As Adler gradually expanded the horizons of Individual Psychology, he addressed a multitude of topics in the twenty-four articles published between 1914 and 1920. He focused predominantly on the dynamics of neurosis and psychosis, but he began exploring the positive and negative influences of the home and school on the development of the young child, devoting five articles during this period to child guidance. Adler also contributed several book reviews to psychology journals; two have been included in this volume.
The political and military issues of his time prompted passionate, persuasive arguments from his keen, analytical mind. His article, "Bolshevism and Psychology," is a classic expose of the abuse of power and the inevitable response of the people. His comments remain timeless.
The outstanding exception to his generally insightful view of human nature is his article "On Homosexuality." Adler's view of homosexuality in this article reflects the rather common bias of his time and culture. Although he transcended the widespread misconceptions about women and children at the turn of the century, his view of homosexuality represents a historical limitation and apparent contradiction of his general perspective. In the interests of scholarship and historical accuracy, the controversial article has been included in this volume. The current Classical Adlerian view of sexuality promotes cooperation between partners, and attempts to correct domination or depreciation within all sexual orientations. This contemporary stance is more congruent with Adler's central posture of equality, respect, and acceptance.
For readers unfamiliar with Adler's ideas, a brief overview, titled "Basic Principles of Classical Adlerian Psychology," is included in the appendix. More comprehensive articles, titled "Classical Adlerian Theory and Practice" and "A Psychology of Democracy" have been published in Volumes 1 & 2 of The Collected Clinical Works of Alfred Adler.
I encourage the reader to patiently follow Adler's early efforts to articulate his full theory. It is a fascinating journey of positing, correcting, and refining his insights into the mystery of human nature.
Back to Home Page