Chapter

The Self-Reliant Personality: Psychology, Pedagogy, and the Problem of Willpower

Cyrus Schayegh

in Who Is Knowledgeable Is Strong

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780520254473
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520943544 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520254473.003.0007
The Self-Reliant Personality: Psychology, Pedagogy, and the Problem of Willpower

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This chapter reviews the interaction among psychology, pedagogy, and the modernists' moralistic view of the psychological profile necessary for the individuals to function properly in modern society. Willpower was believed to be not only the single most important factor in a person's ability to exercise self-control and self-reliance, but also the key psychological quality in a nation. The trouble with the notion of willpower as the key to human action is its vagueness, something that had troubled thinkers in the nineteenth-century. In France and other Western countries in the late nineteenth century, not only scientists, but the public in general, became concerned about weak willpower. Iranian authors agreed that willpower is something which is slowly taught rather than given. Only persistent self-control and exercise can maintain willpower.

Keywords: psychology; pedagogy; willpower; France; modernists

Chapter.  17065 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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