This work is the fruit of three years' experimental labor and clinical observation. In view of the difficulty and magnitude of the material, my work cannot and will not lay any claims either to perfection of treatment or to perfect certainty of conclusions and statements; on the contrary, it unites in itself all the disadvantages of eclecticism, which perhaps to many a reader will seem so peculiar that he will call my work ...
This work is the fruit of three years' experimental labor and clinical observation. In view of the difficulty and magnitude of the material, my work cannot and will not lay any claims either to perfection of treatment or to perfect certainty of conclusions and statements; on the contrary, it unites in itself all the disadvantages of eclecticism, which perhaps to many a reader will seem so peculiar that he will call my work rather a confession of faith than a scientific book. —Peu importe! What is of chief concern is that I may succeed in showing my readers how, by certain psychological investigations, I reached certain views, which I deem fit for the stimulation of the problems of the individual psychological basis of dementia praecox in a new and fruitful direction.
My views are no contrivances of a roving fancy, but thoughts which matured in almost daily intercourse with my venerable chief, Professor Bleuler. I owe special thanks to my friend, Dr. Riklin, of Rheinau, for considerably enriching my empirical material. Even a superficial glance at my work will show how indebted I am to the excellent conceptions of Freud. As Freud has not yet attained fair recognition and appreciation, but is opposed in the most authoritative circles, I hope to be allowed to define my position towards him. My attention was attracted to Freud by reading some of his articles, and indeed, at first accidentally by his "Traumdeutung," after which I studied also his other works. To be sure in the beginning I naturally entertained all the objections which are advanced in literature against Freud. However, I thought that Freud could only be refuted by one who himself had thoroughly tried the psychoanalytic method, and who should really investigate like Freud, that is, by studying out patiently and for a long time the daily life, hysteria and dreams from Freud's point of view. He who does not or cannot do this ought not to judge Freud, else he acts like those famous men of science who disdained to look through the telescope of Galileo. Fairness to Freud does not signify, as many fear, a conditionless submission to a dogma; indeed independent judgment can very well be retained beside it. If I, for instance, recognize the complex mechanisms of dreams and hysteria, it does not at all mean that I ascribe to sexual trauma in youth an exclusive significance, as Freud apparently does; still less does it mean that I place sexuality so preponderantly in the foreground, or that I even ascribe to it the psychological universality which Freud postulates under the impression of the very powerful role which sexuality plays in the psyche. As for Freud's therapy, it is at best a possible one, and perhaps does not always come up to expectations. Nevertheless, all these are only side issues which completely disappear beside the psychological principles, the discovery of which is Freud's greatest reward, and to which the critic does not pay enough attention. He who wishes to be fair to Freud should act in accordance with the words of Erasmus: Unumquemque move lapidem, omnia experire nihil intentatum relinque.
As my work is often based on experimental examinations, I hope that the reader will pardon me if he finds many references to the "Diagnostischen Associations-Studien."1