Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

In the 1940's a young jewish-american psychology intern had a leap of insight. He realised that reductionist models of the human psyche went nowhere in explaining culture.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

He realised that much of what people do is not directed to satisfying their immediate, physical needs, but rather to other, non-physical ends.

As a result, he started a new direction in psychology, focussing on "wellness", and what makes people more human, hence "Humanistic Psychology".

This was in stark contrast with previous giants such as Freud and his disciples, who had dealt mainly with mental pathology.

A holistic view of humanity can be traced back to the ancient Greeks, in whose gymnasiums you would study philosophy, art, music, athletics and health. Nonetheless, the revival of this idea was a potent force, and still serves as an anodyne to many of the self-destructive ideas which gained currency in the 20c.