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By David Holbrook

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Extra info for Human Hope and the Death Instinct. An Exploration of Psychoanalytical Theories of Human Nature and Their Implications for Culture and Education

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Freud's insistent claim to be a m a n of science, offering only the most empirical facts about the h u m a n psyche, has misled nearly everyone, beginning with himself. A n d yet in 1900 h e wrote with a surprising frankness ; ' . . I a m not really a m a n of science, not an observer, not an experimenter, and not a thinker. I a m nothing but by temperament a conquisiator - a n adventurer . . with the curiosity, the boldness, and the tenacity that belongs to that type of b e i n g . ' . .

H . ] will become evident as a difference in meaning assigned to the word relation. For example, w h e n Buber spoke of t h e / - Thou as it m a y occur either in the young infant or among primitive races, it is clear that he was relying on his o w n imagination to give h i m knowledge of these unknowable states of subjectivity. H e was thus able to avoid the genetic fallacy that is c o m m o n to all nineteenth-century psychology. This fallacy springs, like behaviourism, from a natural-science view of objects that is then applied to such invisible phenomena as h u m a n subjectivity or h u m a n experience.

151). T h e source of m a n y of our difficulties here derive from the language of Freud's psychotherapy— 'the terms he chose for defining his science', (p. 162). Just as in science there has grown an increasing sense of doubt as to the possibility of making a 'complete and coherent' account of the physical universe, a n d a n increasing awareness of the problems of perception raised by relativity, so the 'omniscient observer' has given way to the 'participant observer', not least in the field of psychology.

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