Alfred Adler

Man knows much more than he understands.

Alfred Adler (1870-02-07 - 1937-05-28) was an Austrian medical doctor and psychologist.


  • The striving for significance, this sense of yearning, always points out to us that all psychological phenomena contain a movement that starts from a feeling of inferiority and reach upward. The theory of Individual Psychology of psychological compensation states that the stronger the feeling of inferiority, the higher the goal for personal power.
    • From a new translation of "Progress in Individual Psychology," [1923] a journal article by Alfred Adler, in the AAISF/ATP Archives.
  • To be human means to feel inferior.
    • Statement of 1933, as quoted in Contemporary Theories and Systems in Psychology (1960) by Benjamin B. Wolman, p. 288
  • Meanings are not determined by situations, but we determine ourselves by the meanings we give to situations.
    • What Life Should Mean to You (1937), p. 14
  • Man knows much more than he understands.
    • As quoted in A Primer of Adlerian Psychology : The Analytic-Behavioural-Cognitive Psychology of Alfred Adler (1999) by Harold H. Mosak and Michael P. Maniacci


  • It is always easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them.
  • Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement.
  • The chief danger in life is taking too many precautions.

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Alfred Adler
Last modified on 3 August 2008, at 07:06