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(1924). Seventh International Congress of Psychology. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 5:113-114.

(1924). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 5:113-114

Seventh International Congress of Psychology

The Seventh International Congress of Psychology was held at Oxford from July 25 to August 1, 1923. The previous one had been held at Geneva in 1909. There were many signs that the status of psycho-analysis had materially changed between these two dates. It was represented on the Executive Committee of the Congress by the President of the International Association, and the Secretary of the Association was one of those invited to attend the Congress as a representative of German psychology (the only psychiatrist in this position). The tone of the numerous references made to psycho-analysis in the course of the Congress, on the part of the various chairmen as well as the speakers, and the reception accorded to the papers and speeches made by psycho-analysts, showed clearly that the subject was generally regarded as an integral and important branch of scientific psychology. Among the papers dealing with psycho-analysis may be mentioned the following:

Dr. Karl Abraham read a paper on 'Aspects of Infantile Mental Imagery'. Contrasting the thought of children with that of adults, he pointed out characteristics peculiar to the former and indicated that these were again found in the unconscious mind of the adult. He laid stress, for instance, on the fact that what appears to the adult as a mere resemblance was often treated by the child as a literal and absolute identification, this being in its turn often the basis of subsequent symbolism.

A Symposium took place on the 'Classification of the Human Instincts', the two rapporteurs being Dr. J. Drever and Dr. Ernest Jones. The former criticized Freud's dualistic conception on the supposed score of its small empiric value. The second speaker defended this conception on exactly the same grounds, and made a number of sceptical remarks on the lists of unanalysed 'instincts' drawn up by academic psychologists. An animated debate followed.

Dr. MacCurdy read a paper on 'Visual Imagery in Phantasy, ' which was acutely criticized by Mr. J. C. Flügel on psycho-analytical grounds.

Mr. F. C. Bartlett, Lecturer on Psychology at Cambridge, read a paper on 'Symbolism', to which one evening was devoted.

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