November 25, 2007


Freud Is Widely Taught at Universities, Except in the Psychology Department (PATRICIA COHEN, 11/25/07, NY Times)

PSYCHOANALYSIS and its ideas about the unconscious mind have spread to every nook and cranny of the culture from Salinger to “South Park,” from Fellini to foreign policy. Yet if you want to learn about psychoanalysis at the nation’s top universities, one of the last places to look may be the psychology department.

A new report by the American Psychoanalytic Association has found that while psychoanalysis — or what purports to be psychoanalysis — is alive and well in literature, film, history and just about every other subject in the humanities, psychology departments and textbooks treat it as “desiccated and dead,” a historical artifact instead of “an ongoing movement and a living, evolving process.”

The study, which is to appear in the June 2008 issue of psychiatry’s flagship journal, The American Journal of Psychiatry, is the latest evidence of the field’s existential crisis.

Just because the three great reactionary isms of the 19th/20th Century -- Freudianism, Marxism, Darwinism -- are pretty nearly worthless as medicine, economics, and biology, doesn't mean they aren't significant ideologies worthy of study, particularly as historical artifacts.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 25, 2007 6:05 AM
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