Jim Lemon

I am a research psychologist, whose continuing fascination with cognitive

mapping may seem an odd pathway to the study of violence. I see violence

in a very functional way, as one aspect of behavior which people apply to

the problem of living. It is often not an appropriate behavior, but it is

sufficiently common that it warrants serious consideration. The ubiquity

of petty and major violence is such that it seriously affects the

cooperative functioning of humanity.


What I accept at the moment is that life without violence appears somewhat

like life without digestion; a bit too ethereal for a realistic model.

Although I doubt that many people would call me a violent person, I do not

deny that I have violent impulses, and that I can comprehend violent

behavior. I think that it is partly the willingness to acknowledge what

goes on within me which allows me to make decisions which avoid a great

deal of actual violence. Thus my theoretical orientation is toward

understanding violent interactions, and developing models which will allow

individuals to understand their own behavior. In a practical sense, I see

the individual's acceptance and achievement of responsibility for their own

behavior as an important way of limiting violence. I do not think it will

eliminate violence, but I do think that such an approach is superior to the

attempts to legislate violence out of existence.


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