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Burying Freud

[ Burying Freud Homepage | Freud's Seduction Theory Homepage ]

Crews, F. C. (1998). Unauthorized Freud : doubters confront a legend. New York: Viking. ISBN: 0670872210 $24.95 - published AUGUST 1998


Unauthorized FreudOver the past thirty years, a revolution has occurred in the study of  Sigmund Freud and his brainchild, psychoanalysis. The Freud of  legend - the lonely scientific pioneer who steeled himself to place importance on his patients' unbidden sexual revelations, cured their neuroses, and discovered the universal Oedipus complex lurking within their memories - has been exposed as a fiction, a joint concoction of Freud himself and his official biographer, Ernest Jones.

In Unauthorized Freud: Doubters Confront a Legend,  Frederick Crews has collected essays and excerpts from a wide range of scholars, biographers, and critics that brilliantly make the revisionist case against Freud. According to Crews, the most trenchant (and most frequently attacked) of Freud's critics, the emerging truth is that Freud was a dogmatist who browbeat his patients and consistently failed to mark the crucial difference between his patients' fantasies and his own. And while the heroic Freud has thus been shrinking to human size, philosophers and psychologists have been finding that psychoanalytic clinical evidence offers no credible support to the top-heavy, tottering Freudian system of mental laws and powers.

It is still widely assumed, however, that only disturbed "Freud bashers" would want to question Freud's achievement. That assumption cannot survive acquaintance with Unauthorized Freud. Here we see, in the work of authors such as Frank J. Sulloway, Peter Swales, Stanley Fish, and Ernest Gellner, the mistakes and deceptions leading to the "discovery" of psychoanalysis proper; the logical considerations that undermine Freudian assumptions about the meaning of dreams, symptoms, and slips; the missteps that doomed Freud's case histories both as therapeutic interventions and as illustrations of his theory; and finally, the personal costs incurred by disciples and patients who were sacrificed to the master's monomaniacal ambition. According to Crews, the conclusion is inescapable: the founder of psychoanalysis is the most overrated figure in the history of medicine and science.


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Ian Pitchford and Robert M. Young - Last updated: 28 May, 2005 02:29 PM

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 | Human Nature | The Human Nature Daily Review | Psychiatry Research Online |

Burying Freud

[ Burying Freud Homepage | Freud's Seduction Theory Homepage ]

Crews, F. C. (1998). Unauthorized Freud : doubters confront a legend. New York: Viking. ISBN: 0670872210 $24.95 - published AUGUST 1998


Unauthorized FreudOver the past thirty years, a revolution has occurred in the study of  Sigmund Freud and his brainchild, psychoanalysis. The Freud of  legend - the lonely scientific pioneer who steeled himself to place importance on his patients' unbidden sexual revelations, cured their neuroses, and discovered the universal Oedipus complex lurking within their memories - has been exposed as a fiction, a joint concoction of Freud himself and his official biographer, Ernest Jones.

In Unauthorized Freud: Doubters Confront a Legend,  Frederick Crews has collected essays and excerpts from a wide range of scholars, biographers, and critics that brilliantly make the revisionist case against Freud. According to Crews, the most trenchant (and most frequently attacked) of Freud's critics, the emerging truth is that Freud was a dogmatist who browbeat his patients and consistently failed to mark the crucial difference between his patients' fantasies and his own. And while the heroic Freud has thus been shrinking to human size, philosophers and psychologists have been finding that psychoanalytic clinical evidence offers no credible support to the top-heavy, tottering Freudian system of mental laws and powers.

It is still widely assumed, however, that only disturbed "Freud bashers" would want to question Freud's achievement. That assumption cannot survive acquaintance with Unauthorized Freud. Here we see, in the work of authors such as Frank J. Sulloway, Peter Swales, Stanley Fish, and Ernest Gellner, the mistakes and deceptions leading to the "discovery" of psychoanalysis proper; the logical considerations that undermine Freudian assumptions about the meaning of dreams, symptoms, and slips; the missteps that doomed Freud's case histories both as therapeutic interventions and as illustrations of his theory; and finally, the personal costs incurred by disciples and patients who were sacrificed to the master's monomaniacal ambition. According to Crews, the conclusion is inescapable: the founder of psychoanalysis is the most overrated figure in the history of medicine and science.


human-nature.com
Ian Pitchford and Robert M. Young - Last updated: 28 May, 2005 02:29 PM

US -
 Search:
Keywords:  

Amazon.com logo

UK -
 Search:
Keywords:  

Amazon.co.uk logo

 | Human Nature | The Human Nature Daily Review | Psychiatry Research Online |