Doctor Philos Dissertation: A Hermeneutic Historical Study of Kazimierz Dabrowski and his Theory of Positive Disintegration
By Marjorie M. Kaminski Battaglia
The Theory of Positive Disintegration by Kazimierz Dabrowski endeavors to shed light on human development and why some people are egoists while others are altruists. The voyage from positive integration (egoism) towards positive disintegration (altruism) is a painfull path of doubt and dispair for the individual who travels it.
Why this theory is relevant for the gifted is the idea that it is the individuals developing intelligence and intellect that brings him to question his egoism and see himself in the eyes of others. Only the most brilliant of people can achieve the state of positive disintegration, and thus achieve the peace of mind that comes with it, resembeling the state of Nirvana as described in Buddhism and seen in people like Mahatma Ghandi, Mother Theresa and other believed acomplished altruists.
“The inquiry is a hermeneutic historical study of the historical factors in the life of Kazimierz Dabrowski which contributed to the shaping of his Theory of Positive Disintegration. Relatively little information has been written on the life and theory of Kazimierz Dabrowski. The researcher contends that knowledge of Dabrowski, the man, will aid in an understanding of his theory.
The journey in which an individual “develops” to the level at which “the other” becomes a higher concern than the self, is the “stuff” of Kazimierz Dabrowski’s Theory of Positive Disintegration. It is a paradoxical theory of human development, based on the premise that “good can follow from bad.” Crisis and suffering act as the propellents into an internal as well as external battle with self and environment to move out of the “what is” and travel to the “what ought to be.” Illuminated within this study, is how the life of Dabrowski demonstrates this moral and psychic struggle.”