Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) and Psychoanalysis

I. Psychohistory of The life and works of Sigmund Freud

Ernest Jones (1953): Freud the Conquistador

Others suggest: Freud the Authoritarian? the Misogynist?

Personal life

May 6, 1856 - "little blackamoor":
Two step-brothers (20 + years older);
Sigmund born an uncle (rivalry) 

Father: Reality, denial, repression, authority;

Mother: Pleasure and pampering (Julius' death - Sigmund @ 19 months)

Driven by two passions:

Intellectual "thinking" vs. curious "fantasy"

            Science (Darwin)          vs.        literature (Goethe)
            Reality of work            vs.        pleasure of play

Desired to be a "general" as he played at 14


Student years: Choice of Medical profession (1873-1881)

University of Vienna: Annex of Helmholtzian school

        Ernst Brucke (1819-1892): "Ambassador to the Far East"

  -"No other forces than the physical-chemical ones
.... by means of physical-mathematical method
... reducible to the force of attraction and repulsion"

-Mind-Brain identity hypothesis:   Upward causality (determinism)

-Conservation of energy (from Helmholtz)

Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919):
"Biogenetic law" - ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny,
&  founder of Protistology

- Influenced by Charles Darwin:  Evolution of nervous systems

- T-cells of Petromyzon (1877) and ganglia of "medullary tracts"

- Developed histological (microscopic staining) technique


Degrees of consciousness in tradition of psycho-physics

 Brentano (1838-1917): Act Psychology

-Freud took Brentano's course on Aristotle

Acts of Mind (thoughts) have intentionality towards some object of thought

Acts characterized by: Ideating (I see, hear),
Judging (I believe), Loving/hating (I wish, desire)

Theodore Meynert (1833-1892): Psychiatric clinic
Expert on hallucinatory psychosis 

Jean-Martin Charcot (1825-1893): Neuropathology
1885-86 Salpetriere

Freud became an expert on aphasias (1891):
Following Broca (1861) and Wernicke (1874)

-Hypnosis and changes in consciousness (awareness & memory)

-Mind (ideas and suggestions) effects Body (matter)

Doctor/Scientist commands control over hysterical patient


Cocaine episode (1884-1887) Freud begins to test cocaine on himself and
prescribes it to others, some to get them off of a morphine addiction

He primarily drinks 200 miligrams in water or drinks Vin Mariani

1885 publishes Über Coca (on Coca) hailing the benefits of this "magical drug"


Marriage to Martha Bernays (1886)

Separated for months: Love letters 
Money and reality triumph over fantasy and pleasure
Psychiatric practice over curious researches 

1891 - Moved to 19 Berggasse (9th) Sign

Waiting Room P1 P2 P3 P4
Valise Pen LettersLetters

Friendship with Josef Breuer (1842-1925): Conservative foundation

With Freud from 1882-1894
(seen here with his wife)


Studies in Hysteria (1895): Self-induced hypnosis

- Anna O. (Bertha von Pappenheim): The talking cure and free-association

- Transformation of ideas into symptoms through conversion

- Abreaction of strangulated affect
Recovery of forgotten memory from talking about earlier disgust or trauma(s)

Krafft-Ebbing (1896): "Scientific fairy-tale"


Friendship with Wilhelm Fliess (1858-1928): Daring elaboration (from 1887-1902)

Helmholtzian school, numerology, "pansexuality", cycles of 23 & 28, cocaine, "nasal reflex neurosis" 

They had a close relationship (Markel, 2011)

1895 Freud`s Project for a Scientific Psychology

Quantitative analysis of the psychophysical operations of the brain and nervous systems

Cybernetics: The dialectics of feed-back through inertia

Three Systems: Phi, psi, omega

- Phi: Peripheral exogenous (sensory & motor)
systems of permeable secondary neurons

- Psi: Psychological endogenous (internal) system
located in the impermeable primary sympathetic ganglia

- Omega: "Perceptual" system of conscious awareness


Energy and information: Dynamic flow of 'quantities' and 'qualities'

Triebe: Drives or energy from our biological (material) inheritance
             expressed in characteristic patterns (forms)

Cathexis and Catharsis:
with energy residuals (memory) and releasing energy (remembering)

Ego is "totality of the [psi] cathexes, at a given time,..." 
As a secondary process, the ego inhibits the primary process 
of wishful cathexis
(triebe) through its "indications of reality"


Lesche (1984): Freud`s Disciplinary matrix (Hard core):
Biological "Energetics" and psychological "Hermeneutics"

Universal laws of science with interpretation

 July 24, 1895: The secret of the Royal Road  to the unconscious.

1896 - Taught course on dreams

Father died.

 Self Analysis (1897): The dream about his father
"You are requested to close the (an) eye(s)... guilt, respect

October 1897: Oedipus Rex and Hamlet

Identity crisis: Doubt, questioning, ... resolution

-Issues of Competence of (work) and the autonomy and authority of his interpretation (play)

-Reality and fantasy needs are resolved along with his identity

 The Promethian Insight: Psychoanalysis
To bear all naked truths
and envisage circumstance calm,
that is the top of sovereignty

 Retraction of "The seduction hypothesis"

Not necessary for the presence of actual seduction, only imagined seduction for the aetilogy of neurosis

"Official" Reasons for retraction:


 Jeffry Masson (1984): "Real" reasons behind retraction?

The Great Works (see Leahey, 2001):

Interpretation of dreams (1900)

Dreams are expressions of wish-fullfilment where the (preconscious) endopsychic censor preforms repression and condensation

Dreamwork involves the transformation of latent content into manifest content

 Primary (unconscious) process is governed by secondary (conscious) process thought

Topographical model of consciousness:
Unconscious, pre-conscious, conscious

 Oedipus Complex:
   Unconscious wishes (drives) leading to motor action
     or neurotic anxiety (perversions or neurosis)
-Internalized morality through identification with same-sex parent

Three essays on the theory of sexuality (1905)

-Sexual Abberations: "neuroses are the negative of perversions"

-Childhood sexuality: Erotogenic zones and stages of development.
Oral, anal, phallic, latency, genital

-Psychosexual development:
Castration complex
and penis envy


Totem and taboo (1913)

Cultural universals of authority and Oedipus conflict


 Beyond the pleasure principle (1920)

-Death of daughter Sophie, diagnosed with cancer, WW I
-Death instinct (Thanatos) along side life instinct (Eros)
-Repetition compulsion: Arousal and tension-reduction

The ego and the id (1923):

-Structural model of the mind: Id, Ego,Super-Ego dramatization

-Dialectics: Instincts, Society and reality
-Developmental model of their emergence
-Descriptive and absolute unconscious  

The future of an illusion (1927)

Civilization and its discontents (1930)

-Replacing religion with scientific psychoanalysis

-Freud's own synthetic "aesthetic" to live by:
Morals and values of a determined
Nature and repressive Society

 -Sublimation: Displacment of libido to "higher cultural activities" (art, science, philosophy)

1933 Flees to London - S&D


II. Psychoanalysis beyond Sigmund Freud:  

The Psychological Wednesday Society (Vienna Psycho-Analytical Society): 1906-1933
IPC1911 1922 Secret Society


Alfred Adler (1870-1937):
 Individual psychology

Inferiority complex and superiority striving
Gemeinschaftsgefuhl: Social interest, Style of life, Birth-order

 Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961): Analytical psychology

Jung&Freud - Jung's Dream Theory

Otto Rank (1884-1939): Existential psychoanalysis
Psychology and the soul


Karen Horney (1885-1952):
 Feminist psychoanalysis

Basic anxiety and basic hostility
Politics and power not penis "Womb envy"


  Heinz Hartmann (1894-1970): Evolutionary Ego-analysis
Average expectable environments
Autonomous ego


Anna Freud (1895-1980):
Child and ego-analytic psychology

Pioneered child psychoanalysis
Sensitive to power and vulnerability
Dorothy Birlingham


  Gordon Allport (1897-1967): Personology and personality

  Erik Erikson (1902-1994): Hermeneutical ego-analytic psychology


III. Contemporary criticisms and commentaries:

New Interpretations

  Sir Karl Popper (1962): No opportunity for falsification Psychoanalysis is a pseudo-science

Adolf Grunbaum (1984): Tally Argument is falsifiable

 Lacan (1968): "Party of Suspicion"  - Emancipation of the masses from hegemony and false consciousness

Ricoeur (1970) & Lesche (1984): Hermeneutics
-Understanding, interpretation and psychoanalysis
-Hermeneutics as both Subject matter and Methods

 Masson's Critique: he was insensitive to his patients, immoral, and  made mistakes, thus we must reject his work.

The value of psychoanalysis: How to judge its worth?

Kuhn (1970): No standard criteria for choosing a paradigm, only: Aesthetics, neatness, suitability, simplicity, and faith !