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Harrison, I.B. (1989). On Freud's "Project". J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 37:1130-1131.

(1989). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 37:1130-1131

On Freud's "Project"

Irving B. Harrison, M.D.

August 12, 1988

I am writing to question the following statement, published in a Commentary (Schwartz, 1987): "The offspring of this union [of 'primitive neuroscience' with 'introspectively and empathically derived insights'], he named the Project for a Scientific Psychology (1895) … a model of the mind that Freud later viewed with shame intense enough to convince him that the work should not see publication during his lifetime" (p. 468).

It has always been my impression, based on biographic data about Freud and on the views of several of his close associates, that Freud recognized, with some chagrin, that the enormous effort he had made to create a scientific neuropsychology was incorrect, and that he decided not to publish it because he had come to realize that the only way to explain the mind was through the direct exploration of human feelings and thoughts, beginning with his own.

Can Dr. Schwartz document evidence either of Freud's alleged intense shame or of Freud's intention that the Project (which, incidentally, he did not name) be published after his death? If not, his statement is both incorrect and misleading, and is as well a gratuitous insult which is glaringly out of place in a psychoanalytic journal.

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