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A Violently Acting Young Person's Will to Meaning and Love

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Presentation at the 18th World Congress on Viktor Frankl's Logotherapy, 2011, Dallas, TX, USA

Presentation at the 18th World Congress on Viktor Frankl's Logotherapy, 2011, Dallas, TX, USA

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  • 1. A Violently Acting Young Person’s Will to Meaning and Love 18th World Congress on Logotherapy, June 22-26, 2011, Dallas, Texas June 22-26, 2011 Timo Purjo, PhD, Helsinki, Finland timo.purjo@nfg.fi
  • 2.  Doctor of philosophy (philosophy of education, ethics, value education), University of Tampere, Finland  Founder (1996) and executive director of Non Fighting Generation, a registered nonprofit association  NFG is a nation-wide youth education organization specialized in preventing youth violence June 22-26, 2011Copyright © Timo Purjo Who am I?
  • 3. Outline 1. Introduction 2. Research questions 3. Method/key literature 4. Findings 5. Discussion/conclusion 6. References 7. Time for questions June 22-26, 2011Copyright © Timo Purjo
  • 4. 1. Introduction June 22-26, 2011Copyright © Timo Purjo A. Backround  My doctoral dissertation (in Finnish, title translated:) From a violent youth to responsible humanity. The existential-phenomenological conception of the human as a basis for youth education in life skills with special ethical emphasis.  Starting point a conception of the human being Finnish philosopher and psychologist Lauri Rauhala
  • 5. 1. Introduction June 22-26, 2011Copyright © Timo Purjo A. Backround (cont.)  Rauhala’s holistic conception of the human being  Consciousness I. Psychic level cf. Frankl II. Spiritual level cf. Frankl  Physicality cf. Frankl  Situationality (or situatedness)
  • 6. 1. Introduction June 22-26, 2011Copyright © Timo Purjo A holistic conception of the human being, Rauhala & Frankl
  • 7. 1. Introduction June 22-26, 2011Copyright © Timo Purjo B. My paper / this presentation  Ethical education  Conscious conception of the human being  Recognizing an adolescent as a person I. Frankl’s meaning of love  Violence as a problem of meaninglessness and lovelessness → education towards ethical behaviour and responsible humanity
  • 8. 1. Introduction B. My paper / this presentation (cont.)  Life full of meaning and love eudaimonia  Scheler Frankl Aristotle? June 22-26, 2011Copyright © Timo Purjo
  • 9. 2. Research questions June 22-26, 2011Copyright © Timo Purjo 1) What does it mean to recognize an adolescent as a person and what kind of an attitude it requires from the educator? 2) Is there a link between a life full of meaning and love, or the good existence of a person, and the concept of eudaimonia, derived from Classical Greek philosophy?
  • 10. 3. Method/key literature  Method – Dialog with literature – Phenomenological attitude – Goal: to create new knowledge  Key literature – Max Scheler, Viktor E. Frankl and Elisabeth Lukas – ”Franklian” pedagogs Karl Dienelt and Beda Wicki – Heikki Ikäheimo (Axel Honneth) June 22-26, 2011Copyright © Timo Purjo
  • 11. 4. Findings June 22-26, 2011Copyright © Timo Purjo Educational relationship as a human relationship An educational relationship is necessarily a human relationship The starting point for education should be the adolescent as a person with potential to becoming a personality Wicki: A child has all the spiritual capacities that logotherapy necessitates Korczak: An educator should see the child as a partner in performing miracles, or a co-magician
  • 12. 4. Findings June 22-26, 2011Copyright © Timo Purjo Educational relationship as a … (cont.) Ikäheimo: Recognitive attitudes constitute the quality of the human relationship  Loving  Respecting  Esteem
  • 13. 4. Findings June 22-26, 2011Copyright © Timo Purjo  Respect Striving to perceive a young person as an independent thinker and actor Taking the judgments that the young person poses as possibly valid judgments Acknowledging the human valuableness of a young person, the intrinsic value that he or she represents Believing and trusting in the young person’s possibilities in growing and developing into a personality
  • 14. 4. Findings June 22-26, 2011Copyright © Timo Purjo  Love Valuing or caring about someone’s subjectively good life, happiness or well-being (“good for someone”), not instrumentally but intrinsically (“for her or his own sake”) Seeing the spiritual person, his or her genuine being and the possibilities created by values in him or her Pedagogical love educational goals: an ethicality of the will (goodness), veraciousness of thought (truth) and empathy and aesthetic character of emotion (beauty)
  • 15. 4. Findings June 22-26, 2011Copyright © Timo Purjo  Respect and love  Whereas the recognitive attitude of respect makes us persons in the first place the recognitive attitude of love is something that makes our life as persons better in various ways
  • 16. 4. Findings June 22-26, 2011Copyright © Timo Purjo Love as a meaning and as a basis for happiness Aristotle: The attitude of being concerned with someone's eudaimonia – good life, happiness or well-being - is called philia - best translated as love Frankl: Love provides happiness vs. Freud:  pursuing happiness is the guiding principle of human conduct  happiness is nothing but experiencing strong emotions of pleasure
  • 17. 4. Findings June 22-26, 2011Copyright © Timo Purjo The relation between meaning, love and happiness
  • 18. 4. Findings June 22-26, 2011Copyright © Timo Purjo Youth education to orientate towards common good Recognitive attitude of esteem based on contributions to the common good, or to the good of others  one dimension of having a full status of a person in social live  being valuated in this sense is the basis for one’s enduring self-esteem A violently acting adolescent expects esteem from others despite their external behaviour
  • 19. 4. Findings June 22-26, 2011Copyright © Timo Purjo Youth education to orientate … (cont.) The educator’s recognitive attitude of esteem brings confirmation to the fact that the adolescent is being regarded as a person fit to be held responsible  the educator recognizes that a young person is able to contribute beneficially to the good of others  strengthens the young person's view that they are important, that they are and can be someone to someone else  Frankl: a young person is responsible and must actualize the potential meaning of their life
  • 20. 4. Findings June 22-26, 2011Copyright © Timo Purjo Youth education to orientate … (cont.) The recognitive attitude of esteem means that the educator values a young person inasmuch as they out of their own free will contribute to the good of others  fitting response only when one's voluntary contributions are beneficial to the well-being of other persons  a person should not be esteemed for violent actions or such actions or skills that are only beneficial to themselves
  • 21. 4. Findings June 22-26, 2011Copyright © Timo Purjo Youth education to orientate … (cont.) It is the educator's duty to provide opportunities for the young person to promote the good of others  the idea is that when young persons feel they are useful to others, they will spontaneously start striving for opportunities where they could contribute to the common good  it is extremely important to give positive feedback also from trying  validation must be continuous  to get started, confrontation could also be needed
  • 22. 4. Findings June 22-26, 2011Copyright © Timo Purjo Contributing to common good leads to own well-being
  • 23. 5. Discussion/conclusion  In the present valueless and merciless world it is challenging to live a life that is meaningful and full of love  An educator's duty is to help young persons in striving for happiness via searching for love and meaning in their lives  There is hope that the lost humanity will begin to flourish again through youth education with special ethical emphasis June 22-26, 2011Copyright © Timo Purjo
  • 24. 6. References June 22-26, 2011Copyright © Timo Purjo  Ikäheimo, H. (2003, November). Analysing Social inclusion in Terms of Recognitive Attitudes. Paper presented at the 1st Annual Conference of the Centre for Research on Social Inclusion, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.  Ikäheimo, H. (2007). Recognizing Persons. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 14(5– 6), 224–247.  Ikäheimo, H. (2009). A Vital Human Need: Recognition as Inclusion in Personhood. European Journal of Political Theory, 8(1), 31–45.  Ikäheimo, H. (2010). Making the best of what we are–Recognition as an ontological and ethical concept. In H.-C. Schmidt am Busch & C. Zurn (Eds.), The Philosophy of Recognition (pp. 343–368). Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.  Ikäheimo, H. & Laitinen, A. (2010). Esteem for contributions to the common good: The role of personifying attitudes and instrumental value. In M. Seymour (Ed.), The Plural States of Recognition (98–121). Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan
  • 25. 6. References June 22-26, 2011Copyright © Timo Purjo  Korczak, J. (2005). Wie man ein Kind lieben soll. (13th ed.). Göttingen: Vanderhoeck & Ruprecht.  Wicki, B. (1988a). Das Kind als Person. In A. Längle (Ed.), Entscheidung zum Sein. Viktor. E. Frankls Logotherapie in der Praxis (pp. 191–213). München: Piper.  Wicki, B. (1988b). Der Appell als Maßnahme einer existenzanalytisch ausgerichteten Erziehung. In A. Längle (Ed.), Existenz zwischen Zwang und Freiheit. Therapeutischer Prozeß und ezistentielle Entscheidung (pp. 94–99). Wien: Gesellschaft für Logotherapie und Existenzanalyse.  Wicki, B. (1991). Das Kind als Person. In A. Längle (Ed.), Das Kind als Person. Entwicklung und Erziehung aus existenzanalytischer Sicht (pp. 14–26). Wien: Gesellschaft für Logotherapie und Existenzanalyse.
  • 26. 7. Questions? June 22-26, 2011Copyright © Timo Purjo

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