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Eissler, K.R. (1969). Irreverent Remarks about the Present and the Future of Psychoanalysis. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 50:461-471.

(1969). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 50:461-471

Irreverent Remarks about the Present and the Future of Psychoanalysis

K. R. Eissler

It is a great honour to be invited to participate in this symposium-like issue of The International Journal of Psycho-Analysis on the occasion of its 50th anniversary. But it is an honour that I accept with some trepidation and many forebodings, for it requires, on my part, the expression of thoughts I would have preferred to keep to myself. The opportunity to make a historical statement of a general character about psychoanalysis is, however, too tempting to be passed over.

The task would have been quite easy if what was involved was the vast area of applied psychoanalysis. Here there are no doors that have yet been closed, and intellectual riches can still be obtained of such magnitude as to compare with the wealth contained in a cornucopia. If society, science and research were organized in accordance with the principle of maximal investment returns, then an Academy of Man would long since have been founded along the lines indirectly suggested by Freud. It is apparent that all the various branches of the humanities have to be rewritten in accordance with the new knowledge that psychoanalysis has brought to light about man's psychic existence.

What psychoanalysis has achieved up to now in the field of applied psychoanalysis is a matter of unsystematic efforts on the part of individual analysts (with the exception of Ernst Kris and Geza Roheim), who followed their individual bents and drew on their accidental contacts with cultural phenomena some of which had aroused their psychoanalytic interests.

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