The Evolving Self: Problem and Process in Human Development

The Evolving Self: Problem and Process in Human Development Review

The Evolving Self focuses upon the most basic and universal of psychological problems--the individual's effort to make sense of experience, to make meaning of life. According to Robert Kegan, meaning-making is a lifelong activity that begins in earliest infancy and continues to evolve through a series of stages encompassing childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. The Evolving Self describes this process of evolution in rich and human detail, concentrating especially on the internal experience of growth and transition, its costs and disruptions as well as its triumphs.

At the heart of our meaning-making activity, the book suggests, is the drawing and redrawing of the distinction between self and other. Using Piagetian theory in a creative new way to make sense of how we make sense of ourselves, Kegan shows that each meaning-making stage is a new solution to the lifelong tension between the universal human yearning to be connected, attached, and included, on the one hand, and to be distinct, independent, and autonomous on the other. The Evolving Self is the story of our continuing negotiation of this tension. It is a book that is theoretically daring enough to propose a reinterpretation of the Oedipus complex and clinically concerned enough to suggest a variety of fresh new ways to treat those psychological complaints that commonly arise in the course of development.

Kegan is an irrepressible storyteller, an impassioned opponent of the health-and-illness approach to psychological distress, and a sturdy builder of psychological theory. His is an original and distinctive new voice in the growing discussion of human development across the life span.

Title:The Evolving Self: Problem and Process in Human Development
Edition Language:English

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    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Kim

    Read for my Adult Development class. Not a light read at all but thought provoking if you can get over rereading a paragraph three times....

  • Jodi McMaster

    Reading the book is a slog for a non-psych major, but the insights are worth the work....

  • Savanah Gray

    This is not a light read. The book takes awhile to get through but is worth the effort. Kegan presents evolutionary psychology as the outcome of Piaget's stages of development. He carefully constructs...

  • Nick Brown

    I read this book because David Chapman (https://meaningness.com/further-reading) recommended it as: Robert Kegan’s The Evolving Self is the most sophisticated explanation I’ve found of the ways w...

  • Fiona McDonald

    I feel like running a victory lap. This was a really difficult book to read because it was so packed full of ideas and concepts. It’s a work of genus though and thoroughly worth it. So much of this ...

  • Thomas M

    Would make a great textbook for psychologists/counsellors/therapists with lots of anecdotal examples of differing developmental stages. Never is there a concise or clear description of each stage to w...

  • KB

    This is a brilliant book merging the philosophical, psychological and biological ways of understanding human development. It will not be for everyone — its not a light read and particularly for thos...

  • Erin

    I know this book has been around a long time and I probably should have read it long ago...but I am glad I got to it eventually. It gave me lots to think about in terms of human development and how we...

  • Prade

    Challenging and dense read for those interested in adult development, and the process of meaning making. ...

  • Meg

    A seminole work though less practical than some of his others....