This book focuses on the link between literature, psychology and philosophy throughout time and on humankind's ability to deal with loneliness. The author, Ben Mijuskovic, explores the various ways society uses loneliness, for example, "punishing" prisoners by isolation from others. The book discusses in detail the reasons why children fear being alone and how adults deal with a similar anxiety but do not share their concerns with others. The author is Professor and this is very much reflected in the style of writing. The book provides in depth academic understanding and will be of great interest to students and fellow academics. Reviewer: Susan Griffiths: http://www.spiritualsteps.co.uk/
Introduction from Prof Mujoskovic:
Loneliness in Philosophy, Psychology, and Literature stresses an interdisciplinary approach and argues that loneliness has been the universal concern of mankind since the Greek myths and dramas, the dialogues of Plato, and the treatises of Aristotle and has continued unabated into Husserl's phenomenological investigations and the existentialism of Sartre. Ben Mijuskovic insight's are selected from both his theoretical studies as a Professor of Philosophy and his experiences as a licensed clinical therapist. Critical passages, in Freud, Fromm-Reichmann, and Fromm in Psychology; Hardy, Conrad, and Wolfe in Literature and many others describing the sense of loneliness and its dynamics are discussed and explored. It rejects the current emphasis that loneliness is caused by external conditions (circumstantial, environmental, cultural, and even chemical imbalances in the brain); and maintains that it is intrinsic to the activities and structures of self-consciousness.
Prof Mijuskovic uses 'loneliness' as an "umbrella term," whose extended spokes encompass depression, anxiety, hostility, and even shame and guilt, as a genus to species concept. "The experience of separateness [loneliness] arouses anxiety; it is indeed the source of all anxiety. Being separate means being cut off, without any capacity to use my human powers. Hence to be separate means to be helpless, unable to grasp the world--things and people--actively; it means that the world can invade us without our ability to react. Thus separateness is the source of intense anxiety. Beyond that, it arouses shame and the feeling of guilt." (Erich Fromm, The Art of Loving) As we lose our physical talents, we become restricted in our abilities to interact.