Two key sentences: 1, In addition to what the psychologies of the time had to say about human nature, man also had a higher nature and that this was instinctoid, i.e. part of his essence. 2, I would have stressed the profoundly holistic nature of human nature in contradiction to the analytic-disecting-atomistic-Newtonian approach of the behaviorsms and of Freudian psychoanalysis. preface ix
we function best when we are striving for something that we lack, when we wish for something that we don't have preface xv
Debate on the role of heredity and environment is almost as simplistic as it has been for the last fifty years. It still alternates between a simplistic theory of instincts on the one hand, total instincts of the sorts found in animals, and on the other hand, a complete rejection of the whole instinctual point of view in favor of a total environmentalism. preface xvii
p5 : We are too prone to project our own tastes, prejudices and hopes upon the universe. p6 : the only way we now know of preventing contamination of our perception ... is to understand their influence on perception
p29 : behavior is determined by several classes of determinants, of which motivation is one and environment forces is another. The study of motivation does not negate or deny the study of situational determinants, but rather supplements it.
p46 : A musician must make music and artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be. He must be true to his nature. The tendency might be phrased as the desire to become more and more what one idiosycratically is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming.
p94 : The resistance of a person to enculturation in the interests of his own integrity and of his own intrinsic nature is then, or should be, a respectable area of study in the psychological and social sciences.
p94: perhaps it should be at least one function of education, law, religion, etc. to safeguard, foster, and encourage the expression and gratification of the instinctoid needs for safety, for love, for self-esteem, for self-actualization.
p95 : Obviously, a central task here is to become aware of what one is, biologically, temperamentally, consistutionally as a member of a particular species. This is certainly what all the varieties of psychoanalysis try to do, to help one to become conscious of one's needs, impulses, emotions, pleasures and pains. In my mind, this is also the task of environment builder , the architects.
p102 : Human nature carries within itself the answer to the questions, how can I be good; how can I be happy: how can I be fruitful The organism tells us what it needs ( and therefore what it values) by sickening when deprived of these values and by growing when not deprived.
p103 : We wind up with the paradox that our human instincts, what is left of them, are so weak that they need protection against culture, against education, against learning --- in a word, against being overwhelmed by the environment.
p161 Most people ... are pawned to be moved by others rather than self-moving, self-determining individuals.
p208 Simmel:" The scientist sees something because he knows something——the artist, however, knows something because he sees it.
p273 The important difference between man and all other beings is that his needs, his preferences, his instinct remnants are weak and not strong, equivocal not unequivocal, that they leave room for doubt, uncertainty and conflict, that they are all too easily overlaid and lost to sight by culture, by learning, by the preferences of other people.
p273 We do have a nature, a sturcture, a shadowy bone structure of instinctoid tendencies and capacities, but it is a great and difficult achievement to know it in ourselves. To be natural and spontaneous, to know what one is, and what one really wants, is a rare and high culmination that comes infrequently, and that usually takes long years of courage and hard work.