Fantasies of Flight / Edition 1

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Fantasies of Flight invigorates the field of personality psychology by challenging the contemporary academic view that individuals are best studied as carriers of traits. Daniel Ogilvie exchanges a heart-to-heart, case study approach to understanding human behavior for the current strategies of categorizing and comparing individuals according to their manifest traits. Ogilvie asks and endeavors to answer questions like "What were the psychological conditions that led Sir James Barrie to create a character named Peter Pan?" and "What were the dynamics behind the Marshall Herff Applewhite's conviction that a space ship, hiding behind the Hale-Bopp comet, would rescue him and his Heaven's Gate followers after they enacted a mass suicide pact in 1997?" Answering these questions requires him to resurrect "old" ways to think about personality and "old" strategies for studying individuals one by one.
Early in the book, Ogilvie reviews the history of why intensive case studies were discredited in psychology and describes how Sigmund Freud's psychobiographical account of Leonardo da Vinci's fascination with flight inadvertently abetted critics of psychoanalytic psychology. He then performs a partial psychobiography of James Barrie and the origins of Peter Pan, followed by an investigation of Carl Jung, who fashioned the collective unconscious to serve as humankind's link to eternity. Arguing that personality psychology needs to become less insular, Ogilvie integrates information from the disciplines of developmental psychology and neuroscience into a theory regarding the latent needs that both Barrie and Jung sought to satisfy. The theory, including its emphasis on the onset of self and consciousness, is then applied to an array of well-known and obscure individuals with ascensionistic inclinations. Well written and accessible, but complex and scholarly, this volume will restore interest in the investigation of people's inner lives.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Daniel Ogilvie has written and lively and interesting book about the origins and psychological correlates of a common human fantasy theme." —Journal of the Hisory of the Behavioral Sciences

"A book that carries on the fine tradition of psychobiography envisioned by Henry Murray and other early personologists. His book is an interesting mix of general theorizing and engaging psychobiography. I suspect that both students and professional psychologists will be delighted with this book."—Bill Peterson, Smith College

"...Ogilvie constructs his argument for the value of case studies with clever wit, especially in his chapter on women's flight fantasies, revealing the "rough edges" of Mary Poppins that were glossed over in the Disney version." —Choice

"There is every chance that this study can become one of the first classics of twenty-first century psychology...Ogilvie's writing style is clear, readable, colloquial, and filled with humor. He draws the reader in, keeps the reader with him, and makes the reader want to keep going."—James W. Anderson, Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology, Northwestern University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195157468
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 12/11/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Part I: Flight Preparations
1. Come Fly with Me
2. The Shape of a Discipline
3. An American Icarus
4. Henry Murray's Personology
5. All the King's Horses and All the King's Men
6. Freud on Da Vinci: The Rocky Road of Psychobiographic Investigations
Part II: Lift-Off
7. Poor Peter
8. He Played Until His Mother Looked Happy
9. Outside Opinions
10. What Can I Do To Be Forever Known?
11. Attachment and Separation
12. Life at the Intersection
13. May the Force Be With You
14. Carl Jung's Search for Permanence
Part III: Ground Maintenance and Theoretical Adjustments
15. Attachment Revisited
16. Stern's Outside-In Theory of Self-Development
17. Damasio's Inside-Out Theory of Self-Development
18. What's Missing From This Picture
Part IV: Variations on a Theme
19. Dumbo
20. Larry, A Lonely Long Distance Runner
21. Perry Smith
22. Tonka and His Flying Backpack
23. A Lawn Chair and a Phantom Flying Saucer
24. Marc Chagall
25. The Case for Case Studies
Appendix: Women in Flight

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