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Follies of the Wise

Dissenting Essays

List Price: $16.95

March 10, 2007 | Paperback | 6 x 9, 416 Pages | ISBN 9781593761509
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True skepticism is an attitude of constant questioning, a mode of thinking Frederick Crews held so dear he applied it to Freudian psychoanalytic theory, an intellectual tradition he initially believed to be empirically sound. But as his examination of the logical structure and institutional history of psychoanalysis revealed ever more cracks in the field’s empirical framework, Crews broke with Freudian theory, eventually labeling it the very model of a modern pseudoscience.

This collection features essays chronicling his rejection of Freudian psychoanalysis and our recent recovered memory movement, including such controversial and widely quoted pieces as “The Unknown Freud” and “The Revenge of the Repressed.” Crews also tackles new subjects as diverse as UFO abduction reports, American Buddhism, contemporary literary criticism, and theosophy. A single theme animates these bracing and witty discussions: the temptation to reach for facile wisdom without attending to the little voice that asks, “How might I be deceiving myself here?”

FREDERICK CREWS has authored more than a dozen books, including The Pooh Perplex, Skeptical Engagements, and The Memory Wars. A longtime contributor to the New York Review of Books, he also taught at the University of California, Berkeley, for thirty-six years. He and his wife live in Berkeley.



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