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Lehrman, P.R. (1956). Medical Psychology: By Paul Schilder, M.D. Translated and edited by David Rapaport. New York: International Universities Press, Inc., 1953. 428 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 25:105-106.

(1956). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 25:105-106

Medical Psychology: By Paul Schilder, M.D. Translated and edited by David Rapaport. New York: International Universities Press, Inc., 1953. 428 pp.

Review by:
Philip R. Lehrman

This book summarizes in one volume the work of one of the great thinkers in the history of psychiatry. It opens vistas into broad uncharted areas and presents vital and stimulating hypotheses. An appendix by Dr. Rapaport, to whom we must be grateful for his skilful translation and editing, evaluates Schilder's contribution to the theory of thought. The book contains chapters on the theory of perception, action and language, memory, drives, will and action, ego and personality. There is a bibliography, an index of names, and an index of subjects. The presentation of the instinctual life, of the emotions, of will and action is founded almost entirely on psychoanalytic theory. Schilder noted that certain regions of the brain are closely related to certain psychic functions, and are the instruments of execution of these functions. Disturbances in these parts of the brain change perceptions. This he demonstrated in detail in aphasia, apraxia, and alexia. He showed that behind every organ and its function stands the total biological personality with its views, instincts, and inhibitions.

When Schilder's book was first published in Berlin in 1924, Wilhelm Reich in a review noted that it was an attempt to unite phenomenology, psychoanalysis, experimental psychology, and cerebral pathology. Kurt Goldstein stated in 1925 that the book was primarily intended for the experienced physician, and that it encouraged the use of normal psychology in the observation of pathological phenomena. He had two objections to the book: he had expected the author to show 'a more critical attitude toward the freudian school', and he complained of 'the superficiality with which the cerebral observations are treated'.

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