This is exactly what it purports to be and very good too since it is geared to students of the scientific psychology which...

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PSYCHOANALYTIC PSYCHOLOGY: The Development of Freud's Thought

This is exactly what it purports to be and very good too since it is geared to students of the scientific psychology which is all most schools now offer. The fact that the field is so highly factionalized may be as good an argument as any that psychology is, incorrigibly, a humane pursuit -- like politics -- but Freud wouldn't have been convinced; and Francher (whose students are apparently ignorant of Freud due perhaps to official avoidance behavior) is intent to point out that it was scientific scruple that led the master from neurology to, well, far out. Fancher picks up a link that most explicators drop in giving a fairly detailed account of the Project for a Scientific Psychology, a monumental rehearsal for On the Interpretation of Dreams and a failed attempt at a comprehensive physiological psychology. The physiology of the time simply wasn't up to it; and so, having carried this line of inquiry as far as he could, Freud restated his findings in terms that could be pursued, developing a rigorous method of investigation from clinical techniques. The literal origins of the great theories add an important dimension as well as making the metapsychology a great deal clearer and more sensible. Fancher follows Freud's logic, taking note of significant influences and contextual matters such as the mechanist vs. vitalist controversy and pioneer sexology -- but not uniformly (the dullest behaviorist must have read somewhere that Victorians were strict). It's a bit literal perhaps -- dream work is laid out like an industrial procedure -- but it is a nice change from analytic elegance and not devoid of trivial pleasures: the first Freudian analysis, we discover, was of eels' genitalia. Chapter by chapter suggestions for further reading, with diagrams.

Pub Date: Sept. 24, 1973

ISBN: 0393093565

Page Count: -

Publisher: Norton

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1973