Professor Harry Prosen
“I have no doubt this biological explanation of Jeremy Griffith’s of the human condition is the holy grail of insight we have sought for the psychological rehabilitation of the human race…I’m quite overwhelmed to be here on Earth when these answers are finally found.”
Professor Harry Prosen, M.D., M.Sc. Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioural Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin
Professor Harry Prosen, who wrote the Introduction to Jeremy Griffith’s 2016 book FREEDOM: The End Of The Human Condition, is a Canadian professor of psychiatry who has worked in the field for over 50 years. His former roles include Head of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Manitoba, Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin, and President of the Canadian Psychiatric Association.
Since 1998, Professor Prosen has been psychiatric consultant to the Bonobo Species Preservation Society, assisting primatologists working with one of the largest collections of captive bonobo primates in the world at the Milwaukee County Zoo, studying bonobo culture and development. This work has led to him receiving numerous consultations in the United States and other parts of the world concerning psychological and other problems in primates. Recently, the rehabilitation of an emotionally disturbed young bonobo named “Brian” generated substantial publicity, including a story in The Atlantic. (You can hear a wonderful interview with Professor Prosen talking about his amazing psychiatric work with bonobos if you visit his Wikipedia page and click on the link underneath his photograph.)
Professor Prosen has obtained specialist standing in psychiatry in three countries—Canada, the United States and England. Around the time of his presidency of the Canadian Psychiatric Association, Professor Prosen also chaired, for six years, the Specialty Committee in Psychiatry of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. In 2003 he was made a member of a select group of 500 Distinguished Life Fellows of the American Psychiatric Association.
Professor Prosen has been responsible for continuing in a major way the development of two departments of psychiatry and, for this work, was listed in the 2005—2006 America’s Registry of Outstanding Professionals.
He has been continuously involved in the teaching of psychiatry and in clinical work with patients, with special emphasis on inter-generational issues in families, particularly on empathy and empathic deficits. Much of this work originated in studying variations of the life-stages of humans, then developing an inter-generational approach to psychiatric treatment. Some of his early publications focused on non-verbal communication and also variations in facial features under different emotional circumstances.
Professor Prosen has written over 70 books, monographs and articles, reviewed over 30 books and delivered over 60 presentations at various conferences. He is currently a peer-reviewer for the American Journal of Psychotherapy.
Professor Prosen obtained his M.D. in 1955, his M.Sc. in 1957, and his Diploma in Psychiatry in 1959—all from Canada’s University of Manitoba.
Professor Prosen also wrote the Foreword to Jeremy Griffith’s book The Book Of Real Answers To Everything, which I think is also worth including here:
“While I am a psychiatrist, not a biologist, the subject of our human condition is the area of inquiry where psychiatry and biology finally converge. Evidence for this is the term ‘Evolutionary Psychology’, which is one of the theories currently used to explain human behaviour—specifically the human condition. Given the plight of the world—which we humans are responsible for—the human condition is certainly the subject upon which all areas of science should be focused. As the Harvard biologist Edward O. Wilson has said, ‘The human condition is the most important frontier of the natural sciences’ (Consilience, 1998, p.298).
However, in terms of understanding our peculiar ‘human condition’, I don’t believe the theories that have been put forward by mainstream biologists have succeeded in presenting a satisfactory, truly accountable explanation of it. In fact, I have become aware of two statements made by the great Australian biologist Charles Birch that I think accurately capture the stalled situation that has existed in biology, which are that ‘Biology has not made any real advance since Darwin’ (in recorded conversation with this author, 20 Mar. 1987), and ‘Biology right now awaits its Einstein in the realm of consciousness studies’ (ABC Radio National, Ockham’s Razor, 16 Apr. 1997). I say ‘has existed’ because I believe, as I’ve said on occasions elsewhere, that Jeremy Griffith’s biological treatise on the human condition does finally provide humanity with a truly accountable explanation of this most perplexing and important of subjects. The clarity with which he explains the grand concepts featured in this book alone is testament to this.
I must say I am so thrilled with Griffith’s explanation of the human condition that I am dedicated to promoting it wherever possible. As a psychiatrist I recognise that the impasse to finding this great breakthrough understanding of the human condition has been that the subjective issue of the human condition has been all but impossible for humans to think effectively about, but now that this great psychological denial blocking access to the truth about ourselves has finally been penetrated and understanding of ourselves found, the now long overdue psychological rehabilitation of the human race can finally occur. Again, as I have also said on numerous occasions, this is all so exciting—I am quite overwhelmed to be here on Earth when these REAL answers are finally established!"