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Bowlby, J. (1961). Note on Dr. Max Schur's Comments on Grief and Mourning in Infancy and Early Childhood. Psychoanal. St. Child, 16:206-208.

(1961). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 16:206-208

Note on Dr. Max Schur's Comments on Grief and Mourning in Infancy and Early Childhood

John Bowlby, M.D.

In the last volume of this Annual, following my paper entitled "Grief and Mourning in Infancy and Early Childhood" (1960a), comments on it by Anna Freud, Max Schur, and René A. Spitz appeared. Many of the issues they raise I shall discuss in subsequent papers and in the book I have in preparation. Since, however, Schur has attributed to me a number of views which are other than those I hold, I believe it may avoid misunderstanding if I correct them briefly.

On pages 64 and 65 Schur has attributed to me the following views on instinct theory:

Bowlby's concept is therefore mainly based on that part of the instinct theory of ethology which assumes the fully innate, unlearned character of most complex behavior patterns [Schur's italics]…

Under the impact of this debate most ethologists, e.g., Thorpe, Tinbergen, and others, have abandoned the rigid insistence on the entirely innate origin of instinctive behavior, on the specificity of the drive element and of action-specific energy, and on the "hydrodynamic model"—all of which play such a great role in Bowlby's formulations [Schur's italics].

I am familiar with the work Schur refers to and, I believe, have not advanced the sort of theory he attributes to me; several times, indeed, I have expressed views of an opposite kind.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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