Abraham Maslow, Utopian Realist

A new piece in the Journal of Humanistic Psychology will interest AHP readers: “Abraham Maslow, Utopian Realist,” by Nadine Weidman. Abstract:

The ideal human community or “Eupsychia” envisioned by Abraham Maslow was a place inhabited by a thousand “self-actualizing people” who shared a devotion to certain higher values. These values were, for Maslow, universally human and biologically rooted, and they included truth, beauty, justice, and the ability to become the best that one was capable of becoming. In addition to imagining it, Maslow searched for Eupsychia in reality and thought he had found it in three California locations: Non-Linear Systems, a technology company; Synanon, a drug rehab center; and Esalen, a hippie retreat. Despite its dependence on shared values, for Maslow Eupsychia was not a perfect place, either in his imagination or in reality, and he realized that its inhabitants would need ways to confront strife and deal with their differences. I suggest that his utopian realism contains an important lesson for our own highly divided 21st-century American society.

About Jacy Young

Jacy Young is a professor at Quest University Canada. A critical feminist psychologist and historian of psychology, she is committed to critical pedagogy and public engagement with feminist psychology and the history of the discipline.