- For the last several weeks, we have been studying the impact of professional presence. What are you learning about your own professional presence? What aspects of your own professional presence do you consider strengths? What aspects of your professional presence are developing through your course of study? What are your desired outcomes for further development of your professional presence?
Through what I have learned in the course, I am fairly convinced that professional presence is very important. The way a worker carries himself in the work environment can reflect on his utility, efficiency and professionalism. In my case, I would consider my dressing sense as one of the attributing factors to my professional presence. I would always wear formal clothes to work with sober yet pleasant color combinations. The reason I am motivated to dress professionally is to send across an implicit message to my colleagues and clients that I am serious . . . Read More
Victor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning will continue to be a key text on human psychology due to its concerns with universal themes. The most focused of those themes in the book is that of suffering and human choice. Frankl suggests that even in the most hopeless and helpless of situations, where one is under the total control of an external force, there is scope for independence of thought. He not only proved the possibility of this proposition during his own time in Nazi concentration camps, but has attested it with the exemplary cases of his fellow inmates and ‘decent’ German officers.
One of the fundamental questions asked by Frankl in his book is “Do one’s reactions to the singular world of the concentration camps (or the challenging worlds in which most of us live) prove that a human being cannot escape the influence of his/her surroundings? … Do we humans have no choice of action in the face of such circumstances?” (Lowen, 2000, p. 55) . . . Read More
Victor Frankl’s classic work Man’s Search For Meaning is a rich source of psychological insight. Written based on first-hand observations of the lives of fellow inmates in Nazi concentration camps, the work succeeds in capturing key universal truths. The foremost of the book’s concerns is that of ‘meaning’ pertaining to human life. It talks about how humans miraculously manage to find meaning even in the most despairing, demeaning and de-humanizing of circumstances.
One of the insights into human personality traits offered by Frankl is the classification of humans into ‘decent’ and ‘indecent’ types. This dichotomy is not strictly applicable to camp inmates versus Nazi officers divide, for there were ‘decent officers’ and ‘indecent fellow inmates’ as well. Frankl reckons that this classification is at the core of human psychological makeup. He recounts how there were exemplar inmates who managed to keep their integrity intact even in the . . . Read More
Are love, passion and other emotions as dangerous as the play seems to make them and is reason alone enough to achieve happiness? Are human emotions a sign of weakness, disease, lack of control, or absence of Reason in the play? What is the cause of this tragedy?
Phaedra, originally part of the large body of Greek mythological works, has been adapted, modified and presented in new contexts in recent centuries. For example, following the original conception of this tragedy by Euripides, versions of it have appeared in Latin, Italian, French, Spanish, etc through the authorship of such great writers as Frencesco Bozza, Jean Racine, Miguel de Unamuno, etc. Eugene O’Neill’s incorporation of it as a subplot in his ‘Desire Under the Elms’ testify to the everlasting appeal of the story. This enduring appeal makes relevant its study in relation to enlightenment values.
It is especially relevant to read Phaedra’s life and events in the . . . Read More
There are two opposing points of view presented by Robert C. Solomon and Gilbert Harman on the question of ‘Can Individual Virtue Survive Corporate Pressure?’ The two views can be loosely classified as pitting ‘determinism’ against ‘freewill’. Robert Solomon argues that “whatever the structures, the individual’s choice is free, and therefore his character or virtue is of the utmost importance in creating a good moral tone in the life of a business.” Gilbert Harman, on the other hand, “employs determinist arguments to conclude that no individual can of his own free choice make a difference in a group enterprise”. (Newton, et. al., 2011, p.60)
Robert Solomon objects to the deterministic standpoint, by noting how there is an evasion of ‘responsibility’ by both corporations and its managers for their actions. When corporate executives cite ‘market forces’ as ‘compelling external circumstances’ that hinder sovereignty in their decision . . . Read More
Plato’s speculations and assertions on the nature of human psyche have withstood the test of time and are a useful aid to modern managers. Plato defined the abstract and the rational as equivalent to the moral good. He equated self-knowledge with self-restraint, and proclaimed that knowledge is virtue. According to Plato, the psyche is not made of substance and it is immortal. Plato divided human psyche into three components – the rational, affective and appetitive. Plato understood that the human psyche is in constant exchange with the external social, cultural and political environment. The similarities between Plato’s and Freud’s conceptions of the psyche are relevant to modern business management because Freudian psychoanalysis is well entrenched in Human Resources Management practice. The continued utility of Plato’s theory of the psyche to modern managers is illustrated by its perusal in management seminars and . . . Read More
Jenni Russell’s article for the Guardian newspaper that appeared on 6th December 2003 raises contemporary problems in social interactions. She laments the fact that as individual, isolated consumers of a capitalist society, people are gradually losing their humanity. In its place, they are acquiring rather unsavory social tendencies, the most blatant of which is lack of politeness in social interactions. People are always conscious of their own image and social status that they act in an overtly aggressive manner. Hence, there is a tendency for people to take offense where none was intended and inflict hurt where none was warranted. Modern industrial society, as primarily represented by the United States of America and countries in Western Europe, place undue primacy to the superficial over the substantial. This is nowhere truer than with respect to the Public Relations industry’s constant barrage of illusory imagery and ego-stroking message in the form of . . . Read More
The definition of mental illnesses is a complex and controversial subject, where there is no universal consensus yet. The disagreements are not only at the level of different perspectives such as psychoanalytical, medical, socio-cultural, etc, but are evident within them as well. Since mental illnesses don’t lend themselves to physiologic proofs such as blood tests or scans, the psychiatrist/psychologist has to resort to evaluation methods such as questionnaires, personal interviews and other indirect methods of arriving at an inference. The drawback with such methods is that they are not precise and subject to interpretation and presentation, which can compound errors. Moreover, there is no consensus when it comes to definition of several major mental illnesses. Definitions of normality and abnormality in mental health have proven to be abstract, inconclusive and have elicited contestation. Take say, the example of Adjustment disorder, which occupies a peculiar position . . . Read More
It is fair to say that Margaret Mead is one of the most influential cultural anthropologists of the century gone by. Although some of her inferences have been proven to be flawed, she is a pioneer in the field who opened new vistas within the field of anthropology. In the documentary videos about her life and work perused for this essay, one could witness the key developments in anthropological study that she initiated. One could see in the videos, that Mead contributed immensely to not just the study of cultural anthropology retrospectively, but she played a role in creating new trends and fashions in her own era. In this view, Mead was a key figure who ushered the cultural upheavals in the American society of the 1960s. The ‘Hippies’ culture of this period was inspired by thoughts of such intellectuals as Mead, who were able to present anthropology from a feminist perspective.
In her early field work in remote islands in the South Pacific and Southeast Asia, . . . Read More
Rubric: One of your peers made the claim that rather than being about “The History of Love,” this novel is largely about the history of loss. Argue for or against this assertion. Whether you support or refute this claim, be sure to explain the significance of yours.
The History of Love: A Novel is the second work of fiction by American novelist Nicole Krauss. First published in 2005, the book has since received both critical and commercial acclaim. The novel is full of “conflicting storylines, occasional episodes of funny typography and coy references to actual writers such as Borges and Babel”. (Chisholm, 2005, p.65) The novel can be considered a literate tribute to Jewish roots and Holocaust survivors. Leo Gurksy, the protagonist, “is an elderly Pole living in New York and mourning the loss of Alma, his childhood sweetheart, and of the epic novel he wrote about their affair, apparently swept away in a flood.” (Shoard, 2006, . . . Read More