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Fessler, L. (1961). Melancholie Und Manie. Phänomenologische Studien (Melancholia and Mania. Phenomenological Studies): By Ludwig Binswanger. Pfullingen, Germany: Verlag Günther Neske, 1960. 147 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 30:433-435.

(1961). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 30:433-435

Melancholie Und Manie. Phänomenologische Studien (Melancholia and Mania. Phenomenological Studies): By Ludwig Binswanger. Pfullingen, Germany: Verlag Günther Neske, 1960. 147 pp.

Review by:
Laci Fessler

Ludwig Binswanger commands high esteem in the field of psychiatry. As a clinician he accumulated a wealth of experience and he took a constant, keen, and active interest in the development of new ideas. His thinking now differs markedly from psychoanalysis, but he retains for it a friendly feeling. Binswanger was indeed one of Freud's early followers and, although in later years his scientific orientation drifted away from psychoanalysis, his personal loyalty to Freud remained unchanged.

Binswanger developed an approach to the problems of psychopathology which became known as Daseinsanalyse. The book being reviewed elaborates the 'daseinsanalytic' view in reference to melancholia and mania. This review is well-nigh doomed to be makeshift, because many of the concepts introduced are rooted in the German language. As is so often the case with translations, at times it is impossible to render the exact meaning of the original term and to do justice to all the connotations the term may convey.

Binswanger's work leans heavily on the ideas of Husserl and Heidegger. he states explicitly that he recognizes no difference between reactive and endogenic melancholia. His discussion and interpretation of the phenomena of melancholia begins with Husserl's proposition that the concept of time must be understood in the framework of its meaning for the individual. Two important aspects are attached to the concept of time. The first considers time as consisting of three objects: the past, the present, and the future.

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