Man's Search for Meaning

Man's Search for Meaning

An Introduction to Logotherapy

Book - 1992
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We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life-daily and hourly. Our answer must consist not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.

When Man's Search for Meaning was first published in 1959, it was hailed by Carl Rogers as "one of the outstanding contributions to psychological thought in the last fifty years." Now, more than forty years and 4 million copies later, this tribute to hope in the face of unimaginable loss has emerged as a true classic. Man's Search for Meaning --at once a memoir, a self-help book, and a psychology manual-is the story of psychiatrist Viktor Frankl's struggle for survival during his three years in Auschwitz and other Nazi concentration camps. Yet rather than "a tale concerned with the great horrors," Frankl focuses in on the "hard fight for existence" waged by "the great army of unknown and unrecorded."

Viktor Frankl's training as a psychiatrist allowed him a remarkable perspective on the psychology of survival. In these inspired pages, he asserts that the "the will to meaning" is the basic motivation for human life. This simple and yet profound statement became the basis of his psychological theory, logotherapy, and forever changed the way we understand our humanity in the face of suffering. As Nietzsche put it, "He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how." Frankl's seminal work offers us all an avenue to greater meaning and purpose in our own lives-a way to transcend suffering and find significance in the act of living.
Publisher: Boston : Beacon Press, c1992.
Edition: 4th ed.
ISBN: 9780807014264
0807014265
Branch Call Number: 940.5318 Fra
Characteristics: 154 p. ; 23 cm.

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LPL_PolliK Sep 26, 2017

A classic work of philosophy. Frankl survived four camps during the Holocaust and he turned his experience into his life's work, logotherapy, while asserting that the key to survival is a sense that one’s life has meaning. Frankl theorizes three key concepts frame our sense of meaning in the world: work, love, and suffering. A poignant read that transcends the horrors of the camps and illuminates our world and search for meaning, even today.

j
jdiz86
Jul 26, 2017

I highly recommend this book to anyone. It enabled me to put things into perspective and remind myself what I am living for, what really matters. The first section Frankl describes his experience in the concentration camps, followed by an introduction to logotherapy (Frankl's branch of psychoanalysis), followed by an afterword of the author's life. I usually like to read up on the author prior to reading their books, however it worked out just fine in this case.

e
empbee
Jul 19, 2017

The view of a psychologists who survived Auschwitz and other concentration camps. Moving observations into human behaviour but sometimes too generalized. A worthwhile reading.

r
robopl
Jul 04, 2017

Yes, it has its content and phrasing that is (politically?) inappropriate in today's western culture, and perhaps especially in Canada's where we display some uniquely progressive politics.

But it is genuine. Frankel wrote this quickly, and soon after being released from hell (hell because it was caused intentionally by fellow humans, not only because of how he was treated).

Let him ruminate with his 1930's-academic mind. Let him struggle to make sense of it with his personal world view. He describes something we cannot imagine, but should try to.

Because it can happen and does happen all over the world and could happen here. Just look at your neighbours and yourself (and me) for bigotry and group-think.

I salute his concise reply to his fellow inmates on the reason to continue to hold on, that we are each part of a family that we are important to and to which our actions have a positive or negative impact. It is a truth that remains true not just as you want to die in a nazi death camp but true afterwards as you become free to make something of your life and choose how to live.

For balance, I recommend Sheldon Solomon and others' "The Worm at the Core: The Role of Death in Life".

k
kwsmith
Jun 01, 2016

The first part of this riveting book describes Frankl's experiences in the Nazi work camps during the second world war. But Frankl is really talking about the importance of finding personal meaning in our daily lives.

m
MonaLyssa33
May 12, 2016

A remarkable book and a must read for everyone.

i
iKathryn
May 09, 2016

left off on page 116 actually

sandro51 Aug 13, 2015

Self-indulgent? Much of the book is taken up by Frankl's description of human beings in extremis, and the attitudes that helped some of them them survive the death camps.
Read it and make up your own mind.

s
ScotMurphy
May 06, 2015

This book is essential reading in the realm of man's treatment of each other. Frank was a clinical psychiatrist and often writes is dispassionate prose, but it is exactly that distance that allows us to bear witness to the horrors within without the reader's mind listening to it as if it were a story. It's brutal and honest, yet he concludes his concentration camp stay with an end to the philosophical journey that has sustained him the entire while. It should be necessary reading for every history student, if not in high school, then in university.

k
kityojames
Dec 23, 2014

It is understandable why this is one of the greatest books written. Not so often do we come across a book that explores a malady from an experience so horrible, provide the painful stages of survival and then the solutions for the rest of humanity. This is the story of life, a valuable inoculation and prescription, also backed by research, that can take away pain and hopelessness.

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stoub
Apr 01, 2008

Personal narrative of time in Nazi concentration camp, including insights about how he was able to cope psychologically with the ordeal.

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grownflow
Jul 20, 2014

"Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom." Viktor Frankl

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