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Szajnberg, N. (2018). Psychoanalysis: Perspectives on Thought Collectives. More Selected Papers by Arnold Richards, Volume 2, edited by Arthur Lynch, IPBooks, 2017, 382 pp.. Psychodyn. Psych., 46(4):608-613.

(2018). Psychodynamic Psychiatry, 46(4):608-613

Psychoanalysis: Perspectives on Thought Collectives. More Selected Papers by Arnold Richards, Volume 2, edited by Arthur Lynch, IPBooks, 2017, 382 pp.

Review by:
Nathan Szajnberg, M.D.

Arnold Richards's work grabs you by the lapels to discuss, challenge, clarify, question, in his impassioned concern for psychoanalysis. This volume develops his thoughts inspired by the Jewish immunologist, philosopher of science, Ludwig Fleck, who introduced the ideas about scientific thought collectives, ideas that were seminal for later researchers such as Thomas Kuhn and Michael Polanyi. To understand the development (or regressions) in psychoanalytic history means to understand its development as (a) thought collective(s). This book then takes Fleck's concept and studies scholars who emerged from the (collapsing) Hapsburg Empire (Jews such as Freud, Brill, Fleck), Freud's ambivalent Jewish identity (and those of his inner circle), how the politics of European analysts influenced American psychoanalysis (particularly some European analysts’ often hidden Communist sympathies), and the “burgeoning and beleaguered” state of contemporary psychoanalysis. Like an ellipse, this book revolves around two foci: 1. how historical context influences psychoanalytic theory; 2. the struggle between an individual and the thought collective.

First, Fleck.

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