Selvrealiseringens Karakter: Om at blive hvad man er, eller være hvad man bliver

Allan Schaufuss Laursen

Student thesis: Master thesis


People strive to find meaning in their lives and one central concept and phenomenon in this pursuit has today become self-realization. One of the main areas where self-realization is sought for is work. Hence, many companies today focus on their workers’ aspirations and perspectives on life as part of their management technologies. This begs the following thesis’ research question: To what extent has the orientation of industrial management technologies revolving around self-realization as a fundamental human factor of motivation become problematic? The modern concept of self-realization derives from the use in humanistic psychology, primarily from Maslow’s concept of self-actualization, which builds on the assumption of a human being as having an immanent, genuine, authentic, and natural core – a person’s true self – which is referred to as essentialistic self-realization. One of the factors facilitating this emergence is the development of management technologies through the 20th century which increasingly adopts and incorporates concepts and insights from the psychological discipline, thus aiding what has been referred to as the psychologization of society. Four problematic aspects of essentialistic selfrealization is then examined as possible risks of implicating social psychopathologies: The focus of the privileged emotive access to the true self and the problematic regarding the division in a false surface self and a true self core associated with split personality disorder. The responsibility for and consequences linked to the risk of not finding and realizing one’s true self associated with depression. The risk of being blinded by a self-orchestrated mock personality thereby deceiving oneself by false belief associated with self-deception. The striking similarities of the ideal of selfrealization with that of pathological behavior and characteristics associated with psychopathy. Finally, an alternate notion of the self is proposed to suggest a reconstitution of the concept of self-realization rather than abandonment. This concept draws on a temporal, narrative and forward focused approach rather than the spatial, backwards seeking core approach embedded in essentialistic self-realization. The coined concept best translates to ‘self-characterization’.

EducationsMSc in Philosophy, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2013
Number of pages87