a less scientific approach to reality, i.e. an approach which produces less scientia, or knowledge of reality.
Throughout all of this I am not arguing that we must turn back the clocks, that psychology must become again a purely philosophical science. If I develop behavioral problems following a head injury, I do not want to consult a philosopher, but a neurologist. The philosophical method like every method has its limitations; it is for this reason that in approaching the human person we must draw from a variety of sources, both empirical and philosophical. Furthermore, these various sources of evidence ought to be integrated. Rogers (1968) has noted that many claims of a philosophical nature can be verified empirically. Some such research has already been carried out from within the field of logotherapy. To cite only two examples, Lukas (1991) and Crumbaugh and Maholick (1986) have created tests which verify that meanings and values play a significant role in human life and psychological health. The truth of Frankl's assertions on the importance of meaning in human life may be known sufficiently through philosophical reflection, but they find desirable confirmation through empirical research. However, in the light of what has been said above, it is important to realize that were a test to fail to confirm these claims, one ought first to look for shortcomings in the test, rather than abandon the insight. This is not to prejudge the issue, but rather to recognize adequately the kind of evidence which is given through phenomenological consideration of the human person.
Furthermore, we must insist that phenomenological investigation precede the experimental definition of objects such as love, altruism, anxiety, freedom and so forth, so as to assure that the conclusions of a given experiment will really have a bearing upon our understanding of the defined datum. Of course, one may legitimately question whether many such data can ever be adequately captured in a definition. However, I do not wish here to pursue this avenue of thought, but only to state that it is clearly better to prescind from what by nature resists experimental definition rather than to destroy it through reduction.
In the following some of the most important metatheoretical theses of logotherapy shall be presented. They arise, I believe, largely on the basis of the above notion of evidence, and they provide an excellent foundation for an eclecticism which seeks to do justice to the whole person.
The Rational Dimension of Human Being
In sharp contrast to those psychologists who believe that the difference between human beings and animals is one only of degree, Aristotle thought that he found a difference of kind. Human beings, he claimed, are set apart from the rest of the animal kingdom by rationality. In the following, I will try to show that, properly understood, rationality may serve as a distinguishing mark of the specifically personal dimension of human being. In the course of these reflections on human rationality, I wish to focus briefly on four things: (1) the general nature of rationality; (2) the transcendent nature of the human person; (3) the capacity of some human emotions to be rational; and (4) the specifically personal dimension of the human being as it is given in rationality.
I suggest that we best understand rationality as the characteristic of an act or response being consciously in harmony with reality. If we take judgment as a useful paradigm of rational behavior, we would then say that a judgment is rational insofar as it corresponds to reality and we are conscious of the fact that it corresponds to reality. Before pursuing what follows from this understanding of rationality, I want to look at what is presupposed by it: namely, that the human person may transcend himself in a variety of ways.
The verb 'to transcend' means quite literally to go beyond a boundary. In the present context it refers to the capacity of the human subject to go beyond himself, or to be consciously related to something other than himself. Existential psychology has sometimes down played, or flatly denied, the subject object distinction. But far from being more sympathetic to the subjective dimensions of the person, this view robs personal life of its meaning and intelligibility. Not only is this tantamount to denying the possibility of discovering truth and value, but it contradicts what is evidently given in human experience. Frankl handles this point admirably by balancing the fact that we only know being through our own peculiar acts of cognition which as acts of contingent beings are always from a definite perspective with the fact that our cognition may remain cognition of something other than ourselves. He notes that the latin term perspectum (the root of our "perspective") means "seen through". It is true that all human knowlege is from a subjective perspective, but the only thing that is subjective is the perspective through which we approach reality, and "this subjectivity does not in the least detract from the objectiveness of reality itself" (1988, p. 59). Thus, transcendence presupposes the subject object distinction. And this dichotomy is not overcome by existentialism, nor any other system; for, as Frankl observes, this would be "tantamount to overcoming la condition humaine the insurmountable finitude of being human" (1985, p. 58).
Likewise, the insights of the Gestalt psychologists into the importance of themes such as "perspective," "set," and the like, should not lead one to oppose the claim that we may truly know the nature of an object, but only to clarify the ways in which the nature of the object is given to us. For even if we see different things in one and the same object at different times, it is a dimension of the nature of the object which really is apprehended in each case. Were this not so, then the pictures which the Gestalt psychologists use would fail to make their point: persons would not consistently report the apprehension of one of two common things, but rather radically different subjective impressions.
What follows from our broad understanding of rationality as the conscious harmony of a response with reality is that not only judgments and arguments, but also certain kinds of volitions and even emotions may be rational. This claim may initially sound fantastic, for we know that many emotions are strictly caused, for example, through hormonal activity, or, in laboratory situations, through direct brain stimulation. Furthermore, it has often been said that emotions are neither right nor wrong, they simply are. Yet, Frankl, like the phenomenologists, makes an important distinction between two kinds of emotions: those which are motivated through a conscious relationship with an object and those which are strictly caused. For example, we may contrast the way in which a drug may cause euphoria with the way in which a great event such as a marriage may cause joy. The former emotion does not require a conscious relation to a state of affairs in order to arise; it is caused and we need not know the cause. But the joy which we have over a wedding only arises through our conscious relationship to the event. Further, as personal beings related to the positive value of the situation, we may be aware of the fact that joy is due to the situation. Naturally, many other related states of affairs, such as leaving one's parents and home, may give rise to sorrow. But the marriage itself calls for joy. Insofar as we are consciously aware of the correspondence of our emotional response to reality, we may experience particular emotions as rational in the broad sense in which it was defined above. To use Frankl's terminology, we would say that crying from cutting onions has a cause, crying out of bereavement has a reason (1988, p. 37); and we might add, the latter is in keeping with reason it involves rationality in the most complete sense.
Skinner (1976) believes his system preserves rationality, but we are now in a position to see why it does not. Any system which denies that the responses of judging, willing and even feeling can be motivated or sanctioned by the explicit awareness that they correspond to or are due to reality as opposed to being unconsciously and necessarily elicited by laws of reinforcement in short denies rationality, which as we understand it is the key mark distinguishing human beings as persons from mere animals. Of course, many scientists question whether we ought to view human beings as persons, and they point to the striking similarities between humans and animals or they draw analogies between the human mind and a computer. At least two things may be said here. First, in exploring whether human beings are merely animals, or whether computers provide adequate analogies to the human mind, we must consider rationality in this broad sense which includes judgments, volitions and emotions. Animals display basic learning behaviors and computers "do" computations, but, for example, neither display rational relationships to morally relevant values. Second, the question ought always to be whether some nonhuman animals (or highly refined computers) are persons, and never whether human beings are persons. Were we to find a chimpanzee which displayed all of the characteristics of being a person (including free volition and value apprehension), then the chimp is raised to the level of personhood; we are not then lowered to the level of mere animals.
Human Freedom and its Boundaries
A certain dimension of the problem of freedom can be viewed as a subdivision of the problem of causality. What is the cause of human behavior? It is well known that Hume (1963) denied that we can know the actual causes of things. He claims that what is given are antecedents and consequents, and that it is merely a "compulsion of the human mind to pass on from the one to the other" (p. 460). Hume is certainly correct in noting that causality is not itself another material object which may be grasped through sense perception. The nature of our apprehension of causality is mysterious indeed. Yet it is important to note two things. First, all science proceeds on the assumption that there are causes, and that somehow we can apprehend these causes. Secondly, no more direct means of apprehending causes could be imagined than the way in which personal action is given to us as the beginning of a new causal chain. Any theory which claims to demonstrate that persons cannot freely initiate new causal chains thus proceeds from a less evident perception of causation to deny a more evident perception of causation. The real question ought not to be whether human beings can freely initiate causal chains, but rather what the range of human freedom is. Are all human behaviors free? And is human freedom restricted to the sphere of action?
Frankl's view is that man is free, though free within boundaries. Thus, his position on freedom may be seen as opposed to two different errors found in modern philosophies of the person: that of pandeterimism and of what I shall call radical existentialism.
In contrast to the radical existentialists, those who claim that "existence precedes essence," that man is utterly responsible for what he becomes, Frankl recognizes that the human person is determined by a whole host of different factors: genetic, familial, economic, educational, and so forth. Our freedom is always freedom within boundaries.
In contrast to the pandeterminists, those who claim that man is wholly determined by genetic and environmental factors, Frankl recognizes that within our boundaries we are free. Many will find this view naive. For example, some will claim that physiological psychology has already shown that the stimulation of particular clusters of brain cells may produce consistently an experience which we earlier believed to be under the voluntary control of a free will. But in no way does this disprove the existence of a free and efficacious human will. It only shows that in addition to free and voluntary acts of recalling an experience (which apparantly involves activating parts of my brain), there are nonvoluntary instances of recalling an event, such as when my brain is stimulated from the outside. By way of analogy one might say that the fact that others may drive my car in no way disproves that my car belongs to me, and that it is I who typically drives it.
The freedom of the human person has been given much attention throughout the writings of the humanistic psychologists. However, there is an entire dimension of human freedom which Frankl points to that has been relatively undeveloped by the humanistic psychologists. I am referring here to attitudinal freedom. The role and significance of this dimension of freedom, however, can be grasped fully only in relation to values, and for this reason discussion of it is deferred to the following section.
The Significance of Value Perception in Motivation
In sharp contrast to those who, like Nietzsche, claim that we assign values to the objects of the world, Frankl (1986) asserts that values are perceived. Values exist independently of acts of apprehension, just like any other objects of knowledge. Thus, as soon as I have comprehended a value, "I have comprehended implicitly that this value exists in itself, independently therefore of whether or not I accept it" (p. 41).
Oftentimes logotherapists distinguish between meanings and values, the difference being that the former are peculiar to the individual person, whereas the latter have a more universal character. In this paper, however, I shall focus primarily upon value in the sense of "valuable in itself" (Wert an sich), for value in this sense is common to all authentic meanings and universal values. As Frankl notes, to say that one must find meaning, is to say that meaning is discovered, and thus that it exists in some sense in itself.
The role of values in Frankl's system cannot be overemphasized. In his treatment of the philosophical foundations of logotherapy (1963), he focuses upon three tenets: (1) the freedom of the will; (2) the will to meaning; and (3) meaning in life. The latter two assumptions, Frankl has made clear, hinge upon the notion of value in itself.
The will to meaning points to the fact that it is of the human condition to seek meaning, to transcend one's self in being related to the values which make the individual's life meaningful and give it direction. This concept is not, as some might think, simply identical to Maslow's theory of self actualization. For as Frankl points out, in declaring self actualization as the "ultimate motive" one "devaluates the world and its objects to mere means to an end" (1959, p. 50). This view is not only inappropriate, it is self defeating; for self actualization, like happiness, "is an effect and cannot be the object of intention" (p. 50). Self actualization must arise on the basis of self transcendence, of having discovered values and meanings which give our life direction, meaning, and ultimately fulfilment. Thus, attaining self actualization is not the same thing as fulfilling the will to meaning, but it does presuppose that one is fulfilling the will to meaning in relation to objective values. Thus, it is really quite amazing that so many existentialists and humanists have espoused various forms of value subjectivism, for we see that this actually undermines some of the most authentic goals of humanistic psychology.
Frankl's concept of meaning in life refers to three things. First, that in the course of our lives we are able to bring about creative values, for example through producing a piece of literature or raising a child. Second, in the course of our lives we encounter experiential values, as when we are exposed to beautiful music or to a morally good personality. Finally, and perhaps of the greatest significance for the human persons, we are able to embody attitudinal values. This kind of value is dependent upon what we might call attitudinal freedom. We are not free to determine our fates in all respects, but we are free to choose what stance we shall take towards our fate, or more generally, towards those things which lie beyond our control. Even in the face of death, suffering and guilt, we may recognize that life remains meaningful, that it presents us with values, and itself remains valuable. Furthermore, it may present us with the opportunity to serve others through our example of moral courage.
It is important to see that this list of values describes primarily our relationship to values; it is not a comprehensive list of the kinds of values that exist. There are many kinds of values including intellectual values (such as great intelligence or wit), aesthetic values (such as beauty or delicacy), moral values (such as honesty or goodness), and religious values (such as reverence or piety). Frankl's conception of meaning in life, I believe, recognizes these many kinds of values, and views them in a hierarchy. This is an extremely important point, for the concrete creative acts, the experiences, and the attitudinal stances of a person derive their value largely from what is created, what is experienced, and what the object and nature of the attitude is; and certainly the values of these differ both in kind and degree.
We see, then, that two out of the three basic philosophical tenets of logotherapy discussed by Frankl revolve around the theme of value. But the remaining philosophical tenet, namely, freedom of the will, also cannot be adequately understood apart from its dialectical relationship with values. On the one hand, freedom of the will takes on much of its significance only in relation to values: were there no values which we encounter in life, then even though we were free we could never be responsible, nor praiseworthy, nor guilty. On the other hand, it is largely through freedom that values take on such significance for human beings: were we not free, then even though the world presented us with values, still we could never be responsible, nor praiseworthy, nor guilty. Likewise with many other deep human phenomena: at a purely mechanistic level one cannot love another; and in a world void of meaning and value there is nothing worthy of love.
It might be questioned whether values determine a person to act in a particular way, whether values in fact rob the person of freedom. It seems that Sartre (1971) has something like this in mind when he declares that freedom must be sought as the basis for all values. For Sartre it is not that values take on significance for us only on the condition that we are free, but rather we are free only if we determine the significance of things. In responding to this objection it is helpful to consider another of Sartre's claims within the same article, namely, that we "always choose the good" (p. 113). This assertion, of course, is common to the vast majority of philosophers throughout the history of philosophy. As we shall see, this claim does not clearly specify the object of the will, but it does make one point abundantly clear: freedom and arbitrariness are opposed. As Anselm states, every act of willing has "a what and a why, for we will absolutely nothing unless there be a reason why we will" (p. 176). Freedom does not imply the absence of some kind of importance which motivates the will, but rather presupposes it.
But the precise nature of the 'why' we will, that is, of the good which is willed, is not the same in all situations. As Hildebrand (1972) observes, from the point of view of motivation we may call something good or important for a variety of reasons: because it is personally agreeable (e.g. a rich dessert), because it is truly good for me (e.g. penicillin when I am ill), or because it is valuable in itself (e.g. a person). Only the latter category of importance, i.e., the good or valuable in itself, may make demands upon our free will; yet it does so while fully respecting our freedom. When Freud discusses the pleasure principle as a principle which drives certain behaviors, he seems to capture something true about some of our relationships to what is merely subjectively agreeable. But when Frankl (1962) discusses values - a different kind of importance altogether he is unquestionably correct in stating that values "do not drive a man, they do not push him, but rather pull him" (p. 99). By this, he refers to the fact that "there is always freedom involved," that there "cannot exist in man any such thing as a moral drive" (p. 99). For this reason we see that Frankl's view of values is not incompatible with freedom of the will. Values do not determine the will, they simply make it intelligble why the will freely acts in one way and not another.
Naturally it sometimes happens that we find ourselves in a situation in which two values seem opposed, and we cannot respond properly to both values. To many, this seems to be an argument against the claim that our task in life is to respond to the values which confront us, to values which are not merely subjective projections. Yet, as Fabry (1987) observes, Frankl sees value collisions as "the result of neglecting the dimension in which there is room for a 'higher' and a 'lower,' that is, a dimension where values have a hierarchy" (p. 61). Thus, the phenomenon of apparent value collision does not refute the objectivity of values, but is simply further testimony to the fact that personal responses to values cannot be mechanical, but must be free and intelligent.
In the sphere of values we encounter once again in an unambiguous way the personal dimension of the human being, the dimension in which we see his rationality extending to his relationships with values. Because the human person is by his very nature related to values, he has an immeasurable objective superiority over animals, which lack the ability to appreciate values for their own sake. For this reason, Hildebrand (1972) notes that when a person attempts to descend to the level of animals by giving himself wholly to what is merely subjectively agreeable, then in fact "he necessarily falls below the animal level" (p. 433). Regardless of how a person chooses to live, he remains by nature ordained to the sphere of values.
It is particularly in the dimension of man's conscious relation to values that we grasp the incapacity of a purely empirical science to do justice to human being and behavior. And nor is a proper understanding of the role of values in human life of purely academic importance. Frankl attributes the gas chambers of Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Maidanek not to work done in some Ministry or other in Berlin, but rather to the work done "at the desks and in the lecture halls of nihilistic scientists and philosophers" (1986, p. xxvii). Hardly a greater nihilism can be conceived than that which claims that values are in fact nihil, or nothing. Of course, in modern times values are seldom outright denied; they are rather explained away, or reduced to something else. But we must ask ourselves whether value reductionism differs from nihilism in any significant way? I think we must agree with Frankl when he states that today nihilism is no longer expressed in terms of "nothingness," but rather in terms of the "nothing but ness" of man. "Reductionism has become the mask of nihilism" (1988, p. 21).
Oddly enough we do not commonly find the kind of outright despair which one would expect to accompany any view which sees the world as in itself devoid of meaning and value. Hildebrand (1972) makes a statement in connection with this observation which is as harsh as it is telling:
The man who wants to commit suicide because he despairs of objective truth or objective values is sincere in his conviction, even though he errs in his attitude. But the one who denies objective truth and objective values and, far from finding such a world tragic, prefers it, completely reveals the psychological and moral reasons which are at the basis of his denial (p. 118).
In the writings of Nietszche and Dostoevsky we witness the anguish which truly ought to accompany a view of the world as a place in which morality and values must be arbitrarily produced. While the overall tone of relativism and value reductionsism sounds more optimistic than outright nihilism, one may well suspect that it has had much to do with the increased rates of suicide and other violent crimes which this century has witnessed. An overall desacralization of life - human life especially has occured in the face of a world which has been relativised. In this area of psychology, logotherapy offers far more than merely a metatheoretical foundation for eclecticism, but it offers what I believe is the key to curing some of the most serious ailments of modern society.
Counseling in the Face of Values and Guilt
Throughout this article we have focused upon a series of foundational, theoretical concepts: the concepts of evidence, rationality, freedom and values. Before concluding it will be useful to consider at least one datum which will allow us to apply our phenomenological considerations in a more direct fashion to the counseling setting.
Frankl speaks of a tragic triad: pain, death, and guilt. While suffering and mortality are typically treated as data stemming from objective sources, all too often (and without adequate justification) guilt is treated as a purely subjective, emotional condition which patients must simply learn to "get over". Consistent with his other ideas, however, Viktor Frankl avoids the reduction of guilt to a merely subjective condition. With freedom comes responsibility. Likewise, with the possible merit of acting in accordance with the values which confront us comes the possible guilt of violating these values.
This point has obvious clinical implications. If one thinks that feelings of guilt may have a source in reality just as symptoms find their source in a disease, then therapy must take this into account. The counselor must then help patients to sort out justified from unjustified feelings of guilt and to proceed accordingly, by pursuing either themes of reconciliation or merely clarification. In fact, Lukas (1986) has shown in a beautiful way the possibility of finding meaning and the opportunity for personal growth through the recognition of objective guilt.
Naturally, this can be quite complex, especially in the face of morally intricate situations. Consider the example of a woman who has succumbed to pressure to abort a baby conceived through rape. There is evidence that in such a case the abortion may serve to "compound the trauma of rape with yet another experience of violence. In pursuing this course, the victim may assume to herself guilt for the entire episode" (Young, 1983, p. 208). In such situations the counselor is presented with feelings which stem from manifold sources - none of which are any more valid than the others if we prescind from the possibility that feeling guilty may correspond to being guilty, to having violated a morally relevant value.
A similar train of thought might be developed in the sphere of obligations. There are certainly false feelings of obligation, such as when I feel obliged to buy a product simply because someone has taken the time to present it to me. But the very notion of false feelings of obligation implies that there are feelings of obligation which do in fact correspond to something in reality. Again, such theoretical insights may have a great impact on family counseling and all other areas in which we are dealing with personal decisions about commitments to others.
These issues are obviously extremely complex, and no doubt each counselor must find his own way of handling these issues. Frankl (1962) rightly notes that it would be wrong to allow a patient to shift his own responsibility onto the counselor. Furthermore, as a doctor, the counselor may seem to possess the authority to "prescribe" a value system, and naturally this is not the role of the counselor. The point is simply this: in many cases it seems necessary to help a client to discover a value, or his relationship to a value. The importance of this is easily seen in cases of suicide, so prevalent among teenagers today. But it may also be important in cases in which the life of a family or the life of a possible victim is at stake.
The Role of Metatheory in Eclectic Practice
In the above we have argued that the philosophy of the person which underlies Frankl's logotherapy provides psychologists with a metatheoretical foundation which will aid one in choosing a variety of counseling and even experimental techniques. All psychological theses should be evaluated in the light of whether they are compatible with and take into account key features of the person as drawn out in the metatheory, (e.g. the freedom of the will, the importance of values in motivation, and so forth). But in using a metatheory as a guide to eclecticism, we have obviously to concern ourselves with more than whether a claim is consistent with our metatheory. Consistency is no guarantee of truth. Nor for that matter is possibility or even plausibility. That is to say, any model can offer an account of a particular behavior, but we cannot be satisfied with a merely possible or even plausible account; we must always ask: is this the true account of this particular behavior? For example, Skinner (1990) offers an account of how allegedly altruistic behavior arises, and I have no doubt that this account is an adequate description of the development of many seemingly altruistic behaviors. But in no way is it an account of a truly altruistic behavior, of an action done purely for the sake of another. A truly altruistic behavior presupposes that we transcend ourselves and grasp a value in itself which motivates us; a seemingly altruistic behavior presupposes none of this and might be accounted for at the level of elicited behavior (as opposed to motivated action).
Neither Frankl's metatheory, nor any other metatheory will provide the psychologists with a flow chart for decision making. In eclectic practice we must constantly use all of the methods used in forming our metatheory. Jaspers (1956) writes, that, as a being which is known,
[man] is always divided up into whatever he will reveal himself to be according to the methods of research employed. He is never a unity and a whole, never man himself, once he has become the subject of knowledge (p. 151).
Though this limitation is perhaps intrinsic to the nature of scientific inquiry, it nevertheless remains the case that a human science must strive to construct as complete a picture of human being as possible. Thus, not only our metatheoretical undertakings, but all of our eclectic activities must be aimed at the comprehension of the human person in all his dimensions.
At the outset we stated that we did not consider it natural to have one notion of evidence for gaining an underlying view of the person and another for the practice of counseling and research. It follows, then, that eclectic activity must proceed using the broad notion of evidence sketched above, one which allows for the use of both empirical and philosophical methods, one which I believe Frankl - being a philosopher, a neurologist, and a survivor of four concentration camps - has come to embrace throughout his psychological endeavor.
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