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Gestalt therapy
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/19/19



Gestalt therapy is an existential/experiential form of psychotherapy that emphasizes personal responsibility, and that focuses upon the individual's experience in the present moment, the therapist–client relationship, the environmental and social contexts of a person's life, and the self-regulating adjustments people make as a result of their overall situation.

Gestalt therapy was developed by Fritz Perls, Laura Perls and Paul Goodman in the 1940s and 1950s, and was first described in the 1951 book Gestalt Therapy.


Edwin Nevis, co-founder of the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland, founder of the Gestalt International Study Center, and faculty member at the MIT Sloan School of Management, described Gestalt therapy as "a conceptual and methodological base from which helping professionals can craft their practice".[1] In the same volume, Joel Latner stated that Gestalt therapy is built upon two central ideas: that the most helpful focus of psychotherapy is the experiential present moment, and that everyone is caught in webs of relationships; thus, it is only possible to know ourselves against the background of our relationships to others.[2] The historical development of Gestalt therapy (described below) discloses the influences that generated these two ideas. Expanded, they support the four chief theoretical constructs (explained in the theory and practice section) that comprise Gestalt theory, and that guide the practice and application of Gestalt therapy.

Gestalt therapy was forged from various influences upon the lives of its founders during the times in which they lived, including: the new physics, Eastern religion, existential phenomenology, Gestalt psychology, psychoanalysis, experimental theatre, as well as systems theory and field theory.[3] Gestalt therapy rose from its beginnings in the middle of the 20th century to rapid and widespread popularity during the decade of the 1960s and early 1970s. During the '70s and '80s Gestalt therapy training centers spread globally; but they were, for the most part, not aligned with formal academic settings. As the cognitive revolution eclipsed Gestalt theory in psychology, many came to believe Gestalt was an anachronism. Because Gestalt therapists disdained the positivism underlying what they perceived to be the concern of research, they largely ignored the need to use research to further develop Gestalt theory and Gestalt therapy practice (with a few exceptions like Les Greenberg, see the interview: "Validating Gestalt"[4]). However, the new century has seen a sea of change in attitudes toward research and Gestalt practice.

Gestalt therapy is not identical with Gestalt psychology but Gestalt psychology influenced the development of Gestalt therapy to a large extent.[5]

Gestalt therapy focuses on process (what is actually happening) over content (what is being talked about).[6] The emphasis is on what is being done, thought, and felt at the present moment (the phenomenality of both client and therapist), rather than on what was, might be, could be, or should have been. Gestalt therapy is a method of awareness practice (also called "mindfulness" in other clinical domains), by which perceiving, feeling, and acting are understood to be conducive to interpreting, explaining, and conceptualizing (the hermeneutics of experience).[7] This distinction between direct experience versus indirect or secondary interpretation is developed in the process of therapy. The client learns to become aware of what he or she is doing and that triggers the ability to risk a shift or change.[8]

The objective of Gestalt therapy is to enable the client to become more fully and creatively alive and to become free from the blocks and unfinished business that may diminish satisfaction, fulfillment, and growth, and to experiment with new ways of being.[9] For this reason Gestalt therapy falls within the category of humanistic psychotherapies. As Gestalt therapy includes perception and the meaning-making processes by which experience forms, it can also be considered a cognitive approach. Also, because Gestalt therapy relies on the contact between therapist and client, and because a relationship can be considered to be contact over time, Gestalt therapy can be considered a relational or interpersonal approach. As it appreciates the larger picture which is the complex situation involving multiple influences in a complex situation, it can also be considered a multi-systemic approach. In addition, the processes of Gestalt therapy are experimental, involving action, Gestalt therapy can be considered both a paradoxical and an experiential/experimental approach.[7]

When Gestalt therapy is compared to other clinical domains, a person can find many matches, or points of similarity. "Probably the clearest case of consilience is between gestalt therapy's field perspective and the various organismic and field theories that proliferated in neuroscience, medicine, and physics in the early and mid-20th century. Within social science there is a consilience between gestalt field theory and systems or ecological psychotherapy; between the concept of dialogical relationship and object relations, attachment theory, client-centered therapy and the transference-oriented approaches; between the existential, phenomenological, and hermeneutical aspects of gestalt therapy and the constructivist aspects of cognitive therapy; and between gestalt therapy's commitment to awareness and the natural processes of healing and mindfulness, acceptance and Buddhist techniques adopted by cognitive behavioral therapy."[10]

Contemporary theory and practice

The theoretical foundations of Gestalt therapy essentially rests atop four "load-bearing walls": phenomenological method, dialogical relationship, field-theoretical strategies, and experimental freedom.[11] Although all these tenets were present in the early formulation and practice of Gestalt therapy, as described in Ego, Hunger and Aggression (Perls, 1947) and in Gestalt Therapy, Excitement and Growth in the Human Personality (Perls, Hefferline, & Goodman, 1951), the early development of Gestalt therapy theory emphasized personal experience and the experiential episodes understood as "safe emergencies" or experiments. Indeed, half of the Perls, Hefferline, and Goodman book consists of such experiments. Later, through the influence of such people as Erving and Miriam Polster, a second theoretical emphasis emerged: namely, contact between self and other, and ultimately the dialogical relationship between therapist and client.[12] Later still, field theory emerged as an emphasis.[13] At various times over the decades, since Gestalt therapy first emerged, one or more of these tenets and the associated constructs that go with them have captured the imagination of those who have continued developing the contemporary theory of Gestalt therapy. Since 1990 the literature focused upon Gestalt therapy has flourished, including the development of several professional Gestalt journals. Along the way, Gestalt therapy theory has also been applied in Organizational Development and coaching work. And, more recently, Gestalt methods have been combined with meditation practices into a unified program of human development called Gestalt Practice, which is used by some practitioners.

Phenomenological method

The goal of a phenomenological exploration is awareness.[14] This exploration works systematically to reduce the effects of bias through repeated observations and inquiry.[15]

The phenomenological method comprises three steps: (1) the rule of epoché, (2) the rule of description, and (3) the rule of horizontalization.[16] Applying the rule of epoché one sets aside one's initial biases and prejudices in order to suspend expectations and assumptions. Applying the rule of description, one occupies oneself with describing instead of explaining. Applying the rule of horizontalization one treats each item of description as having equal value or significance.

The rule of epoché sets aside any initial theories with regard to what is presented in the meeting between therapist and client. The rule of description implies immediate and specific observations, abstaining from interpretations or explanations, especially those formed from the application of a clinical theory superimposed over the circumstances of experience. The rule of horizontalization avoids any hierarchical assignment of importance such that the data of experience become prioritized and categorized as they are received. A Gestalt therapist using the phenomenological method might say something like, “I notice a slight tension at the corners of your mouth when I say that, and I see you shifting on the couch and folding your arms across your chest ... and now I see you rolling your eyes back”. Of course, the therapist may make a clinically relevant evaluation, but when applying the phenomenological method, temporarily suspends the need to express it.[17]

Dialogical relationship

To create the conditions under which a dialogic moment might occur, the therapist attends to his or her own presence, creates the space for the client to enter in and become present as well (called inclusion), and commits him or herself to the dialogic process, surrendering to what takes place, as opposed to attempting to control it.[15] With presence, the therapist judiciously “shows up” as a whole and authentic person, instead of assuming a role, false self or persona. The word 'judicious' used above refers to the therapist's taking into account the specific strengths, weaknesses and values of the client. The only 'good' client is a 'live' client, so driving a client away by injudicious exposure of intolerable [to this client] experience of the therapist is obviously counter-productive. For example, for an atheistic therapist to tell a devout client that religion is myth would not be useful, especially in the early stages of the relationship. To practice inclusion is to accept however the client chooses to be present, whether in a defensive and obnoxious stance or a superficially cooperative one. To practice inclusion is to support the presence of the client, including his or her resistance, not as a gimmick but in full realization that this is how the client is actually present and is the best this client can do at this time. Finally, the Gestalt therapist is committed to the process, trusts in that process, and does not attempt to save him or herself from it (Brownell, in press, 2009, 2008)).

Field-theoretical strategies

Field theory is a concept borrowed from physics in which people and events are no longer considered discrete units but as parts of something larger, which are influenced by everything including the past, and observation itself. “The field” can be considered in two ways. There are ontological dimensions and there are phenomenological dimensions to one's field. The ontological dimensions are all those physical and environmental contexts in which we live and move. They might be the office in which one works, the house in which one lives, the city and country of which one is a citizen, and so forth. The ontological field is the objective reality that supports our physical existence. The phenomenological dimensions are all mental and physical dynamics that contribute to a person's sense of self, one's subjective experience—not merely elements of the environmental context. These might be the memory of an uncle's inappropriate affection, one's color blindness, one's sense of the social matrix in operation at the office in which one works, and so forth. The way that Gestalt therapists choose to work with field dynamics makes what they do strategic.[18] Gestalt therapy focuses upon character structure; according to Gestalt theory, the character structure is dynamic rather than fixed in nature. To become aware of one's character structure, the focus is upon the phenomenological dimensions in the context of the ontological dimensions.

Experimental freedom

Gestalt therapy is distinct because it moves toward action, away from mere talk therapy, and for this reason is considered an experiential approach.[19] Through experiments, the therapist supports the client's direct experience of something new, instead of merely talking about the possibility of something new. Indeed, the entire therapeutic relationship may be considered experimental, because at one level it is a corrective, relational experience for many clients, and it is a "safe emergency" that is free to turn out however it will. An experiment can also be conceived as a teaching method that creates an experience in which a client might learn something as part of their growth.[20] Examples might include: (1) Rather than talking about the client's critical parent, a Gestalt therapist might ask the client to imagine the parent is present, or that the therapist is the parent, and talk to that parent directly; (2) If a client is struggling with how to be assertive, a Gestalt therapist could either (a) have the client say some assertive things to the therapist or members of a therapy group, or (b) give a talk about how one should never be assertive; (3) A Gestalt therapist might notice something about the non-verbal behavior or tone of voice of the client; then the therapist might have the client exaggerate the non-verbal behavior and pay attention to that experience; (4) A Gestalt therapist might work with the breathing or posture of the client, and direct awareness to changes that might happen when the client talks about different content. With all these experiments the Gestalt therapist is working with process rather than content, the How rather than the What.

Noteworthy issues


In field theory, self is a phenomenological concept, existing in comparison with other. Without the other there is no self, and how one experiences the other is inseparable from how one experiences oneself. The continuity of selfhood (functioning personality) is something that is achieved in relationship, rather than something inherently "inside" the person. This can have its advantages and disadvantages. At one end of the spectrum, someone may not have enough self-continuity to be able to make meaningful relationships, or to have a workable sense of who she is. In the middle, her personality is a loose set of ways of being that work for her, including commitments to relationships, work, culture and outlook, always open to change where she needs to adapt to new circumstances or just want to try something new. At the other end, her personality is a rigid defensive denial of the new and spontaneous. She acts in stereotyped ways, and either induces other people to act in particular and fixed ways towards her, or she redefines their actions to fit with fixed stereotypes.

In Gestalt therapy, the process is not about the self of the client being helped or healed by the fixed self of the therapist; rather it is an exploration of the co-creation of self and other in the here-and-now of the therapy. There is no assumption that the client will act in all other circumstances as he or she does in the therapy situation. However, the areas that cause problems will be either the lack of self-definition leading to chaotic or psychotic behaviour, or the rigid self-definition in some area of functioning that denies spontaneity and makes dealing with particular situations impossible. Both of these conditions show up very clearly in the therapy, and can be worked with in the relationship with the therapist.

The experience of the therapist is also very much part of the therapy. Since we co-create our self-other experiences, the way a therapist experiences being with a client is significant information about how the client experiences themselves. The proviso here is that a therapist is not operating from their own fixed responses. This is why Gestalt therapists are required to undertake significant therapy of their own during training.

From the perspective of this theory of self, neurosis can be seen as fixed predictability—a fixed Gestalt—and the process of therapy can be seen as facilitating the client to become unpredictable: more responsive to what is in the client's present environment, rather than responding in a stuck way to past introjects or other learning. If the therapist has expectations of how the client should end up, this defeats the aim of therapy.


In what has now become a "classic" of Gestalt therapy literature, Arnold R. Beisser described Gestalt's paradoxical theory of change.[21] The paradox is that the more one attempts to be who one is not, the more one remains the same. Conversely, when people identify with their current experience, the conditions of wholeness and growth support change. Put another way, change comes about as a result of "full acceptance of what is, rather than a striving to be different."[22]

The empty chair technique

Empty chair technique or chairwork is typically used in Gestalt therapy when a patient might have deep-rooted emotional problems from someone or something in their life, such as relationships with themselves, with aspects of their personality, their concepts, ideas, feelings, etc., or other people in their lives. The purpose of this technique is to get the patient to think about their emotions and attitudes.[23] Common things the patient addresses in the empty chair are another person, aspects of their own personality, a certain feeling, etc., as if that thing were in that chair.[24] They may also move between chairs and act out two or more sides of a discussion, typically involving the patient and persons significant to them. It uses a passive approach to opening up the patient's emotions and pent-up feelings so they can let go of what they have been holding back. A form of role-playing, the technique focuses on exploration of self and is used by therapists to help patients self-adjust. Gestalt techniques were originally a form of psychotherapy, but are now often used in counseling, for instance, by encouraging clients to act out their feelings helping them prepare for a new job.[25] The purpose of the technique is so the patient will become more in touch with their feelings and have an emotional conversation that clears up any long-held feelings or reaction to the person or object in the chair.[26] When used effectively, it provides an emotional release and lets the client move forward in their life.

Historical development

Fritz Perls was a German-Jewish psychoanalyst who fled Europe with his wife Laura Perls to South Africa in order to escape Nazi oppression in 1933.[27] After World War II, the couple emigrated to New York City, which had become a center of intellectual, artistic and political experimentation by the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Early influences

Perls grew up on the bohemian scene in Berlin, participated in Expressionism and Dadaism, and experienced the turning of the artistic avant-garde toward the revolutionary left. Deployment to the front line, the trauma of war, anti-Semitism, intimidation, escape, and the Holocaust are further key sources of biographical influence.[27]

Perls served in the German Army during World War I, and was wounded in the conflict. After the war he was educated as a medical doctor. He became an assistant to Kurt Goldstein, who worked with brain-injured soldiers. Perls went through a psychoanalysis with Wilhelm Reich and became a psychiatrist. Perls assisted Goldstein at Frankfurt University where he met his wife Lore (Laura) Posner, who had earned a doctorate in Gestalt psychology.[28] They fled Nazi Germany in 1933 and settled in South Africa. Perls established a psychoanalytic training institute and joined the South African armed forces, serving as a military psychiatrist. During these years in South Africa, Perls was influenced by Jan Smuts and his ideas about "holism".

In 1936 Fritz Perls attended a psychoanalysts' conference in Marienbad, Czechoslovakia, where he presented a paper on oral resistances, mainly based on Laura Perls's notes on breastfeeding their children. Perls's paper was turned down. Perls did present his paper in 1936, but it met with "deep disapproval."[29] Perls wrote his first book, Ego, Hunger and Aggression (1942, 1947), in South Africa, based in part on the rejected paper. It was later re-published in the United States. Laura Perls wrote two chapters of this book, but she was not given adequate recognition for her work.

The seminal book

Perls's seminal work was Gestalt Therapy: Excitement and Growth in the Human Personality, published in 1951, co-authored by Fritz Perls, Paul Goodman, and Ralph Hefferline (a university psychology professor and sometime patient of Fritz Perls). Most of Part II of the book was written by Paul Goodman from Perls's notes, and it contains the core of Gestalt theory. This part was supposed to appear first, but the publishers decided that Part I, written by Hefferline, fit into the nascent self-help ethos of the day, and they made it an introduction to the theory. Isadore From, a leading early theorist of Gestalt therapy, taught Goodman's Part II for an entire year to his students, going through it phrase by phrase.

First instances of Gestalt therapy

Fritz and Laura founded the first Gestalt Institute in 1952, running it out of their Manhattan apartment. Isadore From became a patient, first of Fritz, and then of Laura. Fritz soon made From a trainer, and also gave him some patients. From lived in New York until his death, at age seventy-five, in 1993. He was known worldwide for his philosophical and intellectually rigorous take on Gestalt therapy. Acknowledged as a supremely gifted clinician, he was indisposed to writing, so what remains of his work is merely transcripts of interviews.[30]

Of great importance to understanding the development of Gestalt therapy is the early training which took place in experiential groups in the Perls's apartment, led by both Fritz and Laura before Fritz left for the West Coast, and after by Laura alone. These "trainings" were unstructured, with little didactic input from the leaders, although many of the principles were discussed in the monthly meetings of the institute, as well as at local bars after the sessions. Many notable Gestalt therapists emerged from these crucibles in addition to Isadore From, e.g., Richard Kitzler, Dan Bloom, Bud Feder, Carl Hodges, and Ruth Ronall. In these sessions, both Fritz and Laura used some variation of the "hot seat" method, in which the leader essentially works with one individual in front of an audience with little or no attention to group dynamics. In reaction to this omission emerged a more interactive approach in which Gestalt-therapy principles were blended with group dynamics; in 1980, the book Beyond the Hot Seat, edited by Feder and Ronall, was published, with contributions from members of both the New York and Cleveland Institutes, as well as others.

Fritz left Laura and New York in 1960, briefly lived in Miami, and ended up in California. Jim Simkin was a psychotherapist who became a client of Perls in New York and then a co-therapist with Perls in Los Angeles. Simkin was responsible for Perls's going to California, where Perls began a psychotherapy practice. Ultimately, the life of a peripatetic trainer and workshop leader was better suited to Fritz's personality—starting in 1963, Simkin and Perls co-led some of the early Gestalt workshops and training groups at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, where Perls eventually settled and built a home. Jim Simkin then purchased property next to Esalen and started his own training center, which he ran until his death in 1984. Simkin refined his precise version of Gestalt therapy, training psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors and social workers within a very rigorous, residential training model.

The schism

In the 1960s, Perls became infamous among the professional elite for his public workshops at Esalen Institute. Isadore From referred to some of Fritz's brief workshops as "hit-and-run" therapy, because of Perls's alleged emphasis on showmanship with little or no follow-through—but Perls never considered these workshops to be complete therapy; rather, he felt he was giving demonstrations of key points for a largely professional audience. Unfortunately, some films and tapes of his work were all that most graduate students were exposed to, along with the misperception that these represented the entirety of Perls's work.

When Fritz Perls left New York for California, there began to be a split with those who saw Gestalt therapy as a therapeutic approach similar to psychoanalysis. This view was represented by Isadore From, who practiced and taught mainly in New York, as well as by the members of the Cleveland Institute, which was co-founded by From. An entirely different approach was taken, primarily in California, by those who saw Gestalt therapy not just as a therapeutic modality, but as a way of life. The East Coast, New York–Cleveland axis was often appalled by the notion of Gestalt therapy leaving the consulting room and becoming a way of life on the West Coast in the 1960s (see the "Gestalt prayer").

An alternative view of this split saw Perls in his last years continuing to develop his a-theoretical and phenomenological methodology, while others, inspired by From, were inclined to theoretical rigor which verged on replacing experience with ideas.

The split continues between what has been called "East Coast Gestalt" and "West Coast Gestalt," at least from an Amerocentric point of view. While the communitarian form of Gestalt continues to flourish, Gestalt therapy was largely replaced in the United States by Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and many Gestalt therapists in the U.S. drifted toward organizational management and coaching. At the same time, contemporary Gestalt Practice (to a large extent based upon Gestalt therapy theory and practice) was developed by Dick Price, the co-founder of Esalen Institute.[31] Price was one of Perls's students at Esalen.


In 1969, Fritz Perls left the United States to start a Gestalt community at Lake Cowichan on Vancouver Island, Canada. He died almost one year later, on 14 March 1970, in Chicago. One member of the Gestalt community was Barry Stevens. Her book about that phase of her life, Don't Push the River, became very popular. She developed her own form of Gestalt therapy body work, which is essentially a concentration on the awareness of body processes.[32]

The Polsters

Erving and Miriam Polster started a training center in La Jolla, California, which also became very well known, as did their book, Gestalt Therapy Integrated, in the 1970s.[33]

The Polsters played an influential role in advancing the concept of contact-boundary phenomena. The standard contact-boundary resistances in Gestalt theory were confluence, introjection, projection and retroflection. A disturbance described by Miriam and Erving Polster was deflection, which referred to a means of avoiding contact. Instances of boundary phenomena can have pathological or non-pathological aspects; for example, it is appropriate for an infant and mother to merge, or become "confluent," but inappropriate for a client and therapist to do so. If the latter do become confluent, there can be no growth, because there is no boundary at which one can contact the other: the client will not be able to learn anything new, because the therapist essentially becomes an extension of the client.

Influences upon Gestalt therapy

Some examples

There were a variety of psychological and philosophical influences upon the development of Gestalt therapy, not the least of which were the social forces at the time and place of its inception. Gestalt therapy is an approach that is holistic (including mind, body, and culture). It is present-centered and related to existential therapy in its emphasis on personal responsibility for action, and on the value of "I–thou" relationship in therapy. In fact, Perls considered calling Gestalt therapy existential-phenomenological therapy. "The I and thou in the Here and Now" was a semi-humorous shorthand mantra for Gestalt therapy, referring to the substantial influence of the work of Martin Buber—in particular his notion of the I–Thou relationship—on Perls and Gestalt. Buber's work emphasized immediacy, and required that any method or theory answer to the therapeutic situation, seen as a meeting between two people.[34] Any process or method that turns the patient into an object (the I–It) must be strictly secondary to the intimate, and spontaneous, I–Thou relation. This concept became important in much of Gestalt theory and practice.

Both Fritz and Laura Perls were students and admirers of the neuropsychiatrist Kurt Goldstein. Gestalt therapy was based in part on Goldstein's concept called Organismic theory. Goldstein viewed a person in terms of a holistic and unified experience; he encouraged a "big picture" perspective, taking into account the whole context of a person's experience. The word Gestalt means whole, or configuration. Laura Perls, in an interview, denotes the Organismic theory as the base of Gestalt therapy.[28]

There were additional influences on Gestalt therapy from existentialism, particularly the emphasis upon personal choice and responsibility.

The late 1950s–1960s movement toward personal growth and the human potential movement in California fed into, and was itself influenced by, Gestalt therapy. In this process Gestalt therapy somehow became a coherent Gestalt, which is the Gestalt psychology term for a perceptual unit that holds together and forms a unified whole.


Fritz Perls trained as a neurologist at major medical institutions and as a Freudian psychoanalyst in Berlin and Vienna, the most important international centers of the discipline in his day. He worked as a training analyst for several years with the official recognition of the International Psychoanalytic Association (IPA), and must be considered an experienced clinician.[27] Gestalt therapy was influenced by psychoanalysis: it was part of a continuum moving from the early work of Freud, to the later Freudian ego analysis, to Wilhelm Reich and his character analysis and notion of character armor, with attention to nonverbal behavior; this was consonant with Laura Perls's background in dance and movement therapy. To this was added the insights of academic Gestalt psychology, including perception, Gestalt formation, and the tendency of organisms to complete an incomplete Gestalt and to form "wholes" in experience.

Central to Fritz and Laura Perls's modifications of psychoanalysis was the concept of dental or oral aggression. In Ego, Hunger and Aggression (1947), Fritz Perls's first book, to which Laura Perls contributed[35] (ultimately without recognition), Perls suggested that when the infant develops teeth, he or she has the capacity to chew, to break food apart, and, by analogy, to experience, taste, accept, reject, or assimilate. This was opposed to Freud's notion that only introjection takes place in early experience. Thus Perls made assimilation, as opposed to introjection, a focal theme in his work, and the prime means by which growth occurs in therapy.

In contrast to the psychoanalytic stance, in which the "patient" introjects the (presumably more healthy) interpretations of the analyst, in Gestalt therapy the client must "taste" his or her own experience and either accept or reject it—but not introject or "swallow whole." Hence, the emphasis is on avoiding interpretation, and instead encouraging discovery. This is the key point in the divergence of Gestalt therapy from traditional psychoanalysis: growth occurs through gradual assimilation of experience in a natural way, rather than by accepting the interpretations of the analyst; thus, the therapist should not interpret, but lead the client to discover for him- or herself.

The Gestalt therapist contrives experiments that lead the client to greater awareness and fuller experience of his or her possibilities. Experiments can be focused on undoing projections or retroflections. The therapist can work to help the client with closure of unfinished Gestalts ("unfinished business" such as unexpressed emotions towards somebody in the client's life). There are many kinds of experiments that might be therapeutic, but the essence of the work is that it is experiential rather than interpretive, and in this way, Gestalt therapy distinguishes itself from psychoanalysis.

Principal influences: a summary list

• Otto Rank's invention of "here-and-now" therapy and Rank's post-Freudian book Art and Artist (1932), both of which strongly influenced Paul Goodman.
• Wilhelm Reich's psychoanalytic developments, especially his early character analysis, and the later concept of character armor and its focus on the body.
• Jacob Moreno's psychodrama, principally the development of enactment techniques for the resolution of psychological conflicts.
• Kurt Goldstein's holistic theory of the organism, based on Gestalt theory.
• Martin Buber's philosophy of relationship and dialogue ("I–Thou").
• Kurt Lewin's field theory as applied to the social sciences and group dynamics.
• European phenomenology of Franz Brentano, Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, and Maurice Merleau-Ponty.
• The existentialism of Kierkegaard over that of Sartre, rejecting nihilism.
• Carl Jung's psychology, particularly the polarities concept.
• Some elements from Zen Buddhism.
• Differentiation between thing and concept from Zen and the works of Alfred Korzybski.
• The American pragmatism of William James, George Herbert Mead, and John Dewey.

Current status

Gestalt therapy reached a zenith in the United States in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Since then, it has influenced other fields like organizational development, coaching, and teaching. Many of its contributions have become assimilated into other current schools of therapy. In recent years, it has seen a resurgence in popularity as an active, psychodynamic form of therapy which has also incorporated some elements of recent developments in attachment theory. There are, for example, four Gestalt training institutes in the New York City metropolitan area alone, not to mention dozens of others worldwide.

Gestalt therapy continues to thrive as a widespread form of psychotherapy, especially throughout Europe, where there are many practitioners and training institutions. Dan Rosenblatt led Gestalt therapy training groups and public workshops at the Tokyo Psychotherapy Academy for seven years. Stewart Kiritz continued in this role from 1997 to 2006.

The form of Gestalt Practice initially developed at Esalen Institute by Dick Price has spawned numerous offshoots.

Training of Gestalt therapists

Pedagogical approach

Many Gestalt therapy training organizations exist worldwide. Ansel Woldt asserted that Gestalt teaching and training are built upon the belief that people are, by nature, health-seeking. Thus, such commitments as authenticity, optimism, holism, health, and trust become important principles to consider when engaged in the activity of teaching and learning—especially Gestalt therapy theory and practice.[36]


The Association for the Advancement of Gestalt Therapy (AAGT) holds a biennial international conference in various locations—the first was in New Orleans, in 1995. Subsequent conferences have been held in San Francisco, Cleveland, New York, Dallas, St. Pete's Beach, Vancouver (British Columbia), Manchester (England), and Philadelphia. In addition, the AAGT holds regional conferences, and its regional network has spawned regional conferences in Amsterdam, the Southwest and the Southeast of the United States, England, and Australia. Its Research Task Force generates and nurtures active research projects and an international conference on research.[37]

The European Association for Gestalt Therapy (EAGT), founded in 1985 to gather European individual Gestalt therapists, training institutes, and national associations from more than twenty European nations.[38]

Gestalt Australia and New Zealand (GANZ) was formally established at the first "Down Under" Gestalt Therapy Conference held in Perth in September 1998.[39]

See also

• Topdog vs. underdog
• Violet Oaklander


1. Nevis, E. (2000) Introduction, in Gestalt therapy: Perspectives and Applications. Edwin Nevis (ed.). Cambridge, MA: Gestalt Press. p. 3.
2. Latner, J. (2000) The Theory of Gestalt Therapy, in Gestalt therapy: Perspectives and Applications, Edwin Nevis (ed.) Cambridge, MA: Gestalt Press.
3. Mackewn, J. (1997) Developing Gestalt Counselling. London, UK: Sage publications; Bowman, C. & Brownell, P. (2000) Prelude to Contemporary Gestalt Therapy. Gestalt!, vol. 4, no. 3, available at Archived 6 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine
4. Validating Gestalt. An Interview with Researcher, Writer, and Psychotherapist Leslie Greenberg by Leslie Grennberg and Philip Brownell; in: Gestalt!, 1/1997.[1] Archived 8 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine
5. Some Gestalt psychologists distanced themselves strongly from Gestalt therapy, like Henle, M. (1978): Gestalt psychology and Gestalt therapy, in: Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 14 (1), pg. 23-32. Henle, however, restricts herself explicitly to only three of Perls' books from 1969 and 1972, leaving out Perls' earlier work, and Gestalt therapy in general. See Barlow criticizing Henle: Allen R. Barlow: Gestalt Therapy and Gestalt Psychology. Gestalt – Antecedent Influence or Historical Accident, in: The Gestalt Journal, Volume IV, Number 2, Fall, 1981.
6. John Sommers-Flanagan; Rita Sommers-Flanagan (2012). Counseling and Psychotherapy Theories in Context and Practice: Skills, Strategies, and Techniques, 2nd edition. John Wiley & Sons. p. 199. ISBN 0470617934.
7. Brownell, P. (2010) Gestalt Therapy: A Guide to Contemporary Practice. New York, NY: Springer Publishing
8. Beisser, A. (1970) The Paradoxical Theory of Change. In J. Fagan & I. Shepherd (eds.) Gestalt Therapy Now: Theory, Techniques, and Applications, pp. 77-80. Palo Alto, CA: Science and Behavior Books
9. Joseph Zinker (1977). The Creative Process in Gestalt Therapy. New York, Vintage Books.
10. Brownell, P. (2010) Gestalt Therapy: A Guide to Contemporary Practice. New York, NY: Springer Publishing. p. 174.
11. Brownell, P., ed.(2008) Handbook for Theory, Research, and Practice in Gestalt Therapy, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
12. Polster, E. & Polster, M. (1973) Gestalt Therapy Integrated: Contours of theory and practice. New York, NY: Brunner-Mazel.
13. Wheeler, G. (1991) Gestalt : A new approach to contact and resistance. New York, NY: Gardner.
14. Yontef, G. (1993) Awareness, Dialogue, and Process, essays on Gestalt therapy. Highland, NY: The Gestalt Journal Press, Inc.
15. Yontef, G. (2005) Gestalt Therapy Theory of Change, in Gestalt Therapy, History, Theory, and Practice. Ansel Woldt & Sarah Toman (eds). London, UK: Sage Publications
16. Spinelli, E. (2005) The interpreted world, an introduction to phenomenological psychology, 2nd edition. London, UK: Sage Publications.
17. Brownell, P. (2009) Gestalt therapy in The Professional Counselor's Desk Reference, Mark A. Stebnicki, Ph.D. and Irmo Marini, Ph.D. (eds.), New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.
18. Brownell, P. (2010) Gestalt Therapy: A Guide to Contemporary Practice, New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.
19. Crocker, S. (1999) A well-lived life, essays in Gestalt therapy. Cambridge, MA: Gestalt Press.
20. Melnick, J., March Nevis, S. (2005) Gestalt Therapy Methodology in Gestalt Therapy, History, Theory, and Practice. Ansel Woldt & Sarah Toman (eds). London, UK: Sage Publications
21. Beisser, A. (1970) The paradoxical theory of change, in J.Fagan & I Shepherd (eds) Gestalt Therapy Now: Theory, Techniques, Applications. Palo Alto, CA: Science and Behavior Books.
22. Houston, G. (2003) Brief Gestalt Therapy. London, UK: Sage Publications.
23. gdh. "Chapter15 - page 21 of 108".
24. Nichol, M. P. & Schwartz, R. C. (2008). Family Therapy: Concepts and Methods (8th ed.). New York: Pearson Education. p. 227. ISBN 978-0-205-54320-5.
25. Daniel L. Schacter; Daniel T. Gilbert; Daniel M. Wegner (2011). Psychology(2nd ed.). New York, NY: Worth Publishers. p. 602–603. ISBN 1429237198.
26. "Cool Intervention #9: The Empty Chair". Psychology Today.
27. Bernd Bocian (2010). Fritz Perls in Berlin 1893 - 1933. Expressionism - Psychoanalysis - Judaism. EHP Verlag Andreas Kohlhage, Bergisch Gladbach.
28. For Goldstein's influence on the theory and practice of Gestalt therapy see: Allen R. Barlow: Gestalt Therapy and Gestalt Psychology. Gestalt-antecedent influence or historical accident, The Gestalt Journal, Volume IV, Number 2, (Fall, 1981)
29. Perls, F., (1969) In and Out the Garbage Pail Lafayette, CA: Real People Press.
30. "Oral Link".
31. "Esalen Founders - Esalen".
32. Stevens, B. (1970) Don't Push the River (It Flows by Itself), Lafaette, CA: Real People Press.
33. Gestalt therapy integrated : contours of theory and practice, by Erving Polster and Miriam Polster, New York : Vintage Books, 1974
34. Buber, Martin; Rogers, Carl Ransom; Anderson, Rob; Cissna, Kenneth N. (14 August 1997). "The Martin Buber - Carl Rogers Dialogue: A New Transcript With Commentary". SUNY Press – via Google Books.
35. "Oral Link".
36. Woldt, A. (2005) Pre-text: Gestalt pedagogy: Creating the field for teaching and learning, in Ansel Woldt & Sarah Toman (eds), Gestalt Therapy, History, Theory, and Practice. London, UK: Sage Publications.
37. "AAGT – Association for the Advancement of Gestalt Therapy".
38. ... "EAGT European Association for Gestalt Therapy".
39. GANZ Gestalt Australia & New Zealand

Further reading

• Perls, F. (1969) Ego, Hunger, and Aggression: The Beginning of Gestalt Therapy. New York, NY: Random House. (originally published in 1942, and re-published in 1947)
• Perls, F. (1969) Gestalt Therapy Verbatim[permanent dead link]. Moab, UT: Real People Press.
• Perls, F. (1969) In and Out the Garbage Pail. Lafayette, CA: Real People Press.
• Perls, F., Hefferline, R., & Goodman, P. (1951) Gestalt Therapy: Excitement and growth in the human personality. New York, NY: Julian.
• Perls, F. (1973) The Gestalt Approach & Eye Witness to Therapy. New York, NY: Bantam Books.
• Brownell, P. (2012) Gestalt Therapy for Addictive and Self-Medicating Behaviors. New York, NY: Springer Publishing.
• Levine, T.B-Y. (2011) Gestalt Therapy: Advances in Theory and Practice. New York, NY: Routledge.
• Bloom, D. & Brownell, P. (eds)(2011) Continuity and Change: Gestalt Therapy Now. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
• Mann, D. (2010) Gestalt Therapy: 100 Key Points & Techniques. London & New York: Routledge.
• Bocian, B. (2010): "Fritz Perls in Berlin 1893 - 1933. Expressionism - Psychonalysis - Judaism". Bergisch Gladbach: EHP Verlag Andreas Kohlhage. ISBN 978-3-89797-068-7
• Brownell, P. (2010) Gestalt Therapy: A Guide to Contemporary Practice. New York, NY, US: Springer Publishing
• Truscott, D. (2010) Gestalt therapy. In Derek Truscott, Becoming An Effective Psychotherapist: Adopting a Theory of Psychotherapy That's Right for You and Your Client, pp. 83–96. Washington, DC, US: American Psychological Association.
• Brownell, P. (2009) Gestalt therapy. In Irmo Marini and Mark Stebnicki (eds) The Professional Counselor's Desk Reference, pp. 399–407. New York, NY, US: Springer Publishing Co.
• Staemmler, F-M. (2009) Aggression, Time, and Understanding: Contributions to the Evolution of Gestalt Therapy. New York, NY, US: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group; GestaltPress Book
• Brownell, P. (ed.) (2008) Handbook for Theory, Research, and Practice in Gestalt Therapy. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
• Polster, E. & Polster, M. (1973) Gestalt Therapy Integrated: Contours of theory and practice. New York, NY: Brunner-Mazel.
• Shorkey, C. & Uebel, M. (2008). Gestalt Therapy. In Terry Mizrahi and Larry Davis (eds) Encyclopedia of Social Work, 20th Edition. New York: Oxford University Press.
• Woldt, A. & Toman, S. (2005) "Gestalt Therapy: History, Theory and Practice." Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
• Bretz, HJ. (1994) "A Meta-Analysis of the Effectiveness of Gestalt Therapy" {Pub Med}
• Yontef, Gary (1993). Awareness, Dialogue, and Process (pbk. ed.). The Gestalt Journal Press. ISBN 0939266202.
• Crocker, Sylvia Fleming (1999). A Well-Lived Life, Essays in Gestalt Therapy (pbk. ed.). SAGE Publications. ISBN 0881632872.
• Toman, Sarah; Woldt, Ansel, eds. (2005). Gestalt Therapy History, Theory, and Practice (pbk. ed.). Gestalt Press. ISBN 0761927913.

External links

• Resources in your library
• Resources in other libraries
• Gestalt therapy at Curlie
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Paul R. Ehrlich
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/19/19



Paul R. Ehrlich
Ehrlich in 1974.
Born Paul Ralph Ehrlich
May 29, 1932 (age 86)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Residence Stanford, California, U.S.
Alma mater
University of Pennsylvania (AB)
University of Kansas (MA, PhD)
Known for The Population Bomb
Spouse(s) Anne Howland (m. 1954)
Children 1
Crafoord Prize (1990)
The Heinz Awards (1995, with Anne Ehrlich)
Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement (1998)
Fellow of the Royal Society (2012)[1]
Scientific career
Population studies
Institutions Stanford University
Thesis The Morphology, Phylogeny and Higher Classification of the Butterflies (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea) (1957)
Doctoral advisor C. D. Michener

Paul Ralph Ehrlich (born May 29, 1932) is an American biologist, best known for his warnings about the consequences of population growth and limited resources.[2] He is the Bing Professor of Population Studies of the Department of Biology of Stanford University and president of Stanford's Center for Conservation Biology.

Ehrlich became well known for his controversial 1968 book The Population Bomb, which asserted that the world's human population would soon increase to the point where mass starvation ensued.[3][4] Among the solutions he suggested in that book was population control, to be used in his opinion if voluntary methods were to fail. Ehrlich has been criticized for his opinions; for example, Ronald Bailey termed Ehrlich an "irrepressible doomster".[5] However, Carl Haub observed that Ehrlich's warnings had encouraged governments to change their policies to avert disaster.[6] Ehrlich has acknowledged that some of what he predicted has not occurred, but maintains that his predictions about disease and climate change were essentially correct, and that human overpopulation is a major problem.[7]

Early life, education, and academic career

Ehrlich circa 2010

Ehrlich was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of William Ehrlich and Ruth (Rosenberg) Ehrlich. His father was a shirt salesman, his mother a Greek and Latin scholar[8] and public school teacher.[3] Ehrlich's mother's Reform-Jewish German ancestors arrived in the United States in the 1840s, and his paternal grandparents immigrated there later from the Galician and Romanian part of the Austrian Empire.[9] During his childhood his family moved to Maplewood, New Jersey, where he attended high school.[3]

Ehrlich earned a bachelor's degree in zoology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1953, an M.A. from the University of Kansas in 1955, and a Ph.D. from the University of Kansas in 1957, supervised by the prominent bee researcher Charles Duncan Michener (the title of his dissertation: "The Morphology, Phylogeny and Higher Classification of the Butterflies (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea)").[10] During his studies he participated with surveys of insects in the areas of the Bering Sea and Canadian Arctic, and then with a National Institutes of Health fellowship, investigated the genetics and behavior of parasitic mites. In 1959 he joined the faculty at Stanford University, being promoted to professor of biology in 1966. By training he is an entomologist specializing in Lepidoptera (butterflies); he published a major paper about the evolution of plants and insects.[11] He was appointed to the Bing Professorship in 1977.[12][13]

He is president of the Center for Conservation Biology at Stanford University.[14] He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the United States National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.[12]

Overpopulation debate

Further information: Human overpopulation

The case for a population bomb: human population has dramatically increased.

The case against a population bomb: Since the 1950s population growth rate has decreased, and is projected to decline further.

A lecture that Ehrlich gave on the topic of overpopulation at the Commonwealth Club of California was broadcast by radio in April 1967.[15] The success of the lecture caused further publicity, and the suggestion from David Brower the executive director of the environmentalist Sierra Club, and Ian Ballantine of Ballantine Books to write a book concerning the topic. Ehrlich and his wife, Anne Ehrlich, collaborated on the book, The Population Bomb, but the publisher insisted that a single author be credited.[16]

Although Ehrlich was not the first to warn about population issues – concern had been widespread during the 1950s and 1960s – his charismatic and media-savvy methods helped publicize the topic.[17]


The Population Bomb (1968)

The original edition of The Population Bomb began with this statement: "The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate ..."[18] Ehrlich argued that the human population was too great, and that while the extent of disaster could be mitigated, humanity could not prevent severe famines, the spread of disease, social unrest, and other negative consequences of overpopulation. By the end of the 1970s, this prediction proved to be incorrect. However, he continued to argue that societies must take strong action to decrease population growth in order to mitigate future disasters, both ecological and social.

In the book Ehrlich presented a number of "scenarios" detailing possible future events, some of which have been used as examples of errors in the years since. Of these scenarios, Ehrlich has said that although, "we clearly stated that they were not predictions and that 'we can be sure that none of them will come true as stated,’ (p. 72) – their failure to occur is often cited as a failure of prediction. In honesty, the scenarios were way off, especially in their timing (we underestimated the resilience of the world system). But they did deal with future issues that people in 1968 should have been thinking about." Ehrlich further states that he still endorses the main thesis of the book, and that its message is as apt now as it was in 1968.[16]

Ehrlich's opinions have evolved over time, and he has proposed different solutions to the problem of overpopulation. In The Population Bomb he wrote, "We must have population control at home, hopefully through a system of incentives and penalties, but by compulsion if voluntary methods fail. We must use our political power to push other countries into programs which combine agricultural development and population control."[18] Voluntary measures he has endorsed include the easiest possible availability of birth control and abortion. In 1967 he had expressed his belief that aid should only be given to those countries that were not considered to be "hopeless" to feed their own populations.[19]

The Population Explosion (1990)

In their sequel to The Population Bomb, the Ehrlichs wrote about how the world's growing population dwarfs the Earth's capacity to sustain current living standards. The book calls for action to confront population growth and the ensuing crisis:[20]

When is an area overpopulated? When its population can't be maintained without rapidly depleting nonrenewable resources [39] (or converting renewable resources into nonrenewable ones) and without degrading the capacity of the environment to support the population. In short, if the long-term carrying capacity of an area is clearly being degraded by its current human occupants, that area is overpopulated.

Optimum Human Population Size (1994)

In this paper, the Ehrlichs discuss the 'optimal size' for human population, given current technological realities. They refer to establishing "social policies to influence fertility rates."[21]

Ehrlich speaking in 2008

After 2000

During a 2004 interview, Ehrlich answered questions about the predictions he made in The Population Bomb. He acknowledged that some of what he had published had not occurred, but reaffirmed his basic opinion that overpopulation is a major problem. He noted that, "Fifty-eight academies of science said that same thing in 1994, as did the world scientists' warning to humanity in the same year. My view has become depressingly mainline!"[7] Ehrlich also stated that 600 million people were very hungry, billions were under-nourished, and that his predictions about disease and climate change were essentially correct.[7] Retrospectively, Ehrlich believes that The Population Bomb was "way too optimistic".[15]

In a 2008 discussion hosted by the website Salon, Paul Ehrlich has become more critical of the United States specifically, claiming that it should control its population and consumption as an example to the rest of the world. He has disavowed some of what he said in The Population Bomb. He still thinks that governments should discourage people from having more than two children, suggesting, for example, a higher tax rate for larger families.[22]

In 2011, as the world's population passed the seven billion mark Ehrlich has argued that the next two billion people on Earth would cause more damage than the previous two billion because we are now increasingly having to resort to using more marginal and environmentally damaging resources.[23] As of 2013, Ehrlich continues to perform policy research concerning population and resource issues, with an emphasis upon endangered species, cultural evolution, environmental ethics, and the preservation of genetic resources. Along with Dr. Gretchen Daily, he has performed work in countryside biogeography; that is, the study of making human-disturbed areas hospitable to biodiversity. His research group at Stanford University examines extensively natural populations of the Bay checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas editha bayensis).[24] The population-related disasters Ehrlich predicted have largely failed to materialize, with population growth rates slowing and new food production technologies increasing the food supply faster than the population.[25] Ehrlich endorses his general thesis that the human population is too large, posing a direct threat to human survival and the environment of the planet.[25]


Wheat yields have grown rapidly in least developed countries since 1961, however, they have recently levelled off.[26]

Critics have disputed Ehrlich's main thesis about overpopulation and its effects on the environment and human society, and his solutions, as well as some of his specific predictions made since the late 1960s. One criticism concerns Ehrlich's allegedly alarmist and sensational statements and inaccurate "predictions". Ronald Bailey of Reason Magazine has termed him an "irrepressible doomster ... who, as far as I can tell, has never been right in any of his forecasts of imminent catastrophe."[5] On the first Earth Day in 1970, he warned that "n ten years all important animal life in the sea will be extinct. Large areas of coastline will have to be evacuated because of the stench of dead fish."[5][27] In a 1971 speech, he predicted that: "By the year 2000 the United Kingdom will be simply a small group of impoverished islands, inhabited by some 70 million hungry people." "If I were a gambler," Professor Ehrlich concluded before boarding an airplane, " I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000."[5][27] When this scenario did not occur, he responded that "When you predict the future, you get things wrong. How wrong is another question. I would have lost if I had had taken the bet. However, if you look closely at England, what can I tell you? They're having all kinds of problems, just like everybody else."[5] Ehrlich wrote in The Population Bomb that, "India couldn't possibly feed two hundred million more people by 1980."[18]

Carl Haub of the Population Reference Bureau has replied that it was precisely the alarmist rhetoric that prevented the catastrophes of which Ehrlich warned. According to Haub, "It makes no sense that Ehrlich is now criticized as being alarmist because his dire warnings did not, in the main, come true. But it was because of such warnings from Ehrlich and others that countries took action to avoid potential disaster."[6] During the 1960s and 70s when Ehrlich made his most alarming warnings, there was a widespread belief among experts that population growth presented an extremely serious threat to the future of human civilization, although differences existed regarding the severity of the situation, and how to decrease it.[17][28]

[i]A large increase in global food production since the 1960s and a slowing of population growth have, within the current context of continued depletion of non-renewable resources, averted the scale of food shortage, famine and catastrophe foretold by the Ehrlichs.

Dan Gardner argues that Ehrlich has been insufficiently forthright in acknowledging errors he made, while being intellectually dishonest or evasive in taking credit for things he claims he got "right". For example, he rarely acknowledges the mistakes he made in predicting material shortages, massive death tolls from starvation (as many as one billion in the publication Age of Affluence) or regarding the disastrous effects on specific countries. Meanwhile, he is happy to claim credit for "predicting" the increase of AIDS or global warming. However, in the case of disease, Ehrlich had predicted the increase of a disease based on overcrowding, or the weakened immune systems of starving people, so it is "a stretch to see this as forecasting the emergence of AIDS in the 1980s." Similarly, global warming was one of the scenarios that Ehrlich described, so claiming credit for it, while disavowing responsibility for failed scenarios is a double standard. Gardner believes that Ehrlich is displaying classical signs of cognitive dissonance, and that his failure to acknowledge obvious errors of his own judgement render his current thinking suspect.[17]

Barry Commoner has criticized Ehrlich's 1970 statement that "When you reach a point where you realize further efforts will be futile, you may as well look after yourself and your friends and enjoy what little time you have left. That point for me is 1972."[29] Gardner has criticized Ehrlich for endorsing the strategies proposed by William and Paul Paddock in their book Famine 1975!. They had proposed a system of "triage" that would end food aid to "hopeless" countries such as India and Egypt. In Population Bomb, Ehrlich suggests that "there is no rational choice except to adopt some form of the Paddocks' strategy as far as food distribution is concerned." Had this strategy been implemented for countries such as India and Egypt, which were reliant on food aid at that time, they would almost certainly have suffered famines.[17] Instead, both Egypt and India have greatly increased their food production and now feed much larger populations without reliance on food aid.[19]

Left-wing critics

Another group of critics, generally of the political left, argues that Ehrlich emphasizes overpopulation too much as a problem in itself instead of distribution of resources.[16] Barry Commoner argued that Ehrlich emphasized overpopulation too much as the source of environmental problems, and that his proposed solutions were politically unacceptable because of the coercion that they implied, and because they would cost poor people disproportionately. He argued that technological, and above all social development would result in a natural decrease of both population growth and environmental damage.[30] Ehrlich denies any type of racism, and has argued that if his policy ideas were implemented properly they would not be repressive.[31]

In a 2018 interview with The Guardian, Ehrlich advocated for an "unprecedented redistribution of wealth" in order to mitigate the problem of overconsumption of resources by the wealthy, but said "the rich who now run the global system – that hold the annual ‘world destroyer’ meetings in Davos – are unlikely to let it happen."[32]

Simon–Ehrlich wager

Julian Simon, a cornucopian economist, argued that overpopulation is not a problem in itself, and that humanity will adapt to changing conditions. Simon argued that eventually human creativity will improve living standards, and that most resources were replaceable.[33] Simon stated that over hundreds of years, the prices of virtually all commodities have decreased significantly and persistently.[34] Ehrlich termed Simon the proponent of a "space-age cargo cult" of economists convinced that human creativity and ingenuity would create substitutes for scarce resources and reasserted the idea that population growth was outstripping the earth's supplies of food, fresh water and minerals.[4] This exchange resulted in the Simon–Ehrlich wager, a bet about the trend of prices for resources during a ten-year period that was made with Simon in 1980.[4] Ehrlich was allowed to choose ten commodities that he predicted would become scarce and thus increase in price. Ehrlich chose mostly metals, and lost the bet, as their average price decreased by about 30% in the next 10 years. Simon and Ehrlich could not agree about the terms of a second bet.

Ehrlich's response to critics

Ehrlich has argued that humanity has simply deferred the disaster by the use of more intensive agricultural techniques, such as those introduced during the Green Revolution. Ehrlich claims that increasing populations and affluence are increasingly stressing the global environment, due to such factors as loss of biodiversity, overfishing, global warming, urbanization, chemical pollution and competition for raw materials.[35] He maintains that due to growing global incomes, reducing consumption and human population is critical to protecting the environment and maintaining living standards, and that current rates of growth are still too great for a sustainable future.[36][37][38][39]

Other activities

Ehrlich was one of the initiators of the group Zero Population Growth (renamed Population Connection) in 1968, along with Richard Bowers and Charles Remington. In 1971, Ehrlich was elected to the Common Cause National Governing Board. He and his wife Anne were part of the board of advisers of the Federation for American Immigration Reform until 2003. He is currently a patron of Population Matters, (formerly known as the Optimum Population Trust).[40]

Consistent with his concern about the impact of pollution and in response to a doctoral dissertation by his student Edward Goth III, Ehrlich wrote in 1977 that, “Fluorides have been shown to concentrate in food chains, and evidence suggesting a potential for significant ecological effects is accumulating.”[41]

Ehrlich has spoken at conferences in Israel on the issue of desertification. He has argued that "True Zionists should have small families".[42]

Personal life

Ehrlich has been married to Anne H. Ehrlich (née Howland) since December 1954; they have one daughter, Lisa Marie.[43]

Ehrlich has said he has had a vasectomy.[44]

Awards and honors

• The John Muir Award of the Sierra Club
• The Gold Medal Award of the World Wildlife Fund International
• A MacArthur Prize Fellowship
• The Crafoord Prize, awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and considered the highest award given in the field of ecology
• ECI Prize winner in terrestrial ecology, 1993
• A World Ecology Award from the International Center for Tropical Ecology, University of Missouri, 1993
• The Volvo Environmental Prize, 1993
• The United Nations Sasakawa Environment Prize, 1994
• The 1st Annual Heinz Award in the Environment (with Anne Ehrlich), 1995[45]
• The Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, 1998
• The Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for Environmental Sciences, 1998
• The Blue Planet Prize, 1999
• The Eminent Ecologist Award of the Ecological Society of America, 2001
• The Distinguished Scientist Award of the American Institute of Biological Sciences, 2001
• Ramon Margalef Prize in Ecology and Environmental Sciences of the Generalitat of Catalonia, 2009.
• Fellow of the Royal Society of London 2012 [1]
• 2013 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Ecology and Conservation Biology



• How to Know the Butterflies (1960)
• Process of Evolution (1963)
• Butterflies and Plants: A Study in Coevolution (1964)
• The Population Bomb (1968, revised 1971, updated 1978, re-issued 1988, 1998, 2008 and 2018)
• Population, Resources, Environments: Issues in Human Ecology (1970)
• How to Be a Survivor (1971)
• Man and the Ecosphere: Readings from Scientific American (1971)
• Population, Resources, Environments: Issues in Human Ecology Second Edition (1972)
• Human Ecology: Problems and Solutions (1973)
• Introductory Biology (1973)
• The End of Affluence (1975)
• Biology and Society (1976)
• Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment (1978)
• The Race Bomb (1978)
• Extinction (1981)
• The Golden Door: International Migration, Mexico, and the United States(1981)
• The Cold and the Dark: The World after Nuclear War (1984, with Carl Sagan, Donald Kennedy, and Walter Orr Roberts)
• The Machinery of Nature: The Living World Around Us and How it Works(1986)
• Earth (1987, co-authored with Anne Ehrlich)
• Science of Ecology (1987, with Joan Roughgarden)
• The Cassandra Conference: Resources and the Human Predicament(1988)
• The Birder's Handbook: A field Guide to the Natural History of North American Birds (1988, with David S. Dobkin and Darryl Wheye)
• New World, New Mind: Moving Towards Conscious Evolution (1988, co-authored with Robert Ornstein)[46]
• The Population Explosion (1990, with Anne Ehrlich)
• Healing the Planet: Strategies for Resolving the Environmental Crisis(1991, co-authored with Anne Ehrlich)
• Birds in Jeopardy: The Imperiled and Extinct Birds of the United States and Canada, Including Hawaii and Puerto Rico (1992, with David S. Dobkin and Darryl Wheye)
• The Stork and the Plow : The Equity Answer to the Human Dilemma (1995, with Anne Ehrlich and Gretchen C. Daily)
• A World of Wounds: Ecologists and the Human Dilemma (1997)
• Betrayal of Science and Reason: How Anti-Environment Rhetoric Threatens Our Future (1998, with Anne Ehrlich)
• Wild Solutions: How Biodiversity is Money in the Bank (2001, with Andrew Beattie)
• Human Natures: Genes, Cultures, and the Human Prospect (2002)
• One With Nineveh: Politics, Consumption, and the Human Future (2004, with Anne Ehrlich)
• On the Wings of Checkerspots: A Model System for Population Biology(2004, edited volume, co-edited with Ilkka Hanski)
• The Dominant Animal: Human Evolution and the Environment (2008, with Anne Ehrlich)
• Humanity on a Tightrope: Thoughts on Empathy, Family, and Big Changes for a Viable Future (2010, with Robert E. Ornstein)
• Conservation Biology for All (2010, edited volume, co-edited with Navjot S. Sodhi)
• Hope on Earth: A Conversation (2014, co-authored with Michael Charles Tobias) ISBN 978-0-226-11368-5
• Killing the Koala and Poisoning the Prairie: Australia, America and the Environment (2015, co-authored with Corey J. A. Bradshaw)
• The Annihilation of Nature: Human Extinction of Birds and Mammals(2015, with Anne Ehrlich and Gerardo Ceballos)


• Ehrlich, P. R. (2010). "The MAHB, the Culture Gap, and Some Really Inconvenient Truths". PLoS Biology. 8 (4): e1000330. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000330. PMC 2850377. PMID 20386722.
• Ceballos, Gerardo; Ehrlich, Paul R.; Barnosky, Anthony D.; García, Andrés; Pringle, Robert M.; Palmer, Todd M. (2015). "Accelerated modern human–induced species losses: Entering the sixth mass extinction". Science Advances. 1 (5): e1400253. doi:10.1126/sciadv.1400253. PMC 4640606. PMID 26601195.
• Ceballos, Gerardo; Ehrlich, Paul R.; Dirzo, Rodolfo (23 May 2017). "Biological annihilation via the ongoing sixth mass extinction signaled by vertebrate population losses and declines". PNAS. 114 (30): E6089–E6096. doi:10.1073/pnas.1704949114. PMC 5544311. PMID 28696295.

See also

• Demography
• Passenger pigeon
• Population Connection
• Malthusianism
• Netherlands fallacy



1. Professor Paul R. Ehrlich ForMemRS, The Royal Society, retrieved September 26, 2012.
2. Mieszkowski, Katharine (2008-09-17). "Do we need population control?". Retrieved 2012-09-27.
3. Leaders from the 1960s: A Biographical Sourcebook of American Activism. Greenwood Press, 1994. 1994. p. 318. ISBN 9780313274145.
4. Tierney, John (December 2, 1990). "Betting on the Planet". The New York Times. Retrieved September 26, 2012.
5. Ronald Bailey (30 December 2010). "Cracked Crystal Ball: Environmental Catastrophe Edition". – Free minds and free markets. Reason Foundation. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
6. Haub, Carl (5 November 2008). "In Defense of Paul Ehrlich". Behind the Numbers: The PRB blog on population, health, and the environment. Retrieved 10 February 2011.
7. Ehrlich, Paul (13 August 2004). "When Paul's Said and Done". Grist Magazine. Archived from the original on 15 November 2004. Retrieved 24 Sep 2015. Some things I predicted have not come to pass.
8. Phillip Adams; Kate MacDonald (19 November 2009). "PAUL EHRLICH". Radio National. ABC. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
9. Inherit the Holy Mountain: Religion and the Rise of American Environmentalism. Oxford University Press, 2015. 2017-09-15. p. 260. ISBN 9780190697945.
10. Ehrlich, Paul R., "The Morphology, Phylogeny and Higher Classification of the Butterflies (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea)," Ph.D. dissertation, University of Kansas, May 1957.
11. Ehrlich, Paul R.; Raven, Peter H. (1964). "Butterflies and Plants: A Study in Coevolution". Evolution. 18 (4): 586–608. doi:10.2307/2406212. JSTOR 2406212.
12. Paul R. Ehrlich (2001). "PAUL R. EHRLICH" (PDF). Paul R. Ehrlich Resume. Stanford University. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
13. Lewis, J. "Biologist Paul R. Ehrlich. Six billion and counting". Scientific American October 2000, pages 30, 32.
14. "Paul R. Ehrlich". Center for Conservation Biology – Department of Biology. Stanford University. 2013. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
15. Tom Turner (2011). "Story: Paul Ehrlich, the Vindication of a Public Scholar". (first published by The Earth Island Journal). American Public Media. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
16. Paul R. Ehrlich; Anne H. Ehrlich (2009). "The Population Bomb Revisited" (PDF). Electronic Journal of Sustainable Development. 1 (3): 63–71. Retrieved September 26, 2012.
17. Dan Gardner (2010). Future Babble: Why Expert Predictions Fail – and Why We Believe Them Anyway. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart.
18. Ehrlich, Paul R. (1968). The Population Bomb. Ballantine Books.
19. Lomborg, Bjørn (2002). The skeptical environmentalist : measuring the real state of the world. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press. p. 350. ISBN 978-0-521-01068-9. In 1967 Paul Ehrlich predicted that the world was headed for massive starvation. In order to limit the extent of this, he believed – reasonably enough given his point of view – that aid should be given only to those countries that would have a chance to make it through. According to Ehrlich, India was not among them. We must "announce that we will no longer send emergency aid to countries such as India where sober analysis shows a hopeless imbalance between food production and population . . . Our inadequate aid ought to be reserved for those which can survive."
20. Ehrlich, Paul R.; Ehrlich, Anne H. (1990). The population explosion. London: Hutchinson. pp. 39–40. ISBN 978-0091745516. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
21. Daily, Gretchen C.; Ehrlich, Anne H. and Ehrlich, Paul R. Optimum Human Population Size. Population and Environment: A Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies Volume 15, Number 6, July 1994 01994 Human Sciences Press.
22. Katharine Mieszkowski (17 Sep 2008). "Do we need population control?".
23. Hall, Eleanor (31 October 2011). "Population analyst warns of catastrophe". The World Today. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
24. "Longterm studies of the Bay checkerspot butterfly and feasibility of reintroduction". Archived from the original on 2006-09-02.
25. Haberman, Clyde (2015-05-31). "The Unrealized Horrors of Population Explosion". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-05-31.
26. "Wheat yields are levelling off, even in some developing countries". June 25, 2012.
27. Maxim Lott (December 30, 2010). "Eight Botched Environmental Forecasts". FOX News. Retrieved 2015-10-31. Again, not totally accurate, but I never claimed to predict the future with full accuracy
28. Leonhardt, David (September 30, 2013). "Lessons From a Famous Bet". New York Times. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
29. Barry Commoner (May 1972). "A Bulletin Dialogue: on "The Closing Circle" — Response". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: 17–56.
30. Barry Commoner (May 1972). "A Bulletin Dialogue: on "The Closing Circle" — Response". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: 17–56. Population control (as distinct from voluntary, self-initiated control of fertility), no matter how disguised, involves some measure of political repression, and would burden the poor nations with the social cost of a situation — overpopulation — which is the current outcome of their previous exploitation, as colonies, by the wealthy nations.
31. Paul Ehrlich; Shirley Feldman (1978). The Race Bomb. Ballantine Books.
32. Carrington, Damian (March 22, 2018). "Paul Ehrlich: 'Collapse of civilisation is a near certainty within decades'". The Guardian. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
33. Simon, JL (June 27, 1980). "Resources, Population, Environment: An Oversupply of False Bad News". Science. 208 (4451): 1431–1437. doi:10.1126/science.7384784. JSTOR 1684670. PMID 7384784.
34. Ronald Bailey (2015). The End of Doom. St. Martin's Press. pp. 38, 59. ISBN 978-1-250-05767-9. ...nearly all resources in the past were much more expensive than they are today
35. Paul Ehrlich; Anne Ehrlich (2004). One with Nineveh:politics, consumption, and the human future. Island Press.
36. Patt Morrison (12 February 2011). "Paul R. Ehrlich: Saving Earth". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 4 March 2013. Consumption is equally important. I'd think the biggest problem is figuring out what to do on consumption. We don't have any consumption condoms.
37. Cristina Luiggi (1 December 2010). "Still Ticking". The Scientist. LabX Media Group. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
38. Ehrlich, Paul R.; Ehrlich, Anne H. (March 7, 2013). "Can a collapse of global civilization be avoided?". Proceedings of the Royal Society. B. 280 (1754): 20122845. doi:10.1098/rspb.2012.2845. PMC 3574335. PMID 23303549. Retrieved January 27, 2013. Also see: Comment by Prof. Michael Kelly, disagreeing with the paper by Ehrlich and Ehrlich; and response by the authors.
39. Colin Fraser (3 February 2008). "Green revolution could still blow up in our face". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
40. "Population Matters Patron". Archived from the original on 2014-06-25.
41. Zelko F. Optimizing nature: Invoking the “natural” in the struggle over water fluoridation. History of Science. 2018; 1–22.
42. "'True Zionists should have small families' suggests Paul Ehrlich, 40 years after writing 'The Population Bomb'".
43. "Whitney R. Harris World Ecology Center: Dr. Paul Ehrlich". Retrieved June 21, 2010.
44. Dowbiggen 2008, p. 168.
45. "The Heinz Awards, Paul and Anne Ehrlich profile". Retrieved 2012-05-20.
46. "New World New Mind - Pdf Edition". Archived from the original on 2012-02-05. Retrieved 2012-05-24.

Cited books

• Dowbiggin, Ian Robert (2008). The Sterilization Movement and Global Fertility in the Twentieth Century. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195188585.

Further reading

• Robertson, Thomas. (2012) The Malthusian Moment: Global Population Growth and the Birth of American Environmentalism, Rutgers University Press: New Brunswick, New Jersey. ISBN 0813552729.

External links

• Paul R. Ehrlich Papers
• Paul R. Ehrlich's faculty web page at Stanford University
• Biographical page at the International Center for Tropical Ecology, University of Missouri, St. Louis
• Paul R. Ehrlich on IMDb
• "The Population Bomb Revisited", Electronic Journal of Sustainable Development, 2009
• Several online Paul Ehrlich interviews
• "Plowboy Interview" of Paul Ehrlich, 1974 from The Mother Earth News
• Paul R. Ehrlich and the prophets of doom A look at Ehrlich's treatment of exponential growth.
• Paul Ehrlich, a prophet of global population doom who is gloomier than ever. The Guardian. October 2011.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sat Apr 20, 2019 1:05 am

Edward Cornish
Accessed: 4/19/19

Biographical Information

"Edward Cornish is the founder of the World Future Society and editor of its flagship publication, THE FUTURIST magazine.

"Mr. Cornish has been a student and proponent of futures studies for nearly five decades. He became interested in the impact of science and technology on human life while working as a National Geographic magazine science writer in the late 1950s. In 1966, he published a six-page newsletter consisting of brief reports on books and activities related to the future. Favorable response encouraged him to contemplate an association for people interested in forecasts and social and technological change. The World Future Society was officially launched in October 1966 with the support of comprehensive designer Buckminster Fuller, Nobel Prize winning chemist Glenn T. Seaborg, former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Orville Freeman, and many other futurist thinkers. The first issue of THE FUTURIST appeared in early 1967.

"As a futurist, he has served as an advisor for three U.S. presidents, co-authored a report by the White House’s National Goals Research Staff, and served as chief investigator of future studies for the National Science Foundation and the Library of Congress. Mr. Cornish penned "Your Changing World," a weekly syndicated column, from 1984 to 1986.

"Mr. Cornish is the author of The Study of the Future: An Introduction to the Art and Science of Understanding and Shaping Tomorrow’s World (1977) and has written and edited many publications for the World Future Society. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland[1]


1. World Future Society Edward Cornish, organizational web page, accessed May 10, 2012.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sat Apr 20, 2019 9:05 pm

Gregory Bateson
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/20/19



Gregory Bateson
Rudolph Arnheim (L) and Bateson (R) speaking at the American Federation of Arts 48th Annual Convention, 1957 Apr 6 / Eliot Elisofon, photographer. American Federation of Arts records, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Born 9 May 1904
Grantchester, England
Died 4 July 1980 (aged 76)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Known for Double bind, ecology of mind, deuterolearning, schismogenesis
Spouse(s) Margaret Mead
(m. 1936; div. 1950)
Elizabeth Sumner
(m. 1951; div. 1957)
Lois Cammack
(m. 1961)
Children 5, including Mary C. Bateson
Scientific career
Fields Anthropology, social sciences, linguistics, cybernetics, systems theory
Influences Margaret Mead, Conrad Hal Waddington, Warren McCulloch, Norbert Wiener, John von Neumann, Evelyn Hutchinson, Julian Bigelow
Influenced John C. Lilly, Heinz von Foerster, Jerry Brown, Richard Bandler, Stewart Brand, Gilles Deleuze, John Grinder, Félix Guattari, Jay Haley, Don D. Jackson, Bradford Keeney, Stephen Nachmanovitch, William Irwin Thompson, R. D. Laing, Paul Watzlawick, Carl Whitaker, Niklas Luhmann, Sharon Traweek; biosemiotics, application of type theory in social sciences, communication theory, ethnicity theory,[1] evolutionary biology, family therapy, brief therapy, neuro-linguistic programming, systemic coaching, anti-psychiatry, visual anthropology

Gregory Bateson (9 May 1904 – 4 July 1980) was an English anthropologist, social scientist, linguist, visual anthropologist, semiotician, and cyberneticist whose work intersected that of many other fields. In the 1940s, he helped extend systems theory and cybernetics to the social and behavioral sciences. He spent the last decade of his life developing a "meta-science" of epistemology to bring together the various early forms of systems theory developing in different fields of science.[2] His writings include Steps to an Ecology of Mind (1972) and Mind and Nature (1979). Angels Fear (published posthumously in 1987) was co-authored by his daughter Mary Catherine Bateson.

In Palo Alto, California, Bateson and his colleagues Donald Jackson, Jay Haley and John H. Weakland developed the double-bind theory (see also Bateson Project).[3]

Bateson's interest in systems theory and cybernetics forms a thread running through his work. He was one of the original members of the core group of the Macy conferences in Cybernetics, and the later set on Group Processes, where he represented the social and behavioral sciences. Bateson was interested in the relationship of these fields to epistemology. His association with the editor and author Stewart Brand helped to widen his influence. From the 1970s until his last years, a broader audience of university students and educated people working in many fields came to know his thought.

In 1956, he became a naturalised citizen of the United States. Bateson was a member of William Irwin Thompson's Lindisfarne Association. In the 1970s, he taught at the Humanistic Psychology Institute (renamed the Saybrook University) in San Francisco;[4] and in 1972 joined the faculty of Kresge College at the University of California, Santa Cruz.[5] He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1976.[6] In 1976, California Governor Jerry Brown appointed Bateson to the Regents of the University of California,[7] in which position he served until his death (although he resigned from the Special Research Projects committee in 1979, in opposition to the university's work on nuclear weapons). He died on Independence Day, 1980, in the guest house of the San Francisco Zen Center.[8]

Personal life

Bateson was born in Grantchester in Cambridgeshire, England, on 9 May 1904. He was the third and youngest son of (Caroline) Beatrice Durham and the distinguished geneticist William Bateson. He was named Gregory after Gregor Mendel, the Austrian monk who founded the modern science of genetics.[9]

The younger Bateson attended Charterhouse School from 1917 to 1921, obtained a Bachelor of Arts in biology at St. John's College, Cambridge, in 1925, and continued at Cambridge from 1927 to 1929. Bateson lectured in linguistics at the University of Sydney in 1928. From 1931 to 1937, he was a Fellow of St. John's College, spent the years before World War II in the South Pacific in New Guinea and Bali doing anthropology. During 1936–1950, he was married to Margaret Mead.[10] At that time he applied his knowledge to the war effort before moving to the United States.

Bateson's life, according to Lipset (1982), was greatly affected by the death of his two brothers. John Bateson (1898–1918), the eldest of the three, was killed in World War I. Martin Bateson (1900–1922), the second brother, was then expected to follow in his father's footsteps as a scientist, but came into conflict with his father over his ambition to become a poet and playwright. The resulting stress, combined with a disappointment in love, resulted in Martin's public suicide by gunshot under the statue of Anteros in Piccadilly Circus on 22 April 1922, which was John's birthday. After this event, which transformed a private family tragedy into public scandal, all William and Beatrice's ambitious expectations fell on Gregory, their only surviving son.[11]

Bateson's first marriage, in 1936, was to American cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead.[12] Bateson and Mead had a daughter, Mary Catherine Bateson (born 1939), who also became an anthropologist.[13] Bateson separated from Mead in 1947, and they were divorced in 1950.[14] In 1951, he married his second wife Elizabeth "Betty" Sumner (1919–1992), the daughter of the Episcopalian Bishop of Oregon, Walter Taylor Sumner.[15] They had a son, John Sumner Bateson (1951–2015), as well as twins who died shortly after birth in 1953. Bateson and Sumner were divorced in 1957, after which Bateson married his third wife, the therapist and social worker Lois Cammack (born 1928), in 1961. They had one daughter, Nora Bateson (born 1969).[14]

Bateson was a lifelong atheist, as his family had been for several generations.[16]

The 2014 novel Euphoria by Lily King is a fictionalized account of Bateson's relationships with Mead and Reo Fortune in pre-WWII New Guinea.[17]


Where others might see a set of inexplicable details, Bateson perceived simple relationships.[18] In "From Versailles to Cybernetics," Bateson argues that the history of the twentieth century can be perceived as the history of a malfunctioning relationship. In his view, the Treaty of Versailles exemplifies a whole pattern of human relationships based on betrayal and hate. He therefore claims that the treaty of Versailles and the development of cybernetics—which for him represented the possibility of improved relationships—are the only two anthropologically important events of the twentieth century.[19]


WWII and Office of Strategic Services career

Although initially reluctant to join the intelligence services, served in OSS during World War II along with dozens of other anthropologists.[20] He was stationed in the same offices as Julia Child (then Julia McWilliams), Paul Cushing Child, and others.[21] He spent much of the war designing 'black propaganda' radio broadcasts. He was deployed on covert operations in Burma and Thailand, and worked in China, India, and Ceylon as well. Bateson used his theory of schismogenesis to help foster discord among enemy fighters. He was upset by his wartime experience and disagreed with his wife over whether science should be applied to social planning or used only to foster understanding rather than action.[20]

Early Work: New Guinea and Bali

Bateson's beginning years as an anthropologist were spent floundering, lost without a specific objective in mind. He began first with a trip to New Guinea, spurred by mentor A. C. Haddon.[22] His goal, as suggested by Haddon, was to explore the effects of contact between the Sepik natives and whites. Unfortunately for Bateson, his time spent with the Baining of New Guinea was halted and difficult. The Baining turned out to be secretive and excluded him from many aspects of their society. On more than one occasion he was tricked into missing communal activities, and they held out on their religion.[22] He left them, frustrated. He next studied the Sulka, another native population of New Guinea. Although the Sulka were dramatically different from the Baining and their culture much more "visible" to the observer, he felt their culture was dying, which left him feeling dispirited and discouraged.[22]

He experienced more success with the Iatmul people, another indigenous people of the Sepik River region of New Guinea. He would always return to the idea of communications and relations or interactions between and among people. The observations he made of the Iatmul allowed him to develop his concept of schismogenesis. He studied the 'naven', an honorific ceremony among the Iatmul, still continued today, that celebrates first-time cultural achievements. The ceremony entails many antics that are normally forbidden during everyday social life. For example, men and women reverse and exaggerate gender roles; men dress in women's skirts, and women dress in men's attire and ornaments.[22] Additionally, certain categories of female kin smear mud in the faces of other relatives, beat them with sticks, and hurl bawdy insults. Mothers may drop to the ground so their celebrated 'child' walks over them. And during a male rite, a mother's brother may slide his buttocks down the leg of his honoured sister's son, a complex gesture of masculine birthing, pride, and insult, rarely performed before women, that brings the honoured sister's son to tears.[23] Bateson suggested the influence of a circular system of causation, and proposed that:

Women watched for the spectacular performances of the men, and there can be no reasonable doubt that the presence of an audience is a very important factor in shaping the men's behavior. In fact, it is probable that the men are more exhibitionistic because the women admire their performances. Conversely, there can be no doubt that the spectacular behavior is a stimulus which summons the audience together, promoting in the women the appropriate behavior.[22]

In short, the behaviour of person X affects person Y, and the reaction of person Y to person X's behaviour will then affect person X's behaviour, which in turn will affect person Y, and so on. Bateson called this the "vicious circle."[22] He then discerned two models of schismogenesis: symmetrical and complementary.[22] Symmetrical relationships are those in which the two parties are equals, competitors, such as in sports. Complementary relationships feature an unequal balance, such as dominance-submission (parent-child), or exhibitionism-spectatorship (performer-audience). Bateson's experiences with the Iatmul led him to publish a book in 1936 titled Naven: A Survey of the Problems suggested by a Composite Picture of the Culture of a New Guinea Tribe drawn from Three Points of View (Cambridge University Press). The book proved to be a watershed in anthropology and modern social science.[24]

Until Bateson published Naven, most anthropologists assumed a realist approach to studying culture, in which one simply described social reality. Bateson's book argued that this approach was naive, since an anthropologist's account of a culture was always and fundamentally shaped by whatever theory the anthropologist employed to define and analyse the data. To think otherwise, stated Bateson, was to be guilty of what Alfred North Whitehead called the "fallacy of misplaced concreteness." There was no singular or self-evident way to understand the Iatmul naven rite. Instead, Bateson analysed the rite from three unique points of view: sociological, ethological, and eidological. The book, then, was not a presentation of anthropological analysis but an epistemological account that explored the nature of anthropological analysis itself.

The sociological point of view sought to identify how the ritual helped bring about social integration. In the 1930s, most anthropologists understood marriage rules to regularly ensure that social groups renewed their alliances. But Iatmul, argued Bateson, had contradictory marriage rules. Marriage, in other words, could not guarantee that a marriage between two clans would at some definite point in the future recur. Instead, Bateson continued, the naven rite filled this function by regularly ensuring exchanges of food, valuables, and sentiment between mothers' brothers and their sisters' children, or between separate lineages. Naven, from this angle, held together the different social groups of each village into a unified whole.

The ethological point of view interpreted the ritual in terms of the conventional emotions associated with normative male and female behaviour, which Bateson called ethos. In Iatmul culture, observed Bateson, men and women lived different emotional lives. For example, women were rather submissive and took delight in the achievement of others; men fiercely competitive and flamboyant. During the ritual, however, men celebrated the achievement of their nieces and nephews while women were given ritual license to act raucously. In effect, naven allowed men and women to experience momentarily the emotional lives of each other, and thereby to achieve a level of psychological integration.

The third and final point of view, the eidological, was the least successful. Here Bateson endeavoured to correlate the organisation structure of the naven ceremony with the habitual patterns of Iatmul thought. Much later, Bateson would harness the very same idea to the development of the double-bind theory of schizophrenia.

In the Epilogue to the book, Bateson was clear: "The writing of this book has been an experiment, or rather a series of experiments, in methods of thinking about anthropological material." That is to say, his overall point was not to describe Iatmul culture of the naven ceremony but to explore how different modes of analysis, using different premises and analytic frameworks, could lead to different explanations of the same sociocultural phenomenon. Not only did Bateson's approach re-shape fundamentally the anthropological approach to culture, but the naven rite itself has remained a locus classicus in the discipline. In fact, the meaning of the ritual continues to inspire anthropological analysis.[25]

Bateson next travelled to Bali with his new wife Margaret Mead. They studied the people of the Balinese village Bajoeng Gede. Here, Lipset states, "in the short history of ethnographic fieldwork, film was used both on a large scale and as the primary research tool."[22] Indeed, Bateson took 25,000 photographs of their Balinese subjects.[26]

Bateson discovered that the people of Bajoeng Gede raised their children very unlike children raised in Western societies. Instead of attention being paid to a child who was displaying a climax of emotion (love or anger), Balinese mothers would ignore them. Bateson notes, "The child responds to [a mother's] advances with either affection or temper, but the response falls into a vacuum. In Western cultures, such sequences lead to small climaxes of love or anger, but not so in Bali. At the moment when a child throws its arms around the mother's neck or bursts into tears, the mother's attention wanders".[22] This model of stimulation and refusal was also seen in other areas of the culture. Bateson later described the style of Balinese relations as stasis instead of schismogenesis. Their interactions were "muted" and did not follow the schismogenetic process because they did not often escalate competition, dominance, or submission.[22]

After Bali, Bateson and Mead returned to the Sepik River in 1938, and settled into the village of Tambunum, where Bateson spent three days in the 1920s. They aimed to replicate the Balinese project on the relationship between childraising and temperament, and between conventions of the body – such as pose, grimace, holding infants, facial expressions, etc. – reflected wider cultural themes and values. Bateson snapped some 10,000 black and white photographs, and Mead typed thousands of pages of fieldnotes. But Bateson and Mead never published anything substantial from this research.[27]

Bateson and Margaret Mead contrasted first and Second-order cybernetics with this diagram in an interview in 1973.[28]

Bateson's encounter with Mead on the Sepik river (Chapter 16) and their life together in Bali (Chapter 17) is described in Mead's autobiography Blackberry Winter: My Earlier Years (Angus and Robertson. London. 1973). Catherine's birth in New York on 8 December 1939 is recounted in Chapter 18.

Double bind

In 1956 in Palo Alto, Bateson and his colleagues Donald Jackson, Jay Haley, and John Weakland[3] articulated a related theory of schizophrenia as stemming from double bind situations. The double bind refers to a communication paradox described first in families with a schizophrenic member. The first place where double binds were described (though not named as such) was according to Bateson, in Samuel Butler's The Way of All Flesh (a semi-autobiographical novel about Victorian hypocrisy and cover-up).[29]

Full double bind requires several conditions to be met:[citation needed]

1. The victim of double bind receives contradictory injunctions or emotional messages on different levels of communication (for example, love is expressed by words, and hate or detachment by nonverbal behaviour; or a child is encouraged to speak freely, but criticised or silenced whenever he or she actually does so).
2. No metacommunication is possible – for example, asking which of the two messages is valid or describing the communication as making no sense.
3. The victim cannot leave the communication field.
4. Failing to fulfill the contradictory injunctions is punished (for example, by withdrawal of love).

The strange behaviour and speech of schizophrenics was explained by Bateson et al. as an expression of this paradoxical situation, and were seen in fact as an adaptive response, which should be valued as a cathartic and transformative experience.

The double bind was originally presented (probably mainly under the influence of Bateson's psychiatric co-workers) as an explanation of part of the etiology of schizophrenia. Currently, it is considered to be more important as an example of Bateson's approach to the complexities of communication which is what he understood it to be.[citation needed]

The role of somatic change in evolution

According to Merriam-Webster's dictionary the term somatic is basically defined as the body or body cells of change distinguished from germplasm or psyche/mind. Bateson writes about how the actual physical changes in the body occur within evolutionary processes.[30] He describes this through the introduction of the concept of "economics of flexibility".[30] In his conclusion he makes seven statements or theoretical positions which may be supported by his ideology.

The first is the idea that although environmental stresses have theoretically been believed to guide or dictate the changes in the soma (physical body), the introduction of new stresses do not automatically result in the physical changes necessary for survival as suggested by original evolutionary theory.[30] In fact the introduction of these stresses can greatly weaken the organism. An example that he gives is the sheltering of a sick person from the weather or the fact that someone who works in an office would have a hard time working as a rock climber and vice versa. The second position states that though "the economics of flexibility has a logical structure-each successive demand upon flexibility fractioning the set of available possibilities".[30] This means that theoretically speaking each demand or variable creates a new set of possibilities. Bateson's third conclusion is "that the genotypic change commonly makes demand upon the adjustive ability of the soma".[30] This, he states, is the commonly held belief among biologists although there is no evidence to support the claim. Added demands are made on the soma by sequential genotypic modifications is the fourth position. Through this he suggests the following three expectations:[30]

1. The idea that organisms that have been through recent modifications will be delicate.
2. The belief that these organisms will become progressively harmful or dangerous.
3. That over time these new "breeds" will become more resistant to the stresses of the environment and change in genetic traits.

The fifth theoretical position which Bateson believes is supported by his data is that characteristics within an organism that have been modified due to environmental stresses may coincide with genetically determined attributes.[30] His sixth position is that it takes less economic flexibility to create somatic change than it does to cause a genotypic modification. The seventh and final theory he believes to be supported is the idea that in rare occasions there will be populations whose changes will not be in accordance with the thesis presented within this paper. According to Bateson, none of these positions (at the time) could be tested but he called for the creation of a test which could possibly prove or disprove the theoretical positions suggested within.[30]

Ecological anthropology and cybernetics

In his book Steps to an Ecology of Mind, Bateson applied cybernetics to the field of ecological anthropology and the concept of homeostasis.[31] He saw the world as a series of systems containing those of individuals, societies and ecosystems. Within each system is found competition and dependency. Each of these systems has adaptive changes which depend upon feedback loops to control balance by changing multiple variables. Bateson believed that these self-correcting systems were conservative by controlling exponential slippage. He saw the natural ecological system as innately good as long as it was allowed to maintain homeostasis[31] and that the key unit of survival in evolution was an organism and its environment.[31]

Bateson also viewed that all three systems of the individual, society and ecosystem were all together a part of one supreme cybernetic system that controls everything instead of just interacting systems.[31] This supreme cybernetic system is beyond the self of the individual and could be equated to what many people refer to as God, though Bateson referred to it as Mind.[31] While Mind is a cybernetic system, it can only be distinguished as a whole and not parts. Bateson felt Mind was immanent in the messages and pathways of the supreme cybernetic system. He saw the root of system collapses as a result of Occidental or Western epistemology. According to Bateson, consciousness is the bridge between the cybernetic networks of individual, society and ecology and the mismatch between the systems due to improper understanding will result in the degradation of the entire supreme cybernetic system or Mind. Bateson thought that consciousness as developed through Occidental epistemology was at direct odds with Mind.[31]

At the heart of the matter is scientific hubris. Bateson argues that Occidental epistemology perpetuates a system of understanding which is purpose or means-to-an-end driven.[31] Purpose controls attention and narrows perception, thus limiting what comes into consciousness and therefore limiting the amount of wisdom that can be generated from the perception. Additionally Occidental epistemology propagates the false notion that man exists outside Mind and this leads man to believe in what Bateson calls the philosophy of control based upon false knowledge.[31]

Bateson presents Occidental epistemology as a method of thinking that leads to a mindset in which man exerts an autocratic rule over all cybernetic systems.[31] In exerting his autocratic rule man changes the environment to suit him and in doing so he unbalances the natural cybernetic system of controlled competition and mutual dependency. The purpose-driven accumulation of knowledge ignores the supreme cybernetic system and leads to the eventual breakdown of the entire system. Bateson claims that man will never be able to control the whole system because it does not operate in a linear fashion and if man creates his own rules for the system, he opens himself up to becoming a slave to the self-made system due to the non-linear nature of cybernetics. Lastly, man's technological prowess combined with his scientific hubris gives him the potential to irrevocably damage and destroy the supreme cybernetic system, instead of just disrupting the system temporally until the system can self-correct.[31]

Bateson argues for a position of humility and acceptance of the natural cybernetic system instead of scientific arrogance as a solution.[31] He believes that humility can come about by abandoning the view of operating through consciousness alone. Consciousness is only one way in which to obtain knowledge and without complete knowledge of the entire cybernetic system disaster is inevitable. The limited conscious must be combined with the unconscious in complete synthesis. Only when thought and emotion are combined in whole is man able to obtain complete knowledge. He believed that religion and art are some of the few areas in which a man is acting as a whole individual in complete consciousness. By acting with this greater wisdom of the supreme cybernetic system as a whole man can change his relationship to Mind from one of schism, in which he is endlessly tied up in constant competition, to one of complementarity. Bateson argues for a culture that promotes the most general wisdom and is able to flexibly change within the supreme cybernetic system.[31]

Other terms used by Bateson

• Abduction. Used by Bateson to refer to a third scientific methodology (along with induction and deduction) which was central to his own holistic and qualitative approach. Refers to a method of comparing patterns of relationship, and their symmetry or asymmetry (as in, for example, comparative anatomy), especially in complex organic (or mental) systems. The term was originally coined by American Philosopher/Logician Charles Sanders Peirce, who used it to refer to the process by which scientific hypotheses are generated.
• Criteria of Mind (from Mind and Nature A Necessary Unity):[31]
1. Mind is an aggregate of interacting parts or components.
2. The interaction between parts of mind is triggered by difference.
3. Mental process requires collateral energy.
4. Mental process requires circular (or more complex) chains of determination.
5. In mental process the effects of difference are to be regarded as transforms (that is, coded versions) of the difference which preceded them.
6. The description and classification of these processes of transformation discloses a hierarchy of logical types immanent in the phenomena.
• Creatura and Pleroma. Borrowed from Carl Jung who applied these gnostic terms in his "Seven Sermons To the Dead".[32] Like the Hindu term maya, the basic idea captured in this distinction is that meaning and organisation are projected onto the world. Pleroma refers to the non-living world that is undifferentiated by subjectivity; Creatura for the living world, subject to perceptual difference, distinction, and information.
• Deuterolearning. A term he coined in the 1940s referring to the organisation of learning, or learning to learn:[33]
• Schismogenesis – the emergence of divisions within social groups.
• Information – Bateson defined information as "a difference which makes a difference." For Bateson, information in fact mediated Alfred Korzybski's map–territory relation, and thereby resolved, according to Bateson, the mind-body problem.[34][35][36]

Continuing extensions of Bateson's work

His daughter Mary Catherine Bateson published a joint biography of her parents (Bateson and Margaret Mead) in 1984.[37] Bateson's legacy was reintroduced to new audiences by his daughter the filmmaker Nora Bateson, with the release of An Ecology of Mind, a documentary that premiered at the Vancouver International Film Festival.[38] This film was selected as the audience favourite with the Morton Marcus Documentary Feature Award at the 2011 Santa Cruz Film Festival,[39] and honoured with the 2011 John Culkin Award for Outstanding Praxis in the Field of Media Ecology by the Media Ecology Association.[40] The Bateson Idea Group (BIG) initiated a web presence in October 2010. The group collaborated with the American Society for Cybernetics for a joint meeting in July 2012 at the Asilomar Conference Grounds in California.

See also

• Ray Birdwhistell
• Coherence therapy § Hierarchical organization of constructs
• Complex systems
• Constructivist epistemology
• Cybernetics
• Family therapy
• Holism
• Ignacio Matte Blanco
• Macy Conferences
• Systems science portal
• Margaret Mead
• Mary Catherine Bateson
• Mind-body problem
• Niklas Luhmann
• Second-order cybernetics
• Systems philosophy
• Systems theory in anthropology
• Systems thinking



• Bateson, Gregory (1944). An Analysis of the Film "Hitlerjunge Quex" (1933). New York?. OCLC 41057404.
• Bateson, G. (1958). Naven: A Survey of the Problems suggested by a Composite Picture of the Culture of a New Guinea Tribe drawn from Three Points of View (1936). Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-0520-8.
• Bateson, G.; Mead, M. (1942). Balinese Character: A Photographic Analysis. New York Academy of Sciences. ISBN 0-89072-780-5.
• Ruesch, J.; Bateson, G. (2009) [1951]. Communication: The Social Matrix of Psychiatry. W.W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-1-4128-0614-5. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
• Bateson, G. (2000) [1972]. Steps to an Ecology of Mind: Collected Essays in Anthropology, Psychiatry, Evolution, and Epistemology. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-03905-6. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
• Bateson, G. (1979). Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity (Advances in Systems Theory, Complexity, and the Human Sciences). Hampton Press. ISBN 1-57273-434-5.
• (published posthumously), Bateson, G.; Bateson, MC (1988). Angels Fear: Towards an Epistemology of the Sacred. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-553-34581-0.
• (published posthumously), Bateson, G.; Donaldson, Rodney E. (1991). A Sacred Unity: Further Steps to an Ecology of Mind. Harper Collins. ISBN 0-06-250100-3.
Articles, a selection
• 1956, Bateson, The message 'this is play.' In B. Schaffner (Ed.), Group Processes: Transactions of the Second Conference (pp. 145–242) New York: Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation.
• 1956, Bateson, G., Jackson, D. D., Jay Haley & Weakland, J., "Toward a Theory of Schizophrenia", Behavioral Science, vol.1, 1956, 251–264. (Reprinted in Steps to an Ecology of Mind)
• Bateson, G.; Jackson, D. (1964). "Some varieties of pathogenic organization. In Disorders of Communication". Research Publications. Association for Research in Nervous and Mental Disease. 42: 270–283.
• 1978, Malcolm, J., "The One-Way Mirror" (reprinted in the collection "The Purloined Clinic"). Ostensibly about family therapist Salvador Minuchin, essay digresses for several pages into a meditation on Bateson's role in the origin of family therapy, his intellectual pedigree, and the impasse he reached with Jay Haley.
Documentary film
• Trance and Dance in Bali, a short documentary film shot by cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson in the 1930s, but it was not released until 1952. The film was an inductee of the 1999 National Film Registry list.[41]
• An Ecology of Mind, a documentary film shot by Nora Bateson and released in 2010 through The Impact Media Group, includes segments from Bateson's early films made in Bali.


1. Thomas Hylland Eriksen, "Bateson and the North Sea Ethnicity paradigm",
2. Lipset, David (1980). Gregory Bateson: Legacy of a Scientist. Prentice-Hall. ISBN 0133650561.
3. Bateson, G.; Jackson, D. D.; Haley, J.; Weakland, J. (1956). "Toward a theory of schizophrenia". Behavioral Science. 1 (4): 251–264. doi:10.1002/bs.3830010402.
4. Gordon, Susan (2013). "Editor's Introduction". In Susan Gordon (ed.). Neurophenomenology and Its Applications to Psychology. New York: Springer Publishing. p. xxxii. ISBN 978-1-4614-7238-4.
5. Per the jacket copy of the first edition of Mind and Nature (1979)
6. "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter B" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 21 May 2011.
7. "The Regents of the University of California (list)" (PDF). University of California. Retrieved 31 August 2014.
8. 'Gregory Bateson: Old Men Ought to be Explorers', Stephen Nachmanovitch, CoEvolution Quarterly, Fall 1982
9. Koestler, Arthur (1926). The Case of the Midwife Toad.
10. NNDB, Gregory Bateson, Soylent Communications, 2007.
11. Schuetzenberger, Anne. The Ancestor Syndrome. New York, Routledge. 1998.
12. Encyclopædia Britannica (2007). "Gregory Bateson". Retrieved from Britannica Concise, 5 August 2007
13. "Mary Catherine Bateson". Mary Catherine Bateson. Retrieved 27 July2013.
14. To Cherish the Life of the World: Selected Letters of Margaret Mead. Margaret M. Caffey and Patricia A. Francis, eds. With foreword by Mary Catherine Bateson. New York. Basic Books. 2006.
15. "Walter Taylor Sumner". Find a Grave. 21 August 2011. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
16. Noel G. Charlton (2008). Understanding Gregory Bateson: mind, beauty, and the sacred earth. SUNY Press. p. 29. ISBN 9780791474525. This was to be the last large-scale work of lifelong atheist Bateson, seeking to understand the meaning of the sacred.
17. Eakin, Emily (6 June 2014). "Going Native: 'Euphoria,' by Lily King". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
18. Tognetti, Sylvia S. (2002). "Bateson, Gregory". In Peter Timmerman (ed.). Encyclopedia of Global Environmental Chang e (PDF). Chichester: Wiley. pp. 183–184. ISBN 0-471-97796-9. Retrieved 15 August 2012. Instead, Bateson stressed the importance of relationships that provide the basis for organization, and that are a greater limiting factor than energy. Relationships, which are sustained through communication of information rather than by energy flows, are also important as a source of information about context and meaning.
19. Bateson, Gregory (21 April 1966). ""Versailles to Cybernetics"". Steps to an Ecology of Mind. pp. 477–485. Retrieved 15 August 2012. This is what mammals are about. They are concerned with patterns of relationship, with where they stand in love, hate, respect, dependency, trust, and similar abstractions, vis-à-vis somebody else.
20. Gregory Bateson and the OSS: World War II and Bateson's Assessment of Applied Anthropology, by Dr David H. Price,
21. Conant, Jennet (2011). A Covert Affair Julia Child and Paul Child in the OSS. Simon and Schuster. p. 43.
22. Lipset, 1982[page needed]
23. ^ Silverman, Eric Kline (2001) Masculinity, Motherhood and Mockery: Psychoanalyzing Culture and the Iatmul Naven Rite in Ne Guinea. University of Michigan Press
24. Marcus, George (1985) A Timely Rereading of Naven: Gregory Bateson as Oracular Essayist. Raritan 12:66–82.
25. See, most recently, Michael Houseman and Carlo Seviri, 1998, Naven or the Other Self: A Relational Approach to Ritual Action (Leiden: Brill); Eric Kline Silverman, 2001, Masculinity, Motherhood and Mockery: Psychoanalyzing Culture and the Iatmul Naven Rite in New Guinea (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press); Andrew Moutu, 2013, Names are Thicker than Blood: Kinship and Ownership amongst the Iatmul (Oxford University Press).
26. Harries-Jones, Peter (1995). A Recursive Vision: Ecological Understanding and Gregory Bateson. University of Toronto Press.
27. Silverman, Eric Kline. Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson in the Sepik, 1938: A Timely Polemic From a Lost Anthropological Efflorescence. Pacific Studies 28 (3/4) 2005:128-41.
28. Interview Archived 26 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine with Gregory Bateson and Margaret Mead, in: CoEvolutionary Quarterly, June 1973.
29. Bateson, Steps to an ecology of mind
30. Bateson, Gregory (December 1963). "The Role of Somatic Change in Evolution". Evolution. 17 (4): 529–539. doi:10.2307/2407104. JSTOR 2407104.
31. Bateson, Gregory (1972). Steps to an Ecology of Mind: Collected Essays in Anthropology, Psychiatry, Evolution, and Epistemology. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-03905-6.
32. Carl Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Vintage Books, 1961, ISBN 0-394-70268-9, p. 378
33. Visser, Max (2002). Managing knowledge and action in organizations; towards a behavioral theory of organizational learning. EURAM Conference, Organizational Learning and Knowledge Management, Stockholm, Sweden.
34. Form, Substance, and Difference, in Steps to an Ecology of Mind, p. 448-466
35. David A Reid. "". Archived from the original on 4 February 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
36. "". Retrieved 27 July 2013.
37. Bateson, M. C. (1984). With a daughter's eye: A memoir of Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson. New York: Pocket Books.
38. [1][dead link]
39. "2011 SCFF Award Winners". Santa Cruz Film Festival. Archived from the original on 29 July 2013. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
40. "The 2011 MEA Awards". Retrieved 27 July 2013.
41. ... y-listing/ | accessed 3/18/2018

Sources and further reading

• 1982 Carol Wilder and John Weakland, Rigor and Imagination: Essays from the Legacy of Gregory Bateson. New York: Praeger.
• Lipset, David (1982). Gregory Bateson: the Legacy of a Scientist. Beacon Press.
• 1982, Stephen Nachmanovitch, Gregory Bateson: Old Men Ought to be Explorers, CoEvolution Quarterly, Fall 1982.
• 1992, Gregory Bateson's Theory of Mind : Practical Applications to Pedagogy by Lawrence Bale. Nov. 1992, (Published online by Lawrence Bale, D&O Press, Nov. 2000).
• Article The Double Bind: The Intimate Tie Between Behaviour and Communication by Patrice Guillaume
• 1995, Paper Gregory Bateson: Cybernetics and the social behavioral sciences by Lawrence S. Bale, PhD: First Published in: Cybernetics & Human Knowing: A Journal of Second Order Cybernetics & Cyber-Semiotics, Vol. 3 no. 1 (1995), pp. 27–45.
• 1996, Paradox and Absurdity in Human Communication Reconsidered by Matthijs Koopmans.
• 1997, Schizophrenia and the Family: Double Bind Theory Revisited by Matthijs Koopmans.
• 2005, Perception in pose method rumng by Dr. Romanov
• 2005, "Gregory Bateson and Ecological Aesthetics" Peter Harries-Jones, in: Australian Humanities Review (Issue 35, June 2005) as are the following three articles:
• 2005, "Chasing Whales with Bateson and Daniel" by Katja Neves-Graça
• 2005, "Pattern, Connection, Desire: In honour of Gregory Bateson" by Deborah Bird Rose
• 2005, "Comments on Deborah Rose and Katja Neves-Graca" by Mary Catherine Bateson
• 2007, Stephen Nachmanovitch, "Bateson and the Arts," Kybernetes, 36:7/8.
• 2008. Jesper Hoffmeyer (ed.), A Legacy for Living Systems: Gregory Bateson as Precursor to Biosemiotics, Berlin: Springer
• 2008, Stephen Nachmanovitch, "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing: Bateson's epistemology and the rhythms of life," Journal of Meaning and Ultimate Reality, 30:1.
• 2009, Stephen Nachmanovitch, "This is play," New Literary History, vol. 40.
• 2010. "An Ecology of Mind". A film portrait of Gregory Bateson, produced and directed by his daughter, Nora Bateson. Film Website at An Ecology Of Mind, A Daughter's Portrait of Gregory Bateson
• 2013, Stephen Nachmanovitch, "An Old Dinosaur: Gregory Bateson's Ecology of Ideas, 1980/2012," Kybernetes, 2013, Vol 42/no 9-10.

External links

• Book "A Recursive Vision: Ecological Understanding and Gregory Bateson" by Peter Harries-Jones
• Book "Understanding Gregory Bateson" by Noel Charlton
• "Institute for Intercultural Studies"
• "Six days of dying"; essay by Catherine Bateson describing Gregory Bateson's death
• "Bateson's Influence on Family Therapy" ; inside details by MindForTherapy
• Movie and website "An Ecology of Mind" A daughter's portrait of Gregory Bateson by Nora Bateson
• The Bateson Idea Group
• Gregory Bateson on IMDb
• Ansgar Fabri, Burkhart Brückner: Biography of Gregory Bateson in: Biographical Archive of Psychiatry (BIAPSY).
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CHAPTER THREE: Freud, Haeckel, and Jung


EVOLUTIONARY THEORY was the topic on everyone's tongue in the latter half of the nineteenth century after the publication of The Origin of the Species by Means of Natural Selection by Charles Darwin (1809-1882) on 24 November 1859. With Darwin's work the field of evolutionary biology was born. Darwin's highly articulated mechanistic theories of evolution surpassed all previous efforts and stimulated an interest in origins, in the creative or regenerative processes of ontogeny (individual development), and in phylogeny (the evolution of an entire species, or the birth of new ones) from the perspective of scientific materialism. [1]

Prior to Darwin, at least in the minds of many supposedly skeptical Enlightenment theorists, the only "origins" and "variations" were degenerations from perfect or ideal original types that had been created by the Judeo-Christian God. [2] Between 1790 and 1830, several different schools of Naturphilosophie dominated the scientific community in German Europe, in which philosophical and literary speculation was combined with empirical science. [3] These schools of Naturphilosophie have also been generically referred to as "essentialism" or "morphological idealism."

The word archetype was used in the mid-1800s in this Romantic biological context by the last great morphological idealist, Richard Owen (1804-1892) in his On the Archetype and Homologies of the Vertebrate Skeleton of 1848. [4] For most early biologists, there was no descent, as species did not evolve -- especially not from one into another. The search for the Urform or original form (or Urtyp, the original type or archetype) of each species -- studied by comparing similar structures in the different organisms -- was known as the idealistic science (Wissenschaft) of morphology, a term coined by Goethe in 1807. Goethe used the terms Urbild or "primordial image" and Urtyp, and these were later borrowed by Jung. These archetypes were eternal and transcendent, shaping man and the natural world in mysterious, but observable, ways.

Some of Jung's earliest and most powerful influences were among the speculative and metaphysical Naturphilosophen of the Romantic era, who after 1800 increasingly confined their studies to medical theory and practice. [5] C. G. Jung the Elder practiced medicine in this metaphysical Romantic mode. The most influential Naturphilosophen included F.W.J. Schelling (1775-1854), Goethe, Lorenz Oken (1779-1851), and a man that Goethe much admired, Carl Gustav Carus (1789-1869), a comparative anatomist who insisted that the divine essence of life would only be recognized through initiation into these insights through spiritual development:

Insofar as the idea of life is no other than the idea of an eternal manifestation of the divine essence through nature, it belongs among those original insights of reason that do not come to man from outside .... These insights open up in the inwardness of man; they must reveal themselves and, once a man has reached a certain level of development, they will always reveal themselves. [6]

This view is precisely the affirmation of the belief of the Naturphilosophen that, as historian of science Timothy Lenoir succinctly puts it, "when properly trained in the method of philosophical reflection, the understanding is capable, primarily through a higher faculty of judgment, of penetrating and comprehending the structure of the life process itself." [7] Thus, as living beings at the peak of the great chain of being (as historian of ideas Arthur O. Lovejoy called it), humans were uniquely capable of an intuitive grasp of the very pulse of life itself in its more elemental forms. Jung's twentieth-century psychological methods -- including that of "active imagination" -- are direct survivors of this Romantic praxis.

As Ellenberger and others have briefly pointed out, it is with these early Romantic Naturphilosophen that we feel closest to a living tradition -- albeit one that was driven underground -- that resurfaces in the work of Jung. [8] Jung's own biological position and his fascination with the Urtyp seem to place him directly within the speculative or metaphysical schools of Naturphilosophie, despite his later attempts to integrate this idealism regarding mechanistic evolutionary concepts with his own phylogenetic theories. [9] Jung mentions Carus throughout his life, in the same breath with von Hartmann, as a major influence on his idea of a collective unconscious, and he read both men during his student years. [10] Jung was particularly taken with Carus's Psyche (1846). In Mysterium Coniunctionis (1955-1956), a late work that comprises CW 14, Jung says:

the psychology of the unconscious that began with C. G. Carus took up the trail that had been lost by the alchemists. This happened, remarkably enough, at a moment in history when the apparitions of the alchemists had found their highest poetic expression in Goethe's Faust. At the time Carus wrote, he certainly could not have guessed that he was building the philosophical bridge to an empirical psychology of the future. [11]

A few of the philosophical perspectives associated with Naturphilosophie (teleology, etc.) survived in the nineteenth-century biophysics movement that Freud and Jung both encountered as part of their medical training, Freud in the 1870s and Jung in the 1890s. Although psychiatric historian Iago Galdston has argued for a greater acknowledgment of the influence of the vitalism of the romantic Naturphilosophen on Freud through his influential friend Wilhelm Fliess and his vitalistic theories based on ideas of periodicity, polarity, and bisexuality -- all familiar concepts in romantic Naturphilosophie -- other scholars such as Frank Sulloway and Paul Cranefield have challenged this. [12] Freud's first-degree intellectual ancestors were, in part, the reductionistic scientific materialists, including his beloved mentor, Ernst von Brucke. [13] However, the affinities between the Naturphilosophen and Jung, as we have seen, were acknowledged repeatedly by Jung himself. It is tempting to speculate that the eventual incompatibility of ideas between Jung and Freud can be attributed to their very partisan participation in a greater battle in the biological sciences between vitalistic Naturphilosophie and mechanistic Naturwissenschaft.

This idealism of Naturphilosophie was eventually challenged and successfully replaced by the work of the Kantian "teleomechanists" or "vital materialists" such as Johann Blumenbach, Karl Kielmeyer, Johann Christian Reil, and Karl Ernst von Baer; [14] by "scientific materialists" such as Karl Vogt, Jacob Moleschott, Ludwig Buchner, and Heinrich Czolbe; [15] and by the mechanism of evolutionists such as Darwin and German zoologist Ernst Haeckel. It was Haeckel who, along with Freud (but in a different vein), took scientific renown one step further and designed secular paths of cultural renewal or regeneration that were greatly influenced by evolutionary biological training. [16]


It may seem outrageous to write a book on Jung without devoting considerable space to his relationship with Freud, but that relationship has been discussed in so many other volumes, and at such great length, that it would be impossible to do justice to yet another retelling of the Freud/Jung myth here. Perhaps the best such exposition is John Kerr's A Most Dangerous Method: The Story of Jung, Freud, and Sabina Spielrein. [17] It is time to step out of this important -- but limiting -- intellectual context. Instead, I would like to briefly draw attention to some alternative perspectives on Jung's involvement with Freud and psychoanalysis that, to my knowledge, have not been adequately addressed. In particular, I am interested in the historical role of psychoanalysis as a type of Lebensphilosophie and revitalization movement in a fin-de-siecle world of degeneration and decay.

In his autobiographical statements, seminars, and filmed interviews, Jung always acknowledges that Freud was a great man and his master. It would not be unreasonable to say that Freud was Jung's first experience of someone he considered a true living genius. In this regard, their relationship was analogous to Nietzsche's relationship with Richard Wagner, "the Master." In the presence of genius, both Nietzsche and Jung wisely observed, absorbed, and imitated. After repeated exposure to the genius and his ever-changing ideas (so true to the inconstant, mercurial nature of a genius!), however, the luster of divinity began to wear. In Jung's case, it was the seven weeks he spent with Freud on ships and in America in autumn 1909, each of them analyzing the other's dreams daily; for Nietzsche, it was the repeated personal contact with Wagner and especially the cult-like atmosphere the Meister himself encouraged at the first Bayreuth festival in 1876. Nietzsche's rupture with Wagner and Jung's dissociation from Freud are played out according to nineteenth-century scripts of "genius": once one recognizes the spark of genius in oneself, there is no longer any need for discipleship. [18]

What attracted Jung to Freud and his ideas for so many years (1905-1912) and with such devotion? Volumes have been written trying to understand this relationship. In addition to Freud's charisma as a living exemplum of "genius," I propose that Jung was attracted to the practical aspects of Freudian psychoanalysis:

1. as a way to overcome the onus of hereditary degeneration in his institutionalized patients (and perhaps in himself)

2. by its later role as an agent of cultural revitalization through its core Nietzschean themes of uncovering, bond-breaking, and of irrationality and sexuality

Psychoanalysis was originally a supposedly medical and then a cultural movement that promised a better existence (freedom from symptoms, self-knowledge) for the successfully analyzed. Full access to memory was the key to revitalization. These memories were sexual, infantile, and above all personal. This was indeed the basic message of the work that drew the world's attention to Freud and his mentor Josef Breuer, Studies on Hysteria (1895). [19]

It has been persuasively argued that Freud's conceptualization of psychoanalysis as a cultural movement was a "scientific" path (unlike political paths such as Marxism) to achieve liberal political revolution for marginalized groups such as Jews in an increasingly conservative and anti-Semitic Vienna. [20] Yet we must remember that psychoanalysis was absolutely unknown to the common citizen of Austria-Hungary at the time. It is often still forgotten that although he named and began practicing what he called psychoanalysis in his Viennese office in the mid-1890s, until 1900 or so Freud, working in his "splendid isolation," was the psychoanalytic movement. By 1902 Freud found four Jewish physicians (primarily internists) -- Alfred Adler, Max Kahane, Rudolph Reitler, and Wilhelm Stekel -- who were interested enough in his ideas to meet with him weekly at 19 Bergasse at meetings dominated by his intellect. This was the famous Psychological Wednesday Evening Circle, which grew to seventeen members by 1906 (the year that Freud and Jung began their correspondence; they first met in early 1907). In 1908 the First International Congress was held in Salzburg, Austria, attended by forty participants from six countries and in that same year Freud's Wednesday group was renamed the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society. In 1910 the International Psychoanalytic Association was founded, with Jung as its first president. By 1910 there were two official psychoanalytic journals.

The Viennese psychoanalytic movement grew rapidly in professional circles in Europe and America only after 1911 or so, but its first fateful success was the relative conversion of a group of eminent Swiss alienists (Bleuler, Jung, and their colleagues) at the Burgholzli by 1904 or so. [21] Bleuler (1857-1939), as chief of the Burgholzli, also held the prestigious Chair in Psychiatry at the University of Zurich, which, along with the other such Chairs in Vienna and Berlin, made him and his clinic one of the top three centers of modern psychiatry in Europe -- indeed, in the whole world. When Bleuler and the Swiss took Freud seriously, others in Europe and elsewhere began to do so as well.

An often unacknowledged advantage of Freud's psychoanalytic theory was its shift of etiological significance from biological hereditarian factors (degeneration) to psychodynamic ones (repressed traumatic memories, etc.) in its earliest theoretical formations. Thus one was not doomed by the fate of one's "bad blood" and indeed, one could be renewed through psychoanalytic treatment. This made psychoanalysis especially attractive to the "tainted," including those tainted in Central European culture by their ethnicity, such as Jews. [22] According to psychiatric historian Sander Gilman, Freud "repudiated the model of degeneracy" despite the other dominant nineteenth-century biological assumptions of his theories. [23]

The introduction of a method of treatment that seemed to bypass the biological fate of degeneration and perhaps even reverse its symptoms must have seemed particularly attractive to those -- like Jung -- who were toiling in institutions where hopeless cases seemed to be the rule and not the exception. Other than ordering and perhaps administering the usual somatic treatments (baths, electrotherapy, work therapy, opiates and barbiturates, muffs, camisoles, and other physical restraints), psychiatrists in such institutions engaged in typical medical examination and the diagnostic classification of patients. The claims that Freud was making about psychoanalysis circa 1905 would seem like a ray of hope to the psychiatrist confined with his patients in the back wards of asylums, which were storerooms of human degeneration. Dementia praecox, as Kraepelin first defined it in his famous textbook in 1893, was a degenerative psychotic disorder. Jung, despite his obvious philosophical nature, was always interested in the practical application of ideas in the form of therapeutic methods. Although in his writings at this time (1904-1905) Freud actually said very little about how one should perform psychoanalysis, Jung and his fellow physicians at the Burgholzli attempted to read between the lines of Freud's writings and practice psychoanalysis on their patients. It was the first step towards liberation from hereditary taint that Jung would complete with his own unique formulations in 1916.

The evolution of the psychoanalytic movement from one based on primarily clinical concerns to a totalizing cultural revitalization has been documented by Kerr. [24] Conspicuously few scholars have dared to examine the psychoanalytic movement from the perspective of the sociology of religion even though, as Sulloway notes, "the discipline of psychoanalysis, which has always tapped considerable religious fervor among its adherents, has increasingly come to resemble a religion in its social organization" with its "secular priesthood of soul doctors." [25]

No single study of Freud's branch of the psychoanalytic movement as a charismatic group has been conducted, although, indeed, during the rise of psychoanalysis that was precisely how many viewed the energetic efforts and genius-cult of the "secret committee" circle surrounding Freud and the worldwide movement they promoted. As many other charismatic groups did, following the urgings of the Lebensphilosophen, Freudians appealed to "experience." They believed and violently argued that one could only understand Freud or psychoanalysis after being analyzed by a Freudian psychoanalyst. This reliance upon a specialist elite -- initiated into secret, "occult" knowledge -- who proceeded by an essentially "intuitive" method, illustrates the basis of psychoanalysis in an "aristocratic epistomology." Ironically, given Freud's alliance with reductionist materialism and atheism, in the twentieth century the psychoanalytic movement took on a more than passing resemblance to the nineteenth-century German vitalistic or Lebensphilosophie traditions that left the confines of academia and became social and cultural movements of Lebensreform. [26] The proselytizing Freudians did give Weber, the German "father of sociology," some serious concern, for in private correspondence as early as 1907 he singled out Freud's movement as a quasi-mystical charismatic group based on the personality and ideas of a charismatic leader who was considered to have almost divine qualities. [27]

Others noted the cult-like nature of the psychoanalytic movement as well. Starting in 1909, after the Clark Conference, Freud and psychoanalysis took the American psychiatric community by storm. [28] An apocryphal story about the 1909 ocean voyage to America has Freud turning to Jung and saying, as they arrive in New York harbor, "Don't they know that we're bringing them the plague?" History cannot deny that Freudianism began to infect the North American psychiatric community after this visit, but some critics were immune to the virus. The eminent Columbia University experimental psychologist Robert S. Woodworth charged Freudian psychoanalysis was an "uncanny religion." [29] Another prominent American psychologist, Knight Dunlap, asserted in his early polemical work, Mysticism, Freudianism, and Scientific Psychology, that "psychoanalysis attempts to creep in wearing the uniform of science, and to strangle it from the inside."  [30] Many others also rejected psychoanalysis as an atheistic and materialistic cult. [31]


Another European movement explicitly designed to be an "anti-Christian" path of Lebensreform was the "Monistic Religion" of Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919). From his post as professor of zoology at the University of Jena, Haeckel dominated German evolutionary biology in the second half of the nineteenth century and was the most prominent proponent of the social implications of Darwinian theory. Over the years Haeckel made many creative departures from Darwin, so many in fact that the tenets of Darwinism were occluded by the renovations of Haeckelism. Since he was a prolific author, and wrote books and articles for both the scholarly and popular presses, it has been said that he dominated the discussion of evolutionary theory in German Europe by providing "the most comprehensive surveys of the Darwinist position authored by a German." [32]

Haeckel published his views on human evolution in 1868, before Darwin did so in 1871 with The Descent of Man. [33] Darwin himself acknowledged Haeckel's priority by several years in formulating the theory of the descent of humans from simian ancestors. Historian of science and evolutionary biologist Ernst Mayr credits Haeckel for being "perhaps the first biologist to object vigorously to the notion that all science had to be like the physical sciences or to be based on mathematics." [34] Mayr says Haeckel was the first to insist that evolutionary biology was a historical science involving the historical methodologies of embryology, paleontology, and especially phylogeny.

In particular it was Haeckel's influential "Biogenetic Law" -- "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny" -- based on the evidence of these historical methods in biology that eventually had profound implications not only for evolutionary biology, but for psychiatry and psychoanalysis, especially Jung's analytical psychology. Haeckel considered this law as a universal truth -- indeed, for much of his early career, perhaps the only universal truth. That the stages of individual development (ontogeny) could be shown to replicate, in order, the states of the development of the human race (phylogeny) was a compelling theory. Each adult human being, then, in both development and structure, was a living museum of the entire history of the species.

Taking this principle as a starting point, as early as 1866 Haeckel proposed a new "natural religion" based on the natural sciences, since "God reveals himself in all natural phenomena." [35] In many later publications he promoted his pantheistic natural religion based on scientific principles -- a philosophy he called "Monism" -- as a way of linking science and religion. Haeckel was interested in theorizing about the driving natural force of life and evolution, which he insisted Darwin left out of his (therefore) incomplete theories. His somewhat quasi-vitalistic descriptions of monism provided that. However, his first specific recommendations for a monistic religion came in 1892 in a speech in Altenburg. He argued fervently for a monism as a new faith founded on a "scientific Weltanschauung," thus going beyond a mere substitution of atheistic materialism for Christianity (as he was generally perceived as doing by his contemporaries and even by many historians today).....

In 1911 Nobel-laureate Wilhelm Ostwald of Leipzig University, a physical chemist, became president of the Monistenbund and founded a "monistic cloister" devoted to initiating Social Darwinian cultural reforms in the areas of eugenics, euthanasia, and economics. An elite devoted to the preservation of the Monistic Religion clustered around the charismatic Ostwald and his volkisch metaphysical works. [45] Indeed, it is these works of speculative philosophy (Ostwald even embraced the term Naturphilosopllie for this exercise) that made him an international figure long before his 1909 Nobel Prize, and many considered him a prophet of the modern age. [46][/size][/b]

We know that Ostwald was a significant influence on Jung in the formation of his theory of psychological types. Jung mentions Ostwald's division of men of genius into "classics" and "romantics" in his very first public presentation on psychological types at the Psychoanalytical Congress in Munich in September 1913 (published in a French translation in December of that year in Archives de Psychologie), [47] The classics and romantics correspond, according to Jung, to the "introverted type" and the "extraverted type" respectively. Long quotations from Ostwald appear in other of Jung's works between 1913 and 1921 -- precisely the period of Ostwald's most outspoken advocacy of eugenics, nature worship, and German imperialism through the Monistenbund. An entire chapter of Jung's Psychological Types is devoted favorably to these same ideas of Ostwald. [48] Except for a one-sentence comment that "the concept of energy in Ostwald's monism" is "an example of the superstitious overvaluation of facts," Ostwald is often cited at length and frequently favorably. [49] We have evidence that Jung read the Annalen der Naturphilosophie that Ostwald founded in 1901 and that contains some of his essays on his vitalistic "modern theory of energetics," which may have influenced Jung's own later theoretical work on "psychic energy." [50]....

The best documented [volkish] circle is the Guido von List Society, founded in Vienna in March 1908. Von List (1848-1919) was a Viennese mystic and magician who, among many other activities, participated in ancient German pagan rites in a Hungarian castle with his colleague Jorg Lanz von Liebenfels and playwright August Strindberg. As a youth List had an unusual experience in a cathedral that he later interpreted as his call to become an initiate into the mysteries of the ancient Teutons. He experienced a pagan mystery initiatory experience, he claimed, as a fourteen-year-old exploring the subterranean crypt of St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna. Through visionary experiences, the secret wisdom of the ages were passed down to him from the ancient Aryan brotherhood of spiritual beings known as the Armanen. The similarities between this idea and Blavatsky's secret doctrine and brotherhood are many, for indeed List and his closest followers had extensive connections with Eckstein's Vienna Theosophical Society and other Theosophical groups.

Among the important information imparted to List was the true occult interpretation of the Nordic runes. Also, since the "life-force" of the universe flowed from nature, List believed that being close to nature brought one closest to "truth." List trained his closest disciples to enter trances and attempt to listen to nature and "see with one's soul." The highest initiates in the hierarchical List society were said to possess the capacity to communicate directly with the spiritual Teutonic brotherhood of the Armanen. In "Ariosophist" organizations such as this, then, volkisch utopian theories are pursued with practical methodologies derived from spiritualism and Theosophy.

"We must read with our souls the landscape which archeology reconquers with the spade," List often said about his method of achieving "Intuitionen," according to his biographer Joseph Baltzli. [12] Such a methodology finds similarities with those of the Romantic Naturphilosophen, Blavatsky circa 1875 and, circa 1916, Jung and his technique of "active imagination."....

Like any educated Germanic European from this era with interests in Lebensphilosophie in its manifold forms, Jung's personal library contains many volumes published by the Eugen Diederichs Verlag, including editons of the Eddas and books by one of the analysts of the Zurich School who defected with Jung in 1914, Adolph Keller. [38] Indeed, Diederichs was perhaps the most important disseminator of Lebensphilosophie in Central Europe from 1896 to 1930. Diederichs personally chose the types of volumes he wished to reprint and that he felt should be read by his contemporaries, and his agenda was to deliberately resurrect the vitalism of the Lebensphilosophen to "help [it] achieve a greater contemporary effect." [39] Not surprisingly, many of the topics converge remarkably with the sources of Jung's intellectual influences. For example, in 1901 Diederichs began printing a multivolume series under the title Gott-Natur (God-Nature) that reprinted the works of Giordano Bruno, Paracelsus, Lamarck, Goethe, Carus, and other early nineteenth-century proponents of speculative Naturphilosophie upon which Jung built his theory of the archetypes.....


In a symbolic gesture of the volkisch sympathy between Jung and Keyserling, Jung wrote an essay on how the "earthly environment" shapes the human soul specifically for a book that Keyserling edited, Mensch und Erde (1927). By this point Jung had already moved away from a purely biological or racial model of the unconscious mind (in fact, he had done so by 1916 when he proposed a collective unconscious) and instead embraced the more transcendental claims of mysticism and old Romantic Naturphilosophie. However, as we saw, the volkisch movement, with the prominent backing of Haeckel, continued to embrace quasi-Lamarckian notions of Darwinian pangenesis that gave scientific justification for such environmental influences.

The idea of Bodenbeschaffenheit gained further scientific credibility in an age of increasing materialism through a volume by the German natural scientist Bernhard von Cotta, Deutschlands Boden: Sein Bau und dessen Einwirkung auf das Leben der Menschen (Germany's Soil: Its Construction and Effect on the Life of Humans), published in 1853. [75] Cotta's thesis was to demonstrate "what influence the geological structures of countries have on their peoples." [76] The union of Volk with landscape, of Blut und Boden, was supported by Cotta's vision of "ideal natural regions" that were interpreted by other volkisch commentators as justification for the idea of a German nation-state as an organic, natural body. Such "soft inheritance" was still a credible idea in some German scientific circles at the turn of the century. Sounding very much like Keyserling in his Travel Diary, Jung makes the following claims of pangenesis:

Just as, in the process of evolution, the mind has been molded by earthly conditions, so the same process repeats itself under our eyes today. Imagine a large section of some European nation transplanted to a strange soil and another climate. We can confidently expect this human group to undergo certain psychic and perhaps also physical changes in the course of a few generations, even without the admixture of foreign blood. [77]

As evidence, Jung cites the "marked differences" between Spanish, North African, German, and various Russian "varieties of Jews." He then goes on to predict the "Indianization of the American people," who were originally a "predominantly Germanic people." As evidence, Jung recalls watching "a stream of workers coming out of a factory" in 1912 in Buffalo and remarking to a friend that "I should never have thought there was such a high percentage of Indian blood." His American friend laughingly told Jung there wasn't a drop of Indian blood in any of them. Backpedaling, Jung deduced that it must have been the geography that shaped their phenotypic expression, not "Mendelian units" (genes). In an effort to further back up this typically volkisch logic, Jung cites the anthropometric work of the noted American anthropologist Franz Boas, whom Jung claims "has shown that anatomical changes begin already in the second generation of immigrants, chiefly in the measurements of the skull." [78]

The first indication of Jung's fascination with the idea of Bodenbeschaffenheit that was used so extensively by members of the Volkstumbewegung (especially by its most racist and anti- Semitic elements) is a report in a letter to Freud dated 6 April 1910 that he is reading a book by Maurice Low, The American People: A Study in National Psychology (1909), that "holds the climate largely responsible for the frequency of neurosis in America." Although the effect of climate in causing psychopathology is an idea dating to the ancient Greeks, Jung then gives it a decided volkisch twist by surmising, "Perhaps a harshly continental climate really is ill-suited to a race sprung from the sea." [79] Such logic could be reversed to argue that Jews whose ancestors were Semites from an arid, dry desert land do not fit in in Europe. Although Freud does not respond to Jung's comment, he was acutely aware that such logic was a major element in anti- Semitic rhetoric at this time....

Jung's use of the geological metaphor of the fiery magma of the earth's core as the central fire that connects all life, human and nonhuman, is related to an image that Jung invokes frequently during this period: that of the sun as the core of the human personality. This image of the psyche is represented in Jung's very first mandala drawing of 1916. [92] Indeed, geographical diagrams depicting a cross-sectioning of the earth and its magma core can indeed be seen as representing a fiery sun or star embedded at the center of the earth. If one accepts the theory that the earth was originally jettisoned from the sun, then indeed the hot core of the Earth is truly "sun." In a sense Jung owes this metaphor of the human personality, in part, to the Naturphilosophen for whom the earth was an anthropomorphized entity with its own soul or, indeed, psyche. [93] Psychotherapy could thus be imagined as a mining expedition or geographical exploration to reach the central source of life at the "core." As we shall see in a later chapter, this was indeed the case in the analysis of Hermann Hesse by one of Jung's disciples.

Both scientists and occultists have proposed a dynamic hot core similar to a sun deep within the planet. The French naturalist and philosopher the Comte de Buffon (1707-1788) believed that the earth had once been a fireball flung off from the sun, and that the crust was therefore the cooling exterior of a still volatile and extremely hot core of star matter. The material of the human body, it could thus be claimed, was made of star matter, making us all Sonnenkinder, "children of the sun." The often-cited maxim of the alchemists that was so dear to Jung, "as above, so below," thus takes on new meaning, as does another of Jung's favorite images -- the account of Apuleius (through the character Lucius) in Metamorphoses (Book 11) who claims "I saw the sun in the middle of the night" ("nocte media vidi solem") during a subterranean Isaic mystery-cult rite of initiation. Naturalists since the eighteenth century cited the worldwide prevalence of volcanoes and their lava flows as compelling scientific evidence of a hot molten core beneath the earth's crust, and the hypothesis of central heat or a central fire was a primary assumption of the vulcanist or plutonist school of geologists in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. [94] Geophysics and Naturphilosophie commonly overlapped at many junctures.

Thus, cross-sectional images of the planet since that time show a mandala-like sequence of concentric circles, indicating the Earth's various geological strata, with a central glowing spherical core of intense heat at its center. Such illustrations were common in the German popular-science journals that began to appear in the 1850s and would have been familiar images to the adolescent Jung. Jung's "geology of the personality" is hence based on a vulcanist or plutonist geophysical vision borrowed from his training in the natural sciences.

Also significant in Jung's 1925 lecture is his clear statement that he does not consider the collective unconscious to be solely inside the brain and nervous system. Since it can be located outside the brain, Jung says that "on this basis the main body of the collective unconscious cannot be strictly said to be psychological, but psychical." [95] This is an early appearance of a theoretical distinction Jung would make later in his career (in 1946) about the transcendental, quasi-physical, quasi-psychological, "psychoid" nature of the archetypes. Jung borrowed the term "psychoid" (as an adjective, not a noun) from the twentieth-century version of speculative Naturphilosophie and vitalism expounded by Bleuler, on "the natural history of the soul." [96] Both Bleuler and Jung attempted to distinguish themselves from the more nakedly vitalistic use of the term "die Psychoide" by Hans Driesch (1867-1941). [97] Jung's own full return to Naturphilosophie is never so clear as when he remarks,

We cannot repeat this distinction too often, for when I have referred to the collective unconscious as "outside" our brains, it has been assumed that I meant hanging somewhere in mid-air. After this explanation it will become clear to you that the collective unconscious is always working upon you through trans-subjective facts which are probably inside as well as outside yourselves. [98]

By documenting this phylogenetic layer of the unconscious mind one also learns about the earliest origins of the human race. Therefore, we learn something new about not only archaeology, but evolutionary biology. What Jung doesn't explicitly say -- but it is fundamental to his project to demonstrate the utility of psychoanalysis as the new Wissenschaft -- is that we also learn about the origins of the very planet we live on, and that this method can add to our knowledge of the earth sciences. The strong implication by Jung, especially after a brief flirtation with the cultural stages of Bachofenian theory circa 1912-1913, is that (1) the universality of solar symbolism in material from the phylogenetic unconscious and (2) evidence of still-existing sun worship in primitive societies around the world (which Jung would one day see for himself in Africa and in the American Southwest) are expressions of prephylogenetic memories from our inanimate history. As the earth sprang from the sun and took many millions of years to cool off before life emerged from nonlife and began the process of evolution, these memories of being torn from the sun must somehow be in the very matter that comprise our physical bodies. This is one of the areas in which Jung's line of thought parallels Henri Bergson's ideas and indeed may have been informed by them, for Bergson's hypothesis of a biological unconscious in which humans can intuit the memories of their evolutionary past was put forth in his books Mattiere et Memoire (Matter and Memory) in 1896 and L'Evolution Creatrice in 1907. Libido, Bergsonian elan vital, Lebenskraft (the old term of the Naturphilosophen and the vitalists for the "force of life"), and the sun are therefore indeed one. [57]....

Jung never deviated from vitalism throughout the remainder of his career. It was with the vitalistic school of evolutionary biology and it origins in the Naturphilosophie of the Romantics that Jung was always to remain -- even when new discoveries in genetics and other areas seemed to legitimize the predominant scientific worldview in the twentieth century that includes a biology based only on mechanistic materialism. As we shall see, Jung was most modern in his scientific worldview during these student years, after which his ideas slowly retreated further back into a philosophy that more closely resembled early nineteenth-century biological science and its Romantic idealism.....


Besides Jung's vigorous rejection of the Christian god and his guerilla war against the organized Judeo-Christian religions of his day, Jung also rejected the science of the early twentieth century and instead embraced the world view and methodologies of early nineteenth-century romantic conceptions of science. With the creation of his religious cult and its transcendental notions of a collective unconscious in 1916 Jung had already left the scientific world and academia, never to really return (despite later pleas for the scientific nature of his analytical psychology). The adoption of the additional theory of dominants or archetypes completed this break and formally allied Jung with Goethe, Cams, and the morphological idealists of the romantic or metaphysical schools of Naturphilosophie that reigned supreme between 1790 and 1830 in German scientific circles. [34]....

On the three basic types of Naturphilosophie (transcendental, romantic, and metaphysical Naturphilosophie) see Timothy Lenoir, "The Gottingen School and the Development of Transcendental Naturphilosophie in the Romantic Era," in William Coleman and Camille Limoges, eds., Studies in the History of Biology, Volume 5 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1981), pp. 111-205. See also the following: D. M. Knight, "The Physical Sciences and the Romantic Movement," History of Science 9 (1970): 54-75; H.A.M. Snelders, "Romanticism and Naturphilosophie and the Inorganic Natural Sciences, 1798-1840. An Introductory Survey," Studies in Romanticism 9 (1970): 193-215; Charles Culotta, "German Biophysics, Objective Knowledge and Romanticism," Historical Studies in the Physical Sciences 4 (1975): 3-38; Elke Hahn, "The Philosophy of Living Things: Schelling's Naturphilosophie as a Transition to the Philosophy of Identity," in Woodward and Cohen, World Views and Scientific Discipline Formation pp. 339-50; L. H. LeRoy, "Johann Christian Reil and Naturphilosophie in Physiologie" (Ph.D. diss., University of California, Los Angeles, 1985); Helmut Muller-Sievers, "Epigenesis: Wilhelm von Humbolt und die Naturphilosophie" (Ph.D. diss., Stanford University, 1990); and Gunther B. Risse, "Kant, Schelling and the Early Search for a Philosophical Science of Medicine in Germany," Journal for the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 27 (1972): 145-58. Two useful essays on Naturphilosophie appear in the volume edited by G. S. Rousseau and Roy Porter, The Ferment of Knowledge: Studies in the Historiography of Eighteenth-Century Science (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980): Simon Schaffer, "Natural Philosophy" (pp. 55-91), and J. L. Heilbron, "Experimental Natural Philosophy" (pp. 357-87). The best collection of essays on Naturphilosophie, however, can be found in Herbert Harz, Rolf Lather, and Siegfried Wollgast, ed., Naturphilosophie van der Spekulation zur Wissenschaft (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1969).

-- The Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Movement, by Richard Noll

Naturphilosophie (German for "nature-philosophy") is a term used in English-language philosophy to identify a current in the philosophical tradition of German idealism, as applied to the study of nature in the earlier 19th century. German speakers use the clearer term Romantische Naturphilosophie, the philosophy of nature developed at the time of the founding of German Romanticism. It is particularly associated with the philosophical work of Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling[1] and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel[1]—though it has some clear precursors also. More particularly it is identified with some of the initial works of Schelling during the period 1797–9, in reaction to the views of Fichte, and subsequent developments from Schelling's position. Always controversial, some of Schelling's ideas in this direction are still considered of philosophical interest, even if the subsequent development of experimental natural science had a destructive impact on the credibility of the theories of his followers in Naturphilosophie.[2]

Naturphilosophie attempted to comprehend nature in its totality and to outline its general theoretical structure, thus attempting to lay the foundations for the natural sciences. In developing their theories, the German Naturphilosophen found their inspiration in the natural philosophy of the Ancient Greek Ionian philosophers.

As an approach to philosophy and science, Naturphilosophie has had a difficult reception. In Germany, neo-Kantians came to distrust its developments as speculative and overly metaphysical.[3] For most of the 19th and early 20th centuries, it was poorly understood in Anglophone countries. Over the years, it has been subjected to continuing criticism. Since the 1960s, improved translations have appeared, and scholars have developed a better appreciation of the objectives of Naturphilosophie.

Outline of development

The German Idealist philosopher Fichte had attempted to show that the whole structure of reality follows necessarily from the fact of self-consciousness. Schelling took Fichte's position as his starting-point, and in his earliest writings posited that nature must have reality for itself. In this light Fichte's doctrines appeared incomplete. On the one hand, they identified the ultimate ground of the universe of reason too closely with finite, individual Spirit. On the other, they threatened the reality of the world of nature by seeing it too much in the manner of subjective idealism. Fichte, in this view, had not managed to unite his system with the aesthetic view of nature to which Immanuel Kant's Critique of Judgment had pointed.

Naturphilosophie is therefore one possible theory of the unity of nature. Nature as the sum of what is objective, and intelligence as the complex of all the activities making up self-consciousness, appear as equally real. The philosophy of nature and transcendental idealism would be the two complementary portions making up philosophy as a whole.

German philosophy

Naturphilosophie translated into English would mean just "philosophy of nature", and its scope began to be taken in a broad way. Johann Gottfried Herder, particularly taken in opposition to Immanuel Kant, was a precursor of Schelling:

Herder's dynamic view of nature was developed by Goethe and Schelling and led to the tradition of Naturphilosophie[...][4]

Later Friedrich Schlegel theorised about a particular German strand in philosophy of nature, citing Jakob Böhme, Johannes Kepler and Georg Ernst Stahl, with Jan Baptist van Helmont as an edge case.[5] Frederick Beiser instead traces Naturphilosophie as developed by Schelling, Hegel, Schlegel and Novalis to a crux in the theory of matter, and identifies the origins of the line they took with the vis viva theory of matter in the work of Gottfried Leibniz.[6]

Subsequently Schelling identified himself with Baruch de Spinoza, to whose thought he saw himself as approaching. The Darstellung meines Systems, and the expanded treatment in the lectures on a System der gesamten Philosophie und der Naturphilosophie insbesondere given in Würzburg in 1804, contain elements of Spinoza's philosophy.


In a short space of time Schelling produced three works: Ideen zu einer Philosophie der Natur als Einleitung in das Studium dieser Wissenschaft, 1797 (Ideas for a Philosophy of Nature as Introduction to the Study of this Science); Von der Weltseele, 1798 (On the World Soul); and Erster Entwurf eines Systems der Naturphilosophie, 1799 (First Plan of a System of the Philosophy of Nature). As criticism of scientific procedure, these writings retain a relevance. Historically, according to Richards:

Despite the tentativeness of their titles, these monographs introduced radical interpretations of nature that would reverberate through the sciences, and particularly the biology, of the next century. They developed the fundamental doctrines of Naturphilosophie.

In System des transzendentalen Idealismus, 1800 (System of Transcendental Idealism) Schelling included ideas on matter and the organic in Part III. They form just part of a more ambitious work that takes up other themes, in particular aesthetics. From this point onwards Naturphilosophie was less of a research concern for him, as he reformulated his philosophy. However, it remained an influential aspect of his teaching. For a short while, he edited a journal, the Neue Zeitschrift für speculative Physik (bound volume 1802).[7]

Schelling's Naturphilosophie was a way in which he worked himself out of the tutelage of Fichte, with whom he quarrelled decisively towards the end of the 1790s. More than that, however, it brought him within the orbit of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, both intellectually and (as a direct consequence of Goethe's sympathetic attitude) by a relocation; and it broke with basic Kantian tenets. Grant writes:

Schelling's postkantian confrontation with nature itself begins with the overthrow of the Copernican revolution ...[8]

Schelling held that the divisions imposed on nature, by our ordinary perception and thought, do not have absolute validity. They should be interpreted as the outcome of the single formative energy which is the soul or inner aspect of nature. In other words he was a proponent of a variety of organicism. The dynamic series of stages in nature, the forms in which the ideal structure of nature is realized, are matter, as the equilibrium of the fundamental expansive and contractive forces; light, with its subordinate processes (magnetism, electricity, and chemical action); organism, with its component phases of reproduction, irritability and sensibility. The continual change presented to us by experience, taken together with the thought of unity in productive force of nature, leads to the conception of the duality through which nature expresses itself in its varied products.

In the introduction to the Ideen he argues against dogmatism, in the terms that a dogmatist cannot explain the organic; and that recourse to the idea of a cosmic creator is a feature of dogmatic systems imposed by the need to explain nature as purposive and unified.[9] Fichte's system, called the Wissenschaftslehre, had begun with a fundamental distinction between dogmatism (fatalistic) and criticism (free), as his formulation of idealism.[10]

Beiser divides up the mature form of Schelling's Naturphilosophie into the attitudes of transcendental realism (the thesis that "nature exists independent of all consciousness, even that of the transcendental subject") and transcendental naturalism (the thesis that "everything is explicable according to the laws of nature, including the rationality of the transcendental subject").[11] He notes how Naturphilosophie was first a counterbalance to Wissenschaftslehre, and then in Schelling's approach became the senior partner. After that, it was hardly to be avoided that Schelling would become an opponent of Fichte, having been a close follower in the early 1790s.

We are able to apprehend and represent nature to ourselves in the successive forms which its development assumes, since it is the same spirit of which we become aware in self-consciousness, though here unconsciously. The variety of its forms is not imposed on it externally, since there is no external teleology in nature. Nature is a self-forming whole, within which only natural explanations can be sought. The function of Naturphilosophie is to exhibit the ideal as springing from the real, not to deduce the real from the ideal.

Influence and critics of Naturphilosophie

Criticism of Naturphilosophie has been widespread, over two centuries. Schelling's theories, however influential in terms of the general culture of the time, have not survived in scientific terms. Like other strands of speculation in the life sciences, in particular, such as vitalism, they retreated in the face of experiment, and then were written out of the history of science as Whig history. But critics were initially not scientists (a term not used until later); rather they came largely from within philosophy and Romantic science, a community including many physicians. Typically, the retrospective views of scientists of the 19th century on "Romantic science" in general erased distinctions:

Scientific criticism in the nineteenth century took hardly any notice of the distinctions between Romantic, speculative and transcendental, scientific and aesthetic directions.[12]

One outspoken critic was the chemist Justus von Liebig, who compared Naturphilosophie with the Black Death.[13] Another critic, the physiologist Emil du Bois-Reymond, frequently dismissed Naturphilosophie as "bogus".[14]

Role in aesthetics

Isaiah Berlin summed up the reasons why Naturphilosophie had a wide-ranging impact on views of art and artists:

if everything in nature is living, and if we ourselves are simply its most self-conscious representatives, the function of the artist is to delve within himself, and above all to delve within the dark and unconscious forces which move within him, and to bring these to consciousness by the most agonising and violent internal struggle.[15]

Philosophical criticism

Fichte was very critical of the opposition set up in Schelling's Naturphilosophie to his own conception of Wissenschaftslehre. In that debate, Hegel then intervened, largely supporting his student friend Schelling, with the work usually called his Differenzschrift, the Differenz des Fichteschen und Schellingschen Systems der Philosophie (The Difference Between Fichte's and Schelling's System of Philosophy); a key publication in his own philosophical development, his first book, it was published in September 1801.[16]

Schelling's Absolute was left with no other function than that of removing all the differences which give form to thought. The criticisms of Fichte, and more particularly of Hegel (in the Preface to the Phenomenology of Spirit), pointed to a defect in the conception of the Absolute as mere featureless identity. It was ridiculed by Hegel as "the night in which all cows are black."[17][18]

Other views in Romantic science

Ignaz Paul Vitalis Troxler, a follower of Schelling, later broke with him.[19] He came to the view that the Absolute in nature and mind is beyond the intellect and reason.[12]


• Adam Karl August von Eschenmayer, engaged in controversy with Schelling from 1801, published Grundriss der Natur-Philosophie in 1832
• Carl Friedrich Kielmeyer, an influence on Schelling's thinking, he was a founder rather than a follower, and a proponent of recapitulation theory
• Johann Friedrich Meckel[20]
• Lorenz Oken[21]
• Hans Christian Ørsted[22]
• Johann Wilhelm Ritter[22]
• Henrik Steffens
• August Ludwig Hülsen
• Gottfried Reinhold Treviranus[23]
• Karl Joseph Hieronymus Windischmann


1. Frederick C. Beiser(2002), German Idealism: The Struggle Against Subjectivism 1781–1801, Harvard university Press, p. 506.
4. ... ew/160/269
5. Paola Mayer, Jena Romanticism and Its Appropriation of Jakob Böhme: Theosophy, Hagiography, Literature (1999), p. 127.
6. Frederick Beiser, 'The Enlightenment and Idealism', pp. 21–42, esp. pp. 32–33, in Karl Ameriks (editor) (2000), The Cambridge Companion to German Idealism.
7. Online text
8. Grant p. 6.
9. Dale E. Snow, Schelling and the end of Idealism (1996), p. 83.
10. Beiser 2002, p. 261.
11. Beiser 2002, p. 483.
12. ^ Dietrich von Engelhardt, Romanticism in Germany p. 112, in Roy Porterand Mikulaš Teich, editors, Romanticism in National Context (1988).
13. Siegbert Prawer (editor), The Romantic Period in Germany (1970), Introduction by Prawer p. 5.
14. du Bois-Reymond, Emil (1912). Reden. Leipzig: Veit. pp. vol. 2: 143, 258.
15. Isaiah Berlin, The Roots of Romanticism (Henry Hardy, editor) (2000), p. 89.
16. Terry Pinkard, Hegel (2000), p. 109.
17. Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich; (tr.), A. V. Miller (1998-01-01). Phenomenology of Spirit. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. p. 9. ISBN 9788120814738.
18. Hegel, Georg W. F. (2013-03-01). Phänomenologie des Geistes (in German). Meiner Verlag. ¶ 13. ISBN 378732464X.
19. ... xler-e.htm
20. Stephen Jay Gould, Ontogeny and Phylogeny (1977), p. 45.
21. Stephen Jay Gould, Ontogeny and Phylogeny (1977), p. 39.
22. ... ecture.htm


19th century

• F. W. J. Schelling, Einleitung zu den Ersten Entwurf (Sämtliche Werke Vol. III) – the most accessible account of Naturphilosophie in Schelling's own work.
• Kuno Fischer, Geschichte der neueren Philosophie, Vol. VI, pp. 433–692 – a detailed discussion by a 19th-century historian of philosophy.
• Frederick C. Beiser (2002), German Idealism: The Struggle Against Subjectivism 1781-1801
• Robert J. Richards (2002), The Romantic Conception of Life: Science and Philosophy in the Age of Goethe
• Iain Hamilton Grant (2006), Philosophies of Nature after Schelling
• Slavoj Žižek (1996), The Indivisible Remainder: Essays on Schelling and Related Matters, London: Verso.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Accessed: 4/26/19



The second generation of the Cecil Bloc was famous at the time that it was growing up (and political power was still in the hands of the first generation) as "The Souls," a term applied to them partly in derision and partly in envy but used by themselves later. This group, flitting about from one great country house to another or from one spectacular social event to another in the town houses of their elders, has been preserved for posterity in the autobiographical volumes of Margot Tennant Asquith and has been caricatured in the writings of Oscar Wilde. The frivolity of this group can be seen in Margot Tennant's statement that she obtained for Milner his appointment to the chairmanship of the Board of Inland Revenue in 1892 merely by writing to Balfour and asking for it after she had a too brief romantic interlude with Milner in Egypt. As a respected scholar of my acquaintance has said, this group did everything in a frivolous fashion, including entering the Boer War and the First World War.

One of the enduring creations of the Cecil Bloc is the Society for Psychical Research, which holds a position in the history of the Cecil Bloc similar to that held by the Royal Institute of International Affairs in the Milner Group. The Society was founded in 1882 by the Balfour family and their in-laws, Lord Rayleigh and Professor Sidgwick. In the twentieth century it was dominated by those members of the Cecil Bloc who became most readily members of the Milner Group. Among these we might mention Gilbert Murray, who performed a notable series of experiments with his daughter, Mrs. Arnold J. Toynbee, in the years before 1914, and Dame Edith Lyttelton, herself a Balfour and widow of Arthur Balfour's closest friend, who was president of the Society in 1933-1934.

-- The Anglo-American Establishment: From Rhodes to Cliveden, by Carroll Quigley

Society for Psychical Research
Abbreviation SPR
Formation 1882; 137 years ago
Legal status Non-profit organisation
Purpose Parapsychology
1 Vernon Mews, West Kensington, London W14 0RL
Region served
Psi researchers
Prof Chris Roe
Main organ
SPR Council
Website SPR

The Society for Psychical Research (SPR) is a nonprofit organisation in the United Kingdom. Its stated purpose is to understand events and abilities commonly described as psychic or paranormal. It describes itself as the "first society to conduct organised scholarly research into human experiences that challenge contemporary scientific models."[1] It does not, however, since its inception in 1882, hold any corporate opinions: SPR members assert a variety of beliefs with regard to the nature of the phenomena studied.[2]


Henry Sidgwick, first president of the SPR

The Society for Psychical Research (SPR) originated from a discussion between journalist Edmund Rogers and the physicist William F. Barrett in autumn 1881. This led to a conference on the 5 and 6 January 1882 at the headquarters of the British National Association of Spiritualists which the foundation of the Society was proposed.[3] The committee included Barrett, Rogers, Stainton Moses, Charles Massey, Edmund Gurney, Hensleigh Wedgwood and Frederic W. H. Myers.[4] The SPR was formally constituted on the 20 February 1882 with philosopher Henry Sidgwick as its first president.[5][6][7]

The SPR was the first organisation of its kind in the world, its stated purpose being "to approach these varied problems without prejudice or prepossession of any kind, and in the same spirit of exact and unimpassioned enquiry which has enabled science to solve so many problems, once not less obscure nor less hotly debated."[8]

Other early members included the author Jane Barlow,[9] the renowned chemist Sir William Crookes, physicist Sir Oliver Lodge, Nobel laureate Charles Richet and psychologist William James.[10]

Members of the SPR initiated and organised the International Congresses of Physiological/Experimental psychology.[11][12]

Areas of study included hypnotism, dissociation, thought-transference, mediumship, Reichenbach phenomena, apparitions and haunted houses and the physical phenomena associated with séances.[11][13][14] The SPR were to introduce a number of neologisms which have entered the English language, such as 'telepathy', which was coined by Frederic Myers.[15]

The Society is run by a President and a Council of twenty members, and is open to interested members of the public to join. The organisation is based at 1 Vernon Mews, London, with a library and office open to members, and with large book and archival holdings in Cambridge University Library, Cambridgeshire, England.[16] It publishes the peer reviewed quarterly Journal of the Society for Psychical Research (JSPR), the irregular Proceedings and the magazine Paranormal Review. It holds an annual conference, regular lectures and two study days per year[1][17] and supports the LEXSCIEN on-line library project.[18]


Psychical research

Among the first important works was the two-volume publication in 1886, Phantasms of the Living, concerning telepathy and apparitions, co-authored by Gurney, Myers and Frank Podmore.[19] This text, and subsequent research in this area, was received negatively by the scientific mainstream,[12] though Gurney and Podmore provided a defense of the society's early work in this area in mainstream publications.[20][21][22][23][24]

The SPR "devised methodological innovations such as randomized study designs" and conducted "the first experiments investigating the psychology of eyewitness testimony (Hodgson and Davey, 1887), [and] empirical and conceptual studies illuminating mechanisms of dissociation and hypnotism"[11]

In 1894, the Census of Hallucinations was published which sampled 17,000 people. Out of these, 1, 684 persons reported having experienced a hallucination of an apparition.[25] Such efforts were claimed to have undermined "the notion of dissociation and hallucinations as intrinsically pathological phenomena"[11]

The SPR investigated many spiritualist mediums such as Eva Carrière and Eusapia Palladino.[26]

During the early twentieth century, the SPR studied a series of automatic scripts and trance utterances from a group of automatic writers, known as the cross-correspondences.[27]

Famous cases investigated by the Society include Borley Rectory and the Enfield Poltergeist.

In 1912 the Society extended a request for a contribution to a special medical edition of its Proceedings to Sigmund Freud. Though according to Ronald W. Clark (1980) "Freud surmised, no doubt correctly, that the existence of any link between the founding fathers of psychoanalysis and investigation of the paranormal would hamper acceptance of psychoanalysis" as would any perceived involvement with the occult. Nonetheless, Freud did respond, contributing an essay titled "A Note on the Unconscious in Psycho-Analysis"[28] to the Medical Supplement to the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research.[29]

Exposures of fraud

Much of the early work involved investigating, exposing and in some cases duplicating fake phenomena. In the late 19th century, SPR investigations into séance phenomena led to the exposure of many fraudulent mediums.[30]

Richard Hodgson distinguished himself in that area. In 1884, Hodgson was sent by the SPR to India to investigate Helena Blavatsky and concluded that her claims of psychic power were fraudulent.[31]

In 1886 and 1887 a series of publications by S. J. Davey, Hodgson and Sidgwick in the SPR journal exposed the slate writing tricks of the medium William Eglinton.[32] Hodgson with his friend, S. J. Davey, had staged fake séances for educating the public (including SPR members). Davey gave sittings under an assumed name, duplicating the phenomena produced by Eglinton, and then proceeded to point out to the sitters the manner in which they had been deceived. Because of this, some spiritualist members such as Stainton Moses resigned from the SPR.[32]

In 1891, Alfred Russel Wallace requested for the Society to properly investigate spirit photography.[33] Eleanor Sidgwick responded with a critical paper in the SPR which cast doubt on the subject and discussed the fraudulent methods that spirit photographers such as Édouard Isidore Buguet, Frederic Hudson and William H. Mumler had utilised.[34]

Due to the exposure of William Hope and other fraudulent mediums, Arthur Conan Doyle led a mass resignation of eighty-four members of the Society for Psychical Research, as they believed the Society was opposed to spiritualism.[35] Science historian William Hodson Brock has noted that "By the 1900s most avowed spiritualists had left the SPR and gone back to the BNAS (the London Spiritualist Alliance since 1884), having become upset by the sceptical tone of most of the SPR's investigations."[36]

Criticism of the SPR

The Society has been criticised by both spiritualists and sceptics.

Criticism from spiritualists

Prominent spiritualists at first welcomed the SPR and cooperated fully. But relations soured when spiritualists discovered that the SPR would not accept outside testimony as proof, and the society accused some prominent mediums of fraud. Spiritualist Arthur Conan Doyle resigned from the SPR in 1930, to protest what he regarded as the SPR's overly restrictive standards of proof. Psychic investigator and believer in spiritualism Nandor Fodor criticised the SPR for its "strong bias" against physical manifestations of spiritualism.[37]

Criticism from sceptics

Trevor H. Hall, a critic of the SPR

Sceptics have criticised members of the SPR for having motives liable to impair scientific objectivity. According to SPR critics John Grant and Eric Dingwall (a member of the SPR), early SPR members such as Henry Sidgwick, Frederic W. H. Myers, and William Barrett hoped to cling to something spiritual through psychical research.[38][39] Myers stated that "[T]he Society for Psychical Research was founded, with the establishment of thought-transference--already rising within measurable distance of proof--as its primary aim."[40] Defenders of the SPR have stated in reply that "a ‘will to believe’ in post-mortem survival, telepathy and other scientifically unpopular notions, does not necessarily exclude a "will to know" and thus the capacity for thorough self-criticism, methodological rigour and relentless suspicion of errors."[41]

The sceptic and physicist Victor J. Stenger has written:

The SPR ... on occasion exposed blatant cases of fraud even their own credulous memberships could not swallow. But their journals have never succeeded in achieving a high level of credibility in the eyes of the rest of the scientific community. ... most articles usually begin with the assumption that psychic phenomena are demonstrated realities.[42]

Ivor Lloyd Tuckett an author of an early sceptical work on psychical research wrote that although the SPR have collected some valuable work, most of its active members have "no training in psychology fitting them for their task, and have been the victims of pronounced bias, as sometimes they themselves have admitted."[43] Trevor H. Hall, an ex-member of the Society for Psychical Research, criticised SPR members as "credulous and obsessive wish... to believe." Hall also claimed SPR members "lack knowledge of deceptive methods."[44]

Writer Edward Clodd asserted that the SPR members William F. Barrett and Oliver Lodge had insufficient competence for the detection of fraud and suggested that their spiritualist beliefs were based on magical thinking and primitive superstition.[45] Clodd described the SPR as offering "barbaric spiritual philosophy", and characterised the language of SPR members as using such terms as "subliminal consciousness" and "telepathic energy," as a disguise for "bastard supernaturalism."[46]

A 2004 psychological study involving 174 members of the Society for Psychical Research completed a delusional ideation questionnaire and a deductive reasoning task. As predicted, the study showed that "individuals who reported a strong belief in the paranormal made more errors and displayed more delusional ideation than sceptical individuals". There was also a reasoning bias which was limited to people who reported a belief in, rather than experience of, paranormal phenomena. The results suggested that reasoning abnormalities may have a causal role in the formation of paranormal belief.[47]

Some sceptical members have resigned from the SPR. Eric Dingwall resigned and wrote " After sixty years' experience and personal acquaintance with most of the leading parapsychologists of that period I do not think I could name half a dozen whom I could call objective students who honestly wished to discover the truth. The great majority wanted to prove something or other: They wanted the phenomena into which they were inquiring to serve some purpose in supporting preconceived theories of their own."[38]


The following is a list of presidents:

Society for Psychical Research

1882-1884 Henry Sidgwick (1838–1900), Professor, Trinity College, Cambridge; Philosopher and Economist
1885-1887 Balfour Stewart (1827–1887), Professor, Owenham College, Manchester; Physicist
1888-1892 Henry Sidgwick (→ 1882), Professor, Trinity College, Cambridge; Philosopher and Economist
1893 Arthur Balfour KG, OM, PC, DL (1848–1930), later Prime Minister, known for the Balfour Declaration
1894-1895 William James (1842–1910) Professor, Harvard University; American Psychologist, Philosopher and Physician
1896-1899 Sir William Crookes (1832–1919), Physical Chemist, discovered the element Thallium, invented the Crookes tube
1900 Frederic W. H. Myers (1843–1901), Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge; Classicist and Philosopher
1901-1903 Sir Oliver Lodge (1851–1940), Professor, University College, Liverpool; Physicist and Mathematician, developer of wireless telegraphy
1904 William F. Barrett FRS (1845–1926), Professor, Royal College of Science, Dublin; Experimental Physicist
1905 Charles Richet (1850–1935), Professor, Collège de France, Paris; French Physiologist, Nobel Prize in Medicine/Physiology 1913
1906-1907 Gerald Balfour (1853–1945), Politician, brother of Arthur Balfour; Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge
1908-1909 Eleanor Sidgwick (1845–1936), Principal, Newnham College, Cambridge; Physicist
1910 Henry Arthur Smith (1848–1922), Barrister-at-Law, Middle Temple, London; Lawyer and author of legal treatises
1911 Andrew Lang (1844–1912), Fellow, Merton College, Oxford; Classicist and writer on folklore, mythology, and religion
1912 William Boyd Carpenter KCVO (1841–1918), Pastoral Lecturer, Theology, Cambridge; Bishop of Ripon
1913 Henri Bergson (1859–1941) Professor, Collège de France, Paris; Chair of Modern Philosophy; Nobel Prize, Literature 1927
1914 F. C. S. Schiller (1864–1937), Fellow, Corpus Christi College, Oxford; Philosopher
1915-1916 Gilbert Murray (1866–1957), Regius Professor of Greek, University of Oxford; Classicist
1917-1918 Lawrence Pearsall Jacks (1860–1955), Professor, Manchester College, Oxford; Philosopher and Theologian
1919 John William Strutt, 3rd Baron Rayleigh OM, PRS (1842–1919), Cavendish Professor, Trinity College, Cambridge; Physicist, Nobel Prize, Physics 1904
1920-1921 William McDougall FRS (1871–1938), Professor, Duke University; Psychologist, founder J B Rhine Parapsychology Lab
1922 Thomas Walker Mitchell (1869–1944), Physician and Psychologist, Publisher of the British Journal of Medical Psychology 1920-1935
1923 Camille Flammarion (1842–1925), founder and first president of the Société Astronomique de France, author of popular science and science fiction works
1924-1925 John George Piddington (1869–1952), Businessman, John George Smith & Co., London
1926-1927 Hans Driesch (1867–1941), Professor, Universitaet Leipzig; German Biologist and Natural Philosopher, performed first animal cloning 1885
1928-1929 Sir Lawrence Evelyn Jones (1885–1955) Honorary Fellow, Balliol College, Oxford; Author
1930-1931 Walter Franklin Prince (1863–1934), Clergyman
1932 Eleanor Sidgwick (→ 1908) and Oliver Lodge (→ 1901)
1933-1934 Edith Lyttelton (born as Edith Balfour; 1865–1948), Writer
1935-1936 C. D. Broad (1887–1971), Philosopher
1937-1938 Robert Strutt, 4th Baron Rayleigh (1875–1947), Physicist
1939-1941 H. H. Price (1899–1984), Philosopher
1942-1944 Robert Henry Thouless (1894–1984), Psychologist
1945-1946 George Nugent Merle Tyrrell (1879–1952), Mathematician
1947-1948 William Henry Salter (1880–1969), Lawyer
1949 Gardner Murphy (1895–1979), Director of Research, Menninger Foundation, Topeka, Kansas; Psychologist
1950-1951 Samuel Soal (1889–1975), Mathematician
1952 Gilbert Murray (→ 1915)
1953-1955 F. J. M. Stratton (1881–1960), Astrophysicist, Professor in Cambridge University
1956-1958 Guy William Lambert (1889–1984), Diplomat
1958-1960 C. D. Broad (→ 1935)
1960-1961 H. H. Price (→ 1939)
1960-1963 E. R. Dodds (1893–1979), Hellenist, Professor in Birmingham and Oxford
1963-1965 Donald J. West (born 1924), Psychiatrist and criminologist
1965-1969 Sir Alister Hardy (1896–1985), Zoologist
1969-1971 W. A. H. Rushton (1901–1980), Physiologist, Professor in Cambridge
1971-1974 Clement Mundle (1916–1989), Philosopher
1974-1976 John Beloff (1920–2006), Psychologist at the University of Edinburgh
1976-1979 Arthur J. Ellison (1920–2000), Engineer
1980 Joseph Banks Rhine (1895–1980), Biologist and Parapsychologist
1980 Louisa Ella Rhine (1891–1983), Parapsychologist, wife of Joseph Rhine
1981-1983 Arthur J. Ellison (→ 1976)
1984-1988 Donald J. West (→ 1963)
1988-1989 Ian Stevenson (1918–2007), Psychiatrist
1992-1993 Alan Gauld (born 1932), Psychologist
1993-1995 Archie Roy (1924–2012), Professor of Astronomy in Glasgow, founded the Scottish SPR in 1987
1995-1998 David Fontana (1934–2010), Professor of Psychology in Cardiff
1998-1999 Donald J. West (→ 1963, → 1984)
2000-2004 Bernard Carr, Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy in London
2004-2007 John Poynton, Professor Emeritus of Biology, University of Natal
2007-2011 Deborah Delanoy, Parapsychologist
2011-2015 Richard S. Broughton, senior lecturer in psychology at The University of Northampton, UK
2015-2018 John Poynton (→2004)
2018- Chris Roe, Professor of Psychology, University of Northampton


The Society publishes Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, and the Paranormal Review, as well as the online Psi Encyclopedia.[48][49][50]

Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research

First published in 1882 as a public record of the activities of the SPR, the Proceedings are now reserved for longer pieces of work, such as Presidential Addresses, and are only occasionally published.[51] The current editor is Dr David Vernon.

Journal of the Society for Psychical Research

The Journal of the Society for Psychical Research has been published quarterly since 1884. It was introduced as a private, members-only periodical to supplement the Proceedings.[51] It now focuses on current laboratory and field research, but also includes theoretical, methodological and historical papers on parapsychology. It also publishes book reviews and correspondence. The current editor is Dr David Vernon.

Paranormal Review

The Paranormal Review is the magazine of the Society for Psychical Research. Formerly known as the Psi Researcher, it has been published since 1996. Previous editors have included Dr Nicola J. Holt.[52] The current editor is Dr Leo Ruickbie.[49]

Other societies

A number of other psychical research organisations use the term 'Society for Psychical Research' in their name.

• Australia - In 1977 the Australian Institute of Parapsychological Research was founded.[53]
• Austria - Founded in 1927 as the Austrian Society for Psychical Research, today the Austrian Society for Parapsychology.[54]
• Canada - From 1908 to 1916 the Canadian Society for Psychical Research existed in Toronto.[55]
• Denmark - Selskabet for Psykisk Forskning (The Danish Society for Psychical Research) was founded in 1905.[56]
• Finland - Sällskapet för Psykisk Forskning (The Finnish Society for Psychical Research) was formed in 1907 by Arvi Grotenfelt as a first chairman, and the society existed until 2002. A splinter group for Finnish speaking people, Suomen parapsykologinen tutkimusseura (Parapsychological research society of Finland), still exists today.
• France - In 1885, a society called the Société de Psychologie Physiologique (Society for Physiological Psychology) was formed by Charles Richet, Théodule-Armand Ribot and Léon Marillier. It existed until 1890 when it was abandoned due to lack of interest.[57][58]
• Iceland - Sálarrannsóknarfélag Íslands (Icelandic Society for Psychical Research) was formed in 1918. It has a predecessor called the Experimental Society, which was founded in 1905.[59][60]
• Netherlands - The Studievereniging voor Psychical Research (Dutch for Society for Psychical Research) was founded in 1917.[61]
• Poland - The Polish Society for Psychical Research was very active before the second world war.[62]
• Scotland - The Scottish Society for Psychical Research is active today.[63]
• Sweden - Sällskapet för Parapsykologisk Forskning (the Swedish Society for Parapsychological Research) was founded in 1948.[64]
• USA - An American branch of the Society was formed as the American Society for Psychical Research (ASPR) in 1885, which became independent in 1906.[65] A splinter group, the Boston Society for Psychical Research existed from May 1925 to 1941.[66]

See also

• American Society for Psychical Research
• Institut suisse des sciences noétiques
• List of parapsychology topics


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5. Schultz, Bart. (2004). Henry Sidgwick: Eye of the Universe: An Intellectual Biography. Cambridge University Press. p. 276. ISBN 978-0521829670
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25. Williams, William F. (2000). Encyclopedia of Pseudoscience: From Alien Abductions to Zone Therapy. Routledge. p. 49. ISBN 1-57958-207-9
26. Anderson, Rodger. (2006). Psychics, Sensitives and Somnambules: A Biographical Dictionary with Bibliographies. McFarland & Company. pp. 14-132. ISBN 978-0786427703
27. Edmunds, Simeon. (1966). Spiritualism: A Critical Survey. Aquarian Press. pp. 178-180. ISBN 978-0850300130
28. 1912 Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, 26 (Part 66), 312-18.
29. Keeley, James P. "Subliminal Promptings: Psychoanalytic Theory and the Society for Psychical Research." American Imago, vol. 58 no. 4, 2001, pp. 767-791. Project MUSE, doi:10.1353/aim.2001.0021
30. Moreman, Christopher M. (2010). Beyond the Threshold: Afterlife Beliefs and Experiences in World Religions. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. p. 163. ISBN 978-0-7425-6228-8 "SPR investigators quickly found that many mediums were indeed, as skeptics had alleged, operating under cover of darkness in order to perpetrate scams. They used a number of tricks facilitated by darkness: sleight of hand was used to manipulate objects and touch people eager to make contact with deceased loved ones; flour or white lines would give the illusion of spectral white hands or faces; accomplices were even stashed under tables or in secret rooms to lent support in the plot... As the investigations of the SPR, and other skeptics, were made public, many fraudulent mediums saw their careers ruined and many unsuspecting clients were enraged at the deception perpetrated."
31. Oppenheim, Janet. (1988). The Other World: Spiritualism and Psychical Research in England, 1850-1914. pp. 175-176. ISBN 978-0521347679
32. Oppenheim, Janet. (1988). The Other World: Spiritualism and Psychical Research in England, 1850-1914. Cambridge University Press. pp. 139-140. ISBN 978-0521347679
33. "The Belief in Spirit Photography". Martyn Jolly.
34. Edmunds, Simeon. (1966). Spiritualism: A Critical Survey. Aquarian Press. p. 115. ISBN 978-0850300130 "The early history of spirit photography was reviewed by Mrs Henry Sidgwick in the Proceedings of the SPR in 1891. She showed clearly not only that Mumler, Hudson, Buguet and their ilk were fraudulent, but the way in which those who believed in them were deceived."
35. Nelson, G. K. (2013). Spiritualism and Society. Routledge. p. 159. ISBN 978-0415714624
36. Brock, William Hodson. (2008). William Crookes (1832–1919) and the Commercialization of Science. Ashgate Publishing. p. 206. ISBN 978-0754663225
37. Nandor Fodor, An Encyclopedia of Psychic Science (Secaucus, N.J.: Citadel, 1966) 350-352.
38. Dingwall, Eric. (1985). The Need for Responsibility in Parapsychology: My Sixty Years in Psychical Research. In Paul Kurtz. A Skeptic's Handbook of Parapsychology. Prometheus Books. pp. 161-174. ISBN 0-87975-300-5 Author John Grant stated that prominent member F. W. H. Myers held that telepathy, according to some speculative explanations, might, in demonstrating that mind could communicate with mind apart from recognised channels, provide evidence supporting the proposition that human personality could continue after the death of the body. "Thus the supernatural might be proved by science, and psychical research might become, in the words of Sir William Barrett, a handmaid to religion."
39. Grant, John. (2015). Spooky Science: Debunking the Pseudoscience of the Afterlife. Sterling Publishing. pp. 23-24. ISBN 978-1-4549-1654-3
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45. Clodd, Edward. (1917). The Question: A Brief History and Examination of Modern Spiritualism. Grant Richards, London. pp. 265-301
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Further reading

SPR histories

• Bennett, Edward T. (1903). The Society for Psychical Research: Its Rise & Progress & A Sketch of its Work. London: R. Brimley Johnson.
• Gauld, Alan. (1968). The Founders of Psychical Research. Routledge & Kegan Paul. ISBN 978-0710060679
• Haynes, Renee. (1982). The Society for Psychical Research 1882-1982: A History. London: MacDonald & Co. ISBN 978-0356078755
• Salter, William Henry. (1948). The Society for Psychical Research: An Outline of its History. Society for Psychical Research.
Scholarly studies
• Cerullo, John. (1982). Secularization of the Soul: Psychical Research in Modern Britain. Philadelphia: Institute for the Study of Human Issues. ISBN 978-0897270281
• Luckhurst, Roger. (2002). The Invention of Telepathy, 1870-1901. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0199249626
• McCorristine, Shane. (2010). Spectres of the Self: Thinking about Ghosts and Ghost-Seeing in England, 1750-1920. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521747967
• Oppenheim, Janet. (1988). The Other World: Spiritualism and Psychical Research in England, 1850-1914. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521347679
• McCabe, Joseph. (1920). Scientific Men and Spiritualism: A Skeptic's Analysis. The Living Age. June 12. pp. 652–657. A sceptical look at SPR members who had supported Spiritualism, concludes they were duped by fraudulent mediums.
• Brandon, Ruth. (1983). The Spiritualists: The Passion for the Occult in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 978-0394527406
• Hyman, Ray. (1989). The Elusive Quarry: A Scientific Appraisal of Psychical Research. Prometheus Books. ISBN 978-0879755041

External links

• SPR home page
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Albert Schweitzer
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/27/19



Albert Schweitzer
Schweitzer in 1955
Born 14 January 1875
Kaysersberg, Alsace-Lorraine, German Empire
Died 4 September 1965 (aged 90)
Lambaréné, Gabon
German (1875–1919)
French (1919–1965)
Alma mater University of Strasbourg
Known for
Spouse(s) Helene Bresslau, daughter of Harry Bresslau
Goethe Prize (1928)
Nobel Peace Prize (1952)
Scientific career
Doctoral advisor
Theobald Ziegler
Heinrich Julius Holtzmann
Robert Wollenberg [de][1]
Influences H. S. Reimarus

Albert Schweitzer, OM (14 January 1875 – 4 September 1965) was an Alsatian polymath. He was a theologian, organist, writer, humanitarian, philosopher, and physician. A Lutheran, Schweitzer challenged both the secular view of Jesus as depicted by the historical-critical method current at this time, as well as the traditional Christian view. His contributions to the interpretation of Pauline Christianity concern the role of Paul's mysticism of "being in Christ" as primary and the doctrine of Justification by Faith as secondary.

He received the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize for his philosophy of "Reverence for Life",[2] becoming the eighth Frenchman to be awarded that prize. His philosophy was expressed in many ways, but most famously in founding and sustaining the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné, in the part of French Equatorial Africa which is now Gabon. As a music scholar and organist, he studied the music of German composer Johann Sebastian Bach and influenced the Organ Reform Movement (Orgelbewegung).


Schweitzer was born in the province of Alsace, which was a part of the Holy Roman Empire up to the Thirty Year War. In 1648, with the Treaty of Westphalia, the Habsburgs renounced their claims to its territory, when it became a part of France for the first time. In 1871, through the Treaty of Frankfurt, Alsace became a part of the German Empire ("Reichsland"), becoming French a second time in 1919, after Germany's defeat during the First World War. Schweitzer considered himself French,[3][additional citation(s) needed] but wrote mostly in German. His mother-tongue was Alsatian, a Low Alemannic German dialect, although he was also fluent in French and High-German.


Albert Schweitzer's birthplace, Kaysersberg

Schweitzer was born in Kaysersberg, Haute Alsace, the son of Louis Schweitzer and Adèle Schillinger.[4][5] He spent his childhood in the Alsatian village of Gunsbach, where his father, the local Lutheran-Evangelical pastor of the EPCAAL, taught him how to play music.[6] The tiny village became home to the Association Internationale Albert Schweitzer (AIAS).[7] The medieval parish church of Gunsbach was shared by the Protestant and Catholic congregations, which held their prayers in different areas at different times on Sundays. This compromise arose after the Protestant Reformation and the Thirty Years' War. Schweitzer, the pastor's son, grew up in this exceptional environment of religious tolerance, and developed the belief that true Christianity should always work towards a unity of faith and purpose.[8]

Schweitzer's first language was the Alsatian dialect of German language. At the Mulhouse gymnasium he received his "Abitur" (the certificate at the end of secondary education) in 1893. He studied organ in Mulhouse from 1885 to 1893 with Eugène Munch, organist at the Protestant cathedral, who inspired Schweitzer with his profound enthusiasm for the music of German composer Richard Wagner.[9] In 1893 he played for the French organist Charles-Marie Widor (at Saint-Sulpice, Paris), for whom Johann Sebastian Bach's organ music contained a mystic sense of the eternal. Widor, deeply impressed, agreed to teach Schweitzer without fee, and a great and influential friendship thus began.[10]

From 1893 Schweitzer studied Protestant theology at the Kaiser Wilhelm University in Strasbourg. There he also received instruction in piano and counterpoint from professor Gustav Jacobsthal, and associated closely with Ernest Munch, the brother of his former teacher, organist of St William church, who was also a passionate admirer of J.S. Bach's music.[11] Schweitzer served his one-year compulsory military service in 1894. Schweitzer saw many operas of Richard Wagner in Strasbourg (under Otto Lohse) and in 1896 he managed to afford a visit to the Bayreuth Festival to see Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen and Parsifal, which deeply impressed him. In 1898 he went back to Paris to write a PhD dissertation on The Religious Philosophy of Kant at the Sorbonne, and to study in earnest with Widor. Here he often met with the elderly Aristide Cavaillé-Coll. He also studied piano at that time with Marie Jaëll.[12] In 1899, Schweitzer spent the summer semester at the University of Berlin and eventually obtained his theology degree in University of Strasbourg.[13][14][15][16] He published his PhD thesis at the University of Tübingen in 1899.[17]

In 1905, Schweitzer began his study of medicine at the University of Strasbourg, culminating in the degree of M.D. in 1913.[13][16]


Schweitzer rapidly gained prominence as a musical scholar and organist, dedicated also to the rescue, restoration and study of historic pipe organs. With theological insight, he interpreted the use of pictorial and symbolical representation in J. S. Bach's religious music. In 1899 he astonished Widor by explaining figures and motifs in Bach's Chorale Preludes as painter-like tonal and rhythmic imagery illustrating themes from the words of the hymns on which they were based. They were works of devotional contemplation in which the musical design corresponded to literary ideas, conceived visually. Widor had not grown up with knowledge of the old Lutheran hymns.[18]

The exposition of these ideas, encouraged by Widor and Munch, became Schweitzer's last task, and appeared in the masterly study J. S. Bach: Le Musicien-Poète, written in French and published in 1905. There was great demand for a German edition, but, instead of translating it, he decided to rewrite it.[19] The result was two volumes (J. S. Bach), which were published in 1908 and translated into English by Ernest Newman in 1911.[20] Ernst Cassirer, a contemporaneous German philosopher, called it "one of the best interpretations" of Bach.[21] During its preparation Schweitzer became a friend of Cosima Wagner, then resident in Strasbourg, with whom he had many theological and musical conversations, exploring his view of Bach's descriptive music, and playing the major Chorale Preludes for her at the Temple Neuf.[22] Schweitzer's interpretative approach greatly influenced the modern understanding of Bach's music. He became a welcome guest at the Wagners' home, Wahnfried.[23] He also corresponded with composer Clara Faisst, who became a good friend.[24]

The Choir Organ at St Thomas' Church, Strasbourg, designed in 1905 on principles defined by Albert Schweitzer

His pamphlet "The Art of Organ Building and Organ Playing in Germany and France" (1906,[25] republished with an appendix on the state of the organ-building industry in 1927) effectively launched the 20th-century Orgelbewegung, which turned away from romantic extremes and rediscovered baroque principles—although this sweeping reform movement in organ building eventually went further than Schweitzer had intended. In 1909 he addressed the Third Congress of the International Society of Music at Vienna on the subject. Having circulated a questionnaire among players and organ-builders in several European countries, he produced a very considered report.[26] This provided the basis for the International Regulations for Organ Building. He envisaged instruments in which the French late-romantic full-organ sound should work integrally with the English and German romantic reed pipes, and with the classical Alsace Silbermann organ resources and baroque flue pipes, all in registers regulated (by stops) to access distinct voices in fugue or counterpoint capable of combination without loss of distinctness: different voices singing the same music together.

Schweitzer also studied piano under Isidor Philipp, head of the piano department at the Paris Conservatory.

In 1905 Widor and Schweitzer were among the six musicians who founded the Paris Bach Society, a choir dedicated to performing J.S. Bach's music, for whose concerts Schweitzer took the organ part regularly until 1913. He was also appointed organist for the Bach Concerts of the Orféo Català at Barcelona, Spain, and often travelled there for that purpose.[18] He and Widor collaborated on a new edition of Bach's organ works, with detailed analysis of each work in three languages (English, French, German). Schweitzer, who insisted that the score should show Bach's notation with no additional markings, wrote the commentaries for the Preludes and Fugues, and Widor those for the Sonatas and Concertos: six volumes were published in 1912–14. Three more, to contain the Chorale Preludes with Schweitzer's analyses, were to be worked on in Africa, but these were never completed, perhaps because for him they were inseparable from his evolving theological thought.[27]

On departure for Lambaréné in 1913 he was presented with a pedal piano, a piano with pedal attachments to operate like an organ pedal-keyboard.[28] Built especially for the tropics, it was delivered by river in a huge dug-out canoe to Lambaréné, packed in a zinc-lined case. At first he regarded his new life as a renunciation of his art, and fell out of practice: but after some time he resolved to study and learn by heart the works of Bach, Mendelssohn, Widor, César Franck, and Max Reger systematically.[29] It became his custom to play during the lunch hour and on Sunday afternoons. Schweitzer's pedal piano was still in use at Lambaréné in 1946.[30] According to a visitor, Dr. Gaine Cannon, of Balsam Grove, N.C., the old, dilapidated piano-organ was still being played by Dr. Schweitzer in 1962, and stories told that "his fingers were still lively" on the old instrument at 88 years of age.

Sir Donald Tovey dedicated his conjectural completion of Bach's The Art of Fugue to Schweitzer.

Schweitzer's recordings of organ-music, and his innovative recording technique, are described below.

One of his notable pupils was conductor and composer Hans Münch.


Saint-Nicolas, Strasbourg

In 1899 Schweitzer became a deacon at the church of Saint Nicholas in Strasbourg. In 1900, with the completion of his licentiate in theology, he was ordained as curate, and that year he witnessed the Oberammergau Passion Play. In the following year he became provisional Principal of the Theological College of Saint Thomas, from which he had just graduated, and in 1903 his appointment was made permanent.[note 1]

In 1906 he published Geschichte der Leben-Jesu-Forschung ("History of Life-of-Jesus research"). This book, which established his reputation, was first published in English in 1910 as The Quest of the Historical Jesus. Under this title the book became famous in the English-speaking world. A second German edition was published in 1913, containing theologically significant revisions and expansions: but this revised edition did not appear in English until 2001. In 1931 he published Mystik des Apostels Paulus ("The Mysticism of Paul the Apostle"); a second edition was published in 1953.

The Quest of the Historical Jesus (1906)

In The Quest, Schweitzer reviewed all former work on the "historical Jesus" back to the late 18th century. He showed that the image of Jesus had changed with the times and outlooks of the various authors and gave his own synopsis and interpretation of the previous century's findings. He maintained that the life of Jesus must be interpreted in the light of Jesus' own convictions, which reflected late Jewish eschatology and apocalypticism. Schweitzer writes: The Jesus of Nazareth who came forward publicly as the Messiah, who preached the ethic of the kingdom of God, who founded the kingdom of heaven upon earth and died to give his work its final consecration never existed. He is a figure designed by rationalism, endowed with life by liberalism, and clothed by modern theology in a historical garb. This image has not been destroyed from outside; it has fallen to pieces...[36] He observes the many verses describing important events that never took place and technically, now, never can take place.

The concept that Christianity started as a Jewish apocalyptic movement is evidenced by the teachings of the historical Jesus concerning the end of days. Not only did he preach he would rise from the grave, but that he would also ascend to heaven and one day return to judge and rule over the world, saying that no one, including himself, knew the exact time of his return, but it would be before the end of the end of the first generation of followers. In The Quest of the Historical Jesus, Schweitzer verifies and cross-referenced the many New Testament verses declaring imminent fulfillment of the promise of the World's ending within the lifetime of Jesus's original followers.[37] He noted that in the gospel of Mark, Jesus speaks of a "tribulation", with his "coming in the clouds with great power and glory" (St. Mark), and states when it will happen: "This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled" (St. Matthew, 24:34) or, "have taken place" (Luke 21:32). Similarly, in 1st Peter 1:20, "Christ, who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world but was manifest in these last times for you," as well as "But the end of all things is at hand," (1 Peter 4:7) and "Surely, I come quickly." (Revelation 22:20).

Schweitzer observes that Jesus very specifically states "not seal up the words of the prophecy" and promises that some of his listeners, as well as the high priest at his trial, would be alive to see him return to the Earth. He says, "Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near" (Revelation 1:3). St. Paul spoke of the last times, "Brethren, the time is short, it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none," (1 Corinthians 7:29) and "God hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son," (Hebrews 1:2). Also, "There be some standing here which shall not taste of death till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom" (Matthew 16:28) as well as "until they see that the kingdom of God has come with power," (Mark 9:1) and "till they see the kingdom of God" (Luke 9:27) reinforce this prophecy. Schweitzer observes that St. Paul, urgently, believed in the immediacy of the Second Coming of Jesus.

Schweitzer insists that it is unreasonable for modern followers of Jesus to believe that "coming quickly", "near", and "soon" could mean hundreds, much less thousands, of years of the faithful waiting for a second coming. His evidence is verses "Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near." (Revelation 1:3) "And he said to me, 'These words are faithful and true'; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bond-servants the things which must soon take place." as well as "And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book." He references "And he said to me, "Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near" (Revelation 22:6, 7, 10, 12). "All these things shall come upon this generation" (Matthew 23:36) as well. Schweitzer's observations are in stark contrast to many modern variants of Christian belief, those ignoring these verses. Schweitzer concludes that 1st-century Christian theology; first belief, originating in the lifetimes of the very first followers of Jesus, is totally incompatible with modern theology.

The cover of Albert Schweitzer's The Mysticism of Paul the Apostle

The Mysticism of Paul the Apostle (1931)

In The Mysticism of Paul the Apostle, Schweitzer first distinguishes between two categories of mysticism: primitive and developed.[36] Primitive mysticism "has not yet risen to a conception of the universal, and is still confined to naive views of earthly and super-earthly, temporal and eternal." Additionally, he argues that this view of a "union with the divinity, brought about by efficacious ceremonies, is found even in quite primitive religions."[36]

On the other hand, a more developed form of mysticism can be found in the Greek mystery-cults that were popular in first-century A.D. society. These included the cults of Attis, Osiris, and Mithras. A developed form of mysticism is attained when the "conception of the universal is reached and a man reflects upon his relation to the totality of being and to Being in itself." Schweitzer claims that this form of mysticism is more intellectual and can be found "among the Brahmans and in the Buddha, in Platonism, in Stoicism, in Spinoza, Schopenhauer, and Hegel."[37]

Next, Schweitzer poses the question: "Of what precise kind then is the mysticism of Paul?" He locates Paul between the two extremes of primitive mysticism and developed mysticism. Paul stands high above primitive mysticism, due to his intellectual writings, but never speaks of being one with God or being in God. Instead, he conceives of sonship to God as "mediated and effected by means of the mystical union with Christ."[38] He summarizes Pauline mysticism as "being in Christ" rather than "being in God."

Paul's imminent eschatology (from his background in Jewish eschatology) causes him to believe that the kingdom of God has not yet come and that Christians are now living in the time of Christ. Christ-mysticism holds the field until God-mysticism becomes possible, which is in the near future.[39] Therefore, Schweitzer argues that Paul is the only theologian who does not claim that Christians can have an experience of "being-in-God." Rather, Paul uses the phrase "being-in-Christ" to illustrate how Jesus is a mediator between the Christian community and God. Additionally, Schweitzer explains how the experience of "being-in-Christ" is not a "static partaking in the spiritual being of Christ, but as the real co-experiencing of His dying and rising again." The "realistic" partaking in the mystery of Jesus is only possible within the solidarity of the Christian community.[39]

One of Schweitzer's major arguments in The Mysticism of Paul the Apostle is that Paul's mysticism, marked by his phrase "being in Christ", gives the clue to the whole of Pauline theology. Rather than reading justification by faith as the main topic of Pauline thought, which has been the most popular argument set forward by Martin Luther, Schweitzer argues that Paul's emphasis was on the mystical union with God by "being in Christ." Jaroslav Pelikan, in his Forward to The Mysticism of Paul the Apostle, points out that:

the relation between the two doctrines was quite the other way around: 'The doctrine of the redemption, which is mentally appropriated through faith, is only a fragment from the more comprehensive mystical redemption-doctrine, which Paul has broken off and polished to give him the particular refraction which he requires.[40]

Paul's "Realism" versus Hellenistic "Symbolism"

Schweitzer contrasts Paul's "realistic" dying and rising with Christ to the "symbolism" of Hellenism. Although Paul is widely influenced by Hellenistic thought, he is not controlled by it. Schweitzer explains that Paul focused on the idea of fellowship with the divine being through the "realistic" dying and rising with Christ rather than the "symbolic" Hellenistic act of becoming like Christ through deification.[41] After baptism, the Christian is continually renewed throughout their lifetime due to participation in the dying and rising with Christ (most notably through the Sacraments). On the other hand, the Hellenist "lives on the store of experience which he acquired in the initiation" and is not continually affected by a shared communal experience.[42]

Another major difference between Paul's "realism" and Hellenistic "symbolism" is the exclusive nature of the former and the inclusive nature of the latter. Schweitzer unabashedly emphasizes the fact that "Paul's thought follows predestinarian lines."[43] He explains, "only the man who is elected thereto can enter into relation with God."[44] Although every human being is invited to become a Christian, only those who have undergone the initiation into the Christian community through baptism can share in the "realistic" dying and rising with Christ.


At the age of 30, in 1905, Schweitzer answered the call of The Society of the Evangelist Missions of Paris, which was looking for a physician. However, the committee of this missionary society was not ready to accept his offer, considering his Lutheran theology to be "incorrect".[45] He could easily have obtained a place in a German evangelical mission, but wished to follow the original call despite the doctrinal difficulties. Amid a hail of protests from his friends, family and colleagues, he resigned his post and re-entered the university as a student in a three-year course towards the degree of Doctorate in Medicine, a subject in which he had little knowledge or previous aptitude. He planned to spread the Gospel by the example of his Christian labour of healing, rather than through the verbal process of preaching, and believed that this service should be acceptable within any branch of Christian teaching.

Even in his study of medicine, and through his clinical course, Schweitzer pursued the ideal of the philosopher-scientist. By extreme application and hard work, he completed his studies successfully at the end of 1911. His medical degree dissertation was another work on the historical Jesus, The Psychiatric Study of Jesus. He defended Jesus′ mental health in it. In June 1912, he married Helene Bresslau, municipal inspector for orphans and daughter of the Jewish pan-Germanist historian Harry Bresslau.[46]

In 1912, now armed with a medical degree, Schweitzer made a definite proposal to go as a physician to work at his own expense in the Paris Missionary Society's mission at Lambaréné on the Ogooué river, in what is now Gabon, in Africa (then a French colony). He refused to attend a committee to inquire into his doctrine, but met each committee member personally and was at last accepted. Through concerts and other fund-raising, he was ready to equip a small hospital.[47] In spring 1913, he and his wife set off to establish a hospital (Albert Schweitzer Hospital) near an existing mission post. The site was nearly 200 miles (14 days by raft[48]) upstream from the mouth of the Ogooué at Port Gentil (Cape Lopez) (and so accessible to external communications), but downstream of most tributaries, so that internal communications within Gabon converged towards Lambaréné.

The catchment area of the Ogooé occupies most of Gabon. Lambaréné is marked.

In the first nine months, he and his wife had about 2,000 patients to examine, some travelling many days and hundreds of kilometers to reach him. In addition to injuries, he was often treating severe sandflea and crawcraw sores, framboesia (yaws), tropical eating sores, heart disease, tropical dysentery, tropical malaria, sleeping sickness, leprosy, fevers, strangulated hernias, necrosis, abdominal tumours and chronic constipation and nicotine poisoning, while also attempting to deal with deliberate poisonings, fetishism and fear of cannibalism among the Mbahouin.

Schweitzer's wife, Helene Schweitzer, was an anaesthetist for surgical operations. After briefly occupying a shed formerly used as a chicken hut, in autumn 1913 they built their first hospital of corrugated iron, with two 13-foot rooms (consulting room and operating theatre) and with a dispensary and sterilising room in spaces below the broad eaves. The waiting room and dormitory (42 by 20 feet) were built, like native huts, of unhewn logs along a 30-yard path leading from the hospital to the landing-place. The Schweitzers had their own bungalow and employed as their assistant Joseph, a French-speaking Galoa (Mpongwe) who first came as a patient.[49][50]

After World War I broke out in July 1914, Schweitzer and his wife, German citizens in a French colony when the countries were at war, were put under supervision by the French military at Lambaréné, where Schweitzer continued his work.[51] In 1917, exhausted by over four years' work and by tropical anaemia, they were taken to Bordeaux and interned first in Garaison and then from March 1918 in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. In July 1918, after being transferred to his home in Alsace, he was a free man again. At this time Schweitzer, born a German citizen, had his parents' former (pre-1871) French citizenship reinstated and became a French citizen. Then, working as medical assistant and assistant-pastor in Strasbourg, he advanced his project on the philosophy of civilization, which had occupied his mind since 1900. By 1920, his health recovering, he was giving organ recitals and doing other fund-raising work to repay borrowings and raise funds for returning to Gabon. In 1922, he delivered the Dale Memorial Lectures in Oxford University, and from these in the following year appeared Volumes I and II of his great work, The Decay and Restoration of Civilization and Civilization and Ethics. The two remaining volumes, on The World-View of Reverence for Life and a fourth on the Civilized State, were never completed.

In 1924 he returned without his wife, but with an Oxford undergraduate, Noel Gillespie, as assistant. Everything was heavily decayed, and building and doctoring progressed together for months. He now had salvarsan for treating syphilitic ulcers and framboesia. Additional medical staff, nurse (Miss) Kottmann and Dr. Victor Nessmann,[52] joined him in 1924, and Dr. Mark Lauterberg in 1925; the growing hospital was manned by native orderlies. Later Dr. Trensz replaced Nessmann, and Martha Lauterberg and Hans Muggenstorm joined them. Joseph also returned. In 1925–6, new hospital buildings were constructed, and also a ward for white patients, so that the site became like a village. The onset of famine and a dysentery epidemic created fresh problems. Much of the building work was carried out with the help of local people and patients. Drug advances for sleeping sickness included Germanin and tryparsamide. Trensz conducted experiments showing that the non-amoebic strain of dysentery was caused by a paracholera vibrion (facultative anaerobic bacteria). With the new hospital built and the medical team established, Schweitzer returned to Europe in 1927, this time leaving a functioning hospital at work.

He was there again from 1929 to 1932. Gradually his opinions and concepts became acknowledged, not only in Europe, but worldwide. There was a further period of work in 1935. In January 1937, he returned again to Lambaréné and continued working there throughout World War II.

Schweitzer's views


Schweitzer considered his work as a medical missionary in Africa to be his response to Jesus' call to become "fishers of men" but also as a small recompense for the historic guilt of European colonizers:[53]

Who can describe the injustice and cruelties that in the course of centuries they [the coloured peoples] have suffered at the hands of Europeans?... If a record could be compiled of all that has happened between the white and the coloured races, it would make a book containing numbers of pages which the reader would have to turn over unread because their contents would be too horrible.

Schweitzer was one of colonialism's harshest critics. In a sermon that he preached on 6 January 1905, before he had told anyone of his plans to dedicate the rest of his life to work as a physician in Africa, he said:[54]

Our culture divides people into two classes: civilized men, a title bestowed on the persons who do the classifying; and others, who have only the human form, who may perish or go to the dogs for all the 'civilized men' care.

Oh, this 'noble' culture of ours! It speaks so piously of human dignity and human rights and then disregards this dignity and these rights of countless millions and treads them underfoot, only because they live overseas or because their skins are of different color or because they cannot help themselves. This culture does not know how hollow and miserable and full of glib talk it is, how common it looks to those who follow it across the seas and see what it has done there, and this culture has no right to speak of personal dignity and human rights...

I will not enumerate all the crimes that have been committed under the pretext of justice. People robbed native inhabitants of their land, made slaves of them, let loose the scum of mankind upon them. Think of the atrocities that were perpetrated upon people made subservient to us, how systematically we have ruined them with our alcoholic 'gifts', and everything else we have done... We decimate them, and then, by the stroke of a pen, we take their land so they have nothing left at all...

If all this oppression and all this sin and shame are perpetrated under the eye of the German God, or the American God, or the British God, and if our states do not feel obliged first to lay aside their claim to be 'Christian'—then the name of Jesus is blasphemed and made a mockery. And the Christianity of our states is blasphemed and made a mockery before those poor people. The name of Jesus has become a curse, and our Christianity—yours and mine—has become a falsehood and a disgrace, if the crimes are not atoned for in the very place where they were instigated. For every person who committed an atrocity in Jesus' name, someone must step in to help in Jesus' name; for every person who robbed, someone must bring a replacement; for everyone who cursed, someone must bless.

And now, when you speak about missions, let this be your message: We must make atonement for all the terrible crimes we read of in the newspapers. We must make atonement for the still worse ones, which we do not read about in the papers, crimes that are shrouded in the silence of the jungle night ...


Schweitzer was nonetheless still sometimes accused of being paternalistic, colonialist, and racist in his attitude towards Africans, and in some ways his views did differ from that of many liberals and other critics of colonialism.[55] For instance, he thought that Gabonese independence came too early, without adequate education or accommodation to local circumstances. Edgar Berman quotes Schweitzer as having said in 1960, "No society can go from the primeval directly to an industrial state without losing the leavening that time and an agricultural period allow."[56] Schweitzer believed dignity and respect must be extended to blacks, while also sometimes characterizing them as children.[57] He summarized his views on European-African relations by saying "With regard to the negroes, then, I have coined the formula: 'I am your brother, it is true, but your elder brother.'"[57] Chinua Achebe has criticized him for this characterization, though Achebe acknowledges that Schweitzer's use of the word "brother" at all was, for a European of the early 20th century, an unusual expression of human solidarity between Europeans and Africans.[58] Schweitzer eventually emended and complicated this notion with his later statement that "The time for speaking of older and younger brothers has passed".[59] Later in life he became more convinced that "modern civilization" was actually inferior to or the same as previous cultures in terms of morality.[citation needed]

American journalist John Gunther visited Lambaréné in the 1950s and reported Schweitzer's patronizing attitude towards Africans. He also noted the lack of Africans trained to be skilled workers.[60] By comparison, his contemporary Sir Albert Cook in Uganda had been training nurses and midwives since the 1910s and had published a manual of midwifery in the local language of Luganda.[61] After three decades in Africa, Schweitzer still depended on Europe for nurses.[62]

Hospital conditions

The journalist James Cameron visited Lambaréné in 1953 (when Schweitzer was 78) and found significant flaws in the practices and attitudes of Schweitzer and his staff. The hospital suffered from squalor and was without modern amenities, and Schweitzer had little contact with the local people.[63] Cameron did not make public what he had seen at the time: according to a BBC dramatisation, he made the unusual journalistic decision to withhold the story, and resisted the expressed wish of his employers to publish an exposé.[64]

The poor conditions of the hospital in Lambaréné were also famously criticized by Nigerian professor and novelist Chinua Achebe in his essay on Joseph Conrad's novel Heart of Darkness: "In a comment which has often been quoted Schweitzer says: 'The African is indeed my brother but my junior brother.' And so he proceeded to build a hospital appropriate to the needs of junior brothers with standards of hygiene reminiscent of medical practice in the days before the germ theory of disease came into being."[58]

Reverence for life

Schweitzer in 1955

The keynote of Schweitzer's personal philosophy (which he considered to be his greatest contribution to mankind) was the idea of Reverence for Life ("Ehrfurcht vor dem Leben"). He thought that Western civilization was decaying because it had abandoned affirmation of life as its ethical foundation.

In the Preface to Civilization and Ethics (1923) he argued that Western philosophy from Descartes to Kant had set out to explain the objective world expecting that humanity would be found to have a special meaning within it. But no such meaning was found, and the rational, life-affirming optimism of the Age of Enlightenment began to evaporate. A rift opened between this world-view, as material knowledge, and the life-view, understood as Will, expressed in the pessimist philosophies from Schopenhauer onward. Scientific materialism (advanced by Herbert Spencer and Charles Darwin) portrayed an objective world process devoid of ethics, entirely an expression of the will-to-live.

Schweitzer wrote, "True philosophy must start from the most immediate and comprehensive fact of consciousness, and this may be formulated as follows: 'I am life which wills to live, and I exist in the midst of life which wills to live.'"[65] In nature one form of life must always prey upon another. However, human consciousness holds an awareness of, and sympathy for, the will of other beings to live. An ethical human strives to escape from this contradiction so far as possible.

Though we cannot perfect the endeavour we should strive for it: the will-to-live constantly renews itself, for it is both an evolutionary necessity and a spiritual phenomenon. Life and love are rooted in this same principle, in a personal spiritual relationship to the universe. Ethics themselves proceed from the need to respect the wish of other beings to exist as one does towards oneself. Even so, Schweitzer found many instances in world religions and philosophies in which the principle was denied, not least in the European Middle Ages, and in the Indian Brahminic philosophy.

For Schweitzer, mankind had to accept that objective reality is ethically neutral. It could then affirm a new Enlightenment through spiritual rationalism, by giving priority to volition or ethical will as the primary meaning of life. Mankind had to choose to create the moral structures of civilization: the world-view must derive from the life-view, not vice versa. Respect for life, overcoming coarser impulses and hollow doctrines, leads the individual to live in the service of other people and of every living creature. In contemplation of the will-to-life, respect for the life of others becomes the highest principle and the defining purpose of humanity.[66]

Such was the theory which Schweitzer sought to put into practice in his own life. According to some authors, Schweitzer's thought, and specifically his development of reverence for life, was influenced by Indian religious thought and in particular the Jain principle of ahimsa, or non-violence.[67] Albert Schweitzer noted the contribution of Indian influence in his book Indian Thought and Its Development:[68]

The laying down of the commandment to not kill and to not damage is one of the greatest events in the spiritual history of mankind. Starting from its principle, founded on world and life denial, of abstention from action, ancient Indian thought – and this is a period when in other respects ethics have not progressed very far – reaches the tremendous discovery that ethics know no bounds. So far as we know, this is for the first time clearly expressed by Jainism.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Part 2 of 2

Later life

The Schweitzer house and Museum at Königsfeld in the Black Forest

After the birth of their daughter (Rhena Schweitzer Miller), Albert's wife, Helene Schweitzer was no longer able to live in Lambaréné due to her health. In 1923 the family moved to Königsfeld im Schwarzwald, Baden-Württemberg, where he was building a house for the family. This house is now maintained as a Schweitzer museum.[69]

Albert Schweitzer's house at Gunsbach, now a museum and archive

Albert Schweitzer Memorial and Museum in Weimar (1984)

From 1939–48 he stayed in Lambaréné, unable to go back to Europe because of the war. Three years after the end of World War II, in 1948, he returned for the first time to Europe and kept traveling back and forth (and once to the US) as long as he was able. During his return visits to his home village of Gunsbach, Schweitzer continued to make use of the family house, which after his death became an archive and museum to his life and work. His life was portrayed in the 1952 movie Il est minuit, Docteur Schweitzer, starring Pierre Fresnay as Albert Schweitzer and Jeanne Moreau as his nurse Marie. Schweitzer inspired actor Hugh O'Brian when O'Brian visited in Africa. O'Brian returned to the United States and founded the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Foundation (HOBY).

Albert Schweitzer Monument in Wagga Wagga, Australia

Schweitzer was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize of 1952,[70] accepting the prize with the speech, "The Problem of Peace".[71] From 1952 until his death he worked against nuclear tests and nuclear weapons with Albert Einstein, Otto Hahn and Bertrand Russell. In 1957 and 1958 he broadcast four speeches over Radio Oslo which were published in Peace or Atomic War. In 1957, Schweitzer was one of the founders of The Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy. On 23 April 1957, Schweitzer made his "Declaration of Conscience" speech; it was broadcast to the world over Radio Oslo, pleading for the abolition of nuclear weapons. His speech ended, "The end of further experiments with atom bombs would be like the early sunrays of hope which suffering humanity is longing for."[72]

Weeks prior to his death, an American film crew was allowed to visit Schweitzer and Drs. Muntz and Friedman, both Holocaust survivors, to record his work and daily life at the hospital. The film The Legacy of Albert Schweitzer, narrated by Henry Fonda, was produced by Warner Brothers and aired once. It resides in their vault today in deteriorating condition. Although several attempts have been made to restore and re-air the film, all access has been denied.[73]

In 1955 he was made an honorary member of the Order of Merit (OM) by Queen Elizabeth II.[74] He was also a chevalier of the Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem.

Schweitzer died on 4 September 1965 at his beloved hospital in Lambaréné, now in independent Gabon. His grave, on the banks of the Ogooué River, is marked by a cross he made himself.

His cousin Anne-Marie Schweitzer Sartre was the mother of Jean-Paul Sartre. Her father, Charles Schweitzer, was the older brother of Albert Schweitzer's father, Louis Théophile.[75]

Schweitzer was a vegetarian.[76][77][better source needed]However, in an account written by Dr. Edgar Berman, it is suggested that Schweitzer consumed fried liver at a Sunday dinner in Lambaréné.[78]

The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship was founded in 1940 by Schweitzer to unite US supporters in filling the gap in support for his Hospital when his European supply lines were cut off by war, and continues to support the Lambaréné Hospital today. Schweitzer, however, considered his ethic of Reverence for Life, not his Hospital, his most important legacy, saying that his Lambaréné Hospital was just "my own improvisation on the theme of Reverence for Life. Everyone can have their own Lambaréné." Today ASF helps large numbers of young Americans in health-related professional fields find or create "their own Lambaréné" in the US or internationally. ASF selects and supports nearly 250 new US and Africa Schweitzer Fellows each year from over 100 of the leading US schools of medicine, nursing, public health, and every other field with some relation to health (including music, law, and divinity). The peer-supporting lifelong network of "Schweitzer Fellows for Life" numbered over 2,000 members in 2008, and is growing by nearly 1,000 every four years. Nearly 150 of these Schweitzer Fellows have served at the Hospital in Lambaréné, for three-month periods during their last year of medical school.[79]

International Albert Schweitzer Prize

The prize was first awarded on 29 May 2011 to Eugen Drewermann and the physician couple Rolf and Raphaela Maibach in Königsfeld im Schwarzwald, where Schweitzer's former residence now houses the Albert Schweitzer Museum.[80]

Sound recordings

Recordings of Schweitzer playing the music of Bach are available on CD. During 1934 and 1935 he resided in Britain, delivering the Gifford Lectures at Edinburgh University, and those on Religion in Modern Civilization at Oxford and London. He had originally conducted trials for recordings for HMV on the organ of the old Queen's Hall in London. These records did not satisfy him, the instrument being too harsh. In mid-December 1935 he began to record for Columbia Records on the organ of All Hallows, Barking-by-the-Tower, London.[81] Then at his suggestion the sessions were transferred to the church of Ste Aurélie in Strasbourg, on a mid-18th-century organ by Johann Andreas Silbermann (brother of Gottfried), an organ-builder greatly revered by Bach, which had been restored by the Lorraine organ-builder Frédéric Härpfer shortly before the First World War. These recordings were made in the course of a fortnight in October 1936.[82]

The Schweitzer Technique

Schweitzer developed a technique for recording the performances of Bach's music. Known as "The Schweitzer Technique", it is a slight improvement on what is commonly known as mid-side. The mid-side sees a figure-8 microphone pointed off-axis, perpendicular to the sound source. Then a single cardioid microphone is placed on axis, bisecting the figure-8 pattern. The signal from the figure-8 is mult-ed, panned hard left and right, one of the signals being flipped out of polarity. In the Schweitzer method, the figure-8 is replaced by two small diaphragm condenser microphones pointed directly away from each other. The information that each capsule collects is unique, unlike the identical out-of-polarity information generated from the figure-8 in a regular mid-side. The on-axis microphone is often a large diaphragm condenser. The technique has since been used to record many modern instruments.[citation needed]

Columbia recordings

Altogether his early Columbia discs included 25 records of Bach and eight of César Franck. The Bach titles were mainly distributed as follows:

• Queen's Hall: Organ Prelude and Fugue in E minor (Edition Peters[83] Vol 3, 10); Herzlich thut mich verlangen (BWV 727); Wenn wir in höchsten Nöten sein (Vol 7, 58 (Leipzig 18)).[84]
• All Hallows: Prelude and Fugue in C major; Fantasia and Fugue in G minor (the Great); Prelude and Fugue in G major; Prelude and Fugue in F minor; Little Fugue in G minor; Toccata and Fugue in D minor.[85]
• Ste Aurélie: Prelude and Fugue in C minor; Prelude and Fugue in E minor; Toccata and Fugue in D minor. Chorale Preludes: Schmücke dich, O liebe Seele (Peters Vol 7, 49 (Leipzig 4)); O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde groß (Vol 5, 45); O Lamm Gottes, unschuldig (Vol 7, 48 (Leipzig 6)); Christus, der uns selig macht (Vol 5, 8); Da Jesus an dem Kreuze stand (Vol 5, 9); An Wasserflüssen Babylon (Vol 6, 12b); Christum wir wollen loben schon (Vol 5, 6); Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier (Vol 5, app 5); Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin (Vol 5, 4); Sei gegrüßet, Jesu gütig (Var 11, Vol 5, app. 3); Jesus Christus, unser Heiland (Vol 6, 31 (Leipzig 15)); Christ lag in Todesbanden (Vol 5, 5); Erschienen ist der herrlich Tag (Vol 5, 15).[86][87]

Gunsbach parish church, where the later recordings were made

Later recordings were made at Parish church, Günsbach: These recordings were made by C. Robert Fine during the time Dr. Schweitzer was being filmed in Günsbach for the documentary "Albert Schweitzer." Fine originally self-released the recordings but later licensed the masters to Columbia.

• Fugue in A minor (Peters, Vol 2, 8); Fantasia and Fugue in G minor (Great) (Vol 2, 4); Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C major (Vol 3, 8).[88]
• Prelude in C major (Vol 4, 1); Prelude in D major (Vol 4, 3); Canzona in D minor (Vol 4, 10) (with Mendelssohn, Sonata in D minor op 65.6).[89]
• Chorale-Preludes: O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde groß (1st and 2nd versions, Peters Vol 5, 45); Wenn wir in höchsten Nöten sein (Vor deinen Thron tret ich hiermit) (vol 7, 58 (Leipzig 18)); Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ (Vol 5, 30); Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ (Vol 5, 17); Herzlich tut mich verlangen (Vol 5, 27); Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland (vol 7, 45 (BWV 659a)).[90]

The above were released in the United States as Columbia Masterworks boxed set SL-175.

Philips recordings

• J. S. Bach: Prelude and Fugue in A major, BWV 536; Prelude and Fugue in F minor, BWV 534; Prelude and Fugue in B minor, BWV 544; Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 538.[91]
• J. S. Bach: Passacaglia in C minor, BWV 582; Prelude and Fugue in E minor, BWV 533; Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV 543; Prelude and Fugue in G major, BWV 541; Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565.[92]
• César Franck: Organ Chorales, no. 1 in E Major; no. 2 in B minor; no. 3 in A minor.[93]


Dramatisations of Schweitzer's life include:

• The 1952 biographical film Il est minuit, Docteur Schweitzer, with Pierre Fresnay as Schweitzer
• The 1957 biographical film Albert Schweitzer in which Schweitzer appears as himself and Phillip Eckert portrays him
• The 1962 TV remake of Il est minuit, Docteur Schweitzer, with Jean-Pierre Marielle as Schweitzer
• The 1990 biographical film The Light in the Jungle, with Malcolm McDowell as Schweitzer
• Two 1992 episodes of the television series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles ("German East Africa, December 1916" and "Congo, January 1917"), with Friedrich von Thun as Schweitzer
• The 1995 biographical film Le Grand blanc de Lambaréné, with André Wilms as Schweitzer
• The 2006 TV biographical film Albert Schweitzer: Called to Africa, with Jeff McCarthy as Schweitzer
• The 2009 biographical film Albert Schweitzer – Ein Leben für Afrika, with Jeroen Krabbé as Schweitzer


• — (2001) [German, 1906. English edition, A. & C. Black, London 1910, 1911], The Quest of the Historical Jesus; A Critical Study of Its Progress From Reimarus To Wrede, translated by Montgomery, William, Augsburg Fortress Publishers, ISBN 978-0-8006-3288-5.
• — (1905), J. S. Bach, Le Musicien-Poète [JS Bach, the Poet Musician] (in French), introduction by C. M. Widor, Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel with P. Costellot. Fulltext scan.
• — (1908), J. S. Bach (in German) (enlarged ed.), Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel. English translation by Ernest Newman, with author's alterations and additions, London 1911. Fulltext scans (English): Vol. 1, Vol. 2.
• — (1906). Deutsche und französische Orgelbaukunst und Orgelkunst [German and French organbuilding and organ art] (in German). Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel. (first printed in Musik, vols 13 and 14 (5th year)).
• — (1948) [1911]. The Psychiatric Study of Jesus: Exposition and Criticism. Gloucester, Massachusetts: Peter Smith Publisher. ISBN 978-0-8446-2894-3.
• — (1912). Paul and His Interpreters, A Critical History. Translated by Montgomery, W. London: Adam & Charles Black.
• — (1985) [1914]. The Mystery of the Kingdom of God: The Secret of Jesus' Messiahship and Passion. Prometheus Books. ISBN 978-0-87975-294-1.
• — (1922). Zwischen Wasser und Urwald [On the Edge of the Primeval Forest]. Translated by Campion, C. T. London: A. & C. Black.
• The Decay and the Restoration of Civilization and Civilization and Ethics (The Philosophy of Civilization, Vols I & II of the projected but not completed four-volume work), A. & C. Black, London 1923. Material from these volumes is rearranged in a modern compilation, The Philosophy of Civilization (Prometheus Books, 1987), ISBN 0-87975-403-6
• — (1998) [1930, 1931], The Mysticism of Paul the Apostle, Johns Hopkins University Press, ISBN 978-0-8018-6098-0.
• — (1931). Mitteilungen aus Lambaréné [More from the Primeval Forest]. Translated by Campion, C. T. London: A. & C. Black.
• — (1931). Aus Meinem Leben und Denken. Leipzig: Felix Meiner Verlag. translated as — (1998) [1933]. Out of My Life and Thought: An Autobiography. Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-6097-3.
• — (1935). Indian Thought and Its Development. Boston, Massachusetts: Beacon Press. OCLC 8003381.
• Afrikanische Geschichten (Felix Meiner, Leipzig u. Hamburg 1938): tr. Mrs C. E. B. Russell as From My African Notebook (George Allen and Unwin, London 1938/Henry Holt, New York 1939). Modern edition with Foreword by L. Forrow (Syracuse University Press, 2002).
• — (4 November 1954). "The Problem of Peace". The Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 18 August 2017.
• — (1958). Peace or Atomic War?. New York: Henry Holt. ISBN 978-0-8046-1551-8.
• — & Neuenschwander, Ulrich (1968). The Kingdom of God and Primitive Christianity. New York: Seabury Press. OCLC 321874.
• — (2005). Brabazon, James (ed.). Albert Schweitzer: Essential Writings. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books. ISBN 978-1-57075-602-3.

See also

• List of peace activists
• Category:Cultural depictions of Albert Schweitzer


1. He officiated at the wedding of Theodor Heuss (later the first President of West Germany) in 1908.[31][32][33][34][35]



1. Philosophy Tree profile Albert Schweitzer
2. Schweitzer, Albert (10 December 1953), "Award Ceremony Speech", The Nobel Peace Prize 1952, The Nobel prize.
3. Olga La Marquise de St. Innocent; Kahler, Woodland (1974). Olga: The memoirs of Olga La Marquise de St. Innocent. New York, NY: Walker. qtd. in
4. Oermann 2016, p. 43.
5. Free 1988, p. 74.
6. Stammbaum – Genealogic tree Arbre généalogique de la famille Schweitze, Schweitzer, archived from the original on 26 April 2006.
7. Association Internationale Albert Schweitzer, retrieved 1 August 2012.
8. Seaver 1951, p. 3–9.
9. A. Schweitzer, Eugene Munch (J. Brinkmann, Mulhouse 1898).
10. Joy 1953, p. 23–24.
11. Joy 1953, p. 24.
12. George N. Marshall, David Poling, Schweitzer, JHU Press, 2000, ISBN 0-8018-6455-0
13. Cicovacki, Predrag (2 February 2009). Albert Schweitzer's Ethical Vision A Sourcebook. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199703326.
14. Schweitzer, Albert; Bresslau, Helene; Stewart, Nancy (2003). Albert Schweitzer-helene Bresslau: the Years Prior to Lambarene. Syracuse University Press. ISBN 9780815629948.
15. Brabazon, James (2000). Albert Schweitzer: A Biography. Syracuse University Press. ISBN 9780815606758.
16. "Albert Schweitzer - Biographical". Retrieved 10 March 2018.
17. Joy 1953, p. 24–25.
18. Seaver 1951, p. 20.
19. Schweitzer, My Life and Thought, pp 80–81; cf. Seaver 1951, pp. 231–232
20. Joy 1953, p. 58–62.
21. Cassirer, Ernst (1979). Verene, Donald Phillip (ed.). Symbol, Myth, and Culture: Essays and Lectures of Ernst Cassirer 1935-1945. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press. p. 230. ISBN 978-0-300-02666-5.
22. Schweitzer, in Joy 1953, pp. 53–57
23. Joy 1953, pp. 53–57, quoting from and translating A. Schweitzer, 'Mes Souvenirs sur Cosima Wagner', in L'Alsace Française, XXXV no. 7 (12 February 1933), p. 124ff.
24. Wedel, Gudrun (2010), Autobiographien von Frauen: ein Lexikon
25. Reproduced in Joy 1953, pp. 127–129, 129–165: cf. also Seaver 1951, pp. 29–36
26. Joy 1953, pp. 165–166: Text of 1909 Questionnaire and Report, pp. 235–269.
27. Seaver 1951, p. 44.
28. Given by the Paris Bach Society, Seaver 1951, p. 63; but Joy 1953, p. 177, says it was given by the Paris Missionary Society.
29. Seaver 1951, p. 63–64.
30. Joy 1953 plate facing p. 177.
31. Oermann 2016, p. 101-102.
32. Brabazon 2000, p. 422.
33. Pierhal 1956, p. 63.
34. Pierhal 1957, p. 63f.
35. The Bulletin, Bonn, West Germany: Press and Information Office, 9–10, p. 36, 1962, ISSN 0032-7794, retrieved 2 July2017 Missing or empty |title= (help)
36. Schweitzer 1931, p. 1.
37. Schweitzer 1931, p. 2.
38. Schweitzer 1931, p. 3.
39. Schweitzer 1931, p. 13.
40. Schweitzer 1931, p. xvi.
41. Schweitzer 1931, p. 16.
42. Schweitzer 1931, p. 17.
43. Schweitzer 1931, p. 103.
44. Schweitzer 1931, p. 9.
45. Seaver 1951, p. 40.
46. Marxsen, Patti M. Helene Schweitzer: A Life of Her Own. First Edition. Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University Press, 2015.
47. From the Primeval Forest, Chapter 1.
48. From the Primeval Forest, Chapter 6.
49. Monfried, Walter (10 February 1947). "Admirers Call Dr. Schweitzer "Greatest Man in the World"". Milwaukee, Wisconsin. pp. 1, 3.
50. From the Primeval Forest, Chapters 3–5.
51. Albert Schweitzer 1875–1965 Archived 14 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine. (in German)
52. Nessmann worked with the French Resistance during the Second World War, was captured and executed by the Gestapo in Limoges in 1944. cf Guy Penaud, Dictionnaire Biographique de Périgord, p. 713. ISBN 978-2-86577-214-8
53. Schweitzer, Albert (1931), On the Edge of the Primeval Forest, New York: Macmillan, p. 115, OCLC 2097590.
54. Schweitzer 2005, p. 76–80.
55. Brabazon 2000, p. 253-256.
56. Berman, Edgar (1986), In Africa With Schweitzer, Far Hills, NJ: New Horizon Press, p. 139, ISBN 978-0-88282-025-5.
57. Schweitzer, Albert (1924) [1922]. "Social Problems in the Forest". On the Edge of the Primeval Forest. Translated by Ch. Th. Campion. p. 130.
58. Chinua Achebe. "An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness." Archived 18 January 2006 at the Wayback Machine – the Massachusetts Review. 1977. (c/o North Carolina State University)
59. Quoted by Forrow, Lachlan (2002). "Foreword". In Russell, C.E.B. (ed.). African Notebook. Albert Schweitzer library. Syracuse University Press. p. xiii. ISBN 978-0-8156-0743-4. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
60. Inside Africa. New York: Harper. 1955.
61. Amagezi Agokuzalisa. London: Sheldon Press.
62. Paget, James Carleton (2012). "Albert Schweitzer and Africa". Journal of Religion in Africa. 24 (3): 277–316. JSTOR 41725476.
63. Cameron, James (1966) [1978]. Point of Departure. Law Book Co of Australasia. pp. 154–74. ISBN 9780853621751.
64. On Monday 7 April 2008 ("The Walrus and the Terrier" – programme outline) BBC Radio 4 broadcast an Afternoon Play"The Walrus and the Terrier" by Christopher Ralling concerning Cameron's visit.
65. Civilization and Ethics, Chapter 21, p. 253: reprinted as A. Schweitzer, The Philosophy of Civilization, (Prometheus Books, Buffalo 1987), Chapter 26.
66. Civilization and Ethics, Preface and Chapter II, 'The Problem of the Optimistic World-View'.
67. Ara Paul Barsam (2002) "Albert Schweitzer, jainism and reverence for life" in:Reverence for life: the ethics of Albert Schweitzer for the twenty-first century Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, ISBN 978-0-8156-2977-1 pp. 207–08
68. Albert Schweitzer and Charles Rhind Joy (1947) Albert Schweitzer: an anthology Beacon Press
69. Schweitzer museum
70. "The Nobel Peace Prize 1952". The Nobel Foundation. 21 May 2014. Retrieved 18 August 2017.
71. Schweitzer 1954.
72. Declaration of Conscience speech Archived 16 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine – at Tennessee Players
73. "Albert Schweitzer and Henry Fonda's Lost Special". Culturedarm. 20 January 2015. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
74. "List of Members of the Order of Merit, past and present". British Monarchy. Retrieved 2 December 2008.
75. "Louis Théophile Schweitzer". Retrieved 18 October 2011.
76. "History of Vegetarianism – Dr Albert Schweitzer (1875–1965)". 4 September 1965. Archived from the original on 21 May 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
77. "Dr. Albert Schweitzer – Take Heart – Christian Vegetarian Association". Retrieved 1 July 2011.
78. In Africa With Schweitzer, (New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1986), page 165.
79. "The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship". 23 June 2011. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
80. "Königsfeld feiert ?Schweitzer-Erben? | Südkurier Online". 30 May 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
81. This fine 1909 Harrison and Harrison organ was blitzed in the War (cf W. Kent, The Lost Treasures of London (Phoenix House 1947), 94–95) but was rebuilt in 1957, see "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 July 2008. Retrieved 6 May2008..
82. Seaver 1951, p. 139–152.
83. Schweitzer's Bach recordings are usually identified with reference to the Peters Edition of the Organ-works in 9 volumes, edited by Friedrich Conrad Griepenkerl and Ferdinand Roitzsch, in the form revised by Hermann Keller.
84. (78 rpm HMV C 1532 and C 1543), cf R.D. Darrell, The Gramophone Shop Encyclopedia of Recorded Music (New York 1936).
85. (78 rpm Columbia ROX 146–52), cf. Darrell 1936.
86. Joy 1953, pp. 226–230. The 78s were issued in albums, with a specially designed record label (Columbia ROX 8020–8023, 8032–8035, etc.). Ste Aurélie recordings appeared also on LP as Columbia 33CX1249
87. E.M.I., A Complete List of EMI, Columbia, Parlophone and MGM Long Playing Records issued up to and including June 1955(London 1955) for this and discographical details following.
88. Columbia LP 33CX1074
89. Columbia LP 33CX1084
90. Columbia LP 33CX1081
91. E.M.G., The Art of Record Buying (London 1960), pp. 12–13. Philips ABL 3092, issued March 1956.
92. E.M.G., op. cit., Philips ABL 3134, issued September 1956. Other selections are on Philips GBL 5509.
93. Philips ABL 3221.


• Schweitzer, Albert (1931), The Mysticism of Paul the Apostle, Johns Hopkins University Press.
Further reading[edit]
• Erica Anderson/Eugene Exman The World of Albert Schweitzer Harper & Brothers New York 1955
• ——— (1965), The Schweitzer Album, New York: Harper & Row.
• Brabazon, J. (1975). Albert Schweitzer: A Biography. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. ISBN 978-0-399-11421-2.
• Brabazon, J. (2000). Albert Schweitzer: A Biography. Albert Schweitzer library. Syracuse University Press. ISBN 978-0-8156-0675-8. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
• Cousins, Norman "Albert Schweitzer's Mission Healing and Peace" W.W. Norton & Company 1985
• Free, A.C. (1988). Animals, Nature and Albert Schweitzer. Flying Fox Press. ISBN 978-0-9617225-4-8. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
• Joy, Charles R., ed. (1953). Music in the Life of Albert Schweitzer. London: A. & C. Black.
• Oermann, N. O. (2016). Albert Schweitzer: A Biography. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-108704-2. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
• Pierhal, J. (1956). Albert Schweitzer: the life of a great man. Lutterworth. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
• Pierhal, J. (1957). Albert Schweitzer: the story of his life. Philosophical Library. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
• Seaver, G. (1951). Albert Schweitzer: The Man and His Mind. London: A. & C. Black.
• Rud, A. G. Albert Schweitzer's Legacy for Education: Reverence for Life (Palgrave Macmillan; 2011) 173 pp.

External links

• Wikilivres has original media or text related to this article: Albert Schweitzer(in the public domain in New Zealand)
• Albert Schweitzer info
• Works by Albert Schweitzer at Project Gutenberg
• Works by or about Albert Schweitzer at Internet Archive
• Works by Albert Schweitzer at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
• Albert Schweitzer Papers at Syracuse University
• John D. Regester Collection on Albert Schweitzer
• The Helfferich Collection, collected by Reginald H. Helfferich on Albert Schweitzer, is at the Andover-Harvard Theological Library at Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
• What Jesus was thinking An interpretation and restatement of Schweitzer's last book, The Kingdom of God and Primitive Christianity
• Newspaper clippings about Albert Schweitzer in the 20th Century Press Archives of the German National Library of Economics (ZBW)
Site Admin
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Thu Jun 20, 2019 3:34 am

Part 1 of 2

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies [The Geneva School of International Studies]
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 6/19/19

Not to be confused with the similarly-named Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations

Freda relished the camaraderie of college life. ‘We talked endlessly, mainly between nine and midnight over large cups of coca or Bourneville made in the College pantries. Everything from socialism to Karl Marx, Proust, D.H. Lawrence, the family, to the new fields of Birth Control and travel were the subjects of conversation.’ [16] Initially, she worked hard – the ‘first year was one of study,’ she recounted. But her enthusiasm for the course waned. ‘Suddenly, I couldn’t be bothered … I could speak French fluently already. I wanted to learn other languages, to understand the world.’ She was also concerned about what a modern languages degree would point her towards: ‘It was the flash of understanding which showed me French could only lead me to becoming a teacher or lecturer. And I passionately did not want to go back into the world of childhood that being a teacher meant.’ She was closing in on what she did wish to pursue as a career. ‘My eyes were on journalism, writing [and] interpreting that incredible international adult world that poured into magazine and newspaper.’ She even met the editor of the Derby Daily Telegraph who promised her an opening once she had her degree, but she never went back to her home city. She did eventually carve our a reputation as a journalist, and demonstrated curiosity and social concern as well as the ability to communicate, but only after several years in the line of work she had been so keen to avoid: teaching and lecturing.

Freda followed her friend Barbara Castle’s example and switched from French to Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE), also known at that time as ‘Modern Greats’. It may have been more congenial but she didn’t shine academically. Freda’s tutors’ reports paint a picture of a diligent student, but one who found the transition from being the outstanding pupil in a small secondary school to the more exacting environment of Oxford rather daunting. There were a few positive remarks about her work, particularly in her optional subject of international relations....

In the summer of 1932, perhaps while recuperating from her ill health, Freda travelled in northern Germany. She wrote articles for the Derby Evening Telegraph about German family life and about the merits of German men, their cheerfulness, domesticity and love of order. [50]

-- The Lives of Freda: The Political, Spiritual and Personal Journeys of Freda Bedi, by Andrew Whitehead

Freda married BPL on June 12, 1933, at the Oxford Registrar’s Office. She was twenty-two and he was twenty-six….

Their creative, radical Oxford days were over. Both Freda and BPL received their degrees and a whole new life beckoned. It was not what Freda had imagined. She had successfully lined up a job as a cub reporter on the Derby Telegraph, her first stepping stone to Fleet Street (as she had intended). Instead she went to Germany with her new husband, who had won a Humboldt scholarship at the Friedrich Wilhelm University in Berlin, to research a PHD in Political Science.

“Bedi was concerned about the rise of Hitler, but he thought that as long as he didn’t get a chance to rant in Parliament, it would be all right. He was going to keep a very keen eye on the situation,” she said. She was not to see her homeland again for fourteen years….

By the time Freda reached Berlin, she was pregnant, and delighted with the prospect of motherhood. BPL somewhat protectively decided that she should not work, but instead live quietly in the charming little cottage they had found on the bank of Lake Wannsee. “It was really a lovely place, with a beautiful garden, and we had some very happy months there preparing for the child,” she said. She busied herself with making baby clothes, but could not resist going to Berlin University to study Hindi with a Punjabi professor – a necessary preparation, she thought, for a life on the subcontinent, and to counteract the full-on domesticity she found herself in….

BPL refrained from any political activity in Germany, although he was keeping up-to-date with the Free India movement in India. A frequent visitor to their lakeside cottage was Subhas Chandra Bose, who went on to become one of the most prominent and controversial leaders of the independence movement. Bose was educated at Cambridge and also had a European wife – Emilie Schenkl, an Austrian. He made it a point to visit sympathetic Indian students living in Europe, and the couple had much in common with Freda and BPL Bedi.

“We came to know Bose intimately, and a deep friendship grew,” said BPL. Bose was a hard-core communist, a great admirer of the Soviet Union, who maintained that only an authoritarian state, not democracy, would be able to reshape India. (Later he was forced to resign as present of the Indian National Congress because his platform of violent resistance clashed with Gandhi’s peaceful pathway.)

In Germany, however, Bose, won the young BPL over completely. “Freda and I were both fired up with the patriotic zeal of liberating the motherland from British imperialism,” BPL said. “While we were in Berlin, an eminent journalist asked me what was my agenda for India. ‘Live dangerously,’ I replied. ‘Live dangerously for every form of exploitation of man by man. Live dangerously for every form of injustice. Live dangerously for any violation of human dignity.’”

On May 13, 1934, Freda gave birth to a son after just a four-hour labor….They named him Ranga after the Indian statesman who had defeated the political opposition to their marriage, ten months previously….

BPL had not joined any political club at Berlin University, nor was he taking part in any political activities, but he sensed that tension was mountain. He was friendly with many of the Indian students living in the International Houses, which were being increasingly dominated by Nazi representatives.

In August 1934, Hitler was made fuhrer. The morning the news broke, BPL put down his paper and announced, “Tomorrow we get on the train and go to Geneva. It’s not safe here anymore.”

“He knew that Hitler could swoop down on the Indian students, which was precisely what happened,” said Freda. The life of drama and danger that she pledged to share with Bedi had begun. “You can imagine the state I was in, having to pack up everything in one day, and with BPL having to get the visas for Switzerland. But the next morning we were on the train!” she said

After their hasty exit, they spent a few pleasant weeks staying in accommodations that had been arranged by their old Oxford professor, Alfred Zimmern [Professor Sir Alfred Eckhard Zimmern, whose name is associated with the founding of the League of Nations], who ran a school there. In October 1934, they finally made the decision to go to India and make it their permanent home. They sailed on the SS Conte Verde from northern Italy to Bombay, a journey of three weeks.....

The tulkus were learning English and their lessons on the modern world with varying degrees of success. Freda's star student, Trungpa Rinpoche, however, was making exceptional progress, and Freda's aspirations for him became increasingly ambitious. He had a natural aptitude for English and had taken to reading the poets that Freda presented him with, especially T.S. Eliot. He was keen on history and geography too. Freda decided that he was ready to try to get into Oxford, her own university, where he would receive the finest education the West had to offer. With such credentials he would be perfectly equipped and have the clout to bring the sacred Buddhist teachings to the outside world in a language it could understand.

With the help of John Driver, an Englishman who was also tutoring Trungpa, Freda set about getting a Spalding Scholarship for Trungpa, and succeeded.
In early 1963 Trungpa set sail for England accompanied by Akong Rinpoche, to enter into the arcane, privileged, and hallowed halls of Oxford University. It was another epic journey into the unknown, heralding as many adventures, pitfalls, and triumphs as they had met in their escape from Tibet.

-- The Revolutionary Life of Freda Bedi, by Vicki Mackenzie

Through the League of Nations, where the influence of the Milner Group was very great, the RIIA was able to extend its intellectual influence into countries outside the Commonwealth. This was done, for example, through the Intellectual Cooperation Organization of the League of Nations. This Organization consisted of two chief parts: (a) The International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation, an advisory body; and (b) The International Institute of Intellectual Cooperation, an executive organ of the Committee, with headquarters in Paris. The International Committee had about twenty members from various countries; Gilbert Murray was its chief founder and was chairman from 1928 to its disbandment in 1945. The International Institute was established by the French government and handed over to the League of Nations (1926). Its director was always a Frenchman, but its deputy director and guiding spirit was Alfred Zimmern from 1926 to 1930. It also had a board of directors of six persons; Gilbert Murray was one of these from 1926.

It is interesting to note that from 1931 to 1939 the Indian representative on the International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation was Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. In 1931 he was George V Professor of Philosophy at Calcutta University. His subsequent career is interesting. He was knighted in 1931, became Spalding Professor of Eastern Religions and Ethics at Oxford in 1936, and became a Fellow of All Souls in 1944.

Beginning in 1928 at Berlin, Professor Zimmern organized annual round-table discussion meetings under the auspices of the International Institute of Intellectual Cooperation. These were called the International Studies Conferences and devoted themselves to an effort to obtain different national points of view on international problems.
The members of the Studies Conferences were twenty-five organizations. Twenty of these were Coordinating Committees created for the purpose in twenty different countries. The other five were the following international organizations: The Academy of International Law at The Hague; The European Center of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; the Geneva School of International Studies; the Graduate Institute of International Studies at Geneva; the Institute of Pacific Relations. In two of these five, the influence of the Milner Group and its close allies was preponderant. In addition, the influence of the Group was decisive in the Coordinating Committees within the British Commonwealth, especially in the British Coordinating Committee for International Studies. The members of this committee were named by four agencies, three of which were controlled by the Milner Group. They were: (1) the RIIA, (2) the London School of Economics and Political Science, (3) the Department of International Politics at University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, and (4) the Montague Burton Chair of International Relations at Oxford. We have already indicated that the Montague Burton Chair was largely controlled by the Milner Group, since the Group always had a preponderance on the board of electors to that chair. This was apparently not assured by the original structure of this board, and it was changed in the middle 1930s. After the change, the board had seven electors: (1) the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford, ex officio; (2) the Master of Balliol, ex officio; (3) Viscount Cecil of Chelwood; (4) Gilbert Murray, for life; (5) B. H. Sumner; (6) Sir Arthur Salter; and (7) Sir. J. Fischer Williams of New College. Thus, at least four of this board were members of the Group. In 1947 the electoral board to the Montague Burton Professorship consisted of R. M. Barrington-Ward (editor of The Times); Miss Agnes Headlam-Morley (daughter of Sir James Headlam-Morley of the Group); Sir Arthur Salter; R. C. K. Ensor; and one vacancy, to be filled by Balliol College. It was this board, apparently, that named Miss Headlam-Morley to the Montague Burton Professorship when E. L. Woodward resigned in 1947. As can be seen, the Milner Group influence was predominant, with only one member out of five (Ensor) clearly not of the Group.

The RIIA had the right to name three persons to the Coordinating Committee. Two of these were usually of the Milner Group. In 1933, for example, the three were Lord Meston, Clement Jones, and Toynbee.

The meetings of the International Studies Conferences were organized in a fashion identical with that used in other meetings controlled by the Milner Group — for example, in the unofficial conferences on British Commonwealth relations — and the proceedings were published by the Institute of Intellectual Cooperation in a similar way to those of the unofficial conferences just mentioned, except that the various speakers were identified by name. As examples of the work which the International Studies Conferences handled, we might mention that at the fourth and fifth sessions (Copenhagen in 1931 and Milan in 1932), they examined the problem of "The State and Economic Life"; at the seventh and eighth session (Paris in 1934 and London in 1935), they examined the problem of "Collective Security"; and at the ninth and tenth sessions (Madrid in 1936 and Paris 1937) they examined the problem of "University Teaching of International Relations."

In all of these conferences the Milner Group played a certain part. They could have monopolized the British delegations at these meetings if they had wished, but, with typical Milner Group modesty they made no effort to do so. Their influence appeared most clearly at the London meeting of 1935. Thirty-nine delegates from fourteen countries assembled at Chatham House to discuss the problem of collective security. Great Britain had ten delegates. They were Dr. Hugh Dalton, Professor H. Lauterpacht, Captain Liddell Hart, Lord Lytton, Professor A. D. McNair, Professor C. A. W. Manning, Dr. David Mitrany, Rear Admiral H. G. Thursfield, Arnold J. Toynbee, and Professor C. K. Webster. In addition, the Geneva School of International Studies sent two delegates: J. H. Richardson and A. E. Zimmern. The British delegation presented three memoranda to the conference. The first, a study of "Sanctions," was prepared by the RIIA and has been published since. The second, a study of "British Opinion on Collective Security," was prepared by the British Coordinating Committee. The third, a collection of "British Views on Collective Security," was prepared by the delegates. It had an introduction by Meston and nine articles, of which one was by G. M. Gathorne-Hardy and one by H. V. Hodson. Zimmern also presented a memorandum on behalf of the Geneva School. Opening speeches were made by Austen Chamberlain, Allen W. Dulles (of the Council on Foreign Relations), and Louis Eisenmann of the University of Paris. Closing speeches were made by Lord Meston, Allen Dulles, and Gilbert Murray. Meston acted as president of the conference, and Dulles as chairman of the study meetings. The proceedings were edited and published by a committee of two Frenchmen and A. J. Toynbee.....

This brief sketch of the Royal Institute of International Affairs does not by any means indicate the very considerable influence which the organization exerts in English- speaking countries in the sphere to which it is devoted. The extent of that influence must be obvious. The purpose of this chapter has been something else: to show that the Milner Group controls the Institute. Once that is established, the picture changes. The influence of Chatham House appears in its true perspective, not as the influence of an autonomous body but as merely one of many instruments in the arsenal of another power. When the influence which the Institute wields is combined with that controlled by the Milner Group in other fields — in education, in administration, in newspapers and periodicals — a really terrifying picture begins to emerge.... The picture is terrifying because such power, whatever the goals at which it may be directed, is too much to be entrusted safely to any group. That it was too much to be safely entrusted to the Milner Group will appear quite clearly in Chapter 12. No country that values its safety should allow what the Milner Group accomplished in Britain — that is, that a small number of men should be able to wield such power in administration and politics, should be given almost complete control over the publication of the documents relating to their actions, should be able to exercise such influence over the avenues of information that create public opinion, and should be able to monopolize so completely the writing and the teaching of the history of their own period.

-- The Anglo-American Establishment: From Rhodes to Cliveden, by Carroll Quigley

Institut de hautes études internationales et du développement
Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies
Former names
The Graduate Institute of International Studies (1927–2007)
Type Semi-private, semi-public graduate school
Established 1927[1]
Director Philippe Burrin
Academic staff
70 professors, 13 lecturers, 38 visiting[2]
Students 838 (78% international)[2]
Location Geneva, Switzerland
Campus Urban
Working languages English and French
Nickname The Graduate Institute, IHEID, HEI
Affiliations Europaeum, APSIA, EUA, ECUR, EADI, AUF

The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, or the Graduate Institute (in French: Institut de hautes études internationales et du développement (previously known as Institut (universitaire) de hautes études internationales), abbreviated IHEID (previously HEI, IHEI, or IUHEI) is a higher education institution located in Geneva, Switzerland, but not an officially recognised Swiss university.[3][4]

The institution counts one UN secretary-general (Kofi Annan), seven Nobel Prize recipients, one Pulitzer Prize winner, and numerous ambassadors, foreign ministers, and heads of state among its alumni and faculty.[5] Founded by two senior League of Nations officials, the Graduate Institute maintains strong links with that international organisation's successor, the United Nations, and many alumni have gone on to work at UN agencies. The school is a full member of the APSIA.[6]

Founded in 1927, the Graduate Institute of International Studies (IHEI or HEI) is continental Europe's oldest school of international relations and was the world's first university dedicated solely to the study of international affairs.[7] It offered one of the first doctoral programmes in international relations in the world. In 2008, the Graduate Institute absorbed the Graduate Institute of Development Studies, a smaller post-graduate institution also based in Geneva founded in 1961. The merger resulted in the current Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.[8]

Today the school enrolls about 800 graduate students from over 100 countries. Foreign students make up nearly 80% of the student body and the school is officially a bilingual English-French institution, although the majority of classes are in English.[2] With Maison de la Paix acting as its primary seat of learning, the Institute's campuses are located blocks from the United Nations Office at Geneva, International Labour Organization, World Trade Organization, World Health Organization, International Committee of the Red Cross, World Intellectual Property Organization and many other international organizations.[9][10]

It runs joint degree programmes with universities such as Smith College and Yale University, and is Harvard Kennedy School's only partner university to co-deliver double degrees.[11][12]

one of the university's campus sites, the Maison de la paix

Maison de la paix, with the site of United Nations, the Palais des Nations in the background.

The Davis Library of the Maison de la paix


The Villa Barton campus on the shores of Lake Geneva.

The Graduate Institute of International Studies was co-founded in 1927 by two scholar–diplomats working for the League of Nations Secretariat: the Swiss William Rappard, director of the Mandates Section, and the Frenchman Paul Mantoux, director of the Political Section.[13] A bilingual institution like the League, it was to train personnel for the nascent international organization.[13] Its co-founder, Rappard, served as director from 1928 to 1955.[13]

The Institute's original mandate was based on a close working relationship with both the League of Nations and the International Labour Organization. It was agreed that in exchange for training staff and delegates, the Institute would receive intellectual resources and diplomatic expertise (guest lecturers, etc.) from the aforementioned organizations. According to its statutes, the Graduate Institute was "an institution intended to provide students of all nations the means of undertaking and pursuing international studies, most notably of a historic, judicial, economic, political and social nature."

The institute managed to attract a number of eminent faculty and lecturers, particularly from countries mired in oppressive Nazi regimes, e.g., Hans Wehberg [de] and Georges Scelle for law, Maurice Bourquin for diplomatic history, and the rising young Swiss jurist, Paul Guggenheim. Indeed, it is said that William Rappard had observed, ironically, that the two men to whom the Institute owed its greatest debt were Mussolini and Hitler. Subsequently, more noted scholars would join the Institute's faculty. Hans Kelsen, the well-known theorist and philosopher of law, Guglielmo Ferrero, Italian historian, and Carl Burckhardt, scholar and diplomat all called the Graduate Institute home. Other arrivals, similarly seeking refuge from dictatorships, included the eminent free market economy historian, Ludwig von Mises, and another economist, Wilhelm Ropke, who greatly influenced German postwar liberal economic policy as well as the development of the theory of a social market system.[14]

After a number of years, the Institute had developed a system whereby cours temporaires were given by prominent intellectuals on a week, semester, or yearlong basis. These cours temporaires were the intellectual showcase of the Institute, attracting such names as Raymond Aron, René Cassin, Luigi Einaudi, John Kenneth Galbraith, G. P. Gooch, Gottfried Haberler, Friedrich von Hayek, Hersch Lauterpacht, Lord McNair, Gunnar Myrdal,[15] Harold Nicolson, Philip Noel Baker, Pierre Renouvin, Lionel Robbins, Jean de Salis [fr], Count Carlo Sforza, Jacob Viner, and Martin Wight.

IHEID's later logo at Villa Barton's main gate.

Another cours temporaire professor, Montagu Burton Professor of International Relations at Oxford University, Sir Alfred Zimmern, left a particularly lasting mark on the Institute. As early as 1924, while serving on the staff of the International Council for intellectual Cooperation in Paris, Zimmern began organizing international affairs summer schools under the auspices of the University of Geneva, 'Zimmern schools', as they became known. The initiative operated in parallel with the early planning for the launch of the Graduate Institute and the experience acquired by the former helped to shape the latter.[14]

Despite its small size, (before the 1980s the faculty never exceeded 25 members), the Institute boasts four faculty members who have received Nobel Prizes for economics – Gunnar Myrdal, Friedrich von Hayek, Maurice Allais, and Robert Mundell. Three alumni have been Nobel laureates.

For a period of almost thirty years (1927–1954) the school was funded predominantly through the support of the Rockefeller Foundation. Since then the Canton of Geneva and the Swiss Federal Council bear most of the costs associated with the Institute. This transfer of financial responsibility coincided with the 1955 arrival of William Rappard's successor as director of the institute, Lausanne historian Jacques Freymond. Freymond inaugurated a period of great expansion, increasing the range of subjects taught and the number of both students and faculty, a process that continued well after his retirement in 1978. Under Freymond's tenure, the Graduate Institute hosted many international colloquia that discussed preconditions for east-west negotiations, relations with China and its rising influence in world affairs, European integration, techniques and results of politico-socioeconomic forecasting (the famous early Club of Rome reports, and the Futuribles project led by Bertrand de Jouvenel), the causes and possible antidotes to terrorism, Pugwash Conference concerns and much more. Freymond's term also saw many landmark publications, including the Treatise on international law by Professor Paul Guggenheim and the six-volume compilation of historical documents relating to the Communist International.[14]

The parallel history of the Graduate Institute of Development Studies (French: Institut universitaire d’études du développement, IUED) also involves Freymond, who founded the institution in 1961 as the Institut Africain de Genève, or African Institute of Geneva. The Graduate Institute of Development Studies was among the pioneer institutions in Europe to develop the scholarly field of sustainable development. The school was also known for the critical view of many of its professors on development aid, as well as for its journal, the Cahiers de l'IUED[16] It was at the center of a huge international network.

Recent merger

In 2008, the Graduate Institute of International Studies (HEI [fr]), absorbed the Graduate Institute of Development Studies (IUED [fr]), to create the current Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID).


Admission to the Graduate Institute's study programmes is highly competitive, with only 14% of applicants attending the Graduate Institute in 2014.[17] The Institute awards its own degrees.[18] It does not award undergraduate degrees.


As a small institution offering exclusively master's and PhD programmes, the institute does not participate in popular university ranking.[19]

In Foreign Policy's 2014[20] Inside the Ivory Tower ranking of best international relations schools in the world, the Graduate Institute's master's program was ranked 24st among Master's Programs for Policy Career in International Relations. In 2012, The Graduate Institute was listed among the Foreign Policy Association's "Top 50 International Affairs Graduate Programs." [21] The LLM in international dispute settlement, offered jointly with the University of Geneva, was ranked second worldwide according to a 2012 survey of law firms conducted by the Global Arbitration Review.[22]

Degree programmes

Master of Arts in International Affairs (MIA)

The MIA is an intensive two-year interdisciplinary Master programme which begins with a rigorous foundation in quantitative and qualitative methods and in all the disciplines of the Institute. Courses follow in three thematic tracks: Trade & International Finance; Global Security; and Environment, Resources & Sustainability.[23] All students undertake independent interdisciplinary research towards a dissertation. Applied Research Seminars expose them to stakeholders beyond academia and develop skills to design and execute research projects in partnership with them. Specialized, interactive, hands-on workshops help enhance professional skills, while internships for credit allow students to develop work skills and experience.

Master of Arts in Development Studies (MDEV)

Disciplinary Master's degree (MA/MPhil equivalent)

An advanced disciplinary two-year master's programme is offered by each of the Graduate Institute's five academic departments: International Relations & Political Science, International History, International Law, International Economics, and Anthropology & Sociology. The programme includes a significant taught portion and students dedicate a full semester on their master's thesis under supervision during the programme. In addition, a number of students transition during the MPhil to PhD status by way of the Fast Track programme.[24]

Master of Laws in International Law (LLM)

The LLM was introduced in 2012. Students have the opportunity to discuss legal problems in tutorials, develop their professional skills in practical workshops and write an LLM paper on a topic within their specialty stream. Moreover, LLM participants undertake real legal work for a client as part of a law clinic.

Doctorate (PhD)

PhD students specialize in one disciplinary field. PhD candidates who wish to carry out bi-disciplinary research choose a main discipline (a major) and a second discipline (a minor).

Executive masters

Executive education programmes include masters in International Negotiation and Policy-Making, Development Policies and Practices, International Oil and Gas Leadership.


The Graduate Institute has established joint or dual degree programmes with: the MPA programme at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government; the LLM in Global Health Law programme at the Georgetown University's Law Center; the BA programme at Yale University's Jackson Institute for Global Affairs; the BA programme at Peking University; the BA programme at Smith College; the BA programme at the University of Hong Kong, and with the University of Geneva's LLM in International Dispute Settlement, LLM in International Humanitarian Law, Master's in Transational Justice, Master's of Advanced Studies in Humanitarian Action, Master's in Global Health, and Master's in Asian Studies.

Apart from the dual/joint degree programmes, students also have the option to spend an exchange semester at Georgetown Law School, Harvard Law School, Michigan Law School, UCLA School of Law, Boston University School of Law, Yale University, the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, School of International Service at American University in Washington D.C., Northwestern University, University of Toronto, Sciences Po Paris – Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris, the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, Bocconi University in Italy, Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali Guido Carli in Italy, the Graduate School of International Studies at Seoul National University, the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, the Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies at Waseda University, University of Hong Kong, Tsinghua University, Fudan University, Peking University, KIMEP University, Gadjah Mada University, the School of International Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, University of Malaya, the American University in Cairo, Boğaziçi University in Turkey, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, El Colegio de México, the University of Ghana, Cheikh Anta Diop University, Stellenbosch University, as well as the University of St. Gallen and ETH Zürich in Switzerland.

Furthermore, the Graduate Institute is an active member of the following associations and academic networks:

• APSIA – Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs: The world’s main academic institutions specialising in international relations and international public policy are represented among APSIA’s thirty-odd members.
• European University Association: Represents and supports more than 850 institutions of higher education in 46 countries, providing them with a forum for cooperation and exchange of information on higher education and research policies.
• Europaeum: Created at the initiative of the University of Oxford, the Europaeum is composed of ten leading European institutions of higher education and research.
• European Consortium for Political Research: The ECPR is an independent scholarly association that supports the training, research and cross-national cooperation of many thousands of academics and graduate students specialising in political science and all its sub-disciplines.
• European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes: The EADI is the largest existing network of research and training institutes active in the field of development studies.
• Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie: The AUF supports the build-up a French-language research area between French-speaking universities. The Institute is one of 536 members belonging to the AUF and takes part in its exchange programmes in the fields of teaching and research.
• Swiss University Conference: The SUC is a governmental organization tasked with accrediting officially recognized Swiss universities.


Maison de la paix ("House of Peace").

The Villa Moynier campus

The Campus de la paix is a network of buildings extending from Place des Nations (the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva) to the shores of Lake Geneva, spanning two public parks – Parc Barton [fr] and Parc Moynier [fr].

Maison de la paix

The Graduate Institute's main campus is the Maison de la paix ("House of Peace"), which opened in 2013.[25] The Maison de la Paix is a 38,000 meter-square glass building distributed into six connected sections. It contains the Davis Library, which holds 350,000 books about social sciences, journals and annual publications, making it one of Europe's richest libraries in the fields of development and international relations. It is named after two Institute alumni—Ambassador Shelby Cullom Davis and his wife Kathryn Davis, following the Davis' $10 million donation to the Institute.[26] The neighboring Picciotto Student Residence was completed in 2012 and provides 135 apartments for students and visiting professors.

In addition to serving as the Institute's main campus, the Maison de la paix also houses policy centres and advocacy groups with close ties to the Institute such as the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining, Interpeace, the International Institute of Humanitarian Law and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.[25]

Historic villas

Another section of the campus are two historic villas situated by Lake Geneva, Villa Barton and Villa Moynier. Villa Barton served as the Institute's main campus for most of the school's history. It now mostly houses administrative staff. Villa Moynier, created in 2001 and which opened in October 2009, houses the Institute-based Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. The building holds a symbolic significance as it was originally owned by Gustave Moynier, co-founder of the International Committee of the Red Cross, and subsequently used by the League of Nations and as the headquarters of the ICRC between 1933 and 1946.

Campus expansion

Expansion projects include the construction of the Portail des Nations (or Gate of Nations) near the Palace of Nations. The new building will house a series of conference rooms for students and host exhibitions on the role of Geneva in world affairs.[27] The school has also partnered with the University of Geneva to open a center for international cooperation at the historic Castle of Penthes [fr].[28] And in 2017, the school announced it had retained the services of Japanese architect Kengo Kuma to build a 700-bed student housing building. [29]


The Institute's research activities are conducted both at fundamental and applied levels with the objective of bringing analysis to international actors, private or public, of main contemporary issues. These research activities are conducted by the faculty of the Institute, as part of their individual work, or by interdisciplinary teams within centres and programmes whose activity focus on these main fields:

• Conflict, security, and peacebuilding
• Development policies and practices
• Culture, religion, and identity
• Environment and natural resources
• Finance and Development
• Gender
• Globalisation
• Governance
• Migration and refugees
• Non-state actors and civil society
• Rural development
• Trade, regionalism, and integration
• Dispute settlement
• Humanitarian action

Furthermore, IHEID is home to the Swiss Chair of Human Rights, the Curt Gasteyger Chair in International Security and Conflict Studies, the André Hoffmann Chair in Environmental Economics, the Pictet Chair in Environmental International Law, the Pictet Chair in Finance and Development, the Yves Oltramare Chair on Politics and Religion, the Swiss Chair of International Humanitarian Law, and the Pierre du Bois Chair Europe and the World.

Programmes and research centres

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The centres and programmes of the Institute distribute analysis and research that contributes to the analysis of international organisations headquartered in Geneva:

• The Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding is the Graduate Institute’s focal point for research in the areas of conflict analysis, peacebuilding, and the complex relationships between security and development.
• The Centre for International Environmental Studies was established in 2010 for the purpose of developing political, legal and economic discourse on problems related to the global environment. It is dedicated to the better understanding of the social, economic and political facets of global problems related to the environment.
• The Centre for Trade and Economic Integration brings together the research activities of eminent professors of economics, law and political science in the area of trade, economic integration and globalization. The Centre provides a forum for discussion and dialogue between the global research community, including the Institute's student body and research centres in the developing world, and the international business community, as well as international organisations and NGOs.
• The Centre for Finance and Development's research deals with finance and development at three levels: international finance, and development finance in particular, including the role played by the international financial institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank; financial development, including banking and financial sector development in emerging and developing countries, both from contemporary and historical perspectives; microeconomics of finance and development.
• The Global Governance Centre provides a forum for scholars of governance and international organisations to interact with practitioners from the policy world in order to analyse global governance arrangements across a variety of issues.
• The Global Health Programme's activities focus on two pillars, namely global health governance and global health diplomacy.
• The Global Migration Centre focus on the transnational dimensions of migration and its interdisciplinary orientation. It combines inputs from lawyers, political scientists, economists, historians, anthropologists and sociologists.
• The Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy explores the "plurality of democratic experiences and aspirations in an interdisciplinary and comparative perspective".
• The Programme on Gender and Global Change produces research on the workings of gender in development and international relations and serves as a channel for the dissemination of such knowledge in both the anglophone and the francophone worlds.
• The Small Arms Survey is an independent research project that serves as the principal international source of public information on all aspects of small arms and armed violence and as a resource for governments, policy-makers, researchers, and activists.


• Refugee Survey Quarterly – Published by Oxford University Press and based at the Graduate Institute, the Refugee Survey Quarterly is a peer-reviewed journal focusing on the challenges of forced migration from multidisciplinary and policy-oriented perspectives.
• Journal of International Dispute Settlement – Established by the Graduate Institute and the University of Geneva in 2010, the JIDS is dedicated to international law with commercial, economic and financial implications. It is published by Oxford University Press.
• International Development Policy – A peer-reviewed e-journal that promotes cutting-edge research and policy debates on global development.
• European Journal of Development Research – The European Journal of Development Research is a co-publication of the Graduate Institute and the European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes with a multi-disciplinary focus.
• Medicine Anthropology Theory – Medicine Anthropology Theory is an open-access journal that publishes scholarly articles, essays, reviews, and reports related to medical anthropology and science and technology studies.
• Relations Internationales – Relations Internationales publishes research on international relations history ranging from the end of the 19th century to recent history.


Legal status

Historian Philippe Burrin, director of the Graduate Institute since 2004

IHEID is constituted as a Swiss private law foundation, Fondation pour les hautes études internationales et du développement, sharing a convention with the University of Geneva.[30] This is a particular organizational form, because IHEID is constituted as a foundation of private law fulfilling a public purpose. In addition, the political responsibility for the Institute shared between the Swiss Confederation and the Canton of Geneva. Usually in Switzerland, it is the responsibility of the Cantons to run public universities, except for the Federal Institutes of Technology (ETHZ and EPFL). IHEID is therefore something like a hybrid institution, in-between the two standard categories.[31]

Foundation Board

The Foundation Board is the administrative body of the Institute. It assembles academics, politicians, people of public life and practitioners. It includes among others: Carlos Lopes, currently UN under secretary general and executive secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa, Julia Marton-Lefèvre (former director general of the International Union for Conservation of Nature), Joëlle Kuntz [fr] (journalist), and Tamar Manuelyan Atinc, (a former World Bank vice president).[8]


The Institute is headed by Philippe Burrin and his deputy Elisabeth Prügl.

Notable alumni

Main article: List of alumni of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies

The Graduate Institute has more than 18,000 alumni working around the world.

• Kofi Annan – former secretary-general of the United Nations and 2001 Nobel Peace Prize recipient
• Mohamed ElBaradei – Egyptian jurist and diplomat, former director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency and 2005 Nobel Peace Prize recipient
• Leonid Hurwicz – Polish-American economist and mathematician, Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 2007
• Micheline Calmy-Rey – former president of the Swiss Confederation
• Kurt Furgler – former president of the Swiss Confederation
• Michel Kafando – interim president of Burkina Faso
• Alpha Oumar Konaré – ex-president of Mali
• Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg
• Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete – fourth president of Tanzania


• Kofi Annan, former UN secretary-general, 1997–2006 and Nobel Peace prize recipient
• Mohamed ElBaradei, IAEA director-general, 1997–2009, former vice-president of Egypt and Nobel Peace Prize recipient
• Micheline Calmy-Rey, former Swiss foreign minister and president of the Swiss Federal Council, 2007 and 2011
• Philipp Hildebrand, head of the Swiss National Bank, 2010–2012, currently vice-chairman of BlackRock
• Leonid Hurwicz, Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences co-recipient
• Jakob Kellenberger, president of the ICRC(2000–2012), and current professor at the institute
• Brad Smith, president and chief legal officer at Microsoft, non-executive director at Netflix
• Patricia Espinosa, Mexican secretary of foreign affairs, 2006–2012, diplomat and executive secretary of the UNFCCC, 2016–present
• Saul Friedländer, Israeli historian and Pulitzer Prize winner
• Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg, 2000–present
• Hans-Gert Pöttering, president of the European Parliament, 2007–2009
• Jakaya Kikwete, the fourth president of Tanzania(2005-2015) and the Minister of Foreign Affairs (1995-2005) of Tanzania
• Alpha Oumar Konaré, the president of Mali(1992 to 2002), and chairperson of the African Union Commission (2003 to 2008)
• Michel Kafando, the president of Burkina Faso (2014 to 2015),[32]and minister of foreign affairs (1982 to 1983), the permanent representative of Burkina Faso to the United Nations (1998 to 2011)[33]
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Nobel laureates

• Kofi Annan (DEA 1962), former secretary-general of the United Nations and 2001 Nobel Peace Prize winner[34]
• Mohamed ElBaradei (DEA 1964), Egyptian jurist and diplomat, former director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, 1997–2009, and 2005 Nobel Peace Prize winner
• Leonid Hurwicz (1940), Polish-American economist and mathematician, 2007 winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics[35]


• Ralph D. Crosby Jr. (DEA 1976), chairman and CEO of Airbus Group, Inc.(formerly EADS North America), 2002–2009[36]
• Jean-Marc Duvoisin (DEA 1985), CEO of Nespresso[37]
• Nobuyuki Idei, founder and CEO of Quantum Leaps Corporation; chairman and group CEO of Sony Corporation, 1999–2005[35]
• Daniel Jaeggi, co-founder of Mercuria Energy Group[38]
• Martin Kupka, chief economist of Československá obchodní banka.
• Rick Gilmore (PhD 1971), president and CEO of the GIC Group and Council on Foreign Relations scholar
• Philipp Hildebrand (DEA 1990), vice-president of BlackRock, former president of the Swiss National Bank[38]
• Baron Léon Lambert, Belgian banker and art collector,[38] whose bank was merged into the powerhouse Drexel Burnham Lambert
• Lynn Forester de Rothschild (fellow 1978–1979), CEO of E.L. Rothschild
• Yan Lan (PhD 1993), managing director of Lazard China[38]
• Frank Melloul (licence 1999), CEO of i24news
• Christopher Murphy-Ives (DES 1990), vice-president and deputy general counsel for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Latin America and Canada at Hewlett-Packard[38]
• Muriel Schwab, Chief financial officer of the Gunvor (company) Group.
• Brad Smith (DEA 1984), president and chief legal officer, Microsoft[39]
• Rafael Tiago Juk Benke, global head of corporate affairs of Brazilian multinational Vale
• G. Richard Thoman, American businessman and former president and CEO of Xerox Corporation[40]
• Bernard Zen-Ruffinen, president of Europe, Middle East and Africa at Korn Ferry International[38]
• Carl Zimmerer, founder and CEO of InterFinanz[38]


• Rubén González Sosa (DEA), ambassador, under-secretary of foreign affairs, 1971–1976, and acting foreign minister of Mexico, 1970–1975[41]
• Walid Abdel Nasser, ambassador of Egypt to the United Nations Office in Geneva
• Imran N. Hosein, Islamic scholar-specialist in Islamic Eschatology; foreign service officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago
• Ochieng’ Adala, Ambassador of Kenya, executive director of the Africa Peace Forum
• Félix Baumann (DEA 1995), ambassador of Switzerland to the United Nations in Geneva
• William M. Bellamy (Certificate), Ret. US ambassador
• Térence Billeter (DEA), ambassador of Switzerland to China
• Jean-Marc Boulgaris (1970), former Swiss ambassador to Colombia and Denmark
• Linus von Castelmur (1992), ambassador of Switzerland to India
• Shelby Cullom Davis (PhD 1934), US ambassador to Switzerland, 1969–1975; philanthropist[42]
• Elyes Ghariani, Tunisian ambassador to Germany
• Erwin Hofer (1976), Swiss ambassador to Russia
• María Teresa Infante (PhD 1980), Chilean ambassador to the Netherlands
• Claude Heller (DEA), ambassador of Mexico to the United Nations
• Tamara Kunanayakam (DEA 1982), ambassador of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Office in Geneva; chairperson-rapporteur of the United Nations Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group on the Right to Development, Human Rights Council
• A.H.M. Moniruzzaman (certificate '89), ambassador of Bangladesh to Belgium, Switzerland, and Luxembourg
• Robert G. Neumann (1937), American ambassador and politician
• François Nordmann (DEA 1972), Swiss ambassador to France
• Assad Omer, ambassador of Afghanistan to France
• Marcial Perez Chiriboga (PhD 1965), former ambassador of Venezuela to the US
• Michael Reiterer (1985), ambassador of the European Commission to Switzerland
• Oswaldo de Rivero, permanent representative of Peru to the United Nations in New York
• Zalman Shoval (DEA), former Israeli ambassador to the US
• Luis Solari Tudela, ambassador of Peru to the United Kingdom
• Mohamed Ibrahim Shaker (PhD 1975), Egyptian amabassador
• Nikolaos Vamvounakis (Diploma 1975), Greek ambassador in Bangkok and non-resident ambassador to Singapore, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar
• Christian Wenaweser, ambassador of Liechtenstein to the United Nations

Law, politics and government

Heads of state

• Micheline Calmy-Rey (Licence 1968), former president of the Swiss Confederation[35]
• Kurt Furgler (1948), former president of the Swiss Confederation and member of the Swiss Federal Council
• Michel Kafando (1972), interim president of Burkina Faso, 2014–2015
• Alpha Oumar Konaré, former president of Mali, 1992–2002; chairperson of the African Union Commission, 2003–2008
• Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg (1980)[43]

Cabinet ministers

• Delia Albert, former secretary of foreign affairs of the Philippines
• Lourdes Aranda Bezaury, Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico
• Youssouf Bakayoko (Certificate 1971), Foreign Minister of Côte d'Ivoireand ambassador[38]
• Davit Bakradze (1998), chairman of the Georgian Parliament and former foreign affairs minister
• Sibusiso Bengu (PhD 1974), former minister of education of South Africa; first black vice-chancellor of a South African university (Fort Hare University)[35]
• István Bibó (PhD 1935), former minister of state of Hungary
• Martin Coiteux (PhD), minister responsible for Government Administration of Quebec; chair of the Treasury Board of Quebec
• Joseph Cuthbert, Minister of Education, Culture, External Affairs of Trinidad and Tobago, 1971–1986
• Patricia Espinosa (DEA 1987), Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico[35]
• Abul Fateh (Fellow 1962–1963), first Foreign Minister of Bangladesh
• He Yafei (DEA 1987), Assistant Foreign Minister of China
• Manouchehr Ganji (PhD 1960), Iranian human rights activist and former education minister
• Bonaya Godana (PhD 1982), Foreign Minister of Kenya, 1998–2001
• Parker T. Hart (Certificate 1936), former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs
• Jafar Hassan (PhD 2000), Jordanian Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, 2009–2013
• Annemarie Huber-Hotz (1975), former federal chancellor of Switzerland, 2000–2007
• Sandra Kalniete (1995), Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, 2002–2004, current Member of the European Parliament
• Patti Londono Jaramillo, deputy foreign minister of Colombia, vice-minister of multilateral affairs, 2010–2013[38]
• Paul Martin Sr., former foreign minister of Canada, 1963–1968
• Yōichi Masuzoe, former governor of Tokyo, former Japanese Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare, 2007–2009, former member of the Japanese House of Councillors[38]
• Omer Tshiunza Mbiye (DEA 1967), former minister of economy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
• Robert McFarlane (Licence), United States National Security Advisor, 1983–1985
• Teodor Meleșcanu (PhD 1973), Minister of Foreign Affairs of Romania, former director of the Foreign Intelligence Service and former minister of defense
• Ram Niwas Mirdha, former cabinet minister in India
• Kamel Morjane(DEA 1976), former defence minister and foreign minister of Tunisia, 2005–2011
• Saïd Ben Mustapha, former foreign minister of Tunisia, 1997–1999
• Kristiina Ojuland (1992), former foreign minister of Estonia and current Member of the European Parliament
• Andrzej Olechowski, former minister of finance and minister of foreign affairs of Poland
• Marco Piccinini, former minister of finance and economy of Monaco
• Francisco Rivadeneira (1995), Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Integration of Ecuador
• Haroldo Rodas (DEA), former foreign minister of Guatemala[38]
• Shri Shumsher K. Sheriff, secretary-general of the upper house of the Parliament of India
• André Simonazzi (Licence 1992), vice-chancellor of the Swiss Federal Council
• Albert Tévoédjrè, former minister of information of Benin
• Tôn Thất Thiện (PhD 1963), former cabinet minister and public intellectual in Vietnam
• Omar Touray (DEA 1992, PhD 1995), former secretary of foreign affairs of the Gambia[38]
• Joseph Tsang Mang Kin, former minister of arts and culture of Mauritius; poet


• Ann Aldrich, United States federal judge
• Marc Bossuyt (PhD 1975), member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration
• Giorgio Malinverni (PhD 1974), judge at the European Court of Human Rights
• Fatsah Ouguergouz (PhD 1991), judge at the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights
• Christos Rozakis (visiting scholar 1985–1986), first vice-president of the European Court of Human Rights
• Max Sørensen (PhD 1946), former judge at the European Court of Justice, 1973–1979, and the European Court of Human Rights, 1980–1981
• Nina Vajić (DEA), judge at the European Court of Human Rights
• Abdulqawi Yusuf (PhD 1980), president of the International Court of Justice[38]

Members of Parliament

• Rep. Michael D. Barnes (DEA 1966), US Congressman, 1979–1987
• Tarcísio Burity, former governor of Paraíba, Brazil
• Jacques-Simon Eggly, Swiss Member of Parliament
• Mauricio Mulder (DEA 1985), member of Peruvian Congress
• Jacques Myard (PhD), member of the National Assembly of France
• Hans-Gert Pöttering (PhD), former president of the European Parliament, 2007–2009[44]
• Meta Ramsay, Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale, former British intelligence officer and member of House of Lords[45]
• Emrys Roberts, president of the British Liberal Party, 1963–1964[46]
• Alexandra Thein, German politician and Member of the European Parliament

Public officials

• Luis Marco Aguiriano Nalda (Licence), Secretary of State for the European Union
• Shara L. Aranoff (Fulbright 1984–1985), chairman of the U.S. International Trade Commission[35]
• Tennent H. Bagley (PhD 1950), Deputy Chief of the CIA's Soviet Bloc Division during the 1960s; author
• Signe Krogstrup (PhD), assistant governor and head of economics and monetary policy at Danmarks Nationalbank.
• Andréa Maechler (DEA 1994), Swiss National Bank's first female board member; Deputy Division Chief in the International Monetary Fund's Monetary and Capital Markets Department
• Jean-Pierre Roth (PhD 1975), former chairman of the Swiss National Bank[38]
• Robert-Jan Smits, director-general for research at the European Commission[35]
• Marcelo Zabalaga (1977), president of the Central Bank of Bolivia

United Nations and international organisations

• Arnauld Antoine Akodjènou (PhD '88), head of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA)
• Catarina de Albuquerque, UN Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation
• Hédi Annabi, former special representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Haiti
• Anthony Banbury (DEA 1993), United Nations assistant secretary-general for field support, deputy ebola coordinator and operation crisis manager[38]
• Marcel André Boisard (PhD), under-secretary general to the United Nations and former executive director of United Nations Institute for Training and Research
• Arthur E. Dewey, former assistant UN secretary-general[38]
• Arthur Dunkel, director-general of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade(GATT), 1980–1993[38]
• Kamil Idris (PhD 1964), director-general of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), 1997–2008[38]
• C. Wilfred Jenks, director-general of the International Labour Organization, 1970–1973
• Jakob Kellenberger (1974–1975), president of the ICRC, 2000–2012[35]
• Pierre Krähenbühl, commissioner-general of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
• Olivier Long (PhD 1943), director-general of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, 1968–1980[38]
• Carlos Lopes (DEA), UN under secretary-general and executive secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa[35]
• Jonathan Lucas (PhD 1998), head of the International Narcotics Control Board
• Jacques Moreillon (PhD 1971), former director-general of the ICRC
• Cornelio Sommaruga (PED 1961), former president of the ICRC from 1987 to 1999.
• Eric Suy, UN under secretary-general for legal affairs and director-general of the European Office of the United Nations in Geneva[38]
• Mervat Tallawy, Egyptian politician, former UN under-secretary and executive secretary of ESCWA
• Laura Thompson Chacón (DEA), deputy director-general of the International Organization for Migration and Costa Rican Ambassador
• Sérgio Vieira de Mello, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
• René-Jean Wilhelm (PhD 1983), co-author of the Geneva Conventions
• Ralph Zacklin, UN assistant secretary-general for legal affairs



• Victoria Curzon-Price (PhD), economist and former director of the Mont Pelerin Society
• Paul Demeny (1957), economist who pioneered the concept of Demeny voting
• Paul Dembinski, scholar specialized on finance and ethics
• Rüdiger Dornbusch (Licence 1966), international economics scholar at MIT[47]
• Marcus Fleming, Scottish economist, former deputy director of the research department of the International Monetary Fund
• Rikard Forslid (PhD 1994), professor of economics at Stockholm University[48]
• Asher Hobson (PhD 1931), agricultural economist
• Urban Jermann (PhD 1994), professor of international finance at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
• Lewis Webster Jones, president of the University of Arkansas, 1947–1951; president of Rutgers University, 1951–1958
• Karl William Kapp (PhD 1936), founding father of ecological economics and a leading institutional economist
• Gianmarco Ottaviano (Diploma 1994), professor of economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science
• Smita Srinivas, economics development professor at Columbia University


• Norma Breda Dos Santos, professor of history at the Institute of International Relations at the University of Brasilia
• Cary Fraser, historian of international relations; president of the University of Guyana
• Saul Friedländer (PhD 1963), Israeli historian of Germany and Jewish history at UCLA, winner of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction[35]
• Piero Gleijeses (PhD 1972), Italian historian of U.S. foreign relations at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies(SAIS), best known for his scholarly studies of Cuban foreign policy under Fidel Castro[49]
• Robert A. Graham (PhD 1952), Jesuit, church historian and authority on papal diplomacy[50]
• Peter Hruby (PhD 1978), historian of central and eastern Europe
• William Lazonick (PhD 1975), business historian, winner of the 2010 Schumpeter Prize
• John Joseph Mathews, historian who became one of the Osage Nation's most important spokespeople and writers
• Arno J. Mayer, Luxembourg-born American Marxist historian, Dayton-Stockton Professor Emeritus of History at Princeton University
• Gerhard Menk (1969), German historian and honorary professor at the University of Giessen
• Miklós Molnár (PhD 1963), Hungarian historian
• Boris Mouravieff (PhD 1951), Russian historian
• André Reszler (Licence 1958, PhD 1966), scholar of the history of ideas
• Davide Rodogno (PhD 2001), professor of international history and head of the International History Department at the Graduate Institute[51]

International law

• Georges Abi-Saab (PhD), Egyptian international law specialist[52]
• Jean Allain (PhD), professor of international law and associate dean, Monash University's faculty of law.
• Bartram S. Brown (PhD), professor of international law, member of the Council on Foreign Relations and member of the board of directors of Amnesty International, USA
• Laurence Boisson de Chazournes (PhD 1991), professor of international law at the University of Geneva
• Michael Bothe (diploma 1966), professor of public law, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, and chair of the Commission for International Humanitarian Law
• Ion Diaconu, professor of international law at the University of Bucharest
• Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, president of the World Maritime University
• Willem Thomas Eijsbouts (DEA 1971), professor of European law at Leiden University
• Ossip K. Flechtheim, German jurist credited with coining the term "Futurology"
• Robert Kolb (PhD 1998), professor of international law at the University of Geneva
• Frédéric Mégret, professor of international law at McGill University, Canada Research Chair in the Law of Human Rights and Legal Pluralism
• Steven Ratner (DEA), professor of international law at the University of Michigan's International Institute
• Lyal S. Sunga (PhD 1991), ex-OHCHR official; affiliated professor, Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law; special advisor on human rights and humanitarian law, International Development Law Organization; Head, Rule of Law programme, The Hague Institute for Global Justice; human rights, humanitarian law, and international criminal law expert
• Jorge E. Viñuales (Licence and DEA), Harold Samuel Professor of Law and Environmental Policy at the University of Cambridge[53]
• Patricia K. Wouters, founding director of the Dundee UNESCO Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science and professor of international law at the University of Dundee

International relations and political science

• Pontus Braunerhjelm (PhD 1994), professor of economics at the Royal Institute of Technology
• Andrew W. Cordier (1930–1931), former president of Columbia University, 1968–1970[38]
• Wolfgang F. Danspeckgruber (PhD 1994), Austrian political scientist at Princeton University, expert on self-determination
• Marwa Daoudy (PhD), assistant professor of international relations specializing in the Middle East at Georgetown University
• André Donneur (PhD 1967), Canadian political scientist
• Osita C. Eze (PhD 1975), former director-general of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs[35]
• A.J.R. Groom (PhD), professor emeritus of international relations, University of Kent at Canterbury
• Sieglinde Gstöhl (PhD 1988), director of the department of EU international relations at the College of Europe in Bruges
• Thierry Hentsch (PhD 1967), Swiss-Canadian political philosopher
• John H. Herz (Diploma 1938), American scholar of international relations and law
• Shireen Hunter (PhD 1983), research professor at Georgetown University, member of the Council on Foreign Relations and scholar on Iran
• Dimitri Kitsikis (1962), Greek Turkologist
• Bahgat Korany (PhD 1974), fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and professor at the American University in Cairo; winner of the International Studies Association's 2015 Distinguished Scholar Award
• Urs Luterbacher (PhD 1974), political scientist specializing in game theory
• Zidane Meriboute (PhD 1983), SOAS scholar specializing in Islam
• Kristen Monroe (junior year), American political scientist specializing in political psychology and ethics
• Hans Joachim Morgenthau (post-graduate work 1932), leading political scientist of international relations[54]
• Philippe Regnier (PhD 1986), professor at the School of International Development and Global Studies, University of Ottawa
• Philippe C. Schmitter (Licence 1961), emeritus professor of the Department of Political and Social Sciences at the European University Institute
• Pierre de Senarclens (PhD 1973), international relations theorist
• Hsueh Shou-sheng (Licence, PhD 1953), vice-chancellor of Nanyang University in Singapore, 1972–1975 and founding rector of the University of Macau[35]
• Peter Uvin, professor of government at Claremont McKenna College
• Thomas G. Weiss, international relations scholar recognized as an authority on the United Nations system
• Francis O. Wilcox, former dean of the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies[38]
• Andrew Williams, British professor of international relations, University of St Andrews


• George W. Grace (Licence 1948), linguist specializing in Oceanic languages of Melanesia

Broadcasting, journalism and literature

• Frédéric Bastien (PhD), Canadian author and historian
• Robert Albert Bauer (1931), anti-Nazi radio broadcaster with Voice of America
• René Cruse, French public intellectual, writer
• Carlos Fuentes (1950), Mexican novelist, essayist and former diplomat[35]
• Eric Hoesli, Swiss journalist
• Michel Jeanneret (Licence), editor-in-chief of L'Illustré
• Elizabeth Jensen (DES '83), ombudsman and public editor of NPR
• Beat Kappeler (PhD 1970), Swiss journalist
• Helen Kirkpatrick (DEA), American war correspondent during the Second World War
• Esther Mamarbachi (DEA 1992), Swiss broadcast journalist
• Selim Matar, Iraqi novelist and sociologist
• Derek B. Miller (PhD 2004), American novelist
• Malika Nedir (Diploma), Swiss news anchor
• Jean-Pierre Péroncel-Hugoz (PhD 1974), French journalist and essayist
• Nicolas Rossier (1995), American filmmaker and reporter
• Pierre Ruetschi (Licence '83), Swiss journalist
• Jon Woronoff (Licence 1965), American writer and East Asian specialist


• Duarte Pio, Duke of Braganza and pretender to the throne of Portugal
• Princess Nora of Liechtenstein[55]
• Maria Teresa, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg[56]

Public policy

• Allison Anderson (DEA), former director of the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies
• Antony Alcock (PhD 1968), Ulster Unionist politician
• Svein Andresen (PhD), secretary-general of the Financial Stability Board
• James Bevan (MA), founder of Conflict Armament Research
• Jennifer Blanke (PhD 2005), Chief Economist, World Economic Forum
• Pontus Braunerhjelm (PhD 1994), secretary-general of the Swedish government's Globalization Council
• Julius E. Coles, former president of Africare
• Laurent Goetschel, director of swisspeace
• Stephanie T. Kleine-Ahlbrandt (DEA), Asia-Pacific director at United States Institute of Peace and Council on Foreign Relations scholar
• Edward Kossoy (PhD 1975), Polish lawyer and activist for victims of Nazism
• Gerhart M. Riegner, secretary-general of the World Jewish Congress, 1965–1983; in 1942, he sent the so-called Riegner Telegram
• Riadh Sidaoui, Tunisian political scientist and director of Geneva's Centre Arabe de Recherches et d'Analyses Politiques et Sociales
• Hernando de Soto, Peruvian economist and president of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy[35]
• Matthias Stiefel, founder of Interpeace
• Fred Tanner (Licence), ambassador and former director of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy
• John Ulanga (DPP 2013), executive director of the Foundation for Civil Society, Tanzania
• Tek Vannara (DPP 2007), executive director of the NGO Forum on Cambodia
• Scott Vaughan (IEP 2014), president and chief executive officer of the International Institute for Sustainable Development
• Willem de Vogel (Licence), chairman of The Jamestown Foundation
• René Wadlow, president and representative to the UN of the Association of World Citizens
• Laure Waridel CM, Canadian social activist, writer and executive director of the Centre interdisciplinaire de recherche en opérationnalisation du développement durable (CIRODD)
• Leicester Chisholm Webb, Australian political scientist, public servant and journalist
• Béatrice Wertli (licence), secretary-general of the Christian Democratic People's Party of Switzerland
• Theodor H. Winkler (Licence 1977, PhD 1981), director of the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces[57]
• Samuel A. Worthington (Fulbright 1985), CEO of InterAction[58]
• Saadia Zahidi, head of Gender Parity and Human Capital of the World Economic Forum


• Jack Fahy, US government official and suspected spy during World War II
• Jacques Piccard, deep-sea explorer and inventor
• Kathryn Wasserman Davis, American philanthropist

Notable faculty

Former Faculty

• Georges Abi-Saab – International law specialist, currently chairman of the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization.
• Maurice Allais – French economist and recipient of the 1988 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics.
• Lucius Caflisch – Swiss international law specialist, member of the United Nations International Law Commission.
• Kemal Dervis – professor of economics, former head of the United Nations Development Programme and former minister of economic affairs of Turkey.
• Saul Friedländer – Israeli historian of Germany and Jewish history at UCLA, 2008 Pulitzer Prize recipient.
• Harry Gordon Johnson – Canadian economist who made many contributions to the development of Hecksher-Ohlin theory.
• Friedrich von Hayek – Prominent Austrian school economist, co-recipient of the 1974 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics.
• Hans Kelsen – Noted international jurist and legal philosopher.
• Dimitri Kitsikis – Noted Greek Turkologist.
• Olivier Long – Swiss international law specialist and former director-general of the GATT (1968–80).
• Patrick Low – Chief Economist at the World Trade Organization.
• Theodor Meron – Former president of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY)
• Ludwig von Mises – Prominent Austrian school economist, philosopher, and classical liberal.
• Robert Mundell – Canadian international economist and recipient of the 1999 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics.
• Gunnar Myrdal – Swedish economist and co-recipient of the 1974 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics.[15]
• William Rappard – economic historian, director of the League of NationsMandate Section (1920–1925), and Swiss delegate to the ILO (1945–1956).
• Wilhelm Röpke – International economics and spiritual father of the German social market economy.
• Jacob Viner – Canadian international economics and early member of the Chicago School of Economics.
• Jean Ziegler – Swiss sociologist, author and public intellectual.

Current Faculty

• Jean-Louis Arcand – professor of international economics, director of the Centre for Finance and Development
• Richard Baldwin – acclaimed international trade economist
• José Manuel Barroso – Visiting professor, chairman at Goldman Sachs International.,[59] the 11th president of the European Commission (2004–14) and the 115th Prime Minister of Portugal (2002–2004).
• Thomas J. Biersteker – Curt Gasteyger Professor of International Security, Council on Foreign Relations scholar and former director of the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University.
• Gilles Carbonnier – professor of development economics and vice-president of the International Committee of the Red Cross.
• Andrew Clapham professor of international law, former representative of Amnesty International at the United Nations, and former adviser on international humanitarian law to the Special Representative of the UN secretary-general in Iraq.
• Tim Flannery – Visiting professor, Australian of the Year 2007, mammalogist, palaeontologist, environmentalist and former chief commissioner of the Federal Climate Commission.
• Michael Goebel – Holder of the Pierre du Bois Chair Europe and the World.
• Jakob Kellenberger – Visiting professor, former head of the International Committee of the Red Cross.
• Ilona Kickbusch – Adjunct professor, leading thinker in the fields of health promotion and global health.
• Robert B. Koopman – Adjunct professor and chief economist of the World Trade Organization.
• Nico Krisch – professor of international law specializing in constitutional theory, and global governance.
• Keith Krause – professor of international relations, director of the Small Arms Survey.
• Jussi Hanhimäki – professor of international history, recipient of the 2002 Bernath Prize for his book The Flawed Architect: Henry Kissinger and American Foreign Policy.
• Susanna Hecht – professor of international history whose early work on the deforestation of the Amazon led to the founding of the subfield of political ecology.
• Anna Leander – professor of international relations well known for her work in critical security studies and international political sociology.
• Giacomo Luciani – Leading scholar on the geopolitics of energy.
• Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou – professor of international history, former foreign minister of Mauritania and acclaimed Al Qaeda specialist.
• Nicolas Michel – honorary professor of international law, former under-secretary-general for legal affairs and United Nations legal counsel.
• Alessandro Monsutti – Leading expert on the Hazaras.
• Ugo Panizza – Pictet Professor of Development and Finance.
• Joost Pauwelyn – professor of international law, famous scholar in WTO law and public international law.
• Timothy Swanson – André Hoffmann Professor of Environmental Economics.
• Jordi Tejel – professor of international history specialized in Kurdish state-building and Syrian Kurds.
• Jorge E. Viñuales – Adjunct professor of environmental law and Harold Samuel Professor of Law and Environmental Policy at the University of Cambridge.
• Beatrice Weder di Mauro – professor of international macroeconomics and president of the Centre for Economic Policy Research
• Charles Wyplosz – professor of international economics, regular columnist in the Financial Times, Le Monde, Libération, Le Figaro, Finanz und Wirtschaft, and Handelsblatt.


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• The Graduate Institute of International Studies Geneva: 75 years of service towards peace through learning and research in the field of international relations, The Graduate Institute, 2002.

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