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(1916). Character and Temperament By Joseph Jastrow. Pp. xviii + 596. Pub. by D. Appleton & Co. Price $2.50.. Psychoanal. Rev., 3(4):477.
(1916). Psychoanalytic Review, 3(4):477
Character and Temperament By Joseph Jastrow. Pp. xviii + 596. Pub. by D. Appleton & Co. Price $2.50.
This volume is the first in “The Conduct of Mind Series” edited by the author. This title seems to the reviewer very clumsy, not to say inaccurate and ill-chosen. Conduct has come to have a fairly definite meaning in the new behavioristic school, a meaning the essence of which is in the objective approach to the problem. To use such a technical term as a title of a psychological work in other than its psychological meaning is, it seems to the reviewer, ill-advised.
This volume, the author states, deals with the psychological sources of human quality, and the chapter heads such as “The Emotions and Conduct,” “Abnormal Tendencies of Mind” indicate this. A reading of the matter is, however, somewhat disappointing. In the first place the thought appears to be almost buried by the means of expression, and in the second place, the springs of conduct, as the psychoanalysts have come to appreciate them, seem to have little importance, or not to be adequately grasped by the author. For example, it is discouraging to see the shock theory of hysteria still referred to as Freud's sole explanation of this psychoneurosis although he and the whole psychoanalytic school have renounced this idea nearly twenty years ago. The old idea that certain reactions may be interpreted as “in accord with the larger principles of emotional psychology, not too specifically as marked expressions of a single trend” is the same old story repeated year after year only by those who simply do not understand this new movement.
The work, as a whole, is easily a most entertaining and valuable one for the general reader, for whom it was written. The above strictures are, from the psychoanalytic point of view, which this journal represents, a view which the reviewer well knows is by no means acceptable to all and of course not to Professor Jastrow. From the angle he views psychology the book is well done, from the psychoanalytic angle it is disappointing.
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