The Human Image in Postmodern America

Pages: 175
Item #: 4316003
ISBN: 978-1-55798-986-4
List Price: $19.95
Member/Affiliate Price: $19.95
Copyright: 2003
Format: Hardcover
Availability: In Stock
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This book is a thought-provoking critique of the basic premises underlying the explanations of human behavior frequently offered by psychologists. Despite its avowed shift away from behavioristic ways of thinking, psychology today, according to Rychlak, is essentially mechanistic. But while biological and automatic processes clearly have vital uses, they are unable to fully account for such phenomena as free will and agency—the very qualities that make us human.

Rychlak has written a short, accessible book, analyzing an impressive range of social and cultural issues such as personal responsibility, individualism and collectivism, autonomy, anti-authoritarianism, postmodernism, racism, and political correctness. In each case he demonstrates the teleological or nonmechanical nature of our behavior in real-life situations. While this is not a "how-to" book in the usual sense of the word, the author does suggest that only when we come to understand what it really means to be human can we resolve the most pressing issues of our times.

Table of Contents


  1. Being Human Collectively and Individually
  2. Personality Theorizing as Describing Individuals or Collectives
  3. Collective Theorizing in the Third Millennium
  4. A Missing Link in the Human Image
  5. The Self Takes Over
  6. Biology and Behavior
  7. Values at Every Turn
  8. The Human Image in Postmodern America



Author Index

Subject Index

About the Author

Author Bio

Joseph F. Rychlak, PhD, is Professor Emeritus at Loyola University, Chicago. In addition to teaching for 44 years at five universities, Rychlak has distinguished himself as a psychotherapist, author, theorist, and scientific researcher. He is a fellow of both the American Psychological Association and the American Psychological Society. He has twice been elected president of the APA Division of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology. Rychlak is known as a rigorous humanist because he submits his nonmechanistic theoretical claims to the traditional scientific test. His wife Lenora, to whom this book is dedicated, continues to assist him, and they both take great pleasure in their eight grandchildren.

Reviews & Awards

This provocative, optimistic, and stimulating book should be read in all courses covering history of psychology and systems. Summing up: Essential.
—Choice Magazine