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Fenichel, O. (1943). The Prospects of Psychoanalysis: Hanns Sachs. Int. J. Psa., XX, 1939, pp. 460–464.. Psychoanal Q., 12:145-146.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: The Prospects of Psychoanalysis: Hanns Sachs. Int. J. Psa., XX, 1939, pp. 460–464.

(1943). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 12:145-146

The Prospects of Psychoanalysis: Hanns Sachs. Int. J. Psa., XX, 1939, pp. 460–464.

Otto Fenichel

It is an error to believe that the development of a science is solely determined by its object and its progressive approximation to truth. It is dependent on emotional and irrational psychological factors as well. Psychoanalysis is distinguished from other sciences in two respects: first, by the fact that 'not only its foundation, but also its elaboration were much more of a one-man job than in similar cases'; second, by the fact that psychoanalysis 'at a comparatively early date … was brought under the sheltering roof of an organization'. This organization was necessary and at first brought many advantages, but with time, certain disadvantages. 'Every organization will develop a tendency to make a practical purpose its nucleus, the center of its interest, the main factor in its vitality and activity, and the psychoanalytic association was no exception to the rule. Moreover, any organization, like an organism, will find its main purpose in the continuation of its existence.' In psychoanalysis it has caused a drifting apart of real scientific development, and the organization. This particularly affects the nonmedical applications of psychoanalysis, because the organization directed toward practical aims and a conservative purpose is onesidedly more concerned with the medical aspect. Sachs reminds us of Freud's opinion about the fate of Moses: 'The teachings of Moses passed through many changes and transformations; sometimes they seem to be quite extinct, sometimes to be reversed into their precise opposite. But, after a long lapse of time, the core and assets of his

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teachings reappeared and became the guiding force of our part of the civilized world. It seems not unlikely that Freud's discovery of the unconscious and the Oedipus complex will have a similar fate.'

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Article Citation

Fenichel, O. (1943). The Prospects of Psychoanalysis. Psychoanal. Q., 12:145-146

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