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Leonard, M.R. (1962). Psychology and Education. Selected Essays: By Hirsch Lazaar Silverman, Ph.D. New York: Philosophical Library, Inc., 1961. 169 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 31:402-404.

(1962). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 31:402-404

Psychology and Education. Selected Essays: By Hirsch Lazaar Silverman, Ph.D. New York: Philosophical Library, Inc., 1961. 169 pp.

Review by:
Marjorie R. Leonard

In this slim book Hirsch Lazaar Silverman has encompassed more than his title suggests. Psychology and education, considered as integrating factors in human society, are brought into relationship to what the author considers his special interests: the social sciences and the humanities. In fact, these special interests so dominate this collection of essays that it is difficult to understand the choice of title.

The subjects covered include Psychological Implications in Platonic Philosophy, Existentialism as a Contemporary Psychology: A Critique; and Religion and Psychology: Relationships and Interrelationships. Although in each of these titles the word 'psychology' occurs, it is interpreted in such a broad sense that it becomes indistinguishable from 'philosophy'. In the last essay in the book, The Relationships of Philosophy and Psychology, it becomes clear that the author subordinates psychology to philosophy, describing it as a 'special brand of philosophy': that area of philosophy concerned with 'the study of the psyche, or soul, of man'. Psychology, he says, discovers; philosophy interprets; philosophy makes use of the findings of psychology and other sciences in its search for coherence in the total view of man's existence. Philosophy, religion, and education are closely interwoven.

There can be no quarrel with the author in his vigorous and scholarly presentation of his philosophy of life, nor with the concept that our knowledge and discoveries concerning man and his environment need integration into a philosophical structure. He emphasizes the need in these chaotic times for strengthening the moral structure of society. However, neither the concept of the necessity for goals, nor the goals themselves, are new. The many religions of the world bear witness to man's long search for a way of life free of conflict, anxiety, and hate, free of what Silverman calls 'viscerogenic desires'. If man's will were as free as Silverman calls 'viscerogenic desires'.

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