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Illing, H.A. (1966). Versagt Der Mensch Oder Die Gesellschaft: Probleme der modernen Kriminalpsychologie. By Friederich Hacker, M.D. Vienna: Europa-Verlag, 424 pp., 1964, $ 3.95.. Am. J. Psychoanal., 26:102-103.

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(1966). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 26(1):102-103

Versagt Der Mensch Oder Die Gesellschaft: Probleme der modernen Kriminalpsychologie. By Friederich Hacker, M.D. Vienna: Europa-Verlag, 424 pp., 1964, $ 3.95.

Review by:
Hans A. Illing, Ph.D.

Being the head of two large outpatient clinics in Southern California, the author has drawn on his clinical experience and on his work as a court-appointed expert witness. Statistics, case reports (of two murder cases), tying up their clinical and psychological motivation with trial and law enforcement procedures, surveys of penology, suggestions concerning penal reform and new and more effective treatment approaches are found in this volume. Perhaps a novelty in psychology and psychiatry is discussion of probability of character formation linking the individual with society, references to systems and economic theories, attempts at a fundamental natural history of mythology and a new approach to the phenomena of “elective irrationality.” Prof. Hacker's new scientific approach is called multidimensional perspectivism; it tends to combine and yet to transcend the various conventional approaches by exploring their limits and combining then in a new synthesis.

The book has nine chapters, each with its own bibliography appended at the end of the book. It is amazing to find the author not just quoting one thousand expert opinions (which is being done every day by experts in specialized fields), but quoting one thousand opinions from a dozen different disciplines,

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