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Lasswell, H.D. (1949). The Freudian Psychology and Veblen's Social Theory: By Louis Schneider. New York: King's Crown Press, 1948. 269 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 18:90-91.

(1949). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 18:90-91

The Freudian Psychology and Veblen's Social Theory: By Louis Schneider. New York: King's Crown Press, 1948. 269 pp.

Review by:
Harold D. Lasswell

This is a psychosociological dissertation from Columbia University. Psychoanalysis and the psychologies of the 'neo-Freudians' (Kardiner, Horney, Sullivan, Fromm, Dalbiez and others) are described. Veblen's explicit or implicit postulates about human nature are examined, and many of his hypotheses about modern industrial society and about Germany are considered in the light of 'the freudian psychology'.

Perhaps the most useful formulation is the concept of 'structural irrationalities', which is intended to supplement Karl Mannheim's 'substantive rationality' and 'functional rationalization'. By substantive rationality Mannheim meant 'an act of thought which reveals intelligent insight into the interrelations of events in a given situation'. Functional rationalization refers to a systematized set of actions by which a goal may be accomplished, though only a few persons have a comprehensive view of the interrelations of the whole. Schneider suggests that both kinds of rationality may be present in a society in the service of goals which are incompatible 'as goals'; hence the concept of 'structural irrationality', which refers to actual or potential conflicts of goal or purpose, fills a gap (p. 112).

As a whole Schneider's book does not give the impression of a complete synthesis. It is as though the author had been torn among several aims which, though they did not produce an irrational result, nevertheless betrayed their various presences in the structure of the presentation.

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