ADLER was the first of Freud’s followers who definitely broke away from the school which was founded by the latter. The reason for his defection is obvious, when one comes to consider the divergent philosophic bent of the two men already pointed out in Chapter VIII. The essence of Freud’s teaching, as to the “go” of human behaviour, was that the sexual libido drove on the individual by its vis-a-tergo, like a leaf before the wind. To this attitude Jung assented to a certain extent, differing on the exact definition of libido, and insisting on the prospective function of man’s existence to express something higher. Adler,1 on the other hand, thought of the end in view of the individual, to gain power and ascendancy over his environment, as the determining factor in moulding human development and behaviour. This prospective view is to a certain extent in accordance with the position adopted in this book, which is based on Alexander’s scheme of emergent evolution, with the quality of Deity at the top, the whole cosmos evolving according to certain laws towards this end. It must at once be admitted, however, that the term “end in view” ought not to be used in connexion with an evolutionary scheme, as it may be criticized immediately by asking “end in view of whom or what”? Still, although this term is inaccurate, it is perhaps more permissible, if we accept Lloyd Morgan’s2 concept of Causality-the Deity, who is the immanent law according to which the process of evolution gets itself evolved.* The term end in view is used here however, because it is desired to establish the analogy with Adler’s contention, that in human conduct there is a positing of a final purpose, which determines conduct. So far as this involves the relatedness which we call consciousness, with its characteristic function of prevision, the term “end in view” is not amiss, but the process
may go on at levels lower than those which involve consciousness, and consequently it must be used with caution. Adler also disagrees with Freud in the latter’s contention that the sex impulse is the basis of all neurotic, and much of normal behaviour. For Adler, sexual aberrations, both in reality and phantasy, are but symbolic manifestations of the striving of the ego to reach the final goal of complete masculinity, which involves sexual dominance, and which, at any rate in the neurotic, is the goal, which is always desired and never reached, This concept of the striving towards the complete man is very similar to the will to power of Nietzsche, and involves a heightening of the ego ideal and the ego consciousness. Adler’s work is of course based on a study of the neuroses, but the behaviour of the neurotic is a crude and sometimes debased caricature of that of the normal man, and so is of service in the study of personality as a whole, as has been said before. Moreover Adler’s original approach to the study of the neurotic constitution was from the organic and temperamental standpoint. This approach is all too rare, and for this reason, if for no other, his work demands consideration. He started from a conception of what he calls organ inferiorities and their compensations. Thus, it is a commonplace of pathology that if one organ such as the kidney is congenitally deficient, it is found that the other shows compensatory hypertrophy. Similarly, in the endocrine system, deficiencies of one gland are often met by a compensatory hypertrophy of other glands of the same group. Such are examples of physical compensations for physical deficiencies. Nor does this compensatory activity always result harmoniously for the individual, for many cases of hyperthyroidism seem to depend on this attempt at compensation for deficiency in other glands. Adler contends that correlated with the physical inferiority, there is at the same time a psychic inferiority, and pari passu a psychic compensatory activity. This compensatory activity he calls the will to power. There is a certain difference between the ways in which this will to power is manifested, and this will depend, amongst other things, on the organ which is, or which
is thought to be inferior. But Adler holds that in almost all cases of inferiority of bodily organs there is an inferiority of the sexual apparatus. This accounts for the frequency of the sexual element in the psychic compensation. That inferiorities in the sexual apparatus are apt to accompany inferiorities elsewhere, is borne out by Mott’s3 work on Dementia Præcox. He found out that, along with degenerative changes in the Betz cells of the cortex, i.e., the highest type of nerve cell, there were changes in the testicular cells. Neither of these degenerations were the cause or effect of the other, but simply coincident phenomena.