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It was an episode a series of episodes of this sort that led the famous director of the hospital I didn't bloody know derby on the EU any R to come to believe that the behavior in this disorder in the disorder called paranoid schizophrenia was not totally uncontrollable as previously had been thought. He formulated many changes in the hospital management of psychotic patients. Many such patients now do better in a less restricted environment. It's clear that under certain specific circumstances such as the doing of a routine task of the kind which the patients had done many times before the sickness began in which somehow delusional enemies were much less involved. There could be a pattern of response in which the ego of the individual was able to avoid or to control the kind of behavior which you could not control or other. Time was the episode in blotters hospital and many comparable but less dramatic episodes help to minimize the
idea that most psychotic patients were out of control most of the time but still are and please let me emphasize this it would be folly to believe that it would be correct most of the time to give an axe a dangerous weapon to psychotic patients. Occasionally the danger would be very real. Now the Swiss star a x ray may be risk gave way to the development of sound understanding. It may overshoot the mark because it is dramatic and because everyone loves to undercut in the fire a day or a specialist. The idea of dangerous patients being given ops and they're behaving rather well. It gives us some feeling of being able to say so. Famous specialist. See how wrong you are. The story produces some of the pleasure that might go with throwing a snowball that knocks the high shot off the head of the important or self righteous or pretentious man who can't anymore run
after the boy who throws the snow bar. The Swiss story might give the a false impression that all on acceptable patterns can be controlled. If only we try hard enough. The story must not be not be used to justify the doctrine that self control is so powerful or or so f active that it can become the basis of all ethics. There are many stories perhaps many more stories which just as a dramatic play would demonstrate the opposite. I know that the generalization which seems most valid to most soundly based on facts and therefore most useful as a part of ethics goes as follows. Each human being has a strong obligation to himself and to those whose interests have high priority in his own thinking and fearing to use as much ego control as he possibly can
mobilize whenever he is doing something or is tempted to do something which he himself thinks might be a mistake or which is considered a mistake by Warren or by Sabra whom he has come to know he can trust. And this is crucial and so I would like to rephrase it. The most workable summary of the facts as we know them is that an individual has a high degree of responsibility for his own life or his own behavior for having and using an intelligent self-interest and interest for others to the extent that he can mobilize his ego forces his ego strength to carry through on that responsibility. He has an obligation to himself and to others to make the present and afeard with as much honesty and integrity as he can mobilize to do as good a job as he can. Now put in terms of negatives one can say that human
beings cannot control all temptations and unwanted Potter. But human beings are not merely at the mercy of such force whose at times under certain circumstances human beings have an amazing capacity to perform in a way which they believe they never could do. At other times they have an amazing capacity to fail in attempts in which they expect to succeed not to find specific answers for specific questions about when or how and why of internal control or failure of internal can Crow era. This would require a much more discussion than is possible at this point this evening. My comments are not intended to answer specific questions but chiefly just serve as a guideline for further discussion and to indicate that some past generalisations in part are contrary to the facts and the best starting point. Now is the phrase the use of
as much ego control as one can mobilize. Now the material of the sessions so far I had one primary focus it was to describe and to clarify the internal drama of human life especially the struggle between it is death and ego. And you'll notice that up to this point there has been none of the easygoing humor the easygoing nonsense we may be able to put some in a few moments but I'm not even certain that it will happen then. But gradually the story as I told it so far the conflict between the ego the ego and the aired it begin to sound like a struggle between good and evil are between a good and legitimate government and the evil dastardly rabble. Now that the point has been made that the ego can do a pretty good job a fair part of the time is in keeping order. We must add that the ego the government has some
agencies which are staffed by illogical bureaucrats who might control or suppress some good ideas because they are unfamiliar. The ego like the rest of the person begins its development early in life and some of the childhood ego patterns present into adult life. At times the ego behaves in a childlike fashion. In fact some of the controls are the defenses used by the ego are very very unacceptable to the later more mature parts of the ego. Also the it is not just not just evolved not simply a disruptive set of forces a threat to stability and order the such what impulses of the ERDA often are unduly agress erred and may not be very discriminating. But they're not simply a set of unacceptable impulses which must be repressed or
controlled would in fact many of the basic it impulses as centrally are of high value in many ways impulses such as competition independence dependence on hunger for food and for love and many others. It imposes as such often are not domesticated or housebroken or trained or peaceful but they may not be difficult to modify to domesticate. In fact much of the it is quite like a bawley if we anthropomorphize for the fun of the phrase but a memo to Mari no sweetness and light please. Much of the air D is not acceptable to the individual or to the group. Murderous impulses cannibalistic him urges soiling out of today's narcissistic patterns and especially primitive magic are there. And more. But from this closer look at the ID forces one can see that the job of the ego is not only one of control of the ego functions
also as a guard at the border or as a customs officer. Also the job of the ego is one of permissiveness of saying that of course what the it wants can be arranged now without harm to anyone even though it was not feasible ten or twenty years ago and often the job of the ego is to be a guide and matter. Often it must talk to the it as a reliable friend would talk saying yes brother that imposed that behavior is OK but only if it's in the right place the right time and with the right person. With the word right being defined according to the price. Carry out our biology of the card and the individual himself. The ego must be selective in its responses to the aired and to be selective but first must have the power to control or to any effect. Therefore the major body of this lecture had the inescapable job of establishing the fact that the ego has
the strength fairly often to cope with them to master the adverse. And now that we have shown the relative strength of the ego we can see that the ego could function in an ethics which need not be totally one of control but which can include other ego functions as well such as a selective permissiveness and as offering an internal guidance toward gratifications which are not constructive not destructive. To go further an ethics based almost entirely on the doctrine of self control has a solid basis in ego's strengths and so it has certain value. Also the more or less opposite type of ethics based almost entirely on the doctrine of the expression and development of individual wishes and needs as a sound based on the strength of the ego drives and the high potential and quantity of many of them. This type of ethics also all has certain values but
Booth types have great shortcomings and ethics of self control is terribly restrictive. An ethics of for expression can be terribly disruptive. Now from a point of view of psychiatry one can say that neither of these two approaches must be regarded as inevitable because of psychiatric knowledge. Nor must either of these approaches be regarded as impossible because of psychiatric study. The outline of human psyche dynamics as I have given it indicates that both types of processes can occur and both have value. Therefore I urge an integration a combination of urge and ethics which combines the two and ethics which in part can be phrased as the flexible combination of a selective permissiveness with a select care but limit setting.
In this each individual can be expected to use turn himself and turn his own drives or temptation temptations the same combination of selective permissiveness and selective firm limits that he get than that he can use toward others. Then in the most difficult aspect of this ethics when limit setting must be used against those strong impulses or patterns which are destructive and which also seem irresistible. Each individual still has an obligation to use as much ego control as he can mobilize to take as much responsibility as he can. Now one of the most interesting questions is whether using this approach we can say that there are principles which have a universe Valetta day. There may be some for example that could be one which is say which would say that killing a member of the same species as ethically forbidden unless
that person is violating ethical principles of the highest importance and unless he can't be stopped without taking the chance of killing him. Another principle which may be generally acceptable is that one should get regarded as bound I had a prohibition which appears in all known cultures or in most of them. Unless there is evidence that the prohibition is clearly destructive or mistaken in one's own culture. An example is that in all unknown cultures in sassed of some type or types it is forbidden. So that there may be a general principle certainly there are principles which cover many instances are many groups of experiencers groups of temp patients groups are the problems in life there will be others which would have to be individualized rather than only a general principle is being used.
Now there are many phrases which might be used to this approach to the problem of ethics. It could be called a realistic and pluralistic. I think so far the dynamic approach to ethics these terms emphasize its ongoing development and they emphasize the fact that each person is deeply involved in developing his own ethics as well as in having an ethics passed on to him by the previous generation by his religious group or by his culture. Then when we need to differentiate between two patterns in this approach to ethics we can speak of defensive ethics in creative ethics. These categories are convenient and use for and so in this final section of my material tonight I will add referred to defensive at that spot only briefly since we discussed that pattern previously and then I would discuss the second pattern of creative act. Yes. How about defensive affix the first point is to be certain
that it is understood that defenses may not be accurate. A defense may damage the man himself or damage others. And so we would withhold the word ethical as an example of. A man's anxiety that he is non masculine. Maybe lead him to the defense of repeated demonstrations of his sexual prowess of his ability to make sexual conquests with no consideration of the interests of the partner. Now the next point is do give an example of defensive ethical behavior when the problem is external. The use of self defense when one is attacked by another is regarded as justified even if it requires physical force or soem aggressive protection of the weak when they are attacked. But the strong would have general approval.
Next is an example of a defensive ethical response when the problem is internal The impulse to pummel are to strangle someone can lead to the defense of an hysterical paralysis of both our lives. This is an ethical internal defense against the acting out of an acceptable impulse. If one's arms are paralyzed one can stop being concerned about hurting someone with one's hand. But the issue of defensive ethics can be a bit more complex if we think of situations which consist of more than an immediate response to the present situation as in the example was just given. Ordinarily the adversary system in a court room is a type of defensive affix. But the defense no longer is ethical under certain circumstances for example if evidence is going see already or if perjured testimony is
used. Perhaps we can say that a defense remains ethical only when it does not violate an agreement such as the agreement to avoid perjury which protects both the individual himself and others over the long run. That is as part of a defense alliance or agreement. Now to begin the transition from defensive thanks to creating about fakes we can mention a group of several methods of defense center of coping which are defensive ethics are ethically defensive ever but also are more than a Dayak and in a sense our creative here belong here belongs the technique of the sublimation of unacceptable impulses such as the sublimation of exhibitionism into the wish to be noticed as successful or productive have. This can have great social value and lead to a
creativeness which is of great value to the individual as well. Here all US or in this area of defensive ethics verging toward the creative over here also belong is the realm in CA the impulses are pleasures except under specific circumstances as to time place and person. This is primarily a defense and a defensive ethics but it provides the groundwork for good and productive human relations. And for a creative partnership. Now as a further transition from defense of ethics to creative ethics I had planned to discuss the Golden Rule which is derived from defensive ethics and is a well-known example of creative at thanks. Most of you have a warm and comfortable glow when you think of the Golden Rule or it is fairly easy to
understand and it is not controversy or so I expected to discuss the Golden Rule and go smoothly from that into a discussion of creative ethics and then slide easily into home plate at the end of this lecture. And we could all leave with the feeling of psychiatric and AFAIK all our well being. But this week I saw that the last quarter of this lecture was rocky and an event and I began to revise and to rewrite. In that process I saw clearly that I had never looked closely enough at the Golden Rule. I saw that it is not all that it is cracked up to be and so I must spend the rest of the time tonight on The Golden Rule. The final section eyes I had planned at a summary of the patterns of creative ethics must be shifted to the sixth like sure where it will fit just as well. Now it's important to mention the background of my thinking about the golden
rule during a good part of my life several central ideas seem to have stood the test of time or rather a battered experience of further observation and of the work of those in many fields whom I had come to respect. One is my conviction of the higher value of a skeptical attitude toward others and toward myself and toward ideas of scepticism which I hope is not demeaning or are destructive. A second anchoring point has been the idea that there are many pathways in life in which hard work and dedication can give many satisfaction not only for myself but for most of us these pathways can be in professional work in volunteer work and various attempts to be creative and productive in industrial or organizational development and attempts to be productive and creative in jobs in the arts in family life and in friendships in community affairs and in the development of skills in sports in many other ways. Most many of
these paths provide a variety of ways in which bread the been addressed scholarship and knowledge can be combined with a dedication that can be called humanistic. And religious in the broadest sense. Yes. Now a third of the pattern's websites that seem to stand the test of time are the golden rule idea in ethics that one should do unto others as one would have them do to one's self or that one should not do unto others as one should not have them do unto oneself. At times the rule seemed to pack but seemed sound and solid enough hard to achieve but one of the magnificent statements of man's thinking and feeling was now our. This was the baseline for my thinking about the Golden Rule and I was startled to find that I had not applied my first principle that I had not been skeptical enough about the Golden Rule. It's true that I had been skeptical about some aspects of the process of empathy which I knew was related to the Golden
Rule but I had not taken the next step. Perhaps I hesitated to be skeptical about the golden rule itself since At times it has been described as the cornerstone of our civilization. No I have not had time enough to check the observations the literature of the thinking about this on a number of discipline. I do a card George Bernard Shaw's rather flippant comments and there is a good chapter by Erik Erikson on the Golden Rule in his book insight and responsibility and there must be many more. The golden rule a variety of AFAIK. X is of doing to others as one would want to be done to one's self or of not doing to others and one would not want it done to one's self. In this the some core processes of thinking and feeling about the other as if he were one self by saying that he and I are alike and of putting oneself in the shoes of the other. This is the process of identification with the other and with his interests. Essentially in this process
one says to one's self how would I feel if I did that to myself. Were I in his shoes or how would I feel if the situation where reversed. If he or someone else were to behave that way to me and if the behavior one is doing to the other I might do is unwelcomed oneself in the shoes of the other. The behavior must then be regarded as unwelcome to the other. This is an example of the basic process of empathy momentarily identifying with the other and of looking at one's feelings at that moment. But this rule of behavior the golden rule as we look at it closely has it shortcomings in spite of its great value. It makes one self the criterion of the job. And this can be questionable as a quick example. Suppose we consider a man who preferred who prefers to avoid frank talk whenever a sensitive topic appears in a conversation. My experience is that such a man feels
that he would be extremely vulnerable if others were to express any criticism of him for fear that it would lead to devastating criticism. According to the golden rule he then would avoid even a mild criticism of others. I suppose however that his son has come to learn that a limited amount of frank talk is of a high value in his own life. The father may be unable to believe that the son really prefers frank talk since he himself does not. So he never talks frankly to his son since he would never want his son to talk frankly to him. The father is following the golden rule but is making a mistake in so doing. He may even advise his Sino who likes Frank talk never to talk frankly with the son's boss who also likes frank talk. Now by and large the golden rule works well enough since human beings have so much in common that identification and empathy often provides us with the right answer.
It's true that the Colonel's lady and Judy O'Grady are sisters under the skin. And blacks and whites Jews and non-Jews those over 30 and those under 30 are like most essential away. The golden rule correctly leads to the conclusion that one should not care since one can assume that there is agreement that the other does not want to be as one does not want to be killed one's self. Most doctors are like one's self in so many ways but the golden rule can be a good guide a good part of the time. But we must not kid ourselves. The golden rule does not work well at times in some ways individual human beings differ. Others may not want done to them what one wants to have done to one's self. And so at times the golden rule must be checked against the facts against the way under other individuals really are in many instances all that's necessary is to stop
look and listen for a few moments to see to what the other says and does. Or if the issue is important one must say to oneself that the world is not built in my own image or in the image of my family. One can come to know the other as he is in the similarities to one's self and his differences and avoid his sensitive spots even though they are not the same as one's own. Now an even more important deficiency and we're coming to the end an even more important deficiency of the golden rule is that it cannot be used at times because of the existence and the importance of ambivalence in the one who is trying to use the rule. For example in our culture many a man wants to be a strong and powerful giver providing a generous slave for his family and friends that may make him feel pleased and proud. Usually he wants also to be a receiver and
when he receives he may feel more like a boy being cared for a given life at the moment he feels safe and protected. But a few moments later he may fear ashamed and weak over wanting to be a receiver. And over the feeling like a little boy. So when he wants to be giving to others and thinks about the golden rule he could just say that he should be since there is a part of himself that wants to receive as the other would be receiving part of himself that likes to receive. But he knows that often he himself hates to receive it and has the feeling that when he is on the receiving end it is demeaning like being a little boy. So he may hesitate to give to the other because he may think that he could make the other feel demeaned or like a little boy or so. So in this part out of this part of his embezzling the golden rule says that he should not go. Now with this problem of ambivalence giving two contradictory answers when the golden rule
is used the solution is the development of a fairly reliable pattern of self-scrutiny which I'll discuss in the forthcoming lecture the sixth lecture. Thank you. You have just heard Dr. Murray Slovene professor and director of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. Speaking on creative ethics one of a series of lectures on psychiatry and ethics these lectures were given at the Franco Weill Institute at the Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati. The topic of Dr. Levine's next and last lecture is toward the technology of ethics. These programs were produced at the University of Cincinnati station WGA U.S. and are distributed by the national educational radio network.
Frank Weil lectures
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#5 (Reel 2)
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