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Cameron, D.E. (1954). Karen Horney: A Pioneer in the Science of Human Relations. Am. J. Psychoanal., 14(1):19-29.

(1954). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 14(1):19-29

Karen Horney: A Pioneer in the Science of Human Relations

D. Ewen Cameron, M.D.

Karen Horney was one of the children of her times. She walked among us distinguished by her originality of mind and by her leadership. Her life fell within a period of unusual turbulence and ferment in the world of thought. The long upward climb of humanism, which had started as far back as the time of the Renaissance and which was gathering strength to become one of the most important forces of our times, was met and vastly stimulated by another current having its origins very early in the modern period and already, as Karen Horney's life began, starting to impinge upon human affairs with gathering power. This was the scientific method—first applied only to material things and, at that, things remote from human life, such as astronomy and mathematics. Its increasing successes led us, somewhat timorously, to apply it to the affairs of everyday living and ultimately to man himself, beginning cautiously with biochemistry and physiology. But eventually, toward the latter part of the Nineteenth Century, it began to influence those thinking about the problems of human nature.

It is extraordinary to contemplate that it was only during the latter part of the Nineteenth Century that the great fact-finding sciences of human behavior—psychology, sociology and anthropology—began to be established. And so great was the change wrought in the whole field of psychiatry at that time that to many of those engaged in the field it has seemed as though psychiatry was a young science instead of one which dates back many centuries.

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