網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

confuses the co-conscious with the simply alternating type of secondary personality.

There are, as it seems to me, many facts of observation and experiment acquired by technical methods other than psycho-analysis, which we are in danger of forgetting if no effort is made to bring them into conformity with our newer knowledge; and a greater tolerance and a freer co-operation between exponents of different methods of psychological enquiry and of psychotherapeutics are greatly to be desired in the interests of psychopathology and of the science of psychology as a whole.

But although there is room for more co-operation among workers in these specialised fields of study, perhaps the greatest need of the present time is that clinical psychology should make and maintain closer contact with general psychology in all its branches. This need is, I think, especially great in the case of those whose first approach to the science of mind has been by way of Psycho-Analysis or of 'Analytical Psychology.' I am told that by some young people psychology is being regarded as a 'back-number,' and that anyone who wants to be up-to-date should forthwith plunge into the study of Psycho-Analysis without any preliminary training. These people will have to learn that, before PsychoAnalysis was, there was a science of Psychology, and that there will be a science of Psychology when Psycho-Analysis, except as a technical method, may be no more. All that is true and valuable in the body of doctrine which the different schools of analysis are building up, must, in time, become incorporated in that more general body of knowledge which we know as Psychology. That Psychology will be transformed by such incorporation I have little doubt; that it will be in any sense superseded, or its past gains rendered nugatory, I do not believe. Too great engrossment in any special line of work is apt to lead to narrowness of vision, even in those who come to such work prepared by wide general culture and adequate preliminary training. It is therefore incumbent on all of us whose work consists in the study of abnormal mental states by special technical methods, that we should keep in touch with the labours of our colleagues in other departments of Psychology. It is our good fortune, as members of the British Psychological Society, to have unrivalled opportunities of so doing.

CRITICAL ABSTRACT.

Internationale Zeitschrift für Psycho-Analyse. 1920. Part III. A short but very interesting and suggestive article by Hermann on the subject of “Intelligence and Depth of Thought” opens this number. It is an attempt to establish some connexion and relationship between the older conceptions of the meaning of the word intelligence, as formulated by psychologists of the academic school, and such contributions as psycho-analysis can render to the solution of the problem.

Much attention has been devoted in recent years to experiments in testing the intelligence of children, students and so on, and Stern has arrived at a definition of intelligence in the course of such work which Hermann takes as a starting-point. It runs: “The intelligence is the general capacity of an individual to direct thought consciously on to new requirements; it is the general mental capacity for adaptation to new demands and conditions in life.” In considering this definition from the point of view of psycho-analysis the author enquires first what conclusions may be drawn from it in the light of our knowledge and secondly how far it is possible to extend it without losing sight of its meaning and intention as a practical definition.

In psycho-analysis the mental capacity of the individual for adaptation is seen in relation to such problems as the development of the reality-principle, the subordination of the pleasure-principle, the necessity to make changes in the love-objects, the advance from narcissism, the choice of career, the loss of love-objects and so on. Can we say that the individual who resolves these problems satisfactorily is intelligent and that he who cannot adapt himself to the demands of life (in the sphere of love, perhaps), is unintelligent? (In scientific discussions it is always necessary to take the sphere of love deliberately into consideration if it is not to be overlooked.) This conclusion is obviously false; inability to attain the average degree of adaptation to disappointments or privations (as in morbid grief) or inability to advance to full normal development (as in sexual perversions) or neurosis itself, are conditions certainly not necessarily accompanied by lack of intelligence. On the contrary, such persons are frequently of high general mental capacity.

Since intelligence is not opposed to the disposition to neurosis the author submits that it may be regarded as a 'complementary-function,' a partial component of the general capacity for adaptation, not the whole capacity. The Libido-impulses make use of other means of adaptation than conscious thought-processes. Thought as a means of adaptation is only applied where the interests' of the person are involved (in general psychology regarded as a question of ‘attention'); it follows that all that which is outside the interests of the Ego falls outside the region of the intelligence, although those interests which are sublimated forms of libidinous impulses again fall within this domain. The range of interests varies considerably in different individuals; interests are acquired as the conscious personality is acquired, as the result of an achieved adaptation to reality. Thus there can, strictly, be no intelligence present until after some interests in reality have been acquired. Broadly, the wider the range of interests the more intelligent the person, that is, the more capable

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

of adaptation was he at an earlier stage. The author then goes into the question of affective influences upon thought and shows that thought as a means of adaptation is secondary or subsequent to affective influences. From the phenomenon of 'suggestibility' be infers that the intelligence can achieve a special condition of adaptation (in this case a submission to the will of another) which is to be distinguished from the capacity for general adaptation to life as a whole; thus it constitutes a special-capacity, besides being a complementary-capacity.

At this point the author proceeds to consider adaptation by means of thought more closely and shows that it occurs in two ways. It comprises, first, the response within to reality without-wishes, strivings, actions concerning the objective world of reality--and secondly it consists in an assimilation of outer reality into a part of the thought-content. The first he calls 'personal adaptation, the second 'adaptation by means of thought-content' (inhaltliche Anpassung). In personal adaptation we are subordinated to the outer world, but in adaptation by means of thought-content we conquer a part of the outer world, understand it and make laws for it. Thus we gain an adaptation, not merely to the actual objective world of reality, but also to that other objective world, the world of truth, of values. Now adaptation by means of thought-content can be qualitatively differentiated; it can occur up to varying degrees of depth,' as Hermann calls it, according to the degree of assimilation and harmony it achieves in the whole personality. When the thought-content is assimilated to a certain 'depth' it results in a new inner harmony which he calls ‘Depth of Thought. In this category he does not include personal judgments, nor those thoughts which are the expression of deep feelings.

Looking round for evidence of the existence of such 'Depth of Thought' he points to universal experience in acquiring certain kinds of new and important knowledge. It is the experience, for instance, of every child mastering facts of common knowledge in everyday life. Their truth is borne in upon him and becomes depth of thought' in him. The intellectual effect of such a thought is even more remarkable. It becomes a nucleus, a stable foothold, as it were, in adaptation. Freud says, “there are different ways of knowing which are not of equal value....

It is true that symptoms disappear when their meaning is understood, but the understanding must be founded upon an inner change in the patient which can only come about by a mental effort directed to that end." Again, "Conviction is not so easily acquired, and if so, it soon proves worthless and unstable.” Depth of thought is the substance of every useful conviction, of all effective knowledge. That there are two ways of knowing points to the conclusion that a certain element of time is required in 'deepening' thought. It takes time for the thoughts of a genius to mature and for the world to assimilate them. But time is the external factor; the internal factor is the resistance to new thoughts with which psycho-analysis has familiarised us. A struggle arises between the adaptation to reality already existing and the new problem requiring further adaptation. It is clear that this conflict leads to repression and regression, as in the case of Libido-conflicts, and that the regression takes the form of earlier phases in the development of the reality-principle, as described by Ferenczi. By means of the primitive (unconscious) belief in magic the new recognition sinks to the deepest levels of the personality. Discoveries in science are characterised by depth of thought and are now recognised as emerging from below the level of consciousness. The deepest thoughts have a 'magic character even in their

a

content, that is, they conform to the primitive level of thought although they constitute an adaptation to reality. The author instances the Einstein theory of the relativity of time as closely corresponding to the inappreciation of time found in young children and to the effect of emotional influences upon the appreciation of time in all human beings.

After this attempt to indicate the special qualities of 'depth of thought' the author goes on to relate the conception to the conception of intelligence already arrived at. The capacity for an average degree of depth of thought and the capacity to absorb new ideas to a certain depth must be included in the definition of intelligence, together with that aspect of it which is equivalent to a wide range of interest and a capacity to adapt to new demands in the field of interests. This definition would then run: Intelligence is a special-capacity, a complementary-function and a partial component of the general mental capacity for adaptation. The partial component may be sub-divided into four more or less independent minor capacities, as follows: The existing breadth of intelligence and the capacity to adaptation in and to this region, forming the

personal' form of adaptation, and the existing average depth of thought and the capacity to deepen thought, forming the capacity for “adaptation by means of thought-content."

The author concludes by pointing out that the capacity to estimate depth of thougbt in others and to assimilate such thought is dependent to some extent on the affective situation—a certain willingness and a mutual transference of feeling seems to be a necessary preliminary condition. (He remarks pointedly enough that the insane show no depth of thought, no appreciation of truth and no capacity to transfer feeling.) This necessary condition points out the remaining complementary-function of adaptation, namely, the capacity for adaptation in the region of the Libido-impulses, which must be at least equal to the intelligence in importance as a means of adaptation in life.

As a speculative contribution to a subject as yet almost ignored by psychoanalytic investigators, Hermann's suggestions have very great interest, more especially in that his enquiry concerns the functions and mechanisms of the reality-principle, since from the outset the exploration of the hitherto unknown and unsuspected pleasure-principle has been the chief concern of psycho-analysis. The nature of the pleasure-principle, and even the fact of its existence, is sufficiently new and puzzling to most psychologists to engage their capacity for adaptation to the full, but to those who have assimilated its truth up to a certain depth' the reality-principle appeals as a new field of fascinating possibilities in the direction of acquiring new knowledge. Even in development the reality-principle is secondary and complementary to the pleasure-principle; the failure of academic psychology hitherto to account satisfactorily for adaptation on intellectual and conscious lines and the negative results of its efforts to bring the “instincts' into some relation with the more conscious aspects of personality illustrate the necessity for a comprehension of the deeper and less conscious aspects before any adequate exploration of the upper levels of the mind can be satisfactorily attempted.

It is perhaps unavoidable that any attempt to consider the reality-principle should give an impression of underestimating the pleasure-principle, although in its present suggestive form Hermann's theories can hardly be justifiably so criticised; nevertheless experience shows that the human tendency to over-rate intelligence is so strong that any support which it may receive from science is to be accepted with due caution.

[ocr errors]

Reik is a writer whose work on the application of psycho-analysis to the study of religion, and its origin and development, is well known. His interests incline towards group-psychology rather than individual psychology; in an article in this number called "A Case of Collective Forgetting” he makes an attempt to show, by analysing a small occurrence of a fairly common type, a 'connexion between collective and individual psychological reactions.

On the occasion in question, four people were unable to remember the name of a book which they all knew quite well. A lady in the course of a discussion referred to the book, but could not recall its name, and then three men among the company were similarly afflicted. At her request Reik made an analysis of the point with the lady which at once revealed associations with repressed complexes, adequately accounting for her inhibition. He goes on to show how the 'sympathetic reaction of the three men, who were clearly ‘infected with her forgetfulness, was due to an unconscious recognition and response on their part to the unconscious impulses in her which caused her symptom. The exhibitionistic-, prostitution- and curiosity-phantasies which proved to be unconsciously associated in her mind with the book-not merely with its content but by a clang-association with its title--had roused, he thinks, the aggressive-, exhibitionistic-tendencies in the men and resulted in a repression in them corresponding to hers.

Reik finds in the incident support for two conclusions; first, that human beings possess other means, besides those of conscious thought and action, for communication with one another; that is, that the unconscious regions of one mind have their own means of comprehending and communicating with the unconscious regions of other minds. Secondly, that at a certain stage of civilisation repression is universally operative, maintaining the common primary impulses and their derivatives at an unconscious level in all individuals. These would seem to be two obvious truths, self-evident to the plain man. The ability to comprehend and to respond to what is passing below the surface in another mind is what is popularly called “intuition' or 'tact,' a faculty which certainly operates most successfully when the content of the intuition, or the purpose of the 'tact,' is quite unconscious. And the most cursory consideration of civilised life shows that repression of the primary instincts is operative in all individuals, for the obvious reason that all are subject to the same hereditary and environmental influences.

But although we may recognise these truths, a scientific psychological explanation of how and why they come to be so is desirable and Reik's contribution does not appear to assist very greatly in this respect. He infers, no doubt quite rightly, that complexes were stimulated in the men in response to their unconscious recognition of complexes active in the lady, which, owing to repression, resulted in their manifesting a symptom similar to hers. The author refers to Freud's work upon the Zote (obscene joke) showing that such a joke is a refined exposure of, or sexual assault upon, another person, originally a woman, involving the aggressive-exhibitionistic-complexes; but although it may well be that a similar psychological process was at work in this instance there is nothing to explain how the stimulation of that particular complex arose in the men here, for there was nothing obscene or sexual in the discussion.

In any case, Reik does not go into the question as to how this inner comprehension in one mind of another mind proceeds, which is certainly a question of great interest, one which, if it could be explained, would throw much light on so-called 'telepathic' occurrences and on the problem of 'suggestibility'

[ocr errors]
« 上一頁繼續 »