The Successful Error
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By Rudolf Allers
The Successful Error is an incisive critique, by one of Sigmund Freud’s first followers, of the doctrine and methodology of Freudian psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis is a science; consequently, any criticisms of it must use scientific tools—logic, experimentation, measurement. By such methods, the true nature of psychoanalysis reveals itself as a mass of self-contradictions and inconsistencies which is wholly incompatible with any philosophy save its own. First published in 1940, The Successful Error stands as a spirited achievement of critical balance, repudiating the fundamental misconceptions and false premises of the Freudian school while also acknowledging the achievements and insights of its flawed yet remarkable founder.
“The error of a great mind does not become better by being associated with a remarkable effort of the intellect. An error is forever an error.” (Rudolf Allers)
Rudolf Allers (1883–1963) was an Austrian psychiatrist and professor. An early follower of Sigmund Freud, he eventually parted ways with the Freudian school and became professor of psychology at the Catholic University of America, mentor to Viktor Frankl and Hans Urs von Balthasar, and a friend of St. Edith Stein. His major works include The Psychology of Character (1931) and The New Psychologies (1933).