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Hoch, S. (1990). Freud: Appraisals and Reappraisals; Contributions to Freud Studies. Volumes 2, 3: Edited by Paul E. Stepansky. Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press, 1988. 200 pp., 201 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 59:102-109.

(1990). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 59:102-109

Freud: Appraisals and Reappraisals; Contributions to Freud Studies. Volumes 2, 3: Edited by Paul E. Stepansky. Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press, 1988. 200 pp., 201 pp.

Review by:
Samuel Hoch

The spate of books and articles in the last decade testifies to a deepening general interest in Freud, the man. Paul E. Stepansky, the editor of this series, has accurately described the widening of the "domain" of disciplines focusing attention on Freud studies and the origins of psychoanalysis. While broadened, responsible scholarship will inevitably enrich our understanding of Freud's character, there remains some question as to corresponding improved appreciation of the subtleties in Freud's scientific work. Contributing to this shift in emphasis and to the unpredictability of its consequences is the relative diminution of participation by psychoanalytic clinicians, about which less notice appears to be taken.

In a lively discussion on science writing, George Johnson weighed two alternatives: "A writer can focus on the science, as though it were received wisdom, like a Coke bottle that fell from the sky, or on the scientists, laying bare the emotions and drives that are part of the haphazard process of discovery." He contended that both are desirable in illuminating the science itself and ultimately create a necessary balance. The case can be made with special cogency in relation to psychoanalysis. Since it is quintessentially a clinical science whose methodology requires the combined introspective/empathic capacities of both participants, hardly any accurate account can be given of its "facts of observation" without giving oscillating attention to each one.

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