The status of persons or who was that metaphor

Holmes, J.R. / Published 1992 / Article

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Citation: Holmes, J.R. (1992). The Status of Persons or Who Was That Metaphor. In M.K. Roberts, & R.M. Bergner, (Eds.). Clinical Topics: Contributions to the Conceptualization and Treatment of Adolescent-Family Problems, Bulimia, Chronic Mental Illness, and Mania. Advances in Descriptive Psychology, Vol. 6 (pp. 15-35). Ann Arbor, MI: Descriptive Psychology Press.

Abstract: In the present paper, the development of mechanistic metaphors in behavioral science during the past three hundred years is described briefly. The ways in which metaphors can both illuminate and obscure our view of persons and their behavior is discussed. Ossorio's (1969) formulation of a person as an individual whose history is paradigmatically a history of deliberate action is introduced as a substantial departure from attempts to identify the nature of man. A number of the possible effects of having this formulation are proposed and discussed.