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Tidd, C.W. (1960). Symposium on 'Psycho-Analysis and Ethology' I. Introduction. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 41:308-312.

(1960). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 41:308-312

Symposium on 'Psycho-Analysis and Ethology' I. Introduction

Charles W. Tidd

About a year ago when our programme committee asked for suggestions for the scientific programme at this meeting it occurred to me that this might be a good opportunity for analysts to get together to discuss the subject of the relationship of ethology to psycho-analysis. In suggesting that the symposium be set up I did so with the idea that one of its principal aims would be to consider questions and areas of ignorance rather than in the expectation that anyone would be able to present material that would furnish definitive answers.

Some of our colleagues have done work and have information which is significant; in other words, something along this line has already been accomplished. But I believe that we can agree that at the present time there are many more questions than answers in this area. On this panel we are getting together to exchange ideas, ask questions, and consider the possibilities of further work in the field of animal behaviour as it relates to psycho-analysis and the understanding of human behaviour.

I am going to discuss some of the areas of contact between ethology and psycho-analysis. Then I shall comment on the ethological theories of instinct. After that I shall report some of the ideas which have been expressed by ethologists on how ethological concepts might be applied to the study of human behaviour. Finally, I shall give several examples to show how ethological findings have been cited by psycho-analysts to aid in the understanding of human problems.

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