The March Philosophy Book of the Month is Final Notice by Van Fleisher. Discuss Final Notice now.

The April Philosophy Book of the Month is The Unbound Soul by Richard L. Haight

Discuss Man's Search for Meaning

We choose one book per month to read and discuss philosophically as a group.

January 2019 Philosophy Book of the Month: The Runaway Species: How Human Creativity Remakes the World by David Eagleman and Anthony Brandt

February 2019 Philosophy Book of the Month: The Fourth Age: Smart Robots, Conscious Computers, and the Future of Humanity by Byron Reese (Nominated by RJG)

March 2019 Philosophy Book of the Month: Final Notice by Van Fleisher

April 2019 Philosophy Book of the Month: The Unbound Soul: A Visionary Guide to Spiritual Transformation and Enlightenment by Richard L. Haight
Post Reply

How do you rate Man's Search for Meaning?

1 star - poor, recommend against reading it
2
22%
2 stars - okay, fair
1
11%
3 stars - good
3
33%
4 stars - excellent, amazing
3
33%
 
Total votes: 9

User avatar
Scott
Site Admin
Posts: 4311
Joined: January 20th, 2007, 6:24 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Diogenes the Cynic
Contact:

Discuss Man's Search for Meaning

Post by Scott » July 14th, 2011, 4:36 pm

Please use this thread to discuss the previous book of the month Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl.

What do you think of the book? What do you think of Viktor Frankl's ideas?

I knew next to nothing about Viktor's brainchild logotherapy before reading this book. I find his ideas intriguing in that department but would like to hear from some critics of logotherapy. While much of his psychological advice is wise and I bet effective, I think that has little to do with his assertion that meaning be the focus. I remember in one point he talks of how a person trying to go to sleep but who can't needs to stop focusing so hard on going to sleep, but that like much of his best practical advice seems to have nothing to do with being a meaning-focused shrink as opposed to any other shrink.

I do appreciate is personal story and admire the way he takes being thrown into the horrors of a concentration camp so positively. I find the tone of his re-telling interestingly odd; it comes across as almost a dry, carefree, matter-of-fact attitude. This story may not only intrigue the reader, but give us a lesson in making the best out of even the worst situations--which while sounding like cliche advice is not considering the gravity of Viktor's worst situations.

Here are a few passages I like so much I wish to highlight:
Viktor Frankl wrote:I consider it a dangerous misconception of mental hygeine to assume that what man needs in the first place is equilibrium or, as it is called in biology, "homeostasis," i.e., a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him
Viktor Frankl wrote:Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality. No one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being unless he loves him.
I also remember one point that really stung a cord with me: Frankl pointed out that there are heroes and villians, nice people and mean people in every group--with the example of some of the camp guards being sympathetic and relatively quite kind to the prisoners while some of the prisoners themselves, namely many of the kapos, were harsher to the other prisoners then the guards. I believe I had written down the particular passage on a piece of paper immediately after reading it, but I guess I lost that piece of paper.

Overall, I don't think it's the greatest book in the world but I think it's still worth the read.

What do you think?

Image
Last edited by Scott on August 30th, 2011, 10:29 am, edited 3 times in total.
Online Philosophy Club - Please tell me how to improve this website!

Check it out: Abortion - Not as diametrically divisive as often thought?

Owleye
Posts: 21
Joined: January 30th, 2010, 9:40 pm

Post by Owleye » July 14th, 2011, 9:21 pm

I'm delighted, though perplexed that I received the e-mail inviting me to discuss "Man's Search for Meaning".

As far as the book itself, it's been at least 30 years since I read it and I only recall a few bits and pieces of it. What little I picked out for the purposes of the topic, came from a Wikipedia review of it. As such, I doubt I could contribute much to the "Post subject".

Best of luck with your topic. Perhaps I'll check in from time to time.

James

Dinesh viruvanti
Posts: 27
Joined: December 6th, 2010, 1:55 am
Location: India

Post by Dinesh viruvanti » July 20th, 2011, 11:14 pm

Hey everyone.
I've read this book recently. Through the book, I opine that, Viktor stressed on the fact of "Optimism as the driving force of human life." In contrast in case of lower animals, where "Instinct" is the vital force, which helps the animal survive. In this regard, humans are ENTIRELY distinct.
At one point he also mentions that when a man loses his "freedom of spirit" and surrunders to the surroundings, he ceases to live.
He also points at the "relativeness of happiness". Small things are perceived as great awe in some conditions. It clearly states that human mind "loves" optimism.
Hey everyone.
I've read this book recently. Through the book, I opine that, Viktor stressed on the fact of "Optimism as the driving force of human life." In contrast in case of lower animals, where "Instinct" is the vital force, which helps the animal survive. In this regard, humans are ENTIRELY distinct.
At one point he also mentions that when a man loses his "freedom of spirit" and surrunders to the surroundings, he ceases to live.
He also points at the "relativeness of happiness". Small things are perceived as great awe in some conditions. It clearly states that human mind "loves" optimism.

Dinesh viruvanti
Posts: 27
Joined: December 6th, 2010, 1:55 am
Location: India

Post by Dinesh viruvanti » July 20th, 2011, 11:15 pm

Hey everyone.
I've read this book recently. Through the book, I opine that, Viktor stressed on the fact of "Optimism as the driving force of human life." In contrast in case of lower animals, where "Instinct" is the vital force, which helps the animal survive. In this regard, humans are ENTIRELY distinct.
At one point he also mentions that when a man loses his "freedom of spirit" and surrunders to the surroundings, he ceases to live.
He also points at the "relativeness of happiness". Small things are perceived as great awe in some conditions. It clearly states that human mind "loves" optimism.
Hey everyone.
I've read this book recently. Through the book, I opine that, Viktor stressed on the fact of "Optimism as the driving force of human life." In contrast in case of lower animals, where "Instinct" is the vital force, which helps the animal survive. In this regard, humans are ENTIRELY distinct.
At one point he also mentions that when a man loses his "freedom of spirit" and surrunders to the surroundings, he ceases to live.
He also points at the "relativeness of happiness". Small things are perceived as great awe in some conditions. It clearly states that human mind "loves" optimism.

hilda

Post by hilda » July 25th, 2011, 9:26 am

The title of the book, man' s search for meaning is immediately distracted, i.e. philosophy proper. It also puts the book firmly in the domain of the humanites which, correctives notwithstanding, is the hominid attempt to understand sapiential entities in hominid terms; Archetypically a moo-cow like Nietzsche or Marx finds itself out of its pasture and in a sapiential and thoroughly bewildering world inhabited by beings with a form of creativity entirely aliem to its mentality. Unlike an unambiguously bovine moo-cow these "moo-cows" have a certain level of intemediate consciousness. Whereas a moo-cow proper just accepts its natural environment in full unconsciousness, a "Neanderthal" mentality is conscious of the fact that sapientials have apparently su[pernatural powers. The result of this attempt to come to grips with those powers in a bovine way are the festering gibberish called the humanities, and this can be a lifelong madness, the ditressing witness to which can only be broken by the issuance of Nobel prizes etc ("for pity' s sake you are driving yourself increasingly insane, please accept this final settlement as compensation for your effort and committment"). Sadly niether Freud, Marx, Locke, Sartre or Nietzsche were effectively released in this way.

Regarding "meaning". Firstly, only sapiential gentlemen have primary "meanings" as such in the sense that the meaning of Chamberlain' s visit to Hitler was the implementation of a sapiential supervision order (top down, of course).
Of course there other types of entities; broadly speaking boys, girls, brats, mothers, fathers and ladies of which only a boy "has potential" (i.e. potential self standing meaningfulness).
But then again, this does not quite capture the issue in the mind of the confused any more than it is of any consequence because what one is actually characterising as his sense of the issue (and it mast be synthetically acquired) is Adamic consciousness.
Anyway, even the most bereft Neanderthal deliquent can see that consciousness is a prerequisite for meaning, unless it is so bereft as to imagine consciousness an attribute of fauna. In that case it is a hopeless case.

Oner could go on ....blah, blah, blah.

Post Reply