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Calef, V. (1949). British Journal of Medical Psychology. XXI, 1948: Social Conflict and the Challenge to Psychology. R. E. Money Kyrle. Pp. 215–221.. Psychoanal Q., 18:269.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: British Journal of Medical Psychology. XXI, 1948: Social Conflict and the Challenge to Psychology. R. E. Money Kyrle. Pp. 215–221.

(1949). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 18:269

British Journal of Medical Psychology. XXI, 1948: Social Conflict and the Challenge to Psychology. R. E. Money Kyrle. Pp. 215–221.

Victor Calef

Kyrle raises the question of the relation of science to ethics, the psychologist's dilemma. Partisanship may result from infantile attitudes and may thus be unscientific; neutrality may be the coward's choice. The author wishes to demonstrate that partisanship need not be unscientific, neutrality may not be evasive. An ideology can be defended by argument only on the basis of the proposition that it is the unknown cause or effect of something generally desired. Thus to defend humanism, the argument that people tend to be more healthy, more mature or more happy in a humanist world than in an authoritarian world should be attempted on factual or empirical grounds. Kyrle seems to believe that this will lead to a kind of scientific partisanship akin to that of the economist who makes partisan predictions. He points out two limitations of this type of psychological partisanship leading to predictions of social change: the extent to which predictions would not influence policy (determined by unconscious motive and not conscious motive) and the fact that such partisan prediction creates antagonism leading to loss of the 'social patient'. The alternative technique confines itself to the analysis of motives—as in individual analysis—preserving a strict ethical and political neutrality.

The remainder of the paper concerns itself with an interesting but not new analysis of political motives and some comments on the social effects of analysis. Once again, as in a previous paper, the author concludes that what he calls collective analysis (books, broadcasts, group discussions) will produce a society whose conflicts approach realism more consistently. Moreover, he expects the political consciences of rival parties to become more consistently humanist.


WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.
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Article Citation

Calef, V. (1949). British Journal of Medical Psychology. XXI, 1948. Psychoanal. Q., 18:269

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WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.