The Psychoanalytic Movement

Cloth Text – $52.00

ISBN 978-0-8101-1369-5

Trade Paper – $27.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-1370-1
Publication Date
August 1996
Page Count
241 pages
Trim Size
6 x 9

The Psychoanalytic Movement

The Cunning of Unreason
Ernest Gellner

How did psychoanalysis become so accepted by the public? This provocative book reconstructs the system of ideas upon which the theory and practice of psychoanalysis rests, describing a modern culture that has created a psychic or a spiritual void that psychoanalysis seems custom-made to fill. Gellner approaches the question as a sociologist and attains a broad perspective on the ideas of the psychoanalytic movement as a system of cultural beliefs.

About the Author

His first book, Words and Things (1958) prompted a leader in The Times and a month-long correspondence on its letters page over his attack on linguistic philosophy. As the Professor of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method at the London School of Economics for 22 years, the William Wyse Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge for eight, and finally as head of the new Centre for the Study of Nationalism in Prague, Gellner fought all his life—in his writing, his teaching, and through his political activism—against what he saw as closed systems of thought, particularly communism, psychoanalysis, relativism, and the dictatorship of the free market.
"One of those iconoclastic masterpieces of skeptical good sense and fine intelligence that you might come across once in ten years if you're lucky." --New Statesman
"In this brilliant book . . . Gellner describes powerfully, and in the most brightly colored prose, the causality of Freudian dogma." --Times (London)