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Flugel, J.C. (1954). Psychoanalysis as Science: The Hixon Lectures on the Scientific Status of Psycho-analysis. By Ernest R. Hilgard, Ph.D., Lawrence S. Kubie, M.D., E. Pumpian-Mindlin, M.D. Edited by E. Pumpian-Mindlin, M.D. (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press. London: Geoffrey Cumberlege, 1953. Pp. x + 174. Price $4.25 or 34 s.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 35:71-74.

(1954). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 35:71-74

Psychoanalysis as Science: The Hixon Lectures on the Scientific Status of Psycho-analysis. By Ernest R. Hilgard, Ph.D., Lawrence S. Kubie, M.D., E. Pumpian-Mindlin, M.D. Edited by E. Pumpian-Mindlin, M.D. (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press. London: Geoffrey Cumberlege, 1953. Pp. x + 174. Price $4.25 or 34 s.)

Review by:
J. C. Flugel

It is perhaps surprising that no bold person has as yet written a book with some such title as Das Unbehagen in der Psychoanalyse; for the discomfort or 'discontent' (how hard it is to find a satisfactory English equivalent of Unbehagen !) connected with psycho-analysis has all along been recognized as great and in recent years has taken on certain new qualities or aspects. At first it was chiefly connected with the embarrassing aspects of spcyho-analytic revelations and theories concerning sexuality. At the conscious level these have now been largely overcome, and among the intelligentsia of many countries at least it is hardly respectable to raise objections on this score. Corresponding to the change of emphasis in psycho-analysis itself, resistance is now directed to psycho-analytic views concerning aggressive impulses, especially in children, and (as Ernest Jones has recently reminded us) the combined repulsion and incredulity which many feel about Melanie Klein's findings in this sphere are in some ways very similar to those felt concerning Freud's earlier work on infantile sexuality and sexuality in general. A third source of embarrassment concerns the scientific status of psycho-analysis, and therefore the reliability of its findings and the adequacy of its theoretical concepts. Freud himself and many of his followers have often felt some misgivings on this score, while outsiders from other scientific fields, endeavouring to approach the subject with unbiassed mind, have been constantly struck by the contrast between the immense interest and importance of psycho-analytic formulations, if correct, and what seemed to them the elusiveness on which they rested when judged by the standards of the more exact sciences.

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