The Behavior of Persons

Dr. Peter G. Ossorio / Published 2013 / Paperback

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Citation: Ossorio, P.G. (2006/2013). The Behavior of Persons. Ann Arbor, MI: Descriptive Psychology Press. (Previously published as Ossorio, P.G. (2006). The Behavior of Persons: The Collected Works of Peter G. Ossorio (Vol. V). Ann Arbor, MI: Descriptive Psychology Press.)

The Behavior of Persons is the capstone of an extraordinary construction, the summary of a life's work devoted to a single task. What that task is, why it is worth accomplishing, and how it has been, in fact, accomplished are all matters explored at length in the book itself. Peter G. Ossorio in his life's work accomplished a monumental undertaking: he articulated the complex and fundamental conceptual structure known as the Person concept. Ossorio's work has made it possible to talk clearly and accurately about matters of great significance: persons, behavior, community, language, and the real world within which all these have their place. All these, and more, are parts of this single conceptual structure. By articulating the Person concept in detail and with great rigor, Ossorio has laid the foundation for both a genuinely scientific study of behavior, and powerfully effective practical methods of functioning in these realms.

Praise for The Behavior of Persons

"Reading and re-reading The Behavior of Persons is a rare, life-changing event. As your understanding of it grows, your place in the world changes: You see an integrated conceptual system that shows how persons, their behavior and their worlds are connected. Ossorio brings conceptual light to the darkness of a purely empirical world."

Keith E. Davis, Ph.D. Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Psychology University of South Carolina.

"Here, finally, we have a serviceable common ground for systematic behavioral science. Peter Ossorio has articulated the conceptual framework for describing the varied and irregular lives of persons and their nuanced world. Wittgenstein recognized that 'essence is expressed by grammar'. Here is the grammar of behavior  - an extraordinary claim, yes, but The Behavior of Persons is an extraordinary work."

Wynn Schwartz, Ph.D. The Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology and Harvard University.

"Few thinkers can so profoundly bring coherence to professional practice as well as personal understanding as Peter Ossorio. The Behavior of Persons allows the practitioner to reconstruct and create a coherent and eminently practical approach to our work as therapists, as well as ways to illuminate aspects of our own lives."

Richard Heinrich, MD Medical Director for Hospice and Palliative Care Health Partners.

"Peter Ossorio's The Behavior of Persons, if it achieves sufficient attention, will be the most important book in the history of psychology. Psychology is at present a largely failed science. The Behavior of Persons offers us a very different fundamental approach to our entire discipline, one that is far more scientifically and intellectually sound."

Raymond M. Bergner, Ph.D. Professor of Clinical Psychology, Illinois State University.

"People are complicated. We're influenced by conflicting wants, needs, relationships, and all the many facets of who we are. But our lives make sense and what we do makes sense in the everyday, down-to-earth, here's-how-it-works way. This book is what psychology has been promising since it began: a clear, precise, systematic formulation of how people and their actions make sense."

H. Joel Jeffrey, Ph.D. Professor of Computing Science Northern Illinois University

"Descriptive Psychology has greatly benefited my work to clarify complex and emerging subject matters in healthcare. In The Behavior of Persons Peter Ossorio unfolds ideas of 'behavior' and 'persons' in a clear, unified, and systematic way, bringing out ways of thinking with practical applications to many complex subject matters. A healthcare colleague once remarked 'Descriptive Psychologists help you be much clearer about what you are looking at.' To me this is high praise."

C.J. Peek, Ph.D. Family Medicine and Community Health University of Minnesota Medical School