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February 1956

On Aphasia, a Critical Study.

Author Affiliations

School of Psychology University of Ottawa

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1956;75(2):227-229. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1956.02330200121014

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There has been a tendency, especially in the American literature, to an exaggerated adulation of Freud. That "Freud discovered the mind and divested it of its mysteries" (Brill, A. A.: Professor Freud and Psychiatry, Psychoanalyt. Rev.18:246 [July] 1931) or that Freud's character did not contain "even some pardonable human weaknesses" (Simmel, E.: Sigmund Freud, the Man and His Work, Psychoanalyt. Rev.9:174 [April] 1940) is such a manifest overstatement that the reader pauses with some wonderment. For it does not take much psychological astuteness to suspect some unconscious factors underlying exaltations of this kind, especially when they are about a man whose genius and whose contributions to the psychological welfare of mankind are undisputed.

A similar mechanism must be at work with writers who insist on claiming that everything that Freud wrote was "original" and try to portray him as prophet in possession of some mysterious revelation.