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(1963). Basic Theory of Psychoanalysis: By Robert Waelder. (New York: Int. Univ. Press, 1960. Pp. 273. $5.00.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 44:514-515.

(1963). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 44:514-515

Basic Theory of Psychoanalysis: By Robert Waelder. (New York: Int. Univ. Press, 1960. Pp. 273. $5.00.)

Those who have not been privileged to know him as an inspiring teacher will find in this book all the qualities that have enabled Robert Waelder to fulfil this role for so many years. His long and intimate involvement with psycho-analysis and his passionate concern for it as one of the great civilizing forces are combined here with his wide culture and capacity to take a broad scientific standpoint. The result is an evaluation presented with a lively urbanity, yet concise and profound, of where the basic theory of psycho-analysis stands today.

Written for a wider audience than students of psycho-analysis, the book will almost certainly be a prescribed text for the latter. To meet in advance the common critical questions of the scientific layman faced with psycho-analysis, the author devotes a first section to the questions of the scientific status of psycho-analytic theories and interpretations. Here he draws on a wide range of views expressed by modern scientists in other fields to show that many of the difficulties confronting psycho-analytic theory are not peculiar to it. While he recognizes that it is not easy to produce answers that are logically satisfactory, it is doubtful if he pursues this whole matter far enough. He does not examine, for instance, whether the way in which many psycho-analytic propositions are made could be revised and possibly put into forms that would permit more refined checking than the usual clinical impression permits.

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