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Title: Free will and responsibility in personality theories of Freud and Rogers : meaning, application, and integration
Author: Bieliavskyi, Vladyslav
ISNI:       0000 0004 7967 5026
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2018
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Background: The study of personality concerns how people are different, and how and why they behave as they do. Recently, there has been an increasing interest in the development of a unified personality theory, which would aim to integrate existing personality theories and counselling methods. There is little understanding, however, of how a unified personality theory should treat free will and moral responsibility. Despite a widespread belief that personality theories have clashing views on the subject, little is known about the place of free will and responsibility in personality theory and psychotherapy. Research question: The thesis sets out: 1) to determine whether it is possible to integrate two influential and rival theories by Freud and Rogers concerning free will and responsibility; 2) to establish the functions of free will and responsibility in psychoanalytic and client-centered therapies. Method: The thesis investigates Freud's and Rogers's corpora, draws on philosophical literature of free will, and it builds on empirical research related to personality and free will. Results: The thesis argues that Freud's and Rogers's theories can be fully integrated concerning free will and responsibility. Contrary to the commonly held belief, the two theories have compatibilist (the view that determinism is compatible with free will) and even complementary views. Additionally, the thesis argues that exercises of free will and responsibility, properly understood, are important for human mental health and can contribute to psychotherapy. Implications: The thesis supports the assumption that the integration of personality theories is possible, and it suggests that there are good reasons for a unified personality theory to adopt a compatibilist theory of free will, given the facts that compatibilism appears to dominate among personality theories, and that free will and responsibility have high instrumental value for human welfare and for psychotherapy. The thesis also suggests that training of mental health specialists should include scholarly modules in free will and responsibility.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology