Werner Erhard ..................Work and Ideas


Werner Erhard:
The Transformation of a Man,
The Founding of est,
by William Warren Bartley III


From The Atlantic, 1982:

"Who is Werner Erhard? – Werner Erhard is the originator of a technology of individual and social transformation that first took form in The est Training.  Since 1970, more than a million people throughout the world have applied the principles of this training in their lives and work.  Erhard has also participated in the founding of The Hunger Project, a global affiliation of more than 2 million people committed to ending world hunger within two decades, The Breakthrough Foundation, dedicated to making the technology of social transformation available in rural villages and urban ghettos, The Werner Erhard Foundation, which provides grants for research, education, communication and scholarly endeavors in the fields of human well-being and transformation, and many other organizations and affiliations working to make the technology of transformation available worldwide.

Werner Erhard: The Transformation of a Man, The Founding of est, written by noted philosopher and logician W.W Bartley III, is the first biography ever written of this controversial and fascinating human being.  In Werner Erhard, Bartley, well-known for his work on logic and philosophy of science as well as intellectual history, has woven together one of the most multi-leveled biographies ever written – a complete account of Werner Erhard’s utterly unpredictable and unconventional life.

Reviewing Werner Erhard, the late Dr. W. Kaufman, Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University, wrote: “Bartley’s book answers all of the major questions about Werner Erhard.  It tells a fascinating life story beautifully.  The author spent many hours with Werner Erhard, his friends, family and associates…you are bound to find this biography as gripping as a novel.” - The Atlantic, Vol 250, Atlantic Monthly Co, 1982


Review of Werner Erhard: The Transformation of a Man, The Founding of est:

"William Warren Bartley III has written this biography of Werner carefully, lovingly, and well. Bartley, who is an historian, philosopher, educator, and biographer of Ludwig Wittgenstein, has here set himself three tasks: (1) to tell of Werner's education and transformation and "completion" of his relationship with his family, (2) to describe the various "disciplines" that Werner encountered in his search prior to creating est, and (3) to provide a "literary statement of the fundamental presuppositions, theoretical and practical, behind Werner's own perspectives, as it has been embodied in oral form, in the est training and educational program." - Morris B. Parloff, chief of psychotherapy and Behavioral Intervention Clinical Research Branch, National Institute of Mental Health


Biogrpahy of Werner Erhard - The Source of Executive Coaching:

"This is the only book I ever found so useful, inspiring, and compelling that, immediately upon completing it, I turned back to page one and read it again. That happened fifteen years ago. I just finished reading it a third time and got just as much benefit again...

This biography was written by esteemed philosophy professor and est insider, W. W. Bartley. His background and access allow for a fascinating structure of alternating chapters on Werner’s life story and the major influences on his work, from Dale Carnegie to Jean-Paul Sartre, from business books to Zen meditation. Bartley also provides the best philosophical treatment I have found of est‘s essential message.

This book is no substitute for the experience of executive coaching or Landmark Education’s programs. I am not sure it would even be comprehensible without a strong background in the work, as transformation is necessarily an experience, not an intellectual exercise. I do recommend a close reading of this book to anyone who wants to take their coaching experience deeper or improve their own skills as an executive coach. - Tony Mayo, Executive Coach


New York Review of Books, W.W. Bartley responds

Book Review by Laurence Platt















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