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May 6, 1939

Thalassa: A Theory of Genitality

JAMA. 1939;112(18):1860. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800180084043

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The German volume from which this book was translated was published in 1923 but was conceived and written between 1914 and 1919, during the war, in the author's leisure time. It is important to stress the time element, since it dates the expressed ideas to a period of psychoanalytic development which, in the short life of that science, was decidedly early. The work is a product of a time when psychoanalysis was concerned with metapsychologic speculations and was far removed from biology and medicine. The author has attempted to base his theory of genitality on biologic data and phylogenic concepts by analogy, and his speculations are highly provocative. The work is an extremely interesting and fascinating speculation but indicates the need for development of a method other than that of analogy to link biology and psychology. The fundamental premise is a lamarckian concept of evolution on which teleologic bases of

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