Two observations about human reason
- 23 Downloads
The first observation is that existential reason has two principal strata. While the function of lower reason is primarily reasoning or logic, upper reason ponders emotions, the meaning of existence, the transcendent. Those whose understanding of reason is confined to lower reason are handicapped in coping with emotional and spiritual suffering. Upper reason is a necessary intellectual facility in the resolution of such suffering. The second observation is of thedialectical nature of reason, with which clinicians and theologians trade when pondering reality and in dealing with those they counsel. Yet, many people, especially Americans, are oblivious to the “both-and” reality of existence. Consequently they are not realistic about life nor are they skillful in dealing with their resulting existential conflicts. They are lost when psychological problems cannot be satisfactorily resolved by lower reason; for only upper reason can perceive and creatively integrate the dialectical tensions of existential problems.
KeywordsPsychological Problem Human Reason Existential Problem Dialectical Tension Principal Stratum
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Basch, M. (1984), “Selfobjects, Development, and Psychotherapy,” in P. E. Stepansky and A. Goldberg, eds.,Kohut's Legacy: Contributions to Self Psychology. Hillsdale, NJ: Analytic Press, p. 157.Google Scholar
- Campbell, J. (1959),The Masks of God: Primitive Mythology, New York: Penguin Books, p. 25.Google Scholar
- Horkheimer, M. (1947),The Eclipse of Reason. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Margulies, Alfred (1989),The Empathetic Imagination. New York: W. W. Norton & Co 1989Google Scholar
- May, R., ed. (1958),Existence: A New Dimension in Psychiatry and Psychology. New York: Basic Books, pp. 34–35.Google Scholar
- Mitchell, Stephen A. (1993),Hope and Dread in Psychoanalysis. New York: Basic Books, 1993.Google Scholar
- Pascal, B. (1958),Pensées. Translated by W. F. Trotter. New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., p. 78.Google Scholar
- Tillich, P. (1951),Systematic Theology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, Vol I, pp. 72–74.Google Scholar