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Radomisli, M. (1964-65). Dream Interpretation: A New Approach. By Thomas M. French and Erika Fromm. New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1964. pp. vii + 120.. Psychoanal. Rev., 51D(4):148-149.

(1964-65). Psychoanalytic Review, 51D(4):148-149

Dream Interpretation: A New Approach. By Thomas M. French and Erika Fromm. New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1964. pp. vii + 120.

Review by:
Michel Radomisli

In the dialogue between Man and the universe, knowledge is power. Scientific method is one of the many ways to knowledge, but the one that has indisputably resulted in the greatest power in Man's relation to inanimate matter, to living matter, and to Man, at least in his structural aspect. The introduction of scientific method as a tool for the knowledge of Man in his behavioral aspect is comparatively recent, and it has been constantly accompanied by strong, vehement opposition. It may well be that other ways to knowledge, ways which do not entail blows to our narcissism, are better suited to know more about our behavior and experience—history will eventually make its decision. But once a committment is made to play the game of science, the game has to be played by the rules. French and Fromm, in this study of dream interpretation, attempt “to outline systematic methods of checking [their] intuitive art in order to make it an adequate tool for scientific investigation … [and] to develop a trustworthy method of interpretation … that can be checked systematically against all available evidence and … that yields conclusions of which we can be reasonably sure.” They have not succeeded.

The authors have a two-part approach to the interpretive process. They first use their intuition “imaginatively in a search for promising hypotheses,” and then they use their intuition “critically in order to appraise and evaluate the products” of their intuitive imagination. Scientific investigation, of course, traditionally proceeds from the context of verification.

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