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Glover, J. (1924). Medical Psychology and Psychical Research: By T. W. Mitchell, M.D., President of the Society for Psychical Research, Author of The Psychology of Medicine. (Methuen & Co., Ltd., London, 1922, pp. 244. Price 7s. 6d.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 5:101-103.

(1924). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 5:101-103

Medical Psychology and Psychical Research: By T. W. Mitchell, M.D., President of the Society for Psychical Research, Author of The Psychology of Medicine. (Methuen & Co., Ltd., London, 1922, pp. 244. Price 7s. 6d.

Review by:
James Glover

Medical Psychology and Psychical Research approach the mental phenomena here discussed from such incongruous standpoints that the task of dealing with both in the same volume must impose a severe strain on the equilibrium of the writer's interests, even when he possesses Dr. Mitchell's well-known qualifications as an authority on both subjects.

The scientific reader need not apprehend one of the possible consequences of this dual rôle: Dr. Mitchell states a case for the recognition of so-called supernormal factors in the problems he discusses, but he does not seek to advance it by discrediting the results of scientific inquiry.

His argument is that of the 'unexplained residuum, ' but he seeks everywhere to give full value to scientific hypotheses before confronting the reader with this implication of the unexplained. Scientific readers in general will take the view that Dr. Mitchell's unexplained residua constitute excellent starting-points for further investigation, rather than reasons for admitting the existence of factors of a transcendental order; and the psycho-analytical reader cannot help feeling in addition that he has not sufficiently considered the bearing of later psycho-analytical research on the problems in question. (For instance, references to Freud's Studies on Hysteria might have been strikingly supplemented by mention of more recent work highly relevant in the same context.)

Two discussions may be selected, both as illustrating the trend of his argument and in support of this criticism.

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