Power and Innocence: A Search for the Sources of Violence

Power and Innocence: A Search for the Sources of Violence

by Rollo May

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Overview

Power and Innocence: A Search for the Sources of Violence by Rollo May

Stressing the positive, creative aspects of power and innocence, Rollo May offers a way of thinking about the problems of contemporary society. Rollo May defines power as the ability to cause or prevent change; innocence, on the other hand, is the conscious divesting of one's power to make it seem a virtue--a form of powerlessness that Dr. May sees as particularly American in nature. From these basic concepts he suggests a new ethic that sees power as the basis for both human goodness and evil. Dr. May discusses five levels of power's potential in each of us: the infant's power to be; self-affirmation, the ability to survive with self-esteem; self-assertion, which develops when self-affirmation is blocked; aggression, a reaction to thwarted assertion; and, finally, violence, when reason and persuasion are ineffective.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385287951
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/28/1976

About the Author

Rollo May (1909-1994) taught at Harvard, Princeton, and Yale, and was Regents' Professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz. An influential psychologist, he was the best-selling author of Love and Will, as well as the author of The Courage to Create, Man's Search for Himself, The Meaning of Anxiety, and Psychology and the Human Dilemma.

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