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Casey, E.S. (1983). Existentialism and Psychoanalysis: By Charles Hanly. New York: International Universities Press, Inc., 1979. 298 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 52:295-298.

(1983). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 52:295-298

Existentialism and Psychoanalysis: By Charles Hanly. New York: International Universities Press, Inc., 1979. 298 pp.

Review by:
Edward S. Casey

This ambitious, wide-ranging book proclaims itself to be "a work in the field of applied psychoanalysis" (p. 1). In particular, it applies psychoanalytic doctrine and technique to the ideas of Sartre and Merleau-Ponty, considered as the leading exponents of existentialism and phenomenology respectively. The method of application is both conceptual and empirical. The book's avowed aim is to exhibit the liabilities and limitations of existential-phenomenological thought insofar as it denies or neglects the causal efficacy of unconscious psychic processes. This aim is carried out in the first four chapters, entitled "Method," "The Self," "Interpersonal Relations," and "The Self and the Natural World." A final chapter, "The Nature of Freedom," pursues a more constructive course by expounding Hanly's own preferred theory of freedom, a theory regarded as strictly compatible with the findings of psychoanalysis.

Existentialism and Psychoanalysis has special virtues which will appeal to philosophically minded readers of diverse persuasions. It is a lucidly written and well-organized book. It is coherent and consistent in its point of view. It offers a fairly detailed introduction to the writings of Merleau-Ponty and Sartre. Hanly shows himself to be sensitive to the complexity of choosing and willing in his resolute opposition to Sartre's endorsement of radical freedom. He makes the intriguing suggestion that "Merleau-Ponty has found a phenomenological basis for probabilistic and statistical thinking about human behavior" (p.

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