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Bellak, L. Ekstein, R. (1946). The Extension of Basic Scientific Laws to Psychoanalysis and to Psychology. Psychoanal. Rev., 33(3):306-313.

(1946). Psychoanalytic Review, 33(3):306-313

The Extension of Basic Scientific Laws to Psychoanalysis and to Psychology

Leopold Bellak, M.A., M.D. and Rudolf Ekstein, M.S.S., Ph.D.

It has been said that the task of science is the establishment of hypotheses which enable one to understand, to predict and to control events. (1) The task of psychological science in particular is, then, the establishment of hypotheses which enable one to understand, predict and control psychological behavior and attitudes.

Certain general and hypothetical sentences which have a high degree of reliability and a wide applicability are usually called laws. The basic laws of modern science are the law of causality and the law of conservation of energy. For biological science in particular, the biogenetic law of Ernst Haeckel (Ontogenesis is a recapitulation of phylogenesis) is of nearly equal fundamental importance.

We are aware that the most recent developments of modern physics seem to have outgrown the horizons of the laws of causality and of conservation of energy. For instance, recent destruction of atoms demonstrates the turning of matter into energy contrary, as it seems, to the law of conservation of energy.

To the young science of psychology laws may be applicable and practical now which were useful for physics when that science was young.

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