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Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

Man's Search for Meaning (1946)

by Viktor E. Frankl

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English (129)  Spanish (5)  German (1)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  All (137)
Showing 1-5 of 129 (next | show all)
The first part of this book takes us through Frankl's experience in the concentration camps and his struggle to continue to exist. As a psychiatrist he looked back to try and understand how some people fared better (marginally) than others. He used his experience and survival to continue to form hypotheses and treat those with mental problems.

The second half of the book was way over my lay head. I hesitate to use the term psycho-babble but that was what most of it was to me. ( )
  mamzel | Feb 27, 2017 |
When comparing the three great Viennese pioneers in the field of psychiatry, Freud, Adler, and Frankl, I find Viktor Frankl's hypotheses the most compelling. While Freudian psychology emphasized the "will to pleasure" as the basis of all human motivation, and Alfred Adler's Individual Psychology offered a "will to power", Viktor Frankl's Logotherapy proposed a "will to meaning"---that human beings have the capacity to transform suffering into self-transcendence.
Human beings have the capacity to think about meanings and values, to take a creative approach to life's conditions, and to be conscious of the responsibility to fulfill a unique purpose in life.
Frankl believed that we are motivated by a desire for purpose in our lives: to evaluate, judge, and seek out the meaning of an event, of the here-and-now moment. ( )
  maryhollis | Feb 20, 2017 |
The advice communicated in this book is simple and profound. The story wrapped around it is heartbreaking as well as uplifting. This was my first reading, but I think it will be a book I'll pick up many times in the future. ( )
  tandah | Jan 31, 2017 |
I started reading this classic a few days ago. The edition I have has a 2nd part to it, where Frankl's "logos therapy' is explained further... So far it is riveting. ( )
  homeschoolmimzi | Nov 28, 2016 |
Man's Search for Meaning
Viktor E. Frankl
November 13,2016
I sought out this book on a recommendation from the book "Sapiens" that I read in June, and encountering the title in an essay in the Times book review.
I have been struggling a bit with summarizing this book, and it took me weeks to get through, putting it down and taking it up. It would have been better to have consumed it in a day or so, but as I read only a few minutes each night, it is hard to keep the flow of the argument in mind without re-reading and reviewing. This version of Frankl's writing is a combination of his original reflections on his concentration camp experiences, amalgamated with an introduction to logotherapy, and essays on logotherapy as a technique, and a case for tragic optimism. One cannot argue with the legitimacy of Frankl's experience, but I would wonder what his patients would make of his therapy; it would seem to be mostly, "you think you had it bad ...". He offers a few anecdotes about neurosis cured by the realization of a goal, and points out that those who have significant physical challenges will sometimes achieve meaning in their lives by meeting the challenges.
"As logotherapy teaches, there are three main avenues on which one arrives at meaning in life. The first is by creating a work or doing a deed. The second is by experiencing something or encountering someone; in other words meaning can be found not only in work but also in love. ... Most important though, is the third avenue to finding meaning in life: even the helpless victim of a hopeless situation, facing a fate he cannot change, may rise above himself, may grow beyond himself, and by so doing change himself. He may turn a personal tragedy into a triumph."
Quoting Nietszche: "He who has a why to live can bear almost any how"
The later writings quoted several congratulatory letters from patients and people who knew of Frankl in the 1960's, about how meaningful they found his writings. I think this volume would appeal to people with physical challenges who need to feel ennobled by their suffering, but perhaps not to those who have many advantages but are drifting through life. It is hard to connect one's minor problems to the difficulties described herein. ( )
  neurodrew | Nov 27, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 129 (next | show all)
The advice communicated in this book is simple and profound. The story wrapped around it is heartbreaking as well as uplifting. This was my first reading, but I think it will be a book I'll pick up many times in the future.

» Add other authors (111 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Viktor E. Franklprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kushner, Harold S.Forewordmain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lasch, IlseTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Winslade, William J.Afterwordmain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Allport, Gordon WPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This book does not claim to be an account of facts and events but of personal experiences, experiences which millions of prisoners have suffered time and again.
He who has a Why to live for can bear almost any How
Life is not primarily a quest for pleasure, as Freud believed, or a quest for power, as Alfred Adler taught, but a quest for meaning.
Man's inner strangth may raise him about his outward fate
Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation. You cannot control what happens to you in life, but you can always control what you feel and do about what happens to you.
Life is meaningful and that we must learn to see life as meaningful despite our circumstances.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 080701429X, Mass Market Paperback)

Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl is among the most influential works of psychiatric literature since Freud. The book begins with a lengthy, austere, and deeply moving personal essay about Frankl's imprisonment in Auschwitz and other concentration camps for five years, and his struggle during this time to find reasons to live. The second part of the book, called "Logotherapy in a Nutshell," describes the psychotherapeutic method that Frankl pioneered as a result of his experiences in the concentration camps. Freud believed that sexual instincts and urges were the driving force of humanity's life; Frankl, by contrast, believes that man's deepest desire is to search for meaning and purpose. Frankl's logotherapy, therefore, is much more compatible with Western religions than Freudian psychotherapy. This is a fascinating, sophisticated, and very human book. At times, Frankl's personal and professional discourses merge into a style of tremendous power. "Our generation is realistic, for we have come to know man as he really is," Frankl writes. "After all, man is that being who invented the gas chambers of Auschwitz; however, he is also that being who entered those gas chambers upright, with the Lord's Prayer or the Shema Yisrael on his lips."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:49 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl's memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Based on his own experience and the stories of his patients, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward. At the heart of his theory, known as logotherapy, is a conviction that the primary human drive is not pleasure but the pursuit of what we find meaningful. Man's Search for Meaning has become one of the most influential books in America; it continues to inspire us all to find significance in the very act of living. Book jacket.… (more)

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Beacon Press

3 editions of this book were published by Beacon Press.

Editions: 080701429X, 0807014265, 0807014273

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