Saturday, September 10, 2022

for the better conception

The reality of multiple approaches to understanding a notion (named by a concept) may evince wondering [1] why one chooses one approach over another (if one does so: one is “best”?); [2] why there are multiple approaches (why the pluralism—other than happenstance: why no convergence of approaches?); and [3] how best to understand a convening of the plurality (modeling conceptual evolving?). 

For example: identity. A Jungian conception of older-adult “individuation” is integral to the clinical field of Analytical Psychology. An Eriksonian conception is integral to leading research in healthy adult development. A eudaimonic conception is integral to virtue-characterological research. And there are multiple conceptions of eudaimonic identity in positive psychology that are criterially well-evidenced. 

So, what is “identity” “really”? One leading researcher, Alan S. Waterman, justifies his approach as eudaimonic because “it is a reflection of my particular concerns as a psychological theorist and researcher.” That is not a claim about the evidentiary strength of the model. 

Among too many ventures, I’m currently working toward a really better conception of “identity.”