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Ledermann, R. (1977). Dialectic: humanistic rationale for behavior and development; editor J. F. Rychlak, West Lafayette, Ind. (Contributions to Human Development, Vol. 2, 1976; series editors: K. F. Riegel, Vancouver, B. C. and H. Thomae, Bonn). J. Anal. Psychol., 22(3):273-274.

(1977). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 22(3):273-274

Dialectic: humanistic rationale for behavior and development; editor J. F. Rychlak, West Lafayette, Ind. (Contributions to Human Development, Vol. 2, 1976; series editors: K. F. Riegel, Vancouver, B. C. and H. Thomae, Bonn)

Review by:
Rushi Ledermann

This ambitious volume consists of eleven chapters and a summary. The authors originate from the United States, China and Europe. With the exception of one (Danish) all hold university posts in psychology in the United States and Canada. Five of the papers were delivered at the Both Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (Honolulu, 1972); six are new and two have previously appeared in print.

The authors attempt to lay down a general direction for using the ‘dialectical meta-construct’ in the social and psychological sciences. The name index contains nearly 400 names, including Heraclitus, Socrates, Isaac Newton, Karl Marx, Mao Tse-Tung, Hegel, Heidegger, Goethe, Piaget, Freud and Jung. The cross-references consist of nearly 300 names.

Dialectic is defined as the movement from thesis-antithesis (often more than one antithesis) to synthesis but ‘not all dialectical theories necessarily demand a resolution of contradictions’. The volume investigates the uses of dialectic in relation to psychological aesthetics, the psychology of laughter, Freud's work, the male and female principles, moral and cognitive development, Chinese thought and character, facts and qualitative methodology, and man in psychological research.

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