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Roazen, P. (1994). Psychoanalysis and the Sciences: Epistemology—History, by Andre Haynal translated by Elizabeth Holder University of California Press, 1993 290 ps. Am. J. Psychoanal., 54(3):285-286.

(1994). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 54(3):285-286

Book Reviews

Psychoanalysis and the Sciences: Epistemology—History, by Andre Haynal translated by Elizabeth Holder University of California Press, 1993 290 ps

Review by:
Paul Roazen, Ph.D.

Psychoanalysis had its origins in nineteenth-century European culture, a world that has entirely vanished. Those of us who like to think that improvements have been made on Freud are apt to forget that he possessed a degree of human and social sophistication alien to our own less nuanced time. Yet there are a few rare exceptions: analysts like Andre Haynal, who are aware of what needs correcting in old-fashioned psychoanalysis and still retain old-world cosmopolitanism. Haynal, who is a professor of psychiatry in Geneva, is heavily involved in supervising the multivolume edition of the Freud-Ferenczi correspondence that has just started to appear in English.

Although Haynal has broad philosophical horizons, I think the best parts of this book pertain to history. For example, Haynal quotes Wittgenstein as having explained: “I believe that my originality (if that is the right work) is an originality belonging to the soil rather than to the seed. (Perhaps I have no seed of my own.) Sow a seed in my soil and it will grow differently than it would in any other soil. Freud's originality was like this, I think.” Here Haynal is using his philosophical background to slice through to the historical Freud.

The most powerful section of the book, for me, was the one that concerned the contributions of Ferenczi, in Chapter 12, “Freud and His Favorite Disciple.” There are so many stereotypes about what sort of therapist Freud was that the tale of Freud, Ferenczi, and Ferenczi's stepdaughter Elma is exemplary, at least as instructive as the story of Freud's having analyzed his daughter Anna.

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