Summary and Info
What exactly is so fascinating about abnormal (deviant) personality that, in this postmodern age of ours, there is this popular critical discourse that “[t]he judges of normality are present everywhere. We are in the society of the teacher-judge, the doctor-judge, the educator-judge, the social worker-judge,” and the like? (AC 2010) The popularity of this critical discourse is becoming a conventional wisdom in postmodern academia, which can be sharply contrasted with an opposing (yet developed) view in the mainstream medical establishment that “[i]f a person is behaving in ways counter-productive to their own well-being, it is considered maladaptive,” since this view “of abnormality is based upon medical diagnosis.” (WK 2010b) The two opposing sides of this heated contention—that is, the popular view of postmodern critical discourse and, alternatively, the developed view of the mainstream medical establishment—have powerfully prevented us from seeing the dark sides of both normal and abnormal characters, with the consequence of impoverishing our understanding of personality and its future. Contrary to the two opposing views, normal and abnormal characters are neither possible nor desirable to the extent that their respective spokespersons would like us to believe. Needless to say, this by no means suggests that personality studies are worthless, or that other related fields of study (in biology, sociology, anthropology, and philosophy) should be outrightly dismissed. Obviously, neither of these two extreme views is reasonable either. Instead, this book takes up the difficult challenge to provide an alternative (better) way to understand the nature of personality, especially in relation to normal and abnormal characters—while learning from different approaches in the literature but without favoring any one of them (nor integrating them, since they are not necessarily compatible with each other). Thus, this book offers a new theory to transcend the existing approaches in the literature on personality in a way not thought of before. If successful, this seminal project is to radically change the way that we think about personality, from the combined perspectives of the mind, nature, society, and culture, with enormous implications for the human future and what I originally called its “post-human” fate.