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Eder, M.D. (1923). The Unconscious: By I. Levine, M. A., Lecturer in Philosophy at the University College of the South-West, Exeter. (Leonard Parsons, London, 1923, pp. 215. Price 7/6.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 4:497-499.

(1923). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 4:497-499

The Unconscious: By I. Levine, M. A., Lecturer in Philosophy at the University College of the South-West, Exeter. (Leonard Parsons, London, 1923, pp. 215. Price 7/6.)

Review by:
M. D. Eder

Marconi once said that had he been cognisant of the theories of physics current in his experimental years he would not have had the audacity to continue his experiments and there would have been no Marconi wireless. It seems not unlikely that had Freud been learned in the schools of philosophy and psychology, had he, for instance, the opportunity to read the imposing symposium published in the October number of Mind for 1922 (Is the Conception of the Unconscious of Value in Psychology?), to which Mr. Levine respectfully refers in his book, there would be no psycho-analysis. It must be borne in mind that the theoretical side of that system has had to be hammered out almost piecemeal in response to the practical needs of the physician (solvitur sedendo one might almost venture to say); that the work of the clinical laboratory, which is practically what a psycho-analytic consulting room amounts to, has itself infused certain working hypotheses and certain theories. In the working out of these theories there has been little, until quite recently, from non-medical specialists, so that Freud and his followers have had to do much rough pioneer work when following up clues in ethnology, philology, literature-psychology. Now here comes Mr. Levine, lecturer on Philosophy at an English University College, championing Freud's theory with a book whose very title is a challenge to the schools. This of itself would command the respectful thanks of the readers of this Journal; when we find that Mr. Levine's essay is informed by a sympathetic understanding and sure knowledge of his subject, written with vigour and lucidity, we have little to do but invite our readers to participate in our pleasure by reading the work for themselves.

The essay begins with a short historical account of the unconscious before Freud; the theories of Leibniz, Schopenhauer, Maine de Biran, Hartmann, Fechner, Nietzsche, Butler, are briefly reviewed. Spinoza might have been added; e. g. the third part of The Ethic, the introduction treating of adequate and inadequate ideas.

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