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Milner, M. (1945). Some Aspects of Phantasy in Relation to General Psychology. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 26:143-152.

(1945). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 26:143-152

Some Aspects of Phantasy in Relation to General Psychology

Marion Milner

In a previous paper (1944) I tried to give an account of a partial analysis of a little girl of three, called Rachel, who came for treatment because of an acute inhibition of eating. I stated my intention of trying to consider the relation of some of the theoretical ideas emerging from this analysis to certain aspects of general psychology; I wanted to do this in order to define these ideas more clearly in my own mind, through trying to find out how far they were based on common ground of agreed theory in the two sciences. I know it is sometimes said by analysts that no such common ground is possible; it is sometimes said that general psychologists, if not analysed themselves, have too great a resistance against accepting those facts about the unconscious mind which are disclosed by the special psycho-analytical method of research. Though there may be some truth in this view I feel it is a dangerous one for analysts, because it tends to make us assume, when faced with criticism from other scientific workers, that it is only the content of our findings which they cannot accept. But it may also at times be the form in which we present our findings which causes the general psychologist to have misgivings.

With this plan in mind I chose a modern text-book of general psychology written by a lecturer in a University. The particular text-book I have chosen is Sprott's General Psychology published in 1937. I selected this because of its recent date and because, in his foreword of acknowledgment to Professor F. C. Bartlett and Dr. C. S. Myers, the author puts himself in the direct tradition of English academic psychology. Having selected this book, I then found that the writer makes many references to Freudian theory; for instance, he gives it eight out of fourteen pages in the chapter headed 'Development' and twelve out of twenty-eight in the chapter headed 'Conflict'.

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