Quotation by Irving Kristol

Psychoanalysis is unlike traditional medicine in that nature does not so readily supply us with a working definition of the psychically "normal." Our definition of physical normality ("health") is not something we have strenuously to imagine or blindly to postulate, and there are obvious and sharp limits to possible disagreement; it is simply given to us because we are what we are. But psychoanalysis is in a more ambiguous position. Its definition of mental health has to be in good measure "thought up," and it must be done by men whose ideas are influenced by their lives and times. Psychoanalysis is always open to the accusation that its criteria of "neurosis" and "mental health" and "adjustment" have a cultural bias, and are influenced by political ideologies, national prejudices, and personal whims.
Irving Kristol (b. 1920), U.S. editor, educator. "God and the Psychoanalysts," Reflections of a Neoconservative, Basic Books (1983).
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