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Stewart, H. (1979). The Scientific Importance of Ernest Jones. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 60:397-404.

(1979). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 60:397-404

The Scientific Importance of Ernest Jones

Harold Stewart

It was in the winter months that the Society commemorated the centenary of the birth of Ernest Jones. William Gillespie presented a vivid account of Jones's life; Pearl King spoke of his importance in the historical life of the British Society; Anna Freud gave a moving portrait of her personal reminiscences of Ernest Jones. Tonight I want to present you with an account of the scientific contributions of Jones to psychoanalysis, which by the very volume of his writings must impose on me the task of the selection of his most significant work. I have had the distinct impression that apart from his great biography of Freud, a work that only Jones was in a position to write, the rest of his writings have not been given their due share of attention by the Society, leading to an underestimation of his work. I hope to be able to remedy this tonight and that is my reason for deliberately using the words 'scientific importance' in the title of this paper.

Elizabeth Zetzel (1958) in her paper, 'Ernest Jones: his Contribution to Psycho-Analytic Theory', written to pay homage to Jones soon after his death, has already covered this field in her own way. I shall inevitably be following much of the same path, but I intend to complement her by using the actual words of Ernest Jones when considering his contributions. For me, the person's own words can carry more weight than an abstract description and I hope that some of you will have a similar predilection for them.

It was in 1908 that at the First International Psycho-Analytical Congress at Salzburg, Jones, at the age of thirty, read his first scientific paper, 'Rationalisation in Everyday Life'.

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