Sunday, February 13, 2011

Of Liars and Truth Fanatics

I see myself as a "truth fanatic," as someone who is compelled to commit the truth.  Whistle blowers have been described as truth fanatics.

Liars and truth fanatics were the subject of speculation by the early group of psychoanalysts who surrounded Freud.  The psychological motivations of liars and truth fanatics were expounded by Otto Rank, a follower of Freud's.

The retired Washington, DC psychiatrist/psychoanalyst E. James Lieberman, M.D. addresses these issues in his biography Acts of Will: The Life and Work of Otto Rank.


Gary Freedman said...

Professor C. Fred Alford:

Phone: 301.405.4169
Office: 1151 Tydings Hall
Email: falford at gvpt•umd•edu

Curriculum Vitae

Classical political theory and psychoanalytic approaches to politics are my first loves. If pressed to describe what I do in a couple of words, I would call it by the old fashioned name of moral psychology. I'm interested in the psychological roots of morality, but I'm very careful not to reduce morality to psychology, or to imagine that psychology can form the basis of morality. Research in this area has also led me to investigate issues within the realm of international human rights.

Currently, I am fascinated by the experience of affliction. The Book of Job, The memoirs of Primo Levi, and the testimonies of Holocaust survivors are leading sources. Among the questions I ask is whether the experience of affliction even makes sense in the contemporary world. As guide to my study I follow a line from Simone Weil. "The great mystery of human life is not suffering but affliction."

I been interviewed over a hundred times by the national media on whistleblowing, and corporate ethics generally. His remarks and interviews have appeared in The New York Times, NBC, NPR, Nightly Business Report, Mother Jones, as well as dozens of other newspapers, magazines, and radio and television stations.

Narrative, Nature and the Natural Law: From Aquinas to International Human Rights (2010).
New York and London: Palgrave Macmillan.

After the Holocaust: The Book of Job, Primo Levi, and the Journey to Affliction (2009).
New York and Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Psychology and the Natural Law of Reparation (2006).
New York and Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Rethinking Freedom: Why Freedom Has Lost Its Meaning and What Can Be Done To Save It (2005).
New York and London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Levinas, Psychoanalysis, and the Frankfurt School (2002).
Middletown and London: Wesleyan University Press and Continuum Books.

Whistleblowers: Broken Lives and Organizational Power (2001).
Ithaca: Cornell University Press. [Reprinted in paperback, 2002]

Think No Evil: Korean Values in the Age of Globalization (1999).
Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

What Evil Means to Us (1997).
Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Fields of Study

Classical political theory, political psychology, psychoanalysis and politics.


I regularly teach classical political theory to undergraduates, and classical, modern, and contemporary political theory to graduate students.

Other Professional Activities

Executive Director of the Association for Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society, recent past president of the political psychology section of the American Political Science Association, Co Editor, Psychoanalysis and Society Book Series, published by Cornell University Press.

I have received three Fulbright Fellowships, including two Senior Fulbright Research Fellowships, the first to Germany, the second to Korea.

I am a Distinguished Scholar-Teacher at the University of Maryland.

I received the BSOS Teaching Excellence Award in 2003.

Last, but not least, I received the Chancellor Kirwan Undergraduate Teacher of the Year in 2009.

Department of Government and Politics
3140 Tydings Hall, College Park, MD 20742
Phone: 301.405.4156 | Fax: 301.314.9690
Last updated: July 29, 2010

Gary Freedman said...