Фрейд, Зигмунд (1856–1939)
(по-англ. Freud, Sigmund), австрийский врач, невропатолог, психопатолог, психиатр, психолог.
Основоположник психоанализа и фрейдизма. Хотя его теоретические и клинические методы
оспариваются и сегодня, все же признано, что Фрейд пролил новый свет на представления о человеческом
сознании. Предположение, что действия человека могут быть мотивированы силами подсознания, о которых он сам
не подозревает, разрушило представление 18 века о человеке, как рациональном существе. Влияние Фрейда
простирается далеко за пределы собственно медицины и затрагивает современные идеи образования, психологии,
религии, социологии, юриспруденции, искусства и литературы.
Фрейд родился во Фрейбурге, Моравия, в 1856, образование получил в Вене, где в возрасте 20 лет
он начал свою карьеру с исследований в области психологии. После изучения причин и лечения истерии
в сотрудничестве с Йозефом Брейером, Фрейд начал использовать новый терапевтический метод для душевных
расстройств, который он назвал психоанализом. Его посылка состояла в том, что движущие силы человечества
зиждутся на уровне подсознания человека. Сознание соответственно становится искусственным, искаженным
зеркалом реальности, используемым часто, чтобы скрывать или же – напротив – невольно приоткрывать истину.
Пациента просят вызвать из памяти забытые эпизоды, и это, как утверждает Фрейд, помогает врачу обнаружить
разнообразные подавленные переживания, являющиеся на самом деле причиной душевного расстройства и невроза.
Фрейд для этого использовал «свободные ассоциации» в отличие от техники гипноза, применяемой Брейером.
В процессе работы Фрейд пришел к убеждению, что многие из подавленных импульсов человека являются
сексуальными побуждениями, которым противостоит человек, и которые находят выход в других болезненных
В 1897 Фрейд начал проводить психоанализ самого себя, в основном через сны, процесс, который
привел его к теории, что в снах с очевидностью реализуются все подавленные желания. Выводы, к которым он
пришел, были впервые опубликованы в 1900 («Интерпретация снов», 1913).
Около 1906 Фрейд вышел из изоляции, в которой он находился по вине медицинской общественности,
и создал группу учеников, самым известным из которых были К.Г. Юнг из Цюриха и еврей из Вены Альфред Адлер.
К 1912 г. они оба покинули Фрейда и основали свои собственные школы. Главным препятствием
при сотрудничестве Фрейда с другими психоаналитиками был его акцент на сексуальный фактор в младенчестве
и раннем детстве и то, что он описывал как Эдипов комплекс в отношении ребенка со своими родителями.
В годы первой мировой войны Фрейд занимался созданием теоретической базы своей работы. Он связывал
ментальные процессы с тремя главными понятиями: «я», представляющее разум и реальность, «оно», связанный
с первичными инстинктами, и «сверх-я», выражающее моральные ограничения.
Фрейд фокусировался на индивидууме, чьи мысли, желания, извращения и агрессия по сути одинаковы,
вне зависимости от расы, религии, национальности и идеологии, к которым он принадлежит. Поэтому
неудивительно, что нацисты сжигали его работы. В 1938 вместе со своей дочерью Анной (р. 1895) ему удалось
бежать из оккупированной нацистами Австрии и добраться до Лондона, где он умер через год, после мучительной
борьбы с особо болезненной формой рака. В его последней книге, опубликованной по-немецки в 1939, «Моисей и
монотеизм» (1955), речь шла о происхождении и характерных особенностях еврейской религии.
Мрачное настроение и физические страдания, заполнившие его последние годы, не могли не сказаться
на ходе его мыслей в этот период. Он стал глубоким пессимистом, и записки, оставленные им, полны
предсказаний о безнадежности человеческого рода. Он все рассматривал в это время через призму смерти,
извращений и агрессии. Если развитие научной мысли вынуждает человека идти ощупью за ускользающей внешней
реальностью, то Фрейд вынуждает его проводить почти что невозможные поиски реальности в его внутреннем
Комэй, Джоан. Кто есть кто.
на статьи «Андреевской энциклопедии» и Скифопедии
Моисей БЕ; нацистская Германия БЕ;
первобытная культура, 3 БЕ;
Фрейд З. Толкование сновидений (Вена, 1900). –
Фрейд З. Лекции по введению в психоанализ (Вена, 1916–1917). –
Северозападная метакультура + (группа
Main page: Scythopedia
Freud, Sigmund (1856–1939)
(in Russian Фрейд, Зигмунд; born May 6, 1856, Freiberg, Moravia, Austrian Empire
[now Príbor, Czech Republic], died September 23, 1939, London), Austrian neurologist, founder
of psychoanalysis. Freud may justly be called the most influential intellectual legislator of his age.
His creation of psychoanalysis was at once a theory of the human psyche, a therapy for the relief of its
ills, and an optic for the interpretation of culture and society. Despite repeated criticisms, attempted
refutations, and qualifications of Freud's work, its spell remained powerful well after his death and
in fields far removed from psychology as it is narrowly defined. If, as the American sociologist
Philip Rieff once contended, “psychological man” replaced such earlier notions as political, religious,
or economic man as the 20th century's dominant self-image, it is in no small measure due to the power
of Freud's vision and the seeming inexhaustibility of the intellectual legacy he left behind.
Early life and training
Freud's father, Jakob, was a Jewish wool merchant who had been married once before he wed the boy's
mother, Amalie Nathansohn. The father, 40 years old at Freud's birth, seems to have been a relatively
remote and authoritarian figure, while his mother appears to have been more nurturant and emotionally
available. Although Freud had two older half-brothers, his strongest if also most ambivalent attachment
seems to have been to a nephew, John, one year his senior, who provided the model of intimate friend and
hated rival that Freud reproduced often at later stages of his life.
In 1859 the Freud family was compelled for economic reasons to move to Leipzig and then a year after
to Vienna, where Freud remained until the Nazi annexation of Austria 78 years later. Despite Freud's
dislike of the imperial city, in part because of its citizens' frequent anti-Semitism, psychoanalysis
reflected in significant ways the cultural and political context out of which it emerged. For example,
Freud's sensitivity to the vulnerability of paternal authority within the psyche may well have been
stimulated by the decline in power suffered by his father's generation, often liberal rationalists,
in the Habsburg empire. So too his interest in the theme of the seduction of daughters was rooted
in complicated ways in the context of Viennese attitudes toward female sexuality.
In 1873 Freud was graduated from the Sperl Gymnasium and, apparently inspired by a public reading
of an essay by Goethe on nature, turned to medicine as a career. At the University of Vienna he worked
with one of the leading physiologists of his day, Ernst von Brücke, an exponent of the materialist,
antivitalist science of Hermann von Helmholtz. In 1882 he entered the General Hospital in Vienna
as a clinical assistant to train with the psychiatrist Theodor Meynert and the professor of internal
medicine Hermann Nothnagel. In 1885 Freud was appointed lecturer in neuropathology, having concluded
important research on the brain's medulla. At this time he also developed an interest in the pharmaceutical
benefits of cocaine, which he pursued for several years. Although some beneficial results were found in
eye surgery, which have been credited to Freud's friend Carl Koller, the general outcome was disastrous. Not
only did Freud's advocacy lead to a mortal addiction in another close friend, Ernst Fleischl von Marxow,
but it also tarnished his medical reputation for a time. Whether or not one interprets this episode
in terms that call into question Freud's prudence as a scientist, it was of a piece with his lifelong
willingness to attempt bold solutions to relieve human suffering.
Freud's scientific training remained of cardinal importance in his work, or at least in his own
conception of it. In such writings as his “Entwurf einer Psychologie” (written 1895, published 1950;
“Project for a Scientific Psychology”) he affirmed his intention to find a physiological and materialist
basis for his theories of the psyche. Here a mechanistic neurophysiological model vied with a more
organismic, phylogenetic one in ways that demonstrate Freud's complicated debt to the science of his day.
In late 1885 Freud left Vienna to continue his studies of neuropathology at the Salpetriere clinic
in Paris, where he worked under the guidance of Jean-Martin Charcot. His 19 weeks in the French capital
proved a turning point in his career, for Charcot's work with patients classified as “hysterics” introduced
Freud to the possibility that psychological disorders might have their source in the mind rather than
the brain. Charcot's demonstration of a link between hysterical symptoms, such as paralysis of a limb, and
hypnotic suggestion implied the power of mental states rather than nerves in the etiology of disease.
Although Freud was soon to abandon his faith in hypnosis, he returned to Vienna in February 1886
with the seed of his revolutionary psychological method implanted.
Several months after his return Freud married Martha Bernays, the daughter of a prominent Jewish
family whose ancestors included a chief rabbi of Hamburg and Heinrich Heine. She was to bear six children,
one of whom, Anna Freud, was to become a distinguished psychoanalyst in her own right. Although the glowing
picture of their marriage painted by Ernest Jones in his biography of Freud has been nuanced by later
scholars, it is clear that Martha Bernays Freud was a deeply sustaining presence during her husband's
Shortly after his marriage Freud began his closest friendship, with the Berlin physician Wilhelm
Fliess, whose role in the development of psychoanalysis has occasioned widespread debate. Throughout
the 15 years of their intimacy Fliess provided Freud an invaluable interlocutor for his most daring ideas.
Freud's belief in human bisexuality, his idea of erotogenic zones on the body, and perhaps even his
imputation of sexuality to infants may well have been stimulated by their friendship.
A somewhat less controversial influence arose from the partnership Freud began with the physician
Josef Breuer after his return from Paris. Freud turned to a clinical practice in neuropsychology, and
the office he established at Berggasse 19 was to remain his consulting room for almost half a century.
Before their collaboration began, during the early 1880s, Breuer had treated a patient named Bertha
Pappenheim – or “Anna O.,” as she became known in the literature – who was suffering from a variety
of hysterical symptoms. Rather than using hypnotic suggestion, as had Charcot, Breuer allowed her
to lapse into a state resembling autohypnosis, in which she would talk about the initial manifestations
of her symptoms. To Breuer's surprise, the very act of verbalization seemed to provide some relief
from their hold over her (although later scholarship has cast doubt on its permanence). “The talking cure”
or “chimney sweeping,” as Breuer and Anna O., respectively, called it, seemed to act cathartically
to produce an abreaction, or discharge, of the pent-up emotional blockage at the root of the pathological
Freud, still beholden to Charcot's hypnotic method, did not grasp the full implications of Breuer's
experience until a decade later, when he developed the technique of free association. In part
an extrapolation of the automatic writing promoted by the German Jewish writer Ludwig Borne
a century before, in part a result of his own clinical experience with other hysterics, this
revolutionary method was announced in the work Freud published jointly with Breuer in 1895, “Studies
in Hysteria”. By encouraging the patient to express any random thoughts that
came associatively to mind, the technique aimed at uncovering hitherto unarticulated material from
the realm of the psyche that Freud, following a long tradition, called the unconscious. Because
of its incompatibility with conscious thoughts or conflicts with other unconscious ones, this material
was normally hidden, forgotten, or unavailable to conscious reflection. Difficulty in freely
associating – sudden silences, stuttering, or the like – suggested to Freud the importance of the material
struggling to be expressed, as well as the power of what he called the patient's defenses against
that expression. Such blockages Freud dubbed resistance, which had to be broken down in order to reveal
hidden conflicts. Unlike Charcot and Breuer, Freud came to the conclusion, based on his clinical
experience with female hysterics, that the most insistent source of resisted material was sexual
in nature. And even more momentously, he linked the etiology of neurotic symptoms to the same struggle
between a sexual feeling or urge and the psychic defenses against it. Being able to bring that conflict
to consciousness through free association and then probing its implications was thus a crucial step,
he reasoned, on the road to relieving the symptom, which was best understood as an unwitting compromise
formation between the wish and the defense.
At first, however, Freud was uncertain about the precise status of the sexual component in this
dynamic conception of the psyche. His patients seemed to recall actual experiences of early seductions,
often incestuous in nature. Freud's initial impulse was to accept these as having happened. But then,
as he disclosed in a now famous letter to Fliess of Sept. 2, 1897, he concluded that, rather than being
memories of actual events, these shocking recollections were the residues of infantile impulses and
desires to be seduced by an adult. What was recalled was not a genuine memory but what he would later
call a screen memory, or fantasy, hiding a primitive wish. That is, rather than stressing the corrupting
initiative of adults in the etiology of neuroses, Freud concluded that the fantasies and yearnings
of the child were at the root of later conflict.
The absolute centrality of his change of heart in the subsequent development of psychoanalysis
cannot be doubted. For in attributing sexuality to children, emphasizing the causal power of fantasies,
and establishing the importance of repressed desires, Freud laid the groundwork for what many have called
the epic journey into his own psyche, which followed soon after the dissolution of his partnership with
Freud's work on hysteria had focused on female sexuality and its potential for neurotic
expression. To be fully universal, psychoanalysis – a term Freud coined in 1896 – would also have to examine
the male psyche in a condition of what might be called normality. It would have to become more than
a psychotherapy and develop into a complete theory of the mind. To this end Freud accepted the enormous
risk of generalizing from the experience he knew best: his own. Significantly, his self-analysis was both
the first and the last in the history of the movement he spawned; all future analysts would have
to undergo a training analysis with someone whose own analysis was ultimately traceable to Freud's of his
Freud's self-exploration was apparently enabled by a disturbing event in his life. In October
1896, Jakob Freud died shortly before his 81st birthday. Emotions were released in his son that he
understood as having been long repressed, emotions concerning his earliest familial experiences and
feelings. Beginning in earnest in July 1897, Freud attempted to reveal their meaning by drawing on
a technique that had been available for millennia: the deciphering of dreams. Freud's contribution to
the tradition of dream analysis was path-breaking, for in insisting on them as “the royal road to
a knowledge of the unconscious,” he provided a remarkably elaborate account of why dreams originate and
how they function.
The interpretation of dreams
In what many commentators consider his master work, “The Interpretation of Dreams” (published
in 1899, but given the date of the dawning century to emphasize its epochal character),
he presented his findings. Interspersing evidence from his own dreams with evidence from those recounted
in his clinical practice, Freud contended that dreams played a fundamental role in the psychic economy.
The mind's energy – which Freud called libido and identified principally, but not exclusively, with
the sexual drive – was a fluid and malleable force capable of excessive and disturbing power. Needing to be
discharged to ensure pleasure and prevent pain, it sought whatever outlet it might find. If denied
the gratification provided by direct motor action, libidinal energy could seek its release through mental
channels. Or, in the language of “The Interpretation of Dreams”, a wish can be satisfied by an imaginary
wish fulfillment. All dreams, Freud claimed, even nightmares manifesting apparent anxiety, are
the fulfillment of such wishes.
More precisely, dreams are the disguised expression of wish fulfillments. Like neurotic symptoms,
they are the effects of compromises in the psyche between desires and prohibitions in conflict
with their realization. Although sleep can relax the power of the mind's diurnal censorship of forbidden
desires, such censorship, nonetheless, persists in part during nocturnal existence. Dreams, therefore,
have to be decoded to be understood, and not merely because they are actually forbidden desires
experienced in distorted fashion. For dreams undergo further revision in the process of being recounted
to the analyst.
The Interpretation of Dreams provides a hermeneutic for the unmasking of the dream's disguise,
or dreamwork, as Freud called it. The manifest content of the dream, that which is remembered and
reported, must be understood as veiling a latent meaning. Dreams defy logical entailment and narrative
coherence, for they intermingle the residues of immediate daily experience with the deepest, often most
infantile wishes. Yet they can be ultimately decoded by attending to four basic activities
of the dreamwork and reversing their mystifying effect.
The first of these activities, condensation, operates through the fusion of several different
elements into one. As such, it exemplifies one of the key operations of psychic life, which Freud called
overdetermination. No direct correspondence between a simple manifest content and its multidimensional
latent counterpart can be assumed. The second activity of the dreamwork, displacement, refers
to the decentring of dream thoughts, so that the most urgent wish is often obliquely or marginally
represented on the manifest level. Displacement also means the associative substitution of one signifier
in the dream for another, say, the king for one's father. The third activity Freud called representation,
by which he meant the transformation of thoughts into images. Decoding a dream thus means translating such
visual representations back into intersubjectively available language through free association. The final
function of the dreamwork is secondary revision, which provides some order and intelligibility to
the dream by supplementing its content with narrative coherence. The process of dream interpretation
thus reverses the direction of the dreamwork, moving from the level of the conscious recounting
of the dream through the preconscious back beyond censorship into the unconscious itself.
Further theoretical development
In 1904 Freud published “The Psychopathology of Everyday Life,” in which he explored such
seemingly insignificant errors as slips of the tongue or pen (later colloquially called Freudian slips),
misreadings, or forgetting of names. These errors Freud understood to have symptomatic and thus
interpretable importance. But unlike dreams they need not betray a repressed infantile wish yet can
arise from more immediate hostile, jealous, or egoistic causes.
In 1905 Freud extended the scope of this analysis by examining “Jokes and Their Relation to
the Unconscious.” Invoking the idea of “joke-work” as a process comparable to dreamwork, he also
acknowledged the double-sided quality of jokes, at once consciously contrived and unconsciously revealing.
Seemingly innocent phenomena like puns or jests are as open to interpretation as more obviously
tendentious, obscene, or hostile jokes. The explosive response often produced by successful humour,
Freud contended, owes its power to the orgasmic release of unconscious impulses, aggressive as well
as sexual. But insofar as jokes are more deliberate than dreams or slips, they draw on the rational
dimension of the psyche that Freud was to call the ego as much as on what he was to call the id.
In 1905 Freud also published the work that first thrust him into the limelight as the alleged
champion of a pansexualist understanding of the mind: “Three Contributions to the Sexual Theory,” later
translated as “Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality,” revised and expanded in subsequent editions.
The work established Freud, along with Richard von Kraft-Ebing, Havelock Ellis, Albert Moll, and
Iwan Bloch, as a pioneer in the serious study of sexology. Here he outlined in greater detail than before
his reasons for emphasizing the sexual component in the development of both normal and pathological
behaviour. Although not as reductionist as popularly assumed, Freud nonetheless extended the concept
of sexuality beyond conventional usage to include a panoply of erotic impulses from the earliest
childhood years on. Distinguishing between sexual aims (the act toward which instincts strive) and
sexual objects (the person, organ, or physical entity eliciting attraction), he elaborated a repertoire
of sexually generated behaviour of astonishing variety. Beginning very early in life, imperiously
insistent on its gratification, remarkably plastic in its expression, and open to easy maldevelopment,
sexuality, Freud concluded, is the prime mover in a great deal of human behaviour.
Sexuality and development
To spell out the formative development of the sexual drive, Freud focused on the progressive
replacement of erotogenic zones in the body by others. An originally polymorphous sexuality first seeks
gratification orally through sucking at the mother's breast, an object for which other surrogates can
later be provided. Initially unable to distinguish between self and breast, the infant soon comes
to appreciate its mother as the first external love object. Later Freud would contend that even before
that moment, the child can treat its own body as such an object, going beyond undifferentiated
autoeroticism to a narcissistic love for the self as such. After the oral phase, during the second year,
the child's erotic focus shifts to its anus, stimulated by the struggle over toilet training. During
the anal phase the child's pleasure in defecation is confronted with the demands of self-control.
The third phase, lasting from about the fourth to the sixth year, he called the phallic. Because Freud
relied on male sexuality as the norm of development, his analysis of this phase aroused considerable
opposition, especially because he claimed its major concern is castration anxiety.
To grasp what Freud meant by this fear, it is necessary to understand one of his central
contentions. As has been stated, the death of Freud's father was the trauma that permitted him to delve
into his own psyche. Not only did Freud experience the expected grief, but he also expressed
disappointment, resentment, and even hostility toward his father in the dreams he analyzed at the time.
In the process of abandoning the seduction theory he recognized the source of the anger as his own psyche
rather than anything objectively done by his father. Turning, as he often did, to evidence from literary
and mythical texts as anticipations of his psychological insights, Freud interpreted that source in terms
of Sophocles' tragedy “Oedipus Rex.” The universal applicability of its plot, he conjectured, lies
in the desire of every male child to sleep with his mother and remove the obstacle to the realization
of that wish, his father. What he later dubbed the Oedipus complex presents the child with a critical
problem, for the unrealizable yearning at its root provokes an imagined response on the part of
the father: the threat of castration.
The phallic stage can only be successfully surmounted if the Oedipus complex with its accompanying
castration anxiety can be resolved. According to Freud, this resolution can occur if the boy finally
suppresses his sexual desire for the mother, entering a period of so-called latency, and internalizes
the reproachful prohibition of the father, making it his own with the construction of that part
of the psyche Freud called the superego or the conscience.
The blatantly phallocentric bias of this account, which was supplemented by a highly controversial
assumption of penis envy in the already castrated female child, proved troublesome for subsequent
psychoanalytic theory. Not surprisingly, later analysts of female sexuality have paid more attention
to the girl's relations with the pre-Oedipal mother than to the vicissitudes of the Oedipus complex.
Anthropological challenges to the universality of the complex have also been damaging, although it has
been possible to redescribe it in terms that lift it out of the specific familial dynamics of Freud's
own day. If the creation of culture is understood as the institution of kinship structures based
on exogamy, then the Oedipal drama reflects the deeper struggle between natural desire and cultural
Freud, however, always maintained the intrapsychic importance of the Oedipus complex, whose
successful resolution is the precondition for the transition through latency to the mature sexuality
he called the genital phase. Here the parent of the opposite sex is conclusively abandoned in favour
of a more suitable love object able to reciprocate reproductively useful passion. In the case of
the girl, disappointment over the nonexistence of a penis is transcended by the rejection of her mother
in favour of a father figure instead. In both cases, sexual maturity means heterosexual, procreatively
inclined, genitally focused behaviour.
Sexual development, however, is prone to troubling maladjustments preventing this outcome if
the various stages are unsuccessfully negotiated. Fixation of sexual aims or objects can occur at any
particular moment, caused either by an actual trauma or the blockage of a powerful libidinal urge.
If the fixation is allowed to express itself directly at a later age, the result is what was then
generally called a perversion. If, however, some part of the psyche prohibits such overt expression,
then, Freud contended, the repressed and censored impulse produces neurotic symptoms, neuroses being
conceptualized as the negative of perversions. Neurotics repeat the desired act in repressed form,
without conscious memory of its origin or the ability to confront and work it through in the present.
In addition to the neurosis of hysteria, with its conversion of affective conflicts into bodily
symptoms, Freud developed complicated etiological explanations for other typical neurotic behaviour,
such as obsessive-compulsions, paranoia, and narcissism. These he called psychoneuroses, because
of their rootedness in childhood conflicts, as opposed to the actual neuroses such as hypochondria,
neurasthenia, and anxiety neurosis, which are due to problems in the present (the last, for example,
being caused by the physical suppression of sexual release).
Freud's elaboration of his therapeutic technique during these years focused on the implications
of a specific element in the relationship between patient and analyst, an element whose power he first
began to recognize in reflecting on Breuer's work with Anna O. Although later scholarship has cast doubt
on its veracity, Freud's account of the episode was as follows. An intense rapport between Breuer and
his patient had taken an alarming turn when Anna divulged her strong sexual desire for him. Breuer,
who recognized the stirrings of reciprocal feelings, broke off his treatment out of an understandable
confusion about the ethical implications of acting on these impulses. Freud came to see in this troubling
interaction the effects of a more pervasive phenomenon, which he called transference (or in the case
of the analyst's desire for the patient, counter-transference). Produced by the projection of feelings,
transference, he reasoned, is the reenactment of childhood urges cathected (invested) on a new object.
As such, it is the essential tool in the analytic cure, for by bringing to the surface repressed emotions
and allowing them to be examined in a clinical setting, transference can permit their being worked through
in the present. That is, affective remembrance can be the antidote to neurotic repetition.
It was largely to facilitate transference that Freud developed his celebrated technique
of having the patient lie on a couch, not looking directly at the analyst, and free to fantasize with
as little intrusion of the analyst's real personality as possible. Restrained and neutral, the analyst
functions as a screen for the displacement of early emotions, both erotic and aggressive. Transference
onto the analyst is itself a kind of neurosis, but one in the service of an ultimate working through
of the conflicting feelings it expresses. Only certain illnesses, however, are open to this treatment,
for it demands the ability to redirect libidinal energy outward. The psychoses, Freud sadly concluded,
are based on the redirection of libido back onto the patient's ego and cannot therefore be relieved by
transference in the analytic situation. How successful psychoanalytic therapy has been in the treatment
of psychoneuroses remains, however, a matter of considerable dispute.
Although Freud's theories were offensive to many in the Vienna of his day, they began to attract
a cosmopolitan group of supporters in the early 1900s. In 1902 the Psychological Wednesday Circle began
to gather in Freud's waiting room with a number of future luminaries in the psychoanalytic movements
in attendance. Alfred Adler and Wilhelm Stekel were often joined by guests such as Sándor Ferenczi,
Carl Gustav Jung, Otto Rank, Ernest Jones, Max Eitingon, and A.A. Brill. In 1908 the group was renamed
the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society and held its first international congress in Salzburg. In the same year
the first branch society was opened in Berlin. In 1909 Freud, along with Jung and Ferenczi, made
a historic trip to Clark University in Worcester, Mass. The lectures he gave there were soon published
as “The Origin and Development of Psychoanalysis” (1910), the first of several introductions he wrote for
a general audience. Along with a series of vivid case studies – the most famous known colloquially as
“Dora” (1905), “Little Hans” (1909), “The Rat Man” (1909), “The Psychotic Dr. Schreber” (1911), and
“The Wolf Man” (1918) – they made his ideas known to a wider public.
As might be expected of a movement whose treatment emphasized the power of transference and
the ubiquity of Oedipal conflict, its early history is a tale rife with dissension, betrayal, apostasy,
and excommunication. The most widely noted schisms occurred with Adler in 1911, Stekel in 1912, and Jung
in 1913; these were followed by later breaks with Ferenczi, Rank, and Wilhelm Reich in the 1920s.
Despite efforts by loyal disciples like Ernest Jones to exculpate Freud from blame, subsequent research
concerning his relations with former disciples like Viktor Tausk have clouded the picture considerably.
Critics of the hagiographic legend of Freud have, in fact, had a relatively easy time documenting
the tension between Freud's aspirations to scientific objectivity and the extraordinarily fraught
personal context in which his ideas were developed and disseminated. Even well after Freud's death,
his archivists' insistence on limiting access to potentially embarrassing material in his papers has
reinforced the impression that the psychoanalytic movement resembled more a sectarian church than
a scientific community (at least as the latter is ideally understood).
Toward a general theory
If the troubled history of its institutionalization served to call psychoanalysis into question
in certain quarters, so too did its founder's penchant for extrapolating his clinical findings into
a more ambitious general theory. As he admitted to Fliess in 1900, “I am actually not a man of science
at all. ... I am nothing but a conquistador by temperament, an adventurer.” Freud's so-called
metapsychology soon became the basis for wide-ranging speculations about cultural, social, artistic,
religious, and anthropological phenomena. Composed of a complicated and often revised mixture of economic,
dynamic, and topographical elements, the metapsychology was developed in a series of 12 papers Freud
composed during World War I, only some of which were published in his lifetime. Their general findings
appeared in two books in the 1920s: “Beyond the Pleasure Principle” (1920) and “The Ego and the Id” (1923).
In these works, Freud attempted to clarify the relationship between his earlier topographical
division of the psyche into the unconscious, preconscious, and conscious and his subsequent structural
categorization into id, ego, and superego. The id was defined in terms of the most primitive
urges for gratification in the infant, urges dominated by the desire for pleasure through the release
of tension and the cathexis of energy. Ruled by no laws of logic, indifferent to the demands
of expediency, unconstrained by the resistance of external reality, the id is ruled by what Freud
called the primary process directly expressing somatically generated instincts. Through the inevitable
experience of frustration the infant learns to adapt itself to the exigencies of reality. The secondary
process that results leads to the growth of the ego, which follows what Freud called the reality
principle in contradistinction to the pleasure principle dominating the id. Here the need to delay
gratification in the service of self-preservation is slowly learned in an effort to thwart the anxiety
produced by unfulfilled desires. What Freud termed defense mechanisms are developed by the ego to deal
with such conflicts. Repression is the most fundamental, but Freud also posited an entire repertoire
of others, including reaction formation, isolation, undoing, denial, displacement, and rationalization.
The last component in Freud's trichotomy, the superego, develops from the internalization
of society's moral commands through identification with parental dictates during the resolution
of the Oedipus complex. Only partly conscious, the superego gains some of its punishing force
by borrowing certain aggressive elements in the id, which are turned inward against the ego and
produce feelings of guilt. But it is largely through the internalization of social norms that
the superego is constituted, an acknowledgement that prevents psychoanalysis from conceptualizing
the psyche in purely biologistic or individualistic terms.
Freud's understanding of the primary process underwent a crucial shift in the course
of his career. Initially he counterposed a libidinal drive that seeks sexual pleasure
to a self-preservation drive whose telos is survival. But in 1914, while examining the phenomenon
of narcissism, he came to consider the latter instinct as merely a variant of the former. Unable
to accept so monistic a drive theory, Freud sought a new dualistic alternative. He arrived
at the speculative assertion that there exists in the psyche an innate, regressive drive for stasis
that aims to end life's inevitable tension. This striving for rest he christened the Nirvana principle
and the drive underlying it the death instinct, or Thanatos, which he could substitute
for self-preservation as the contrary of the life instinct, or Eros.
Social and cultural studies
Freud's mature instinct theory is in many ways a metaphysical construct, comparable to Bergson's
élan vital or Schopenhauer's Will. Emboldened by its formulation, Freud launched a series
of audacious studies that took him well beyond his clinician's consulting room. These he had already
commenced with investigations of Leonardo da Vinci (1910) and the novel “Gradiva” by Wilhelm Jensen
(1907). Here Freud attempted to psychoanalyze works of art as symbolic expressions of their creator's
The fundamental premise that permitted Freud to examine cultural phenomena was called sublimation
in the “Three Essays”. The appreciation or creation of ideal beauty, Freud contended, is rooted in primitive
sexual urges that are transfigured in culturally elevating ways. Unlike repression, which produces only
neurotic symptoms whose meaning is unknown even to the sufferer, sublimation is a conflict-free resolution
of repression, which leads to intersubjectively available cultural works. Although potentially reductive
in its implications, the psychoanalytic interpretation of culture can be justly called one of the most
powerful “hermeneutics of suspicion,” to borrow the French philosopher Paul Ricoeur's phrase, because
it debunks idealist notions of high culture as the alleged transcendence of baser concerns.
Freud extended the scope of his theories to include anthropological and social psychological
speculation as well in “Totem and Taboo” (1913). Drawing on Sir James Frazer's explorations
of the Australian Aborigines, he interpreted the mixture of fear and reverence for the totemic animal
in terms of the child's attitude toward the parent of the same sex. The Aborigines' insistence on exogamy
was a complicated defense against the strong incestuous desires felt by the child for the parent
of the opposite sex. Their religion was thus a phylogenetic anticipation of the ontogenetic Oedipal drama
played out in modern man's psychic development. But whereas the latter was purely an intrapsychic
phenomenon based on fantasies and fears, the former, Freud boldly suggested, was based on actual
historical events. Freud speculated that the rebellion of sons against dominating fathers for control
over women had culminated in actual parricide. Ultimately producing remorse, this violent act led
to atonement through incest taboos and the prohibitions against harming the father-substitute,
the totemic object or animal. When the fraternal clan replaced the patriarchal horde, true society
emerged. For renunciation of individual aspirations to replace the slain father and a shared sense
of guilt in the primal crime led to a contractual agreement to end internecine struggle and band together
instead. The totemic ancestor then could evolve into the more impersonal God of the great religions.
A subsequent effort to explain social solidarity, “Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego”
(1921), drew on the antidemocratic crowd psychologists of the late 19th century, most notably
Gustave Le Bon. Here the disillusionment with liberal, rational politics that some have seen
as the seedbed of much of Freud's work was at its most explicit (the only competitor being the debunking
psychobiography of Woodrow Wilson he wrote jointly with William Bullitt in 1930, which was not
published until 1967). All mass phenomena, Freud suggested, are characterized by intensely regressive
emotional ties stripping individuals of their self-control and independence. Rejecting possible
alternative explanations such as hypnotic suggestion or imitation and unwilling to follow Jung
in postulating a group mind, Freud emphasized instead individual libidinal ties to the group's leader.
Group formation is like regression to a primal horde with the leader as the original father. Drawing
on the army and the Roman Catholic Church as his examples, Freud never seriously considered less
authoritarian modes of collective behaviour.
Religion, civilization, and discontents
Freud's bleak appraisal of social and political solidarity was replicated, if in somewhat more
nuanced form, in his attitude toward religion. Although many accounts of Freud's development have
discerned debts to one or another aspect of his Jewish background, debts Freud himself partly acknowledged,
his avowed position was deeply irreligious. As noted in the account of “Totem and Taboo,” he always
attributed the belief in divinities ultimately to the displaced worship of human ancestors. One
of the most potent sources of his break with former disciples like Jung was precisely this skepticism
In his 1907 essay “Obsessive Acts and Religious Practices,” later translated as “Obsessive Actions
and Religious Practices,” Freud had already contended that obsessional neuroses are private religious
systems and religions themselves no more than the obsessional neuroses of mankind. Twenty years later,
in “The Future of an Illusion” (1927), he elaborated this argument, adding that belief in God is
a mythic reproduction of the universal state of infantile helplessness. Like an idealized father,
God is the projection of childish wishes for an omnipotent protector. If children can outgrow
their dependence, he concluded with cautious optimism, then humanity may also hope to leave behind
its immature heteronomy.
The simple Enlightenment faith underlying this analysis quickly elicited critical comment, which
led to its modification. In an exchange of letters with the French novelist Romain Rolland, Freud came
to acknowledge a more intractable source of religious sentiment. The opening section of his next
speculative tract, “Civilization and Its Discontents” (1930), was devoted to what Rolland had dubbed
the oceanic feeling. Freud described it as a sense of indissoluble oneness with the universe, which
mystics in particular have celebrated as the fundamental religious experience. Its origin, Freud claimed,
is nostalgia for the pre-Oedipal infant's sense of unity with its mother. Although still rooted
in infantile helplessness, religion thus derives to some extent from the earliest stage of postnatal
development. Regressive longings for its restoration are possibly stronger than those for a powerful
father and thus cannot be worked through by way of a collective resolution of the Oedipus complex.
“Civilization and Its Discontents”, written after the onset of Freud's struggle with cancer
of the jaw and in the midst of the rise of European Fascism, was a profoundly unconsoling book. Focusing
on the prevalence of human guilt and the impossibility of achieving unalloyed happiness, Freud contended
that no social solution of the discontents of mankind is possible. All civilizations, no matter how well
planned, can provide only partial relief. For aggression among men is not due to unequal property
relations or political injustice, which can be rectified by laws, but rather to the death instinct
Even Eros, Freud suggested, is not fully in harmony with civilization, for the libidinal ties
creating collective solidarity are aim-inhibited and diffuse rather than directly sexual. Thus, there is
likely to be tension between the urge for sexual gratification and the sublimated love for mankind.
Furthermore, because Eros and Thanatos are themselves at odds, conflict and the guilt it engenders are
virtually inevitable. The best to be hoped for is a life in which the repressive burdens of civilization
are in rough balance with the realization of instinctual gratification and the sublimated love
for mankind. But reconciliation of nature and culture is impossible, for the price of any civilization
is the guilt produced by the necessary thwarting of man's instinctual drives. Although elsewhere Freud
had postulated mature, heterosexual genitality and the capacity to work productively as the hallmarks
of health and urged that “where id is, there shall ego be,” it is clear that he held out no hope
for any collective relief from the discontents of civilization. He only offered an ethic of resigned
authenticity, which taught the wisdom of living without the possibility of redemption, either religious
Freud's final major work, “Moses and Monotheism” (1938), was more than just the “historical novel”
he had initially thought to subtitle it. Moses had long been a figure of capital importance for Freud;
indeed Michelangelo's famous statue of Moses had been the subject of an essay written in 1914. The book
itself sought to solve the mystery of Moses' origins by claiming that he was actually an aristocratic
Egyptian by birth who had chosen the Jewish people to keep alive an earlier monotheistic religion.
Too stern and demanding a taskmaster, Moses was slain in a Jewish revolt, and a second, more pliant
leader, also called Moses, rose in his place. The guilt engendered by the parricidal act was, however,
too much to endure, and the Jews ultimately returned to the religion given them by the original Moses
as the two figures were merged into one in their memories. Here Freud's ambivalence about
his religious roots and his father's authority was allowed to pervade a highly fanciful story
that reveals more about its author than its ostensible subject.
“Moses and Monotheism” was published in the year Hitler invaded Austria. Freud was forced to flee
to England. His books were among the first to be burned, as the fruits of a “Jewish science,” when
the Nazis took over Germany. Although psychotherapy was not banned in the Third Reich, where
Field Marshall Hermann Göring's cousin headed an official institute, psychoanalysis essentially
went into exile, most notably to North America and England. Freud himself died only a few weeks after
World War II broke out, at a time when his worst fears about the irrationality lurking behind
the facade of civilization were being realized. Freud's death did not, however, hinder the reception
and dissemination of his ideas. A plethora of Freudian schools emerged to develop psychoanalysis
in different directions. In fact, despite the relentless and often compelling challenges mounted
against virtually all of his ideas, Freud has remained one of the most potent figures in the intellectual
landscape of the 20th century.
Jay, Martin Evan (Professor of History, University of California, Berkeley; author
of “The Dialectical Imagination” and others). Freud, Sigmund // Encyclopædia Britannica, 2010.
to “Andreev encyclopædia” articles
Major Works (several of these works appeared
originally as journal articles; only the publication in book form is cited here):
The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud / Translated and
edited by James Strachey, et al. 24 vol. – 1953–1974, reprinted 1981. # This edition has better annotations
than the original standard German edition (18 vol. in 17; 1940–1968).
Studies in Hysteria / With Josef Breuer. – 1895; English translation 1936.
The Interpretation of Dreams. – 1899, dated 1900; English translation 1913.
Psychopathology of Everyday Life. – 1904; English translation 1914.
Three Contributions to the Sexual Theory. – 1905; English translation 1910.
The Origin and Development of Psychoanalysis. – 1910; English translation 1949.
Totem and Taboo: Resemblances Between the Psychic Lives of Savages and Neurotics. – 1913;
English translation 1918.
The History of the Psychoanalytic Movement. – 1924; English translation 1917.
A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis. – 1916–1917; English translation 1920.
Beyond the Pleasure Principle. – 1920; English translation 1922.
The Ego and the Id. – 1923; English translation 1927.
Inhibition, Symptoms and Anxiety. – 1926; English translation 1927.
The Problem of Lay-Analyses. – 1926; English translation 1927.
The Future of an Illusion. – 1927; English translation 1928.
Civilization and Its Discontents. – 1930; English translation 1930.
New Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis. – 1933; English translation 1933..
Moses and Monotheism. – 1939; English translation 1939.
The edition [BU] is complemented
Guttman, Samuel A.; Parrish, Stephen M.; Jones, Randall L. (eds.). The Concordance
to The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, 6 vol. / 2nd ed. – 1984.
Also helpful is
Grinstein, Alexander (comp.). Sigmund Freud's Writings: A Comprehensive Bibliography. – 1977. # This
bibliography includes listings of works not found in The Standard Edition and an index of English titles
of Freud's works.
Freud, Sigmund. An Autobiographical Study / 2nd ed. – 1946, reissued 1963; originally published
in German, 1925. # His own brief account of his career and theories.
Jones, Ernest. The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud. 3 vol. – 1953–1957, reissued 1981; also published
as Sigmund Freud: Life and Work, 1953–1957. Also available in a one-volume condensed edition with the same
title, edited and abridged by Lionel Trilling and Steven Marcus. – 1961, reissued 1964.
Wollheim, Richard. Sigmund Freud. – 1971, reissued 1981.
Rieff, Philip. Freud: The Mind of a Moralist / 3rd ed. – 1979.
Clark, Ronald W. Freud: The Man and the Cause. – 1980.
Gay, Peter. Freud: A Life for Our Time. – 1980.
Selections from Freud's original writings and
Masson, Jeffrey Moussaieff (trans. and ed.). The Complete Letters of Sigmund Freud to Wilhelm Fliess,
1877–1904. – 1985.
Freud, Ernst L. (ed.). Letters of Sigmund Freud, 1873–1939. – 1961, reprinted 1975; originally
published in German, 1960.
Abraham, Hilda C.; Freud, Ernst L. (eds.). A Psycho-Analytic Dialogue: The Letters of Sigmund
Freud and Karl Abraham, 1907–1926. – 1965; originally published in German, 1965.
Freud, Ernst L. (ed.). The Letters of Sigmund Freud and Arnold Zweig. – 1970, reprinted 1987;
originally published in German, 1968.
Hale, Nathan G., Jr. (ed.). James Jackson Putnam and Psychoanalysis: Letters Between Putnam and
Sigmund Freud, Ernest Jones, William James, Sandor Ferenczi, and Morton Prince, 1877–1917. – 1971.
Pfeiffer, Ernst (ed.). Sigmund Freud and Lou Andreas-Salomé: Letters. – 1972, reissued 1985;
originally published in German, 1966.
McGuire, William (ed.). The Freud/Jung Letters, trans. from German (1974, reprinted 1979.
Paskauskas, R. Andrews (ed.). The Complete Correspondence of Sigmund Freud and Ernest Jones,
1908–1939. – 1993.
Brabant, Eva; Falzader, Ernst; Giampieri-Deutsch, Patrizia (eds.), The Correspondence
of Sigmund Freud and Sándor Ferenczi. – 1993–lasting.
Views by Freud's family, friends, and colleagues include
Wittels, Fritz. Sigmund Freud: His Personality, His Teaching, & His School. – 1924, reprinted 1971;
originally published in German, 1924.
Reik, Theodor. From Thirty Years with Freud, trans. from German. – 1940, reissued 1975.
Sachs, Hanns. Freud. – 1944, reissued 1970.
Freud, Martin [one of his children]. Glory Reflected: Sigmund Freud, Man and Father. – 1957. Also
published as Sigmund Freud: Man and Father. – 1928, reissued 1983.
Fromm, Erich. Sigmund Freud's Mission: An Analysis of His Personality and Influence. – 1959,
Higgins, Mary; Raphael, Chester M. (eds.), Reich Speaks of Freud: Wilhelm Reich Discusses His
Work and His Relationship with Sigmund Freud. – 1967, reissued 1975.
Schur, Max. Freud. – 1972.
Carotenuto, Aldo. A Secret Symmetry: Sabina Spielrein Between Jung and Freud. – 1982; originally
published in Italian, 1980.
Contemporaries and associates are described in
Brome, Vincent. Freud and His Early Circle: The Struggles of Psycho-Analysis. – 1967.
Roazen, Paul. Freud and His Followers. – 1975, reissued 1984.
Roazen, Paul. Brother Animal: The Story of Freud and Tausk. – 1969, reprinted 1986.
Eissler K.R. Talent and Genius: The Fictitious Case of Tausk Contra Freud. – 1971.
Histories of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic theory are
Jahoda, Marie. Freud and the Dilemmas of Psychology. – 1977, reissued 1981.
Fisher, Seymour; Greenberg, Roger P. The Scientific Credibility of Freud's
Theories and Therapy. – 1977, reprinted 1985.
Fisher, Seymour; Greenberg, Roger P. The Scientific Evaluation of Freud's
Theories and Therapy: A Book of Readings. – 1977.
Sulloway, Frank J. Freud, Biologist of the Mind. – 1979, reprinted 1983.
Grinstein, Alexander. Sigmund Freud's Dreams / 2nd ed. – 1980.
Bettelheim, Bruno. Freud and Man's Soul. – 1983.
Edelson, Marshall. Hypothesis and Evidence in Psychoanalysis. – 1984.
McGrath, William J. Freud's Discovery of Psychoanalysis: The Politics of Hysteria. –
Interpretive studies of Freud's work and views include
Marcuse, Herbert. Eros and Civilisation: A Philosophical Inquiry into Freud. – 1955, reissued 1974.
Brown J.A.C. Freud and the Post-Freudians. – 1961, reprinted 1985.
Rieff, Philip. The Triumph of the Therapeutic: Uses of Faith After Freud. – 1966, reissued 1987.
Roazen, Paul. Freud: Political and Social Thought. – 1968, reissued 1986.
Ricoeur, Paul. Freud and Philosophy. – 1970, originally published in French, 1961.
Mitchell, Juliet. Psychoanalysis and Feminism. – 1974.
Recent critiques of Freudian theory include
Fromm, Erich. Greatness and Limitations of Freud's Thought. – 1980.
Malcolm, Janet. In the Freud Archives. – 1984.
Masson, Jeffrey Moussaieff. The Assault on Truth: Freud's Suppression of the Seduction Theory. –
1984, reissued 1994; also published as Freud: The Assault on Truth, 1984.
Grünbaum, Adolf. The Foundations of Psychoanalysis. – 1984.
Holt, Robert R. Freud Reappraised: A Fresh Look at Psychoanalytic Theory. – 1989.
Robinson, Paul. Freud and His Critics. – 1993. # A defense against several critics.
Freud's major case studies are reappraised in
Obholzer, Karin. The Wolf-Man: Conversations with Freud's Patient – Sixty Years Later. – 1982; originally
published in German, 1980.
Mahony, Patrick J. Freud and the Rat Man. – 1986.
Sulloway, Frank J. Reassessing Freud's Case Histories: The Social Construction
of Psychoanalysis // Isis, 82. – 1991. – P. 245–275. Reprinted in: Toby Gelfand and John Kerr [eds.].
Freud and the History of Psychoanalysis. – 1992.
Decker, Hannah S. Freud, Dora, and Vienna 1900. – 1991.
Lakoff, Rogin Tolmach; Coyne, James C. Father Knows Best: The Use and Abuse of Power
in Freud's Case of Dora. – 1993.
The North-West metaculture + (the group
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