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The Healthy Opposite of the Psychopathic Spectrum Is the Relatedness Spectrum

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David Abram presents a fine phenomenological account of the world-as-event sense of life in his book The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World (1996).

Now, in his larger account of our Western cultural history, Ong aligns not only the Homeric epics the Iliad and the Odyssey but also the Hebrew Bible with the world-as-event sense of life.

Then he aligns the emergence of Greek philosophic thought as exemplified by Plato and Aristotle with distinctively literate thought and with the world-as-view sense of life. See Andrea Wilson Nightingale's book Spectacles of Truth in Classical Greek Philosophy: Theoria in Cultural Context (2004).

But Ong is also careful to note that distinctively literate thought and the world-as-view sense of life did not automatically eliminated all aspects of primary oral cultures and the world-as-event sense of life. In ancient and medieval cultures, oral culture was still strong, even in Plato and Aristotle.

Concerning Plato's residual form of the world-as-event sense of life, see John Alexander Stewart's 500-age compilation and translation titled The Myths of Plato (1905). He includes the complete Greek texts.

Concerning Aristotle's orientation toward a world-as-event sense of life, see Eugene Garver's book Aristotle's Rhetoric: An Art of Character (1994).

Nevertheless, the world-as-event sense of life was carried forward from Plato and Aristotle in ancient and medieval philosophy and in Christian theology.

Now, with the emergence of the Gutenberg printing press in the 1450s, the world-as-view sense of life was heightened to unprecedented heights in the emerging print culture. Out of the world-as-view in print culture, modernity emerged historically.

Print culture gave rise to the inner-directed character type such as David Riesman and Erich Fromm. In American culture historically, all self-made men were inner-directed character types. In American culture today, self-described libertarians represent inner-directed character types.

Now, in Ong's above-mentioned article in American Anthropologist, and elsewhere in his publications, he suggests that a new constellation of our consciousness is emerging under the influence of our contemporary cultural conditioning involving communication media that accentuate sound.

The character type that Riesman and Fromm worried about, the other-directed character type, emerged historically under the influence of the cultural conditioning of communication media that accentuate sound.

Now, not all inner-directed character types would be on the psychopathic spectrum. For example, Fromm's most widely known book is The Art of Loving (1956).

But the psychopathic spectrum represents a development within the larger cultural history out of which the inner-directed character type emerged historically.

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The Healthy Opposite of the Psychopathic Spectrum Is the Relatedness Spectrum