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(1977). Meetings of the Psychoanalytic Association of New York. Psychoanal Q., 46:552.

(1977). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 46:552

Meetings of the Psychoanalytic Association of New York

April 21, 1975. FREUD AND THE IDEA OF A UNIVERSITY. Leonard Shengold, M.D.

Dr. Shengold first spoke of the definition, purpose, and philosophy of the university as it evolved from its beginnings in Italy and France in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. He then cited the relevance of this historical view for an understanding of the parallel modern evolution of psychoanalytic institutes as discussed by Bertram D. Lewin in his 1958 paper, "Education or the Quest for Omniscience." These points served as the background for an examination of the factors and experiences which may have borne on Freud's attitudes and writings touching on the university. His ambivalence toward the university and the medical profession was to some extent derived from the painful rejections he received from Vienna and the medical world. It also sprang from such psychological roots as his omniscient urges, his sibling rivalries, and his well-known oedipal tensions. In addition, it was contributed to by humanist identifications and his self-image as the lonely seeker of truth. He wished (like Faust) to conquer intellectually the paternal figures at the university (especially Brücke), and to gain access to the omniscient mother, Alma Mater. These conflicts and experiences were seen by Dr. Shengold as influencing the views expressed in Freud's 1919 paper, "On the Teaching of Psycho-Analysis in Universities," and in the 1926 paper, "The Question of Lay Analysis." Dr. Shengold felt that Freud's ideas could be considered consonant with a specialized psychoanalytic university or a psychoanalytic unit in an established university. To the end of his life he held to the goal of universitas litterarum—to discover and stand for the truth.

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