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new attitudinals - the source
Cowan asked about the 'new' attitudinals, which actually date back to
1991. I suspect that I talked them over with Athelstan, Nora and pc,
whcih is why it didn't appear on Lojban List.
The article stimulating the attitudinals appeared in "Wilson Quarterly"
Winter 1991. WQ is the quarterly journal of the Woodrow Wilson
International Center for Scholars, which is part of the Smithsonian
Institution. The emphasis of the organization is historio-cultural
issues; it isn't likely to be a commonly available journal. The main
article in question is "Western Science, Eastern Minds", by Sudhir
Kakar, although the focus for us is on a sidebar within: "Psychotherapy
in Japan: Hamlet without Gertrude". The article complex in general is
discussing what happens when Western psychotherapy models collide with
Asian cultures, emphasizing what about those cultures is incompatible
with Western psychotherapy and indeed intellectual thought in general.
The author is a psychotherapist trained in the US but being Indian is
I will quote extensively:
"The goals of Western forms of psychotherapy are then very much related
to the individual even in those instances where the therapy, in its
techniques, addresses the group. All Western therapies talk, in some
fashion or other, about the growth, development, and self-actualization
of the individual. They talk of increasing the individual's
environmental mastery, his positive attitudes toward himself, and his
sensse of autonomy.
By contrast, in India I ahd the case of a 28 year old engineer who came
to the initial interview accompanied by his father and sister. Bothe
relatives described his central problem as one of 'unnatural' autonomy.
As one said: "He is very stubborn in pursuing what he wants without
taking our wishes into account. He thinks he knows what is best for
himself and does not listen to us. He thinks his own life and career
more important than the concerns of the rest of the family".
Indian patients, lke Chinese and Japanese, have in their minds what
might be called a >relational model< of the self, which is quite
different from the individual model of the post-Enlightenment West. In
Asia, the person derives his nature or character interpersonally. He is
constituted of relationships. His distresses are thus disorders of
relationships not only within his human - and this is important - but
also his natural and cosmic orders. The need for attachment,
connection, and integration with others and with his natural and
supernatural worlds represents the preeminent motivational thrust of the
person, rather than the press or expression of any biological
The other set of assumptions, which derives from the relational model
and is absorbed in the therapist's very bones from his culture, stresses
that surrender to powers greater than the self is better than individual
effort. The source of human strength, in the Asian view, lies in a
harmonious integration with one's group, in entering into the kiving
stream, naturally and unselfconsciously, of the community life, and in
cherishing the community's gods and traditions."
[From the sidebar, a survey of other scholar's writings on the subject:]
"The Japanese ... [who are at least as secular as European cultures]
still have a religion - that of the family. Because of the family's
sacrosanct character, Freudian investigations into its workings - such
as ambivalence toward a parent or a parent's role in a patient's
neurosis or especially, the ways in which a maternal figure may not be
all-loving and good - are practically taboo. "Such concepts", De Vos
writes [George De Vos, anthro. dept at Berkeley], "cannot be pursued by
a Japanese who wishes to remain Japanese".
... Even for adults, expressions of individuality are often considered
signs of selfish immaturity. Freud's definition of psychological health
described an autonomous individual. But for most people in Japan, De
Vos writes, "autonomy is anomie - a vertigo of unconscionable alienation
leaving life bereft of purpose". Consequently ... A neurosis ... is
not the person's inability to achieve 'individuation' but his incapacity
to fulfill role expectations.
[Alan Roland, author of _In Search of Self in India and Japan_ (1988)
says:] ... The all-important Oedipus complex, for example, has been
transformed into nearly its opposite - the Ajase complex ...[wherein]
the father is absent form the picture - and so is the irreconcilability.
Although in adolescence the son may rage over the 'loss' of his mother's
unqualified love, he finally repents after realizing her great
sacrifices for him.
[Takeo Doi, Japan's most famous psychoanalytic theorist has] ...
challenged the entire freudian framework, in order to justify
dependency. In _The Anatomy of Dependence_ (1973), Doi argued that
Western vocabularies lack even the terms to understand, much less to
appreciate 'amae' - the healthy Japanese "need" for psychological
dependency. Indeed a pathological condition, 'hinikureta' (warping) is
produced when one's sence of dependency is frustrated.
" [end quoted text]
The last paragraph in the context of the rest of the article, triggered
me to look at the Lojban vocabulary to see if we could talk about the
concepts. In the predicate space there is no real problem - there is no
reason lujvo can't handle it. But since we are dealing with emotions
here, and their expression, I noted that we have a preponderence of
attitudinals that seem strongly tied to just the sort of 'Western'
viewpoint that seemed to be challenged by these various authors without
the corresponding 'relationship model' attitudes (indeed Lojban has
tended to attract a lot of people of libertarian persuasions who tended
in discussions of the attitudinal system to favor the
individual-oriented ones - in particular, e'e was added at the
suggestion of Eric Raymond, and I have thought of it as being especially
tied to an individualist perspective. At the time we talked about
adding these two new ones, I recall that e'e was discussed as an example
of the 'bias'). Hopefully, the ones that I/we proposed will be
understood in the relationship model senses:
dependency is clearly to be seen in terms of a personal dependency
relationship associated with the marked referent, and thus associates
with 'amae'. lack could be coupled with this to express 'hinikureta',
but is useful in other, 'even' Western mindsets for that kind of longing
that isn't loss (i.e. grief), but isn't necessarily 'desire'.
The article showed that these concepts are present and vital in
intellectual and emotional life in all three cultures, Indian, Japanese,
and Chinese (which is covered in least detail in the article set). As
two of our six source languages, and observing a likely existing bias in
our attitudinal set, it seemed a good idea to patch in what we
understood the concepts to be, with possible fine-tuning, and/or others
being added if we learned of further biases. I tried to make the
emotional concepts expressed as broad as possible, so as to render them
usable in Western cultures as well, where we recognize similar concepts
and emotions. But the essential concepts are the Asian ones referred to
in the article.
Hope this ex post facto documentation is worth something. I really wish
we had the capacity to seriously evaluate emotional expression in
non-English cultures. Chinese, for example, has many monosyllabic
'attitudinals' defined in my dictionary (a large percenatge of the words
starting with 'a', which s why I noticed), but with too little defintion
to give a real sense of their usage and contrasts. But best to do what
we can do when we can do it.