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J., E. (1927). Psychopathology. Its Development and its Place in Medicine: By Bernard Hart, M.D., F.R.C.P. (Cambridge University Press, 1927. Pp. 156. Price 7s. 6d.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 8:544-548.

(1927). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 8:544-548

Psychopathology. Its Development and its Place in Medicine: By Bernard Hart, M.D., F.R.C.P. (Cambridge University Press, 1927. Pp. 156. Price 7s. 6d.)

Review by:
E. J.

To those unacquainted with Dr. Hart's rare gifts this noteworthy book will come as a revelation of what clear thinking is possible in a field where it is only too uncommon. To those who are, on the other hand, we need only say that Dr. Hart has here surpassed even his previous standards for lucidity in the grasp of fundamental principles. No serious worker in psychopathology can fail to have his thought clarified and stimulated by this careful presentation.

The contents of the book are the three Goulstonian lectures delivered before the Royal College of Physicians on the Development of Psychopathology and its Place in Medicine, a fascinating paper on the Psychology of Rumour, and an address, which is not up to the level of the rest of the book, on the Methods of Psychotherapy.

It is with the first of the three sections that we are here chiefly concerned. The first half of it provides an historical account of the development of psychopathology which, in the reviewer's opinion, is not to be equalled in medical literature. Not that the subject has not been competently, and much more fully, dealt with elsewhere, for instance, by Janet, Mitchell and others, but with his sure feeling for the essential Hart has quite transmuted the mere record of historical data. Skilfully dissecting the distinctions and interactions between practice and theory, and never for an instant relaxing his firm grasp of scientific principle, he penetratingly reveals the essential continuity in the chain of development, one that is often obscured by the irregular and apparently accidental historical chronology.

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