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Kardiner, A. (1924). General: L. L. Bernard. Instincts and the Psycho-analysts. Journal of Abnormal Psychology and Social Psychology, Vol. XVII, No. 4, Jan.–Mar., 1923, p. 350.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 5:202-203.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: General: L. L. Bernard. Instincts and the Psycho-analysts. Journal of Abnormal Psychology and Social Psychology, Vol. XVII, No. 4, Jan.–Mar., 1923, p. 350.

(1924). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 5:202-203

General: L. L. Bernard. Instincts and the Psycho-analysts. Journal of Abnormal Psychology and Social Psychology, Vol. XVII, No. 4, Jan.–Mar., 1923, p. 350.

A. Kardiner

Mr. Bernard finds the psycho-analysts guilty of a grave methodological error in 'defining or thinking of instinct in terms of its end or function', instead of doing as he does, 'to view it in terms of the structure of the

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act'. Psycho-analysts furthermore approach the question of instincts from a metaphysical rather than from a scientific standpoint. They choose to deal with abstract social and personal values, instead of neural stimulus and response processes, end organs and effectors. He objects to Freud because he nowhere speaks of the environment by name (italics mine) as playing a significant rôle. 'Adler's theory of organ inferiority must in a large measure, if not primarily, be regarded as a theory of environmental influence in the production of the psychoneuroses.' The reason is evidently because 'a reading (a cursory one, we may add) of pathology makes it sufficiently clear that the chief source of organ inferiority is unfavourable environment'.

All of which sounds very strange to one conversant with Freud's views. It is quite evident that the author uses the word 'environment' in the very general sense in which it is employed in textbooks on sociology, and that he fails to recognize environmental influence except when he is specifically told it exists. In very scholarly fashion he has counted the number of times that Freud uses the word environment in comparison with the word instinct. Yet, in spite of all this, it is quite evident to the author in his psycho-analytic readings that 'environmental situations were the immediate and actual causes or occasions for the psychoneuroses'. Cause and occasion, we take it, must be synonymous. From all this it is very difficult to be convinced that the author has very much to teach psycho-analysts about methodology.

The remainder of the article engages in a rather futile task of reconciling the views of Freud, Jung, Tansley, Trotter, and others, on the subject of instinct, along purely academic lines.

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Article Citation [Who Cited This?]

Kardiner, A. (1924). General. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 5:202-203

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