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Gonchar, J. (1993). Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Thought. XIV, 1991: Philosophical Egoism in Eighteenth-Century Moral Thought and Its Relevance to Modern Psychology. Laura Schafer. Pp. 505-559.. Psychoanal Q., 62:512-513.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Thought. XIV, 1991: Philosophical Egoism in Eighteenth-Century Moral Thought and Its Relevance to Modern Psychology. Laura Schafer. Pp. 505-559.

(1993). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 62:512-513

Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Thought. XIV, 1991: Philosophical Egoism in Eighteenth-Century Moral Thought and Its Relevance to Modern Psychology. Laura Schafer. Pp. 505-559.

Joel Gonchar

This paper argues for the importance of philosophy and an awareness that philosophical traditions help to clarify issues in psychological theory. After first looking at some of the controversies in the field of philosophy, particularly the philosophy of science, Schafer examines the work of Viktor Frankl, and the issues he raised for Freudian metapsychology. It was Frankl who pointed out that no psychotherapy exists without an underlying theory of man and philosophy of life. In presenting Frankl's ideas Schafer critiques his approach to Freud, particularly on the subject of the pleasure principle. She introduces the ideas of the eighteenth-century moralists, focusing on Joseph Butler, Bishop of Durham. Schafer feels that Butler's arguments against "philosophical egoism" better criticize the pleasure principle. Egoism is the doctrine that states that all persons are wholly selfish all the time; or that no person ever acts except for some future state of his or her own person. In Freud's thinking, egoistic assumptions are involved in the hidden motives unavailable to consciousness because of their unacceptability. Frankl did not disagree with this, but believed there

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is a point where the psychoanalyst must stop the unmasking of hidden motivation simply because the manifest motivation is authentic. Schafer goes on to explore the implications of Frankl's views for psychotherapy and shows how the philosophical domain can enrich metapsychology and psychotherapy.

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Article Citation

Gonchar, J. (1993). Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Thought. XIV, 1991. Psychoanal. Q., 62:512-513

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