Human Development

Human Development

Questions about the meaning of humanity seem to baffle modern science more than they did the ancient mystics. Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where are we going? Why are we different? What makes us the same? How do individuals and societies understand and progress toward their purpose or is progress a delusion? Does anything matter? Is the human a machine, an organism, an illusion, all the above?

Once in the realm of pre-modern religion and philosophy, modern scientists and postmodern philosophers wrestle with these same questions. However, even with advances in technology, the resulting philosophies seem as varied as the answers that have created thousands of disparate religions throughout human history. While postmodern philosophers might scoff at the thought of any universal human characteristics, one consistent human trait that seems to have spanned history and civilization is the myopia that results from viewing the world through a single philosophical lens.

Philosophical myopia seems clear when exploring competing perspectives on human development. As with competing religions, the field of human development seems to view the world through scores of philosophical "isms", with each philosophy representing itself as the only correct philosophy, and automatically dismissing all others. While an oversimplification of reality, academics have attempted to classify the competing philosophies under three of Stephen Pepper's "reasonably adequate" theories of human development: mechanism, organicism, and contextualism.


The Human Development category will analyze competing philosophies of human development to do the following:
  • Summarize the historical and emerging state of the field of human development;
  • Explore key theories and practices that have emerged from each philosophy, and;
  • Synthesize disparate perspectives into an integrated approach to personal and collaborative growth.

Following are some of the articles that will appear in the Human Development category


Human development bibliography

Following are the references cited in the Human Development Category:

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Discovering Holistic-Dynamic Needs beneath a Rigid Pyramid

Comparing Maslow's needs theory against modern perceptions and criticisms, uncovers a seeming disconnect between Maslow and his interpreters. A new perspective on Maslow can align textbooks with Maslow's intent so researchers can attempt to measure a holistic dynamic process rather than a rigid and fallacious metaphor.

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