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Rapaport, D. (1949). The Psychology of Imagination: By Jean-Paul Sartre. New York: Philosophical Library, 1948. 285 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 18:389-390.

(1949). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 18:389-390

The Psychology of Imagination: By Jean-Paul Sartre. New York: Philosophical Library, 1948. 285 pp.

Review by:
David Rapaport

Many will be disconcerted by the loud jacket, narrow margins, crowded pages, and the typographical errors of this book. The translation is confusing and the translator's name and the date of original publication are not given. Even without these handicaps the book would make difficult reading, for Sartre mixes the terminologies of psychology, philosophy of phenomenology, introspective account and metaphysics. Familiarity with any of these terminologies is of no help to the reader for the upshot is a terminology which is strictly Sartre, with small islands here and there creating a false sense of familiarity. Factually incorrect or, at least, questionable information is not infrequently presented as 'the truth' (e.g., p. 46 on the Muller-Lyer phenomenon; p. 52 on entoptic phenomena and hypnagogic reverie; p. 62 on the motor basis of attention; p. 213 on schizophrenia; p. 215 on hallucinations).

And yet the reader who persists through the jungle of terminology and all other obstacles, may find some rewards. Sartre calls attention to the forgotten insights of Husserl, Meinong, and Brentano.

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