Dr. Waldemar A. Schmidt
A Full Testimonial & Overview
"A Critical Contribution to Understanding Mental Health & Illness"
I have accumulated 70+ years of life experience and have studied the human condition for the past 5 decades. Edward Kroger's concepts and philosophies are a new and welcome lease on the opportunity to understand Homo sapiens.
Kroger's Philosophy of One Divide — and Theory of Emotional Warfare — addresses important and outstanding questions and problems in our understanding of adaptive (normal) and maladaptive (abnormal) human behaviors. Notably, these insights are consilient with current psychological knowledge and theories of and about human conduct. What Kroger proposes is coherent and conforms with academic psychologists' experiences, as well as with diverse areas such as developmental and evolutionary psychology.
Perhaps most importantly, the Philosophy of One Divide and Theory of Emotional Warfare framework bear the hallmarks of a psychological process fundamental to the human condition. For instance, the proposed logic, reasoning, and rationality of the approach pertains to the human being from infancy to senescence and, arguably, concerns the individual as early as the third trimester of gestation. It is the universality of the philosophy's applicability which most reveals the fundamental nature of Kroger's contentions. It is pertinent that the philosophy includes elements from both Western and Eastern philosophies and which may be found in all the major religious/spiritual traditions.
Shown below are important, if not crucial, attributesof the Philosophy of One Divide — it is applicable to:
- All stages of human development and maturation
- All genders and types of sexual preference
- All family-social-cultural settings
- All socio-economic levels
- All levels of intellectual prowess and capacity
- All degrees of literacy and education
- Any ethnic, racial, cultural, or social group
- All ethical/moral persuasions
- All religious/spiritual affiliations
- All bygone historical settings
- All temporal settings
- All non-behavioral health status/capacity settings
- Both non-psychotic (i.e., neurotic) and psychotic mental illness
The claims made by Kroger's Philosophy of One Divide, and Theory of Emotional Warfare, are rational and evaluable — that is, as a hypothesis, it is refutable (consider the proposals of falsification and scientific methods, by one of the most influential philosophers of science of the 20th century, Karl Popper). It is significant that the claims made are testable and applicable by anyone in virtually any clinical setting. Further, the therapeutic methods involved are demonstrably productive and the patients' improvements are self-maintainable. Additionally, in terms of its philosophical value, the Philosophy of One Divide meets any reasonable tests of its inherent truth — such as:
- Correspondence theory of truth
- It fits well with other theories that are believed to reflect the nature of things in general
- Coherence theory of truth
- It fits well with other psychological theories and knowledge
- Constructivist theory of truth
- It fits well with the concept that its truth is the result of social processes
- Consensus theory of truth
- It fits well with other theories, psychological and otherwise, which are accepted as accurate portrayals of the human condition
- Pragmatic theory of truth
- It is compatible with the precepts in that it:
- Conforms with what reason suggests endless investigation would reveal. (Charles Sanders Pierce)
- Is an expedient way of thinking. (William James)
- Is unequivocally openly submitted and fully available to inquiry, criticism, and revision. (John Dewey)
Read more about the theories of truth here, here, and here.
Kroger's philosophical contribution provides some powerful clues about the nature of both mental health and mental illness — two concepts which remain to this day poorly defined and understood. Commonly, these are practically and ineffectively defined with respect to one another. That is, mental health is the condition when one does not harbor mental illness, whilst mental illness is when one is not mentally healthy. As a result, we have limited useful insight as to how and why behavioral disorders arise (and are best treated) and only dim comprehension of how we may achieve, maintain, and characterize mental health.
The One Divide Philosophy and Theory of Emotional Warfare, on the other hand, recognizes maladaptive and abnormal mental dysfunctions (i.e., mental illnesses) which exist on the basis of brains that don't work effectively (i.e., “broken brains” and most psychoses) and those where functionally effective brains aren't used effectively (i.e., “intact brains” and the neuroses). Crucially, Kroger's philosophy applies to both non-psychotic and psychotic afflictions! Interestingly, this perspective is shared by the Clinical Psychology Division of the British Psychological Association's Power Threat Meaning Framework, a product of an entirely different group operating a continent and an ocean distant from Edward Kroger. Which implies that multiple persons are coming to identical, or at least similar, conclusions.
It seems the studies and experiences accumulated by students and scholars in multiple locations are leading to consilient discernments and delineations about the origins, nature, and, to some extent, the treatment of mental health and illness.
The Philosophy of One Divide and Theory of Emotional Warfare deserves, if not demands, serious attention from those who care for and about the mentally afflicted, whether they be academically, theoretically and philosophically, or therapeutically inclined.
Waldemar A. Schmidt, PHD, MDProfessor Emeritus
Oregon Health and Science University