Psychology and Philosophy are distinct disciplines, yet close neighbors. Each discipline studies the human being as a single consciousness, and for all of their differences, there is a remarkably intimate relation between their contributions to a truthful understanding of the human person. Philosophy provides a foundation and horizon for the life of consciousness that engages in the very activities so precisely analyzed by psychology. Both the dimensions of philosophical reflection and psychic activity are essential aspects of the integrity and psychic health of the human person - a remarkable being who is unique in its self presence and the most interior of beings, yet also relational with others and the most open to all of being. These properties of relational uniqueness and open interiority shape our actions, which at their best are open to truth and the perfective power of being in general. At the same time the human person at his or her best is conscious of admiration of the panoply of being, and even further, open to adoration of being in its ultimate form - God.
In chapter one of "Person and Psyche", Kenneth Schmitz reflects upon the general foundation of each and every kind of being, with especial reference to human beings. In chapter two, he addresses the dynamics with which we are endowed in the very origins of our human nature. In chapter three, these two principles are considered in light of the sphere of human freedom, with the value and promise that freedom holds for the human person. It is particularly in the concluding chapter four that Schmitz deliberates upon some of the issues that arise in psychology and psycho-therapy in order to identify their significance for understanding the transcendental characteristics of being, with marked attention to truth, goodness, and beauty. He also searches out the significance of psychological and therapeutic issues for the primitive inclinations with which our human nature is endowed, and takes them up in consideration of that freedom that is the human person's crown and exaltation, even as that freedom penetrates and transforms the human psyche.
Kenneth L. Schmitz is professor of philosophy at the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family as well as a fellow of Trinity College and professor emeritus of philosophy at the University of Toronto. He is the author of numerous works including The Texture of Being and At the Center of the Human Drama: The Philosophy of Karol Wojtyla/Pope John Paul II.
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