The Improvement of the Self
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By Rudolf Allers
The Improvement of the Self articulates those intuitive truths about the human person, especially his capacity for goodness and his inclination to evil, which all feel or know to be true, even as they remain incapable of translating that sensibility into concrete, virtuous habits. By his forthright enunciation of those truths, Allers enables his readers to use what they know and to do what they can—by God’s grace and their own power—to achieve self-improvement. A properly psychological treatise, founded firmly on Christian philosophy and morality, The Improvement of the Self achieves a harmonious integration of religious and scientific insights and provides a deeply persuasive and practically useful plan for the attainment of a life worth living.
“Man is in truth responsible for what he is. His personality or his character are not simply given to him like things he has to accept as they are; they are entrusted to him as things he has to complete, to build up and to embellish.” (Rudolf Allers)
Rudolf Allers (1883–1963) was an Austrian psychiatrist and professor. An early follower of Sigmund Freud, Allers eventually parted ways with the Freudian school and became professor of psychology at the Catholic University of America, mentor to Viktor Frankl and Hans Urs von Balthasar, and a friend of St. Edith Stein. His major works include The Psychology of Character (1931), The New Psychologies (1933), and The Successful Error (1940).