13 Pages

A Journey at the Dangerous Edge of Things: Some Reflections on William Bevan's Legacy

ByFrank Kessel

William Bevan has won his way to a vision of psychology—and of science and scholarship in general -- that is uniquely informed. Reading Bevan's curriculum vitas is enough to put not only lazy persons, but most hyperactive ones, at mental risk. Bevan analyzes the societal conditions, and the institutional emphases which have fed the trend toward fragmentation. In the common-sense epistemology of the West, there has long been a tendency to phrase behavior in goal-directed terms: to refer behavior in all instances to ends, or end-states, which are believed to restore some lack, deficiency, or deprivation in the organism. Once in possession of the notion of value properties, it is clear that they are not specifically "motivational but, rather, that motivational relational features of experience and action as are discriminated by that concept will be ubiquitous in psychological functioning. Differentiated value events, then, are omnipresent in psychological function.