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Fenichel, O. (1967). Psychoanalysis as the Nucleus of a Future Dialectical - Materialistic Psychology. Am. Imago, 24(4):290-311.

(1967). American Imago, 24(4):290-311

Psychoanalysis as the Nucleus of a Future Dialectical - Materialistic Psychology

Otto Fenichel

Editor's Note:

This paper by Otto Fenichel is published here for the first time. We have been unable to ascertain precisely when it was written and whether Fenichel ever submitted it for publication.

The text suggests that it was probably written during the years of World War II—perhaps in the early forties. Fenichel refers here to “the works of Reich.” We know that before Reich's separation from the psychoanalytic movement, Fenichel was one of the very few who sympathized with and supported the attempt to develop what Wilhelm Reich called a “scientific—i. e., Marxist, dialectical-materialist psychoanalysis,” emphasizing the “sociological concepts of Freud.” (Cf. Reich Speaks of Freud, Edited by Mary Higgins and Chester M. Raphael, M. D. with Translations from the German by Therese Pol. New York: Noonday Press, 1967, pp. 181, 268.)

Fenichel's paper was obtained by George B. Wilbur, former Editor, now Honorary Editor, of the American Imago, through Olga Barsis, Hanns Sachs' sister. The paper published below, is based on the translation by Olga Barsis and was edited by Suzette H. Annin and Dr. Hanna Fenichel.

H. S.

In trying to formulate a dialectical-materialistic psychology one has to fight on two fronts: on the one hand, against idealism which in principle juxtaposes the soul to the body, holding that the soul is something “higher,” more fundamental, than “the world beyond”; on the other hand, against a false materialistic concept—we would call it pseudo-materialistic—which would completely deny the existence of a soul, a psyche.

[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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