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Brierley, M. (1945). Further Notes on the Implications of Psycho-Analysis: Metapsychology and Personology. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 26:89-114.

(1945). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 26:89-114

Further Notes on the Implications of Psycho-Analysis: Metapsychology and Personology

Marjorie Brierley

(I) INTRODUCTION

This paper is, in part, the complement of its predecessor 'Notes on Metapsychology as Process Theory' (Brierley, 1944) and, in part, an attempt to indicate the relation of psycho-analysis to other branches of knowledge and to discuss some of its implications for human life. The previous 'Notes' dealt only with metapsychology, the objective impersonal theory of mental processes and their organization, and with the fitness of its dynamic and economic 'Psycheanschauung' to serve as a link with the natural sciences and with other objective psychologies. The present 'Notes' deal with objective and subjective theory, the psychology of personal experience, and with the potential contribution of psycho-analysis to a more adequate and more integrative 'Lebensanschauung'.

(II) DEFINITIONS AND ORIENTATIONS

The word 'personology' is borrowed from Smuts as a convenient term to distinguish the science of personality from metapsychology. Referring to academic psychology, Smuts writes: '… the procedure of psychology is largely and necessarily analytical and cannot therefore do justice to Personality in its unique wholeness. For this a new discipline is required, which we have called Personology, and whose task it would be to study Personality as a whole and to trace the laws and phases of its development in the individual life. … Personology would study the Personality not as an abstraction or bundle of psychological abstractions, but rather as a vital organism, as the organic psychic whole which par excellence it is; and such a study should lead to the formulation of the laws of the growth of this unique whole, which would not only be of profound theoretical importance, but also of the greatest practical value.' (Smuts, 1926; 293.) Although Smuts does not himself recognize psycho-analysis as a pioneer scientific personology, this passage gives a fairly accurate description of one of the major aims of psycho-analytic research.

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