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Bryan, D. (1920). Freud's Psychology. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 1:56-67.

(1920). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 1:56-67

Freud's Psychology

Douglas Bryan

The publication of Freud's views on mental functioning marks the beginning of a new era in psychology. It was impossible to read the older psychologies and at the same time really to feel that there existed a sound knowledge of the nature of the mind, or that its mechanisms had been fully grasped. There remained, on the contrary, a sense of voidness which could not be removed by simply memorising long words and involved sentences, and the gropings after enlightenment would usually end either in despair or in metaphysical speculations. Freud's psychology has altered all this, for although it necessitates our adopting a new attitude to the functioning of the mind, yet its principles are so intelligible, its hypotheses so demonstrably true, that the general acceptance of it can only be a matter of time.

There is no doubt that if Freud's views are in the future confirmed many old concepts in the realm of psychology will have to be revised, and the principles which he has enunciated will be made the bed-rock upon which psychology of the future will be built. Already we are finding that certain psychologists of to-day, who will not subscribe to the Freudian principles, are making covert use of these to describe mental mechanisms, and one can see that they feel deep within themselves the truth of his views, though they are loath to admit it. Those who have set themselves the task of investigating this new psychology in an unbiassed manner are unanimous in their opinion as to the truth of Freud's concepts. Still there is much work to be done, for if the Freudian psychology is to be the foundation of psychology of the future, no stone must be left unturned that might help in proving or disproving, as the case may be, the accuracy of Freud's individual statements.

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