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Tip: To see the German word that Freud used to refer to a concept…

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Want to know the exact German word that Freud used to refer to a psychoanalytic concept? Move your mouse over a paragraph while reading The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud and a window will emerge displaying the text in its original German version.

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Friedman, H.J. (1993). Melanie Klein and Critical Social Theory: By C. Fred Alford. New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. Press, 1989, 232 pp., $25.00.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 41:254-260.

(1993). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 41:254-260

Melanie Klein and Critical Social Theory: By C. Fred Alford. New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. Press, 1989, 232 pp., $25.00.

Review by:
Henry J. Friedman, M.D.

Psychoanalysis has emerged in the second half of the twentieth century as a form of thought that focuses on understanding the individual mind, particularly as regards conflicts and deficits in its functioning. Therapeutically, it aims to relieve distress and alter psychic structure through a combination of mutating insights and experience. In general, practicing psychoanalysts have removed themselves from considering ways in which their understanding of the individual relates to problems of social and political theory. While psychoanalysts are well aware that social and political conditions in any particular country are essential for the practice of psychoanalysis to exist and to flourish, any attempt to apply psychoanalysis to the task of explaining the structure of social organization or political activity strikes most psychoanalysts as outside the effective range of psychoanalytic theory. As the title of this volume immediately informs the reader, such a view of the proper function and application of psychoanalytic theory is not shared by its author, who writes out of an entirely different tradition—a tradition that is mostly unknown to modern psychoanalysts who operate outside an academic world of intellectual debate that covers a range of subjects involving political science, history of science, philosophy, and deconstructionist, postmodern literary criticism. To individuals involved in these disciplines, Freud's papers are a veritable font of ideas and assertions to be utilized in establishing a basis for a particular world view, or better still to establish a so-called Freudian perspective which needs to be overturned.

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