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Macdonald, R.A. (1938). Applied: J. A. Passmore. 'Psycho-Analysis and Aesthetics.' Australasian Journal of Psychology and Philosophy, June, 1936, Vol. XIV, No. 2, pp. 127–144.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 19:105-105.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Applied: J. A. Passmore. 'Psycho-Analysis and Aesthetics.' Australasian Journal of Psychology and Philosophy, June, 1936, Vol. XIV, No. 2, pp. 127–144.

(1938). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 19:105-105

Applied: J. A. Passmore. 'Psycho-Analysis and Aesthetics.' Australasian Journal of Psychology and Philosophy, June, 1936, Vol. XIV, No. 2, pp. 127–144.

R. A. Macdonald

This paper seeks to show how much coincidence there is between the fields of interest of psycho-analysis and æsthetics. If it is maintained that æsthetic characters are qualities of mental processes, then this is not difficult. The author, however, does not agree with Freud's characterization of the artist (Introductory Lectures, p. 315), which he takes to mean that æsthetics is particularly concerned with the equipment of the artist, as a means of getting from phantasy to reality.

If, on the other hand, there is such a thing as a 'positive realist æsthetics, ' the connection is not so clear, and psycho-analysis cannot be said to provide a satisfactory account of æsthetic characters. A case is made out for this view by denying the universality of symbolism in art, and by distinguishing a fundamental true art from its associated phantasy. It is shown that the true artist reveals things as they are and is thus really 'Brother to the Psycho-Analyst.' Examples are given to demonstrate how psycho-analysis can assist the criticism of art by stripping it of its associated phantasy. A resulting picture of life as it really is, without inconsistencies, constitutes true art.

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Article Citation

Macdonald, R.A. (1938). Applied. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 19:105-105

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