This volume opens with a provocative article wherein Adler challenges traditonal assumptions about character and talent, and argues his belief in the potential of intensive training. In twenty-six articles published from 1927 to 1931, Adler devotes several to the varied aspects of neurosis, including: cause, prevention, structure, unity, theory, role-playing, and the similarities to tricks and jokes. In three articles, he amplifies earlier discussions of dream theory, including the related issues of sleeplessness, and enuresis. Two articles address crime and criminals, while another offers a penetrating, timely insight into the psychology of power. Several miscellaneous topics are discussed in articles covering: courage, feelings, emotions, reason, intelligence, mental retardation, and an unusual issue, widow neurosis. Perhaps the most controversial article of all is "Alfred Adler on America," notes taken at one of his lectures by a physician, where Adler compares the American and European cultures, critiquing our preoccupation with ambition, competition, and speed, as well as our tendency to pamper children. One of the most important statements of his philosophical position appears in "The Meaning of Life," translated by Sophia de Vries. From this article, we can see why Alexander Mueller considered Individual Psychology a dynamic stimulus to the discipline of philosophical anthropology.
The odyssey of completing "The Collected Clinical Works of Alfred Adler" has now spanned nearly fifteen years. Hampered by limited personal funding for costly translations and only a couple of volunteer editors to assist with the thousands of hours of editing and proofing, the project has slowly, but steadily progressed. The task of being faithful to Adler's meaning and style, yet providing the reader with minimal hindrances to understanding, proved to be more difficult than initially anticipated. Adler's spontaneous, sometimes wandering lecture style is not always easy to follow on the page. We hope our careful revisions will make a deep study of Adler's writings much more manageable..
For readers unfamiliar with Adler's ideas, a brief overview, titled "Basic Principles of Classical Adlerian Psychology," is included in the appendix. Other 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.
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