| If the goal of human development is survival, and the process of human development is conditioning, then the best indicator of human development is longevity. It does not matter what one does with one's life so long as it is long. A long miserable life is better than a short happy life. A person who lives an unexamined life for a century is better developed than Lord Byron who petered out before 30. Such inanities suggest that this model of the person is inadequate.|
Unfortunately, this inadequate model is the implicit model of the person underlying the traditional practices in social development. I have tried to demonstrate this by going beyond the usual exposition of behaviorism, which considers only the above two propositions - 'The person has only extrinsic needs' under the topic of motivation and 'The person is conditioned from the outside in' under the topic of learning - to four further propositions which are implied by them.
The six propositions serve also to contrast the behavioristic model clearly with the humanistic model, which is usually only vaguely described as a reaction to behaviorism. As you can see by looking at the table of contents, each of the propositions in the system of propositions, which constitutes the humanistic concept of the person, negates the corresponding proposition in the system of propositions, which constitutes the behavioristic concept of the person.
The ends and means of human development, from the inside-out point of view of humanism, were presented in section 3(a) The person has intrinsic needs and in section 3(c) The person grows from the inside out, respectively. In this case, the goals are not in the environment but are built into the person at the moment of conception. The person is not manipulated from the outside in but unfolds from the inside out. Powered by an organic system of biological, sociological, and psychological needs, the person seeks satisfiers of them in order to fully realize the human potential. Those needs are universal within our species, providing us all with our common humanity, but the means of satisfying them vary from time to time and from place to place, providing us each with our delightful diversity. People are not passively 'developed' by forces outside their skin, awareness, and control, but are the active agents of their own development. It is not mere quantity of life but quality of life which matters. May I suggest that this alternative model of human development is a more adequate foundation for a theory of social development?
The extension of this inside-out point of view from the micro to the macro level is best left to those of you who are more experienced than I at the macro level of analysis. However, before leaving the subject, let me just make one distinction between the two points of view which may be of some help in this process.
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