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Eder, M.D. (1927). Personality: By R. G. Gordon, M.D., B.Sc., M.R.C.P. (Ed.). (Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Ltd., London. Pp. 302. Price 10 s. 6 d. net.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 8:291-292.
(1927). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 8:291-292
Personality: By R. G. Gordon, M.D., B.Sc., M.R.C.P. (Ed.). (Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Ltd., London. Pp. 302. Price 10 s. 6 d. net.)
Review by: M. D. Eder
Paley's argument from design was a very good argument and has been ridiculed by people who, like myself, have never waded through the Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity Collected from the Appearances of Nature.
In accordance with changes in fashion and nomenclature, these theological arguments are now called scientific laws and Paley's Evidences the principle of emergence which postulates 'that the laws which direct man's progress are directed to a higher and nobler end, to harmony from chaos'. There is little or no scientific evidence, of course, to be adduced for this conception, which does not beg the question at issue, but it is based upon certain metaphysical data which, as briefly discussed in Dr. Gordon's book, have nothing like the majesty of the scholastic teaching that there were two sources of knowledge—revelation and science—apprehended by different faculties, approached by different methods, available for different purposes, yet both in their final understanding resting upon the absolute—a single truth—God.
It would be, however, unfair to quarrel with the philosophical basis, obviously only a sketch of the programme, and one which perhaps does not much concern this JOURNAL.
The real weakness of Dr. Gordon's interesting volume is that having allured us by his title, having given evidence of his erudition in chapters on every factor of personality—physical, biological, psychological, with references to disposition, temperament, character, analyses and criticisms of Freud, Jung, Adler, Kempf, with chapters on the neurotic, the delinquent, the dissociated and the retarded and on the spiritual aspect of personality, he has found no room for a chapter or two on personality itself, for a synthesis of the various components sufficiently illustrated in the chapters, on the integration of the various factors, a knowledge of which he rightly conceives as useful for an understanding of the whole: since from the standpoint of the book personality is an emergence and must be studied as such; it is not to be understood by an examination, however exhaustive, of its components.
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