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Mitchell, A. (1967). The Origins of Love and Hate. By Ian D. Suttle, M.D. Matrix House, Ltd., First Agora Printing, March, 1966, 220 pp., $ 1.95.. Am. J. Psychoanal., 27(2):210-211.

(1967). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 27(2):210-211

The Origins of Love and Hate. By Ian D. Suttle, M.D. Matrix House, Ltd., First Agora Printing, March, 1966, 220 pp., $ 1.95.

Review by:
Arnold Mitchell, M.D.

This book, first published in England in 1935, has a twofold intention: to present the author's own concept of human motivation, and to apply this to a refutation of several aspects of Freudian theory. The result is a work rich in ideas which stand out in bold contrast to the dominant psychology of that time. Here are several beginnings of new directions in the study of human nature which have been developed extensively in the last thirty years.

Suttie's ideas center around a strongly optimistic and social view of man's essential nature: The basic motivation in the infant is its need for affection; a need to retain the mother remains, even after all bodily needs have been satisfied. The feeling between parent and child is tender, not libidinal, and the function of love is essentially social, not sexual. A person is incomplete in himself and moves toward others. The infant, born in a helpless state, is eminently adapted to the seeking of affection, and is able to immerse itself totally in this relationship. What happens then is a true responsiveness, a union in which “the interactions between mother and infant are entirely pleasurable or un-pleasurable, and convey no sense of advantage or defeat to either side.” In time, as the infant experiences the loss of unconditional love and becomes subject to restriction, fear is aroused. Anger and hatred—the only reactions possible in the defenseless infant—may follow, but these, Suttie points out, are not due to a primary appetite for destruction.

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