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Jones, R. (2005). Phillips, Adam. ‘Psychoanalysis as education’, Psychoanal. Rev., 2004, 91, 6, pp. 779-99.. J. Anal. Psychol., 50(4):552-554.

(2005). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 50(4):552-554

Phillips, Adam. ‘Psychoanalysis as education’, Psychoanal. Rev., 2004, 91, 6, pp. 779-99.

Review by:
Raya Jones

In this masterfully crafted paper Adam Phillips identifies two contrasting standpoints on education. Both arc the legacy of the nineteenth century, if not earlier; and in Phillips' paper, are represented by Lenin and Freud. Lenin first: ‘he represents’, says Phillips, ‘in particularly vivid, indeed lurid form, one story about education.… That, put crudely, a good education, the right kind of education makes a good life and a good society’ (p. 784). The assumption underlying this story is that ‘people are extremely malleable, unfixed, suggestible, capable indeed of revolutionary transformations’ (ibid.). This view of education is akin to what ‘we might call programming; and [Lenin's] critics would call indoctrination’ (ibid.).

On the other side there is Freud, who realizes that people cannot be taught anything, even for their own benefit, in the absence of inner readiness for the new knowledge.

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