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Rank, O. Sachs, H. Payne, C.R. (1916). The Significance of Psychoanalysis for the Mental Sciences. Psychoanal. Rev., 3(3):318-335.

(1916). Psychoanalytic Review, 3(3):318-335


The Significance of Psychoanalysis for the Mental Sciences

Otto Rank, Hanns Sachs and Charles R. Payne

The type of analytic thinker who proceeds preëminently from the certainty of the theory of knowledge which seeks to erect the foundations and bounds of conscious human knowledge will scarcely afford in his theories an object for psychoanalytic investigation. The mingling of unconscious wish elements is, in far-reaching measure, excluded, since consciousness works in the self-knowledge of its own capabilities. With this type our interest is concentrated on the peculiar character formation and personality which comes to expression therein, so that the philosopher, as shown in many places, seeks to shut himself from the practical and genial life, to keep himself free from the deceptive mingling of reality in his thought processes, as far as he may, in order to bring thought reality into play in extensive manner.

The psychoanalytic study of the obsessional neurotic has afforded a first understanding of these philosophical tendencies, as well as the relation to world and men, action and thinking, resulting from them, that is, to the limitation of action and overgrowth of thought. These patients are not only closely related to the type of the philosopher by their own keen intelligence, their interest in transcendental things and their ethical scruples, but also betray to us further the narcissistic nature of self-examination of their own thinking and the intensive sexualization of this, which tends ever farther away from the original sensual content of the ideas, to the pleasurable emphasizing of the thought processes themselves.

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