Notes on Labouvie-Vief

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Main ideas: explores a historical thesis about the development of Greek culture from Homeric to the philosophical, that Homeric man was embedded in action in a way that Greek philosophy is not. On the other hand, philosophy opens up a split in consciousness that requires integreation. Plato's anti-body philosophy needs to be surpassed.


"Moral and spiritual integrity, humility and compassion, or insight into the pragmatic. subjective, and psychological dimensions of life all have been associated with the concept of wisdom.

55: logos/mythos: mythos is holistic and based on a bond of close identification between the self and the object of thought.

58: "In the Homeric poems, there is little evidence for the self-consciousness ^ but are embedded in action. Theirs is a concrete, sensory existence, it shows little evidence of the mental types of regulation mastered by the modern adult: impulse delay and monitoring and self-ownership of action and feeling (Onians, 1954). There isjio^language of a self different from its concrete actions and assets - a selfas a permanent, persistent agent who authors its actions but is not identical with them. Indeed, there is no word at all, no specific designating concept, for the self, since "... no one in Homer thinks y himself, but rather engages in an interaction or dialogue, be it with another person, with a god, or with a part of himself (Simon, 1978, p. 72).


p. 59: "By Plato's lifetime, a dramatic change in the language of the mind had occurred, and Plato's writings represent the culmination of a new way of Speaking about the mature adult. For Plato, the adult is no longer embedded in a concrete, organic, and participatory reality. Rather, the new reality is one defined by a new function, psyche, variously translated as soul, mind, or spirit. Most of Plato's writing is concerned with delineating the new facult that allows us to live in that new reality and with differentiating it from a reality of concrete sensory textures. "

70: cites evidence from developmental psych. younger vs. older adults: read.

71: "More mature adults, however, were able to create more symmetrical representations of self and other. They were able to accept responsibility for the conflict and to understand that the other is not necessarily motivated by malevolent intentions. Thus for anger, lack of maturity involved an overpolarization of self and other, whereas maturity brought a compensating ability to experience empathy and to maintain connectedness. "

77: "The view of wisdom I am proposing, therefore, retains many of the elements significant in Plato's theory. It squarely rejects the position that the abstract and theoretical and the concrete and practical constitute incommensurable domains of mental functioning. Instead, it accepts the position that a theory of mind, self, and reason for better or worse also implies a prescription for how to conduct and evaluate one's life. The limits of the Platonic vision of wisdom as it has persisted through the ages derive, however, from the attempt to dissociate the two poles that are necessary to the evolution of wisdom. Hence, the objectivist Platonic vision proposes a concept of reason that rejects rational evaluation of elements deriving from one of these poles, mythos. Thereby it opens itself to profound irrationality. "