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Money-Kyrle, R. (1933). Applied: C. G. Seligman. 'Anthropological Perspective and Psychological Theory.' Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Vol. LXII, pp. 193-228.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 14:415-415.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Applied: C. G. Seligman. 'Anthropological Perspective and Psychological Theory.' Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Vol. LXII, pp. 193-228.

(1933). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 14:415-415

Applied: C. G. Seligman. 'Anthropological Perspective and Psychological Theory.' Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Vol. LXII, pp. 193-228.

R. Money-Kyrle

Individual anthropologists have long recognized some relationship between anthropology and psycho-analysis; but this paper, coming as it does from such an authority on no less an occasion than his Huxley Memorial Lecture, may fairly be said to celebrate an official alliance, which few will henceforth venture to renounce.

In discussing the question of how much psycho-analytic knowledge is necessary to the anthropologist, Professor Seligman studies some examples of those dramatizations of desire or fear, which form the basis of sympathetic magic. He concludes from these that the gap between the conscious and the unconscious is much smaller among primitive than among cultured peoples; and that, for this reason, useful interpretations can be made by those who have 'a general knowledge and appreciation of the modes of inquiry' even if they do not satisfy Dr. Roheim's more exacting requirement (being not only themselves analysed but having practised clinical analysis before undertaking field work). He admits, however, that although the first stages in the interpretation of dramatizations are comparatively simple, he can give no very adequate explanation for the sense of relief which they bring.

The rest of the paper is an attempt to answer a number of questions, based on those proposed by Professor Evans-Pritchard to Dr. Glover. These are:

1. Can the anthropologist collect data full enough and of sufficient relevance to throw light on psycho-analytic theory?

2. Are the oral, anal, genital, and latent phases of individual development common to all races and cultures?

3. If so, are these stages universally determined by biological factors, or by social conditions?

4. Are the same symbols used by different races in similar circumstances or identical situations?

5. Do the symptom-formations of members of our Western civilization differ from those of other communities?

An adequate summary of the discussion of these questions is impossible in the space at my disposal; but the purpose of the abstract will be fulfilled if it directs the attention of those interested in the subject to Professor Seligman's extremely stimulating paper.


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Article Citation

Money-Kyrle, R. (1933). Applied. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 14:415-415

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WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.