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Paul Watzlawick quotes Showing 1-30 of 43

“The belief that one’s own view of reality is the only reality is the most dangerous of all delusions.”
Paul Watzlawick
“How do we know what we believe we know?”
Paul Watzlawick
“Our everyday, traditional ideas of reality are delusions which we spend substantial parts of our daily lives shoring up, even at the considerable risk of trying to force facts to fit our definition of reality instead of vice versa. And the most dangerous delusion of all is that there is only one reality.”
Paul Watzlawick, How Real Is Real?
“The trouble is that everybody, myself included, has a brain in which the centers concerned with reason and logic are sitting on top of the socalled limbic system which we inherited from our reptilian ancestors and which never evolved past crude instincts and emotions. And that is why we have not yet arrived at the sate of homo sapiens.”
Paul Watzlawick, Ultra-Solutions, Or, How to Fail Most Successfully
“Thus when an interpretation of the world, an ideology, for example, claims to explain everything, one thing remains inexplicable, namely, the interpretive system itself. And with that, every claim to completeness and finality fails.”
Paul Watzlawick, Münchhausen's Pigtail, or Psychotherapy & "Reality"
“persistence and change need to be considered together, in spite of their apparently opposite nature.”
Paul Watzlawick, Change: Principles of Problem Formation and Problem Resolution
“In the irrational universe of demanded spontaneity, the power of state reaches beyond the prohibition of acts contrary to society, assigning itself the task of prescribing the citizen's thoughts and convictions. To quote Revel's concise conclusion, 'C'est dans les sociétiés totalitaires que l'Etat se charge de 'donner un sens' à la vie des êtres' ['In totalitarian societies the state assumes the task of giving life a meaning']. Thus original thought becomes treason, and life becomes a hell of a particular kind.”
Paul Watzlawick, Münchhausen's Pigtail, or Psychotherapy & "Reality"
“Wer als Werkzeug nur einen Hammer hat, sieht in jedem Problem einen Nagel.”
Paul Watzlawick
“When Paul announced himself in a rather formal way to the secretary, he said simply, “I am Watzlawick.” She suspected he was a new psychiatric patient showing up for an appointment at the wrong time, and she interpreted his introduction as, “I am not Slavic.”
Paul Watzlawick, Change: Principles of Problem Formation and Problem Resolution
“Karl Popper, in The Open Society and Its Enemies, made a comment that sounds almost prophetic now: that the happy, primitive society (which, by the way, never existed) is lost for all those who have eaten of the fruit of the tree of knowledge. The more we try to return to the heroic age of tribalism, Popper warns, the more certainly we will reach the Inquisition, the secret police, and a romanticized gangsterism. But once the existential problems of the individual, who is good by nature, can be blamed on the "evil" society, nothing stands in the way of sheer imagination. The definition of the benevolent society free of all power is only a question of fantasy.”
Paul Watzlawick
“all perception and thought is relative, operating by comparison and contrast.”
Paul Watzlawick, Change: Principles of Problem Formation and Problem Resolution
“that in a universe in which everything is blue, the concept of blueness cannot be developed for lack of contrasting colors.”
Paul Watzlawick, Change: Principles of Problem Formation and Problem Resolution
“what is problematic is not absolute and somehow inherent in the nature of things, but depends on the particular case and point of view involved.”
Paul Watzlawick, Change: Principles of Problem Formation and Problem Resolution
“I want to see all oppressed people throughout the world free. And the only way we can do this is by moving toward a revolutionary society where the needs and wishes of all people can be respected.' With these words the radical philosophy professor Angela Davis paraphrases Isaiah's ancient messianic dream of the lion that will peacefully lie down with the lamb in a completely good world. But what the Biblical prophet perhaps could not know is contained with a clarity that leaves nothing to be desired in the opening sentence of an address of the French Senate to Napoleon I: "Sire, the desire for perfection is one of the worst maladies that can affect the human mind.”
Paul Watzlawick, Münchhausen's Pigtail, or Psychotherapy & "Reality"
“A population of four million is not quantitatively but qualitatively different from an individual, because it involves systems of interaction among the individuals.”
Paul Watzlawick, Change: Principles of Problem Formation and Problem Resolution
“it follows that there are two different types of change: one that occurs within a given system which itself remains unchanged, and one whose occurrence changes the system itself.”
Paul Watzlawick, Change: Principles of Problem Formation and Problem Resolution
“...The world's benefactor has no choice; he is the surgeon who wields the healing scalpel. He does not want the violence, but the reality (which he has invented) drives him to use violence, in a way, against his will. Throwing a bomb into a crowded department store thus becomes an act of revolutionary love for mankind (and, in general, to quote Lübbe again, 'his primary intention is not to throw bombs into department stores or police stations, but rather into public consciousness.')”
Paul Watzlawick, Münchhausen's Pigtail, or Psychotherapy & "Reality"
“Man kann nicht nicht kommunizieren”
Paul Watzlawick
“In psychotherapy it is the myth of knowing this why as precondition for change which defeats its own purpose.”
Paul Watzlawick, Change: Principles of Problem Formation and Problem Resolution
“The ideological premise, however, "can" not be defective; it is sacrosanct. ... Whatever does not seem right, whatever does not fit, must be explained by something wrong outside of the ideology; for its perfection is beyond all doubt. In (t)his way the ideology immunizes itself by offering more and more hair-splitting accusations. Betrayal and the dark powers of inner and outer enemies lie in wait everywhere. Theories about conspiracies develop and conveniently hide the absurdity of the premise, necessitating and justifying bloody purges.”
Paul Watzlawick, Münchhausen's Pigtail, or Psychotherapy & "Reality"
“Batı'nın şu İrrevantinerleri*. Bunların durumları hep umutsuz gibi görünür ama durum hiçbir zaman vahim değildir.
*dert etmeyenler anlamına gelen yakıştırma.”
Paul Watzlawick, Anleitung zum Unglücklichsein / Vom Schlechten des Guten
“Özgürlük iyiyle, doğruyla, mükemmelle özdeş tutulamaz... Özgürlüğün iyiyle ve mükemmellikle her karışımı ve özdeş tutulması bizzat özgürlüğün reddidir, şiddet ve baskı ilanıdır. Zora dayanan iyi artık iyi değildir, kötüye dönüşmüştür.”
Paul Watzlawick, Anleitung zum Unglücklichsein / Vom Schlechten des Guten
“The loss or the absence of meaning in life is perhaps the most common denominator of all forms of emotional distress; it is especially the much-commented-on "modern" illness.”
Paul Watzlawick, Pragmatics of Human Communication: A Study of Interactional Patterns, Pathologies and Paradoxes
“It seems to us that in its most basic definition, existential despair is the painful discrepancy between what is and what should be, between one's perceptions ans one's third-order premises.”
Paul Watzlawick, Pragmatics of Human Communication: A Study of Interactional Patterns, Pathologies and Paradoxes
“and as long as the outcome of any combination of two or more members is itself a member of the group.”
Paul Watzlawick, Change: Principles of Problem Formation and Problem Resolution
“Another property of a group is that one may combine its members in varying sequence, yet the outcome of the combination remains the same.”
Paul Watzlawick, Change: Principles of Problem Formation and Problem Resolution
“there is changeability in process, but invariance in outcome.”
Paul Watzlawick, Change: Principles of Problem Formation and Problem Resolution
“In human relations, all prediction is connected in one way or another with the phenomenon of trust.”
Paul Watzlawick, Pragmatics of Human Communication: A Study of Interactional Patterns, Pathologies and Paradoxes
“Unfortunately, natural language often makes a clear distinction between member and class difficult.”
Paul Watzlawick, Change: Principles of Problem Formation and Problem Resolution
“In fact, it seems that the more spontaneous and "healthy" a relationship, the more the relationship aspect of communication recedes into the background.”
Paul Watzlawick, Pragmatics of Human Communication: A Study of Interactional Patterns, Pathologies and Paradoxes

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Anleitung zum Unglücklichsein Anleitung zum Unglücklichsein
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How Real Is Real? How Real Is Real?
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Pragmatics of Human Communication: A Study of Interactional Patterns, Pathologies and Paradoxes Pragmatics of Human Communication
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