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April 1923


Arch NeurPsych. 1923;9(4):544-545. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1923.02190220130012

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This book has not a few merits, not the least of which is its criticism of Freud and the Freudians. The author says that psychanalysis, with which term Freud and his adherents have baptised their sexual theories and metaphysical wishspeculations, is savage and barbaric. Dr. Sidis' own thesis is much simpler. For him the impulse of self-preservation is at the basis of all animal life. He well says (p. 19) that from the simplest lump of protoplasm, constituting a microbe, to the highest form of life, such as man, one meets with the same primitive life tendency—the impulse of self-preservation. Throughout all animal creation one important purpose runs, and that is the preservation of life. This impulse has two aspects, a positive and negative. In the positive form the impulse is to keep the individual alive; in the negative, to preserve the individual from injury and death. This negative impulse