Two Tuesday Quotes: Maslow and Garnett Thomson


To the man who only has a hammer, everything he encounters begins to look like a nail.

—Abraham Maslow

Try a thing you haven’t done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time, to figure out whether you like it or not.
—Virgil Garnett Thomson
Maslow:

Maslow has been a very inspirational figure in personality theories.  In the 1960’s in particular, people were tired of the reductionistic, mechanistic messages of the behaviorists and physiological psychologists.  They were looking for meaning and purpose in their lives, even a higher, more mystical meaning.  Maslow was one of the pioneers in that movement to bring the human being back into psychology, and the person back into personality!

At approximately the same time, another movement was getting underway, one inspired by some of the very things that turned Maslow off:  computers and information processing, as well as very rationalistic theories such as Piaget’s cognitive development theory and Noam Chomsky’s linguistics.  This, of course, became the cognitive movement in psychology.  As the heyday of humanism appeared to lead to little more than drug abuse, astrology,  and self indulgence, cognitivism provided the scientific ground students of psychology were yearning for.

But the message should not be lost:  Psychology is, first and foremost, about people, real people in real lives, and not about computer models, statistical analyses, rat behavior, test scores, and laboratories. (C. George Boeree, PhD: source)

Garnett Thomson:

Virgil Thomson, whose centennial was celebrated in 1996, was a many faceted American composer of great originality and a music critic of singular brilliance. Born in Kansas City, Missouri on 25 November 1896, Thomson studied at Harvard. After a prolonged period in Paris where he studied with Nadia Boulanger and met Cocteau, Stravinsky, Satie, and the artists of Les Six, he returned to the United States where he was chief music critic for the New York Herald Tribune from 1937 to 1951.

Virgil Thomson composed in almost every genre of music. Utilizing a musical style marked by sharp wit and overt playfulness, Thomson produced a highly original body of work rooted in American speech rhythms and hymnbook harmony. His music was most influenced by Satie’s ideals of clarity, simplicity, irony, and humor. Among his most famous works are the operas Four Saints in Three Acts and The Mother of Us All (both with texts by Gertrude Stein with whom he formed a legendary artistic collaboration), scores to The Plow That Broke the Plains and The River (films by Pare Lorentz), and Louisiana Story (film by Robert Flaherty). In addition to his compositions, he was the author of eight books, including an autobiography.

Included in his many honors and awards are the Pulitzer Prize, a Brandeis Award, the gold medal for music from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, the National Book Circle Award, the Kennedy Center Honors, and 20 honorary doctorates. (Source)

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