Among the topics covered are: Freud's discovery that the human mind can only be studied through a partnership between observer and observed; how clinical evidence is made up of a unique mixture of subjective and objective; an observation on the way issues of identity affect not only individuals but classes of people; and an examination of the links between ego formation and institutions and traditions. Erikson also discusses the origins of ethics and looks at psychiatry as the pragmatic Western version of the universal journey to self-awareness.
Essentially for colleagues, this is the publication of expanded lectures given on three continents by Harvard professor and clinician Erik H. Erikson. Six in number, the lectures take up the common theme of insight and its application, with an emphasis on the expression of insight rather than the construction of theory. The speech delivered on the 100th anniversary of Freud's birth follows the founder of psychoanalysis in his exploration and portrays him as a Moses who "opens perspective on fertile fields to be cultivated by others"; an M.I.T. lecture examines "The Nature of Clinical Evidence." Also considered are "Identity and the Uprootedness of Our Time"; "Human Strength and the Cycle of Generations"; "Psychological Reality and Historical Actuality"; and (in India, with Gandhi as an illustration) "The Golden Rule in the Light of New Insight." These topics afford a vista of intensive investigation for a professional readership. (Kirkus Reviews)