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The Psychoanalytic Movement: The Cunning of Unreason Paperback – Illustrated, Jan 27 2003

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Product details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 3 edition (Jan. 27 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780631234135
  • ISBN-13: 978-0631234135
  • ASIN: 0631234136
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2 x 22.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,737,407 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


The Psychoanalytic Movement was recognized as a classic upon its publication. José Brunner's new introduction places the argument within the context of “the Freud wars”, making it clear that the book was as concerned to explain the fabulous success of psychoanalysis as to debunk its pretensions. This may be Gellner's greatest book, containing as it does a general view of the history of philosophy and the character of modernity.’ John A. Hall, McGill University <!--end-->

Previous praise for The Psychoanalytic Movement:

‘A marvel… This is a brilliantly written book, every page sparkling with intelligence, style and substance. Gellner provides a welcome and literate overview of the latest philosophic controversy about the logical status of psychoanalytic propositions. Its every page instructs and enlivens and represents a tribute to humane intelligence.’ New Statesman

‘In a stylish, witty and deceptively readable book, Gellner exposes the secular religious nature of the psychoanalytic enterprise. He admits that a compelling, charismatic belief must possess more than merely the promise of succour in a plague and links with the background convictions of the age.’ Nature

‘This is the first determined effort to account for a very odd historical and sociological phenomenon in realistic and meaningful terms…and it makes very good sense. Gellner is incisive, agreeable to read and often witty.’ Institute of Psychiatry Journal

Book Description

How did the language of psychoanalysis become the dominant idiom in which the middle classes of the industrialized West speak about their emotions? Ernest Gellner offers a forceful and complex answer to this intriguing question in The Psychoanalytic Movement. This landmark study argues that although psychoanalysis offers an incisive picture of human nature, it provides untestable operational definitions and makes unsubstantiated claims concerning its therapeutic efficacy. In a new foreword Jose Brunner expands on the central argument of The Psychoanalytic Movement. Placing Gellner's work in the context of contemporary hostile critiques of Freud, Brunner argues that these two blatantly different thinkers might also be seen as kindred spirits.

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