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Frank, G. (1985). The Psychoanalytic Vision: A Controversial Reappraisal of the Freudian Revolution. Reuben Fine. New York: The Free Press, 1981, 577 pp.. Psychoanal. Rev., 72(2):353-354.

(1985). Psychoanalytic Review, 72(2):353-354


The Psychoanalytic Vision: A Controversial Reappraisal of the Freudian Revolution. Reuben Fine. New York: The Free Press, 1981, 577 pp.

Review by:
George Frank

“Scientific revolutions,” writes Thomas Kuhn in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions,“are those non-cumulative developmental episodes in which an older paradigm is replaced in whole or in part by … [a] new one…. Scientific revolutions are inaugurated by a growing sense … that an existing paradigm has ceased to function adequately in the exploration of an aspect of nature to which itself had previously led the way.” In Kuhn's sense of the word, Fine's work constitutes a scientific revolution. Fine sees the value of psychoanalysis not just as an explanatory theory for human psychological suffering, as Freud did, not just as a general psychology, as Hartmann did, but as a new science, a science which can (should) integrate the data from all the existing social sciences, the sciences of Man, into a truly new Science of Man. Fine also believes that psychoanalysis cannot only be applied to facilitate change in individuals, but also to facilitate change in the world to produce what Fine refers to as a “psychoanalytic Utopia.” Fine takes Freud to task for being a reluctant explorer and clearly annotates the areas of Freud's limited vision. Fine, admittedly standing on Freud's shoulders, can thereby see further than Freud could. Having read extensively in psychology, sociology, anthropology, history, economics, philosophy, and art, Fine proceeds to take each discipline to task, evaluating their limited vision, and showing how an integrated Science of Man would better explain human nature than each can individually.

Fine also takes psychoanalysis to task: Freud, for his persistent reliance on neurophysiological and biological constructs and for his inability to see the influence psychoanalysis could have in the world; American psychoanalysis for being parochial, for ignoring Freud's advice that training in psychoanalysis should not be limited to medical doctors (or, Fine adds, psychologists or social workers), and for forgetting that the core of training for psychoanalysis is the personal analysis. The mission of psychoanalysis, according to Fine, is not a “cure” but growth in the direction of evolving from hateful beings to loving beings.


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