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Macdonald, R.A. (1940). Conscious Orientation: By J. H. van der Hoop. Translated by Laura Hutton. (Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co. Ltd., London, 1939. Pp. 352. Price, 15 s.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 21:363-365.

(1940). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 21:363-365

Conscious Orientation: By J. H. van der Hoop. Translated by Laura Hutton. (Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co. Ltd., London, 1939. Pp. 352. Price, 15 s.)

Review by:
R. A. Macdonald

There are two main classes of books on psychology—the descriptive or static and the interpretative or dynamic. It would seem hardly likely that any author consciously sets out to produce a work belonging exclusively to one or other of these categories, and yet a large number seem to slip insensibly into the first, and a smaller number into the second, leaving the reader either with the intellectual interest of a detailed bill of fare and an empty stomach, or with a feeling of distension, without any certainty as to what he has eaten.

One sits down hopefully, therefore, before a table on which is displayed by Dr. van der Hoop the definite intention to provide both, but soon there are hints that the meal may not live up to the menu, and, as one proceeds, this is found, to some extent at any rate, to be true. The resulting dis appointment is due as much, perhaps, to the size, accuracy and detail of the menu, as to the shortcomings of the meal.

The reader is prepared, however, for this situation at the very beginning, where the author asks if the unconscious has not come to occupy too large a place in psycho-analytical conceptions. That it has for him, he points out by assigning his interest in phenomenological distinctions to his being an introvert of thinking-type, with intuition as a subsidiary function, and relegating his interest in feeling in its relation to the instincts (and from this his appreciation of psycho-analysis) to the effects of polarity.


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