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(1960). Sigmund Freud and G. Stanley Hall: Exchange of Letters. Psychoanal Q., 29:307-316.

(1960). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 29:307-316

Sigmund Freud and G. Stanley Hall: Exchange of Letters

We seldom see so free and frank an exchange of ideas between major figures in intellectual history as appears in the final correspondence between the American psychologist, Granville Stanley Hall (1844-1924), and the founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud (1856-1939). Hall and Freud were eminent in different ways. Hall as an editor, teacher, and college administrator contributed greatly to the development of the disciplines of psychology and education in the United States; moreover, a large, educated audience heard and read his interpretations of contemporaneous social developments. The courage of the two men in their willingness to review their relationship and to discuss fundamental problems gives to this exchange of letters more than ordinary interest.

Stanley Hall was the older of the two men and died a few months after writing his letter. Born in rural New England, he expected to become a clergyman. As a result of two trips to European universities he turned away from the ministry and, after studying under William James, received the first Ph.D. awarded in psychology in the United States. He founded the psychological laboratory at Johns Hopkins University and started the first psychological periodical to be published in this country, The American Journal of Psychology. As interested in pedagogy as in psychology, he was the founder of genetic psychology as a discipline. In 1888 he became the first president of Clark University, a post that he held until retirement and that seemed to bring him little but grief. Hall was an impresario of ideas; his biographer characterized him as 'The Playboy of Western Scholarship' (15).

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