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Jacobsen, K. (2001). ‘Where There's Smoke …?’ Reflections on Rhetorical Strategies in the Assaults on Sigmund Freud and Bruno Bettelheim. Free Associations, 8(4):591-623.

(2001). Free Associations, 8(4):591-623

‘Where There's Smoke …?’ Reflections on Rhetorical Strategies in the Assaults on Sigmund Freud and Bruno Bettelheim

Kurt Jacobsen

This paper scrutinizes the common rhetorical stratagems and techniques utilized by recent critics of psychoanalysis to discredit Sigmund Freud and, lately, Bruno Bettelheim. In the latter case, a band of attackers played upon a hostile anti-psychoanalytic climate and on public ignorance of the history of medical science and the character of analytic treatment in order to contrive a media scandal.

A full contextualization of the historical terrain, and an account of the strange fruits of the revived assertion that mental illness is nothing but physical illness, might gain a fair public hearing for psychoanalysis and its own vicissitudes as a discipline.

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