Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The impact of capitalism on individual self-actualization
by Wood, Robert, M.S., The University of Utah, 2012, 97; 1503809
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis examines the impact of capitalism on individual self-actualization. It introduces the topic, the need for, and the implications of the study. The research question of the thesis encompasses a search for the underlying philosophic bases of the economic system of capitalism and an examination of the impact of those philosophies on the individual's quest for self-actualization. It discovers that the literature reveals seven fundamental philosophical components to capitalism: private property, individualism, self-interest, utility theory of value, capitalism as a natural system, rationalism, and value-free scientific analysis. Additionally, the literature reviewed in this thesis reveals the 15 attributes of a self-actualized person: (a) more efficient perception of reality and more comfortable relations with it; (b) acceptance (self, others, nature); (c) spontaneity, simplicity, naturalness; (d) problem-centering (as opposed to ego-centered); (e) the quality of detachment, the need for privacy; (f) autonomy, independence of culture and environment; (g) continued freshness of appreciation; (h) mystic and peak experiences; (i) Gemeinschaftsgefühl (a feeling of kinship with others); (j) deeper and more profound interpersonal relations; (k) the democratic character structure; (l) discrimination between means and ends, between good and evil; (m) philosophical, unhostile sense of humor; (n) self-actualizing creativity; and (o) resistance to enculturation; the transcendence of any particular culture. The thesis examines the seven fundamental philosophies of capitalism against the 15 attributes of a self-actualized person and finds that all seven philosophies have a mostly negative impact on each of the 15 attributes. The two philosophies shown to exert the most negative impact are utility theory and indifference to others. The characteristic that proved to be most impacted is spontaneity, simplicity and naturalness. Additionally the characteristic of acceptance of self, nature and others and the characteristic of democratic nature are demonstrated to be severely impacted.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ehrbar, Hans G.
Commitee: Glick, Mark, Hunt, E. K.
School: The University of Utah
Department: Economics
School Location: United States -- Utah
Source: MAI 50/03M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Economic history, Economic theory
Keywords: Capitalism, Self-actualization, Self-interest
Publication Number: 1503809
ISBN: 978-1-267-10383-3
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