From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Sigmund Freud (born Sigismund Schlomo Freud) May 6 1856 – September 23 1939; was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist who co-founded the psychoanalytic school of psychology. Freud is best known for his theories of the unconscious mind, especially involving the mechanism of repression; his redefinition of sexual desire as mobile and directed towards a wide variety of objects; and his therapeutic techniques, especially his understanding of transference in the therapeutic relationship and the presumed value of dreams as sources of insight into unconscious desires.
He is commonly referred to as "the father of psychoanalysis" and his work has been highly influential-—popularizing such notions as the unconscious, defense mechanisms, Freudian slips, dream symbolism and other concepts — while also making a long-lasting impact on fields as diverse as literature (Kafka), film, Marxist and feminist theories, literary criticism, philosophy, and psychology. However, his theories remain controversial and widely disputed. Outside of psychoanalysis he is well-known for his essay on The Uncanny.
Freud hoped to prove that his model was universally valid and thus turned to ancient mythology and contemporary ethnography for comparative material. Freud named his new theory the Oedipus complex after the famous Greek tragedy Oedipus Rex by Sophocles. "I found in myself a constant love for my mother, and jealousy of my father. I now consider this to be a universal event in childhood," Freud said. Freud sought to anchor this pattern of development in the dynamics of the mind. Each stage is a progression into adult sexual maturity, characterized by a strong ego and the ability to delay gratification (cf. Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality). He used the Oedipus conflict to point out how much he believed that people desire incest and must repress that desire. The Oedipus conflict was described as a state of psychosexual development and awareness. He also turned to anthropological studies of totemism and argued that totemism reflected a ritualized enactment of a tribal Oedipal conflict.
Freud originally posited childhood sexual abuse as a general explanation for the origin of neuroses, but he abandoned this so-called "seduction theory" as insufficiently explanatory. He noted finding many cases in which apparent memories of childhood sexual abuse were based more on imagination than on real events. During the late 1890s Freud, who never abandoned his belief in the sexual etiology of neuroses, began to emphasize fantasies built around the Oedipus complex as the primary cause of hysteria and other neurotic symptoms. Despite this change in his explanatory model, Freud always recognized that some neurotics had in fact been sexually abused by their fathers. He explicitly discussed several patients whom he knew to have been abused.
Freud also believed that the libido developed in individuals by changing its object, a process codified by the concept of sublimation. He argued that humans are born "polymorphously perverse", meaning that any number of objects could be a source of pleasure. He further argued that, as humans develop, they become fixated on different and specific objects through their stages of development—first in the oral stage (exemplified by an infant's pleasure in nursing), then in the anal stage (exemplified by a toddler's pleasure in evacuating his or her bowels), then in the phallic stage. Freud argued that children then passed through a stage in which they fixated on the mother as a sexual object (known as the Oedipus Complex) but that the child eventually overcame and repressed this desire because of its taboo nature. (The term 'Electra complex' is sometimes used to refer to such a fixation on the father, although Freud did not advocate its use.) The repressive or dormant latency stage of psychosexual development preceded the sexually mature genital stage of psychosexual development.
Freud's views have sometimes been called phallocentric. This is because, for Freud, the unconscious desires the phallus (penis). Males are afraid of losing their masculinity, symbolized by the phallus, to another male. Females always desire to have a phallus - an unfulfillable desire. Thus boys resent their fathers (fear of castration) and girls desire theirs.
Major works by Freud
- The Interpretation of Dreams (Die Traumdeutung, 1899 )
- The Psychopathology of Everyday Life (Zur Psychopathologie des Alltagslebens, 1901)
- Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (Drei Abhandlungen zur Sexualtheorie, 1905)
- Jokes and their Relation to the Unconscious (Der Witz und seine Beziehung zum Unbewußten, 1905)
- Totem and Taboo (Totem und Tabu, 1913)
- On Narcissism (Zur Einführung des Narzißmus, 1914)
- Beyond the Pleasure Principle (Jenseits des Lustprinzips, 1920)
- The Ego and the Id (Das Ich und das Es, 1923)
- The Future of an Illusion (Die Zukunft einer Illusion, 1927)
- Civilization and Its Discontents (Das Unbehagen in der Kultur, 1930)
- Moses and Monotheism (Der Mann Moses und die monotheistische Religion, 1939)
- An Outline of Psycho-Analysis (Abriß der Psychoanalyse, 1940)
- 1887 Studie Über Coca (Digitalisat)
- 1893 Über den psychischen Mechanismus hysterischer Phänomene zusammen mit Breuer.
- 1895 Entwurf einer Psychologie (Manuskript; gemeinsam mit Josef Breuer)
- 1895 Studien über Hysterie.
- 1896 Zur Ätiologie der Hysterie (Aufsatz; erste Verwendung des Begriffes „Psychoanalyse“)
- 1900 Die Traumdeutung
- 1904 Zur Psychopathologie des Alltagslebens
- 1905 Drei Abhandlungen zur Sexualtheorie (vgl. dazu den Artikel Infantile Sexualität nach Freud)
- 1908 Die „kulturelle“ Sexualmoral und die moderne Nervosität.
- 1910 Über Psychoanalyse
- 1910 Eine Kindheitserinnerung des Leonardo da Vinci
- 1913 Totem und Tabu
- 1914 Zur Geschichte der psychoanalytischen Bewegung
- 1915 Zeitgemäßes über Krieg und Tod
- 1916 Trauer und Melancholie
- 1917 Vorlesungen zur Einführung in die Psychoanalyse
- 1919 Das Unheimliche
- 1920 Jenseits des Lustprinzips (Digitalisat 2. Aufl.)
- 1921 Massenpsychologie und Ich-Analyse (Digitalisat)
- 1923 Das Ich und das Es
- 1925 Selbstdarstellung
- 1927 Die Zukunft einer Illusion
- 1930 Das Unbehagen in der Kultur
- 1933 Warum Krieg? (Briefwechsel mit Albert Einstein)
- 1933 Neue Folge der Vorlesungen zur Einführung in die Psychoanalyse
- 1937 Die endliche und die unendliche Analyse
- 1939 Der Mann Moses und die monotheistische Religion (Digitalisat)
- Freud and cocaine
- Freud family
- American Psychoanalytic Association
- Girindrasekhar Bose
- The Century of the Self (related documentary)
- Freudian slip
- Psychoanalytic literary criticism
- Psychoanalytic theory
- Psychosexual development
- Signorelli parapraxis