Arthur M. Young
Arthur Middleton Young (November 3, 1905 – May 30, 1995) was an American inventor, helicopter pioneer, cosmologist, philosopher, astrologer
An astrologer practices one or more forms of astrology. Typically an astrologer draws a horoscope for the time of an event, such as a person's birth, and interprets celestial points and their placements at the time of the event to better understand someone, determine the auspiciousness of an...

 and author. Young was the designer of Bell Helicopter's first helicopter, the Model 30, and inventor of the stabilizer bar used on many of Bell's early helicopter designs. He founded the "Institute for the Study of Consciousness" in Berkeley
Berkeley, California
Berkeley is a city on the east shore of the San Francisco Bay in Northern California, United States. Its neighbors to the south are the cities of Oakland and Emeryville. To the north is the city of Albany and the unincorporated community of Kensington...

 in 1972. Young advocated a process theory
Process philosophy
Process philosophy identifies metaphysical reality with change and dynamism. Since the time of Plato and Aristotle, philosophers have posited true reality as "timeless", based on permanent substances, whilst processes are denied or subordinated to timeless substances...

, which is a form of integral theory. These theories attempt to integrate the realm of human thought and experience with the realm of science so that the concept of universe
The Universe is commonly defined as the totality of everything that exists, including all matter and energy, the planets, stars, galaxies, and the contents of intergalactic space. Definitions and usage vary and similar terms include the cosmos, the world and nature...

 is not limited to that which can be physically measured. Young's theory embraces evolution
Evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins.Life on Earth...

 and the concept of the great chain of being
Great chain of being
The great chain of being , is a Christian concept detailing a strict, religious hierarchical structure of all matter and life, believed to have been decreed by the Christian God.-Divisions:...

. He has influenced such thinkers as Stanislav Grof
Stanislav Grof
Stanislav Grof is a psychiatrist, one of the founders of the field of transpersonal psychology and a pioneering researcher into the use of non-ordinary states of consciousness for purposes of analyzing, healing, and obtaining growth and insight into the human psyche...



Arthur was the son of Eliza Coxe (1875–1950) and Philadelphia
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the county seat of Philadelphia County, with which it is coterminous. The city is located in the Northeastern United States along the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers. It is the fifth-most-populous city in the United States,...

 landscape painter Charles Morris Young (1869–1964). He was interested in developing a comprehensive theory of reality
Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of being, existence or reality as such, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations...

 from an early age. He felt that to acquire the intellectual tools needed for such rigorous study, he should first develop an understanding of mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

 and engineering. With this decision he was following a career path similar to that of philosopher Alfred North Whitehead
Alfred North Whitehead
Alfred North Whitehead, OM FRS was an English mathematician who became a philosopher. He wrote on algebra, logic, foundations of mathematics, philosophy of science, physics, metaphysics, and education...

, who was a mathematician before he developed the first process philosophy. Thus after graduation from Princeton University
Princeton University
Princeton University is a private research university located in Princeton, New Jersey, United States. The school is one of the eight universities of the Ivy League, and is one of the nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution....

 in 1927 Young searched for a suitable invention to develop. In 1928 he returned to his father's farm in Radnor, Pennsylvania
Radnor Township, Pennsylvania
Radnor Township is a township in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States. As of the 2000 census, the township population was 30,878. Radnor Township lies along the Main Line, a collection of highly affluent Philadelphia suburbs....

 to begin twelve solitary years of efforts to develop the helicopter
A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft in which lift and thrust are supplied by one or more engine-driven rotors. This allows the helicopter to take off and land vertically, to hover, and to fly forwards, backwards, and laterally...

 into a useful device.

Young's private experiments with helicopter design had mostly involved small scale models. After twelve years on his own using the models, he took his results and models to the Bell Aircraft Company in Buffalo, New York
Buffalo, New York
Buffalo is the second most populous city in the state of New York, after New York City. Located in Western New York on the eastern shores of Lake Erie and at the head of the Niagara River across from Fort Erie, Ontario, Buffalo is the seat of Erie County and the principal city of the...

, in 1941, and the company agreed to build full-scale prototypes. While war was looming for the USA in late 1941 he was issued the key rotor stabilizer bar (also known as a flybar) patent, assigned it to Bell and moved to Buffalo to work with them. In June 1942 he moved his five-person team to Gardenville, New York
Gardenville, New York
Gardenville, New York is an unincorporated hamlet in the town of West Seneca in Erie County, New York, USA.-References:...

, a hamlet on the north border of West Seneca, New York
West Seneca, New York
West Seneca is a town in Erie County, New York, United States. The population was 44,711 at the 2010 census. West Seneca is a centrally-located interior town of the county, and a suburb of Buffalo...

, where they could work in relative secrecy. The first test flight of the prototype Model 30 occurred in July 1943, and on March 8, 1946 the company received Helicopter Type Certificate H-1 for the world's first commercial helicopter, the Bell Model 47
Bell 47
The Bell 47 is a two-bladed, single engine, light helicopter manufactured by Bell Helicopter. Based on the third Model 30 prototype, Bell's first helicopter designed by Arthur M. Young, the Bell 47 became the first helicopter certified for civilian use on 8 March 1946...

. This was the "whirlybird" featured in the M*A*S*H movie and television series and was so successful that it continued to be manufactured through 1974. A design as well as a utilitarian success, it was added to the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art
Museum of Modern Art
The Museum of Modern Art is an art museum in Midtown Manhattan in New York City, on 53rd Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. It has been important in developing and collecting modernist art, and is often identified as the most influential museum of modern art in the world...

 of New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

 in 1984.

Young had become profoundly disturbed by the development of nuclear weapons at the end of the Second World War and, like a number of other very forward-looking and independent thinkers, decided that humanity needed a new philosophical paradigm.

In August 1946 Young recorded in his notes the idea of the psychopter— the helicopter as the "winged self", a metaphor for the human spirit
The English word spirit has many differing meanings and connotations, most of them relating to a non-corporeal substance contrasted with the material body.The spirit of a living thing usually refers to or explains its consciousness.The notions of a person's "spirit" and "soul" often also overlap,...

. By October 1947 Young felt his work at Bell was complete, and he turned to the next phase of his career as a philosopher of mind (or soul). In 1949, the Franklin Institute
Franklin Institute
The Franklin Institute is a museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and one of the oldest centers of science education and development in the United States, dating to 1824. The Institute also houses the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial.-History:On February 5, 1824, Samuel Vaughn Merrick and...

 awarded him the Edward Longstreth Medal. In 1952, Young and his wife Ruth organized the Foundation for the Study of Consciousness in Philadelphia, the forerunner of the Institute for the Study of Consciousness.


Young married Priscilla Page in 1933. He was divorced from Priscilla in 1948, and later that year, married artist Ruth Forbes (1903–1998) of the Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

 Forbes family
Forbes family
The Forbes family is a wealthy extended American family originating in Boston. The family's fortune originates from trading between North America and China in the 19th century plus other investments in the same period. The name descends from Scottish immigrants, and can be traced back to Sir John...

, a great-granddaughter of Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet, who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century...

 and the mother of Michael Paine.


On 30 May 1995, Arthur Young died of cancer at age 89, at his home in Berkeley, California.

Philosophical views

In 1976, Young's theory of evolution of life on Earth — which attempted to synthesize understandings from geology
Geology is the science comprising the study of solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which it evolves. Geology gives insight into the history of the Earth, as it provides the primary evidence for plate tectonics, the evolutionary history of life, and past climates...

, biology
Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. Biology is a vast subject containing many subdivisions, topics, and disciplines...

, anthropology
Anthropology is the study of humanity. It has origins in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. The term "anthropology" is from the Greek anthrōpos , "man", understood to mean mankind or humanity, and -logia , "discourse" or "study", and was first used in 1501 by German...

, psychology
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...

, and parapsychology
The term parapsychology was coined in or around 1889 by philosopher Max Dessoir, and originates from para meaning "alongside", and psychology. The term was adopted by J.B. Rhine in the 1930s as a replacement for the term psychical research...

 — appeared under the title The Reflexive Universe. Young accepted the general "theory of evolution," but pointed out where he felt the Darwinian theory was insufficient to the facts. The book also incorporates a brief speculative discussion of further human psychological and spiritual growth.

Published works

  • Consciousness and Reality: The Human Pivot Point, Charles Musès and Arthur M. Young (editors), 1972, New York: Outerbridge and Lazard, ISBN 0-87690-028-7
  • Geometry of Meaning, 1976, New York: Delacorte Press, ISBN 0-440-04991-1, reprint ed. 1984, Robert Briggs Associates, ISBN 0-9609850-5-0
  • The Reflexive Universe: Evolution of Consciousness, 1976, New York: Delacorte Press, ISBN 0-440-05925-9, corrected ed. with introduction by Huston Smith
    Huston Smith
    Huston Cummings Smith is a religious studies scholar in the United States. His book The World's Religions remains a popular introduction to comparative religion.-Education:...

    , 1976, Anodos Foundation, ISBN 1-892160-00-5
  • The Bell Notes: A Journey from Physics to Metaphysics, 1979, New York: Delacorte Press, ISBN 0-440-00550-7, reprint ed. 1979, Doubleday, ISBN 0-385-28067-X; reprint paperback ed. 1984, Robert Briggs Associates, ISBN 0-9609850-4-2
  • Zodiac: An Analysis of Symbolic Degrees by Eric Schroeder, (editor A.M. Young), 1982, Robert Briggs Associates, ISBN 0-9609850-2-6
  • Mathematics, Physics and Reality : Two Essays, (120p.) 1990, Anodos Foundation, ISBN 1-892160-07-2
  • Which Way Out? and Other Essays, (206 p.) 1990, Anodos Foundation, ISBN 1-892160-03-X
  • Nested Time: An Astrological Autobiography, (editor Kathy Goss), 2004, Anodos Foundation, ISBN 1-892160-12-9


  • The Foundations of Science: The Missing Parameter, (26 p.) 1985, Robert Briggs Associates, ISBN 0-931191-03-3
  • The Shakespeare/Bacon Controversy, (26 p.) 1987, Robert Briggs Associates, ISBN 0-931191-05-X
  • Science and Astrology : The Relationship Between the Measure Formulae and the Zodiac, (48 p.) 1988, Anodos Foundation, ISBN 1-892160-06-4

Related essays

  • John S. Saloma and Ruth Forbes Young, Theory of Process 1: Prelude - Search for a Paradigm, (38 p.), ISBN 0931191122
  • John S. Saloma, Theory of Process 2: Major Themes in 'The Reflexive Universe, Robert Briggs Associates, Mill Valley, CA, 1991 (50 p.), ISBN 0931191130


Floating Wing Assembly, filed September 1933, issued June 1937 Aircraft and Means for Stabilizing the Same, filed August, 1939, issued September 1941 Aircraft, filed August 1939, issued September 1941 Helicopter Aircraft, filed March 1943, issued February 1945

See also

  • Integral movement
  • Richard Bucke
    Richard Bucke
    Richard Maurice Bucke , often called Maurice Bucke, was an important Canadian progressive psychiatrist in the late nineteenth century. An adventurer in his youth, he went on to study medicine, practice psychiatry in Ontario, and befriend a number of noted men of letters in Canada, the U.S., and...

  • Buckminster Fuller
    Buckminster Fuller
    Richard Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller was an American systems theorist, author, designer, inventor, futurist and second president of Mensa International, the high IQ society....

  • Gerald Heard
    Gerald Heard
    Henry Fitzgerald Heard commonly called Gerald Heard was an historian, science writer, educator, and philosopher. He wrote many articles and over 35 books....

  • Aldous Huxley
    Aldous Huxley
    Aldous Leonard Huxley was an English writer and one of the most prominent members of the famous Huxley family. Best known for his novels including Brave New World and a wide-ranging output of essays, Huxley also edited the magazine Oxford Poetry, and published short stories, poetry, travel...

  • Noosphere
    Noosphere , according to the thought of Vladimir Vernadsky and Teilhard de Chardin, denotes the "sphere of human thought". The word is derived from the Greek νοῦς + σφαῖρα , in lexical analogy to "atmosphere" and "biosphere". Introduced by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin 1922 in his Cosmogenesis"...

  • List of American philosophers

External links

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