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(1960). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. VI, 1958: Education or the Quest for Omniscience. Bertram D. Lewin. Pp. 389-412.. Psychoanal Q., 29:430.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. VI, 1958: Education or the Quest for Omniscience. Bertram D. Lewin. Pp. 389-412.

(1960). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 29:430

Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. VI, 1958: Education or the Quest for Omniscience. Bertram D. Lewin. Pp. 389-412.

In this scholarly paper, presented on the twenty-fifth birthday of the Institute for Psychoanalysis in Chicago, Lewin reviews the three forms psychoanalytic education has taken,—individual seeking for knowledge, then loosely formed instructional groups, and finally the formal institute. He discusses the desire for knowledge. It resembles the impulse to cure, satisfying the need to restore the infantile sense of confidence or omniscience.

He cites several historical parallels to the history of psychoanalytic education. One is the use of the universities. A second is the humanism of the Renaissance, which occurred mainly outside the universities as did psychoanalysis. A third parallel is the rise of the natural sciences and the role of scientific societies, where the same sequence,—individual enthusiasm, societies, institutions,—occurs. The fantasy of omniscience in the generation with which Freud's theories had to cope was different from earlier ones in that a change had occurred from faith in content to faith in method. Freud's radical empiricism threatened the fantasy of the Kraepelinians that scientific method leads to omniscience. The author concludes that in present-day psychoanalytic institutions the quest for omniscience continues and can be expected to survive the fantasy of already being omniscient.

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Article Citation

(1960). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. VI, 1958. Psychoanal. Q., 29:430

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