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In Freudian psychology, psychosexual development is a central element of

the psychoanalytic sexual drive theory, that human beings, from birth, possess
an instinctual libido (sexual energy) that develops in five stages. Each stage the oral, the anal,
thephallic, the latent, and the genital is characterized by the erogenous zone that is the source of the
libidinal drive. igmund Freudproposed that if the child experienced sexual frustration in relation to any
psychosexual developmental stage, s!he "ould experienceanxiety that "ould persist into adulthood as
a neurosis, a functional mental disorder.
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Background
igmund Freud ($'()$*+*) observed that during the predictable stages of early childhood
development, the child,s behavior is oriented to"ards certain parts of his or her body, e.g. the mouth
during breast-feeding, the anus during toilet-training. .e proposed that adult neurosis (functional
mental disorder) often is rooted in childhood sexuality, therefore, said neurotic adult behaviors "ere
manifestations of childhood sexual fantasy and desire. /hat is because human beings are born
0polymorphously perverse0, infants can derive sexual pleasure from any part of their bodies, and that
socialization directs the instinctual libidinal drives into adult heterosexuality.
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1iven the predictable
timeline of childhood behavior, he proposed 0libido development0 as a model of normal
childhood sexual development, "herein the child progresses through five psychosexual stages the
oral2 the anal2 the phallic2 the latent2 and the genital in "hich the source pleasure is in a
different erogenous zone.
Freudian psychosexual development
Sexual infantilism3 in pursuing and satisfying his or her libido (sexual drive), the child might
experience failure (parental and societal disapproval) and thus might associate anxiety "ith the given
erogenous zone. /o avoid anxiety, the child becomes fixated, preoccupied "ith the psychologic
themes related to the erogenous zone in 4uestion, "hich persist into adulthood, and underlie the
personality and psychopathology of the man or "oman, as neurosis, hysteria, personality disorders, et
cetera.
Stage
Age
Range
Erogenous zone Consequences of psychologic fixation
5ral
6irth$
year
7outh
5rally aggressive3 che"ing gum and the ends of
pencils, etc.
5rally 8assive3 smo9ing, eating, 9issing, oral sexual
practices
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5ral stage fixation might result in a passive,
gullible, immature, manipulativepersonality.
;nal $+ years 6o"el and bladderelimination ;nal retentive3 5bsessively organized, or
excessively neat
;nal expulsive3 rec9less, careless, defiant,
disorganized, coprophiliac
8hallic +) years 1enitalia
5edipus complex (in boys and girls)2 according to
igmund Freud.
Electra complex (in girls)2 according to <arl =ung.
>atency )puberty ?ormant sexual feelings exual unfulfillment if fixation occurs in this stage.
1enital
8uberty
death
exual interests mature Frigidity, impotence, unsatisfactory relationships
ral stage
Main article: Oral stage
/he first stage of psychosexual development is the oral stage, spanning from birth until the age of t"o
years, "herein the infant,s mouth is the focus of libidinal gratification derived from the pleasure of
feeding at the mother,s breast, and from the oral exploration of his or her environment, i.e. the
tendency to place ob@ects in the mouth. /he id dominates, because neither the ego nor the super
ego is yet fully developed, and, since the infant has no personality (identity), every action is based
upon the pleasure principle. Aonetheless, the infantile ego is forming during the oral stage2 t"o factors
contribute to its formation3 (i) in developing a body image, he or she is discrete from the external "orld,
e.g. the child understands pain "hen it is applied to his or her body, thus identifying the physical
boundaries bet"een body and environment2 (ii) experiencing delayed gratification leads to
understanding that specific behaviors satisfy some needs, e.g. crying gratifies certain needs.
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Beaning is the 9ey experience in the infant,s oral stage of psychosexual development, his or her first
feeling of loss conse4uent to losing the physical intimacy of feeding at mother,s breast. Cet, "eaning
increases the infant,s self-a"areness that he or she does not control the environment, and thus learns
of delayed gratification, "hich leads to the formation of the capacities for independence (a"areness
of the limits of the self) and trust (behaviors leading to gratification). Cet, th"arting of the oral-stage D
too much or too little gratification of desire D might lead to an oral-stage fixation, characterised by
passivity, gullibility, immaturity, unrealistic optimism, "hich is manifested in a manipulative personality
conse4uent to ego malformation. In the case of too much gratification, the child does not learn that he
or she does not control the environment, and that gratification is not al"ays immediate, thereby
forming an immature personality. In the case of too little gratification, the infant might become passive
upon learning that gratification is not forthcoming, despite having produced the gratifying behavior.
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Anal stage
Main article: Anal stage
/he second stage of psychosexual development is the anal stage, spanning from the age of eighteen
months to three years, "herein the infant,s erogenous zone changes from themouth (the upper
digestive tract) to the anus (the lo"er digestive tract), "hile the ego formation continues. /oilet training
is the child,s 9ey anal-stage experience, occurring at about the age of t"o years, and results in conflict
bet"een the Id (demanding immediate gratification) and the Ego (demanding delayed gratification) in
eliminating bodily "astes, and handling related activities (e.g. manipulating excrement, coping "ith
parental demands). /he style of parenting influences the resolution of the IdEgo conflict, "hich can
be either gradual and psychologically uneventful, or "hich can be sudden and psychologically
traumatic. /he ideal resolution of the IdEgo conflict is in the child,s ad@usting to moderate parental
demands that teach the value and importance of physical cleanliness and environmental order, thus
producing a self-controlled adult. Cet, if the parents ma9e immoderate demands of the child, by over-
emphasizing toilet training, it might lead to the development of a compulsive personality, a person too
concerned "ith neatness and order. If the child obeys the Id, and the parents yield, he or she might
develop a self-indulgent personality characterized by personal slovenliness and environmental
disorder. If the parents respond to that, the child must comply, but might develop a "ea9 sense of elf,
because it "as the parents, "ill, and not the child,s ego, "ho controlled the toilet training.
!hallic stage
Main article: Phallic stage
/he third stage of psychosexual development is the phallic stage, spanning the ages of three to six
years, "herein the child,s genitalia are his or her primary erogenous zone. It is in this third infantile
development stage that children become a"are of their bodies, the bodies of other children, and the
bodies of their parents2 they gratify physical curiosity by undressing and exploring each other and their
genitals, and so learn the physical (sexual) differences bet"een 0male0 and 0female0 and
the gender differences bet"een 0boy0 and 0girl0. In the phallic stage, a boy,s decisive psychosexual
experience is the 5edipus complex, his sonfather competition for possession of mother.
/his psychological complexderives from the (th-century 6< 1ree9 mythologic character 5edipus, "ho
un"ittingly 9illed his father, >aius, and sexually possessed his mother, =ocasta. ;nalogously, in the
phallic stage, a girl,s decisive psychosexual experience is the Electra complex, her daughtermother
competition for psychosexual possession of father. /his psychological complex derives from the (th-
century 6< 1ree9 mythologic Electra, "ho plotted matricidal revenge "ith 5restes, her brother,
against <lytemnestra, their mother, and ;egisthus, their stepfather, for their murder of ;gamemnon,
their father, (cf. Electra, by ophocles).
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Initially, Freud e4ually applied the 5edipus complex to the psychosexual development of boys and
girls, but later developed the female aspects of the theory as the feminine edipus attitude and
the negative edipus complex2
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yet, it "as his studentcollaborator, <arl =ung, "ho coined the
term Electra complex in $*$+.
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Aonetheless, Freud re@ected =ung,s term
as psychoanalytically inaccurate3 0that "hat "e have said about the 5edipus complex applies "ith
complete strictness to the male child only, and that "e are right in re@ecting the term ,Electra complex,,
"hich see9s to emphasize the analogy bet"een the attitude of the t"o sexes0.
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edipus 3 ?espite mother being the parent "ho primarily gratifies the child,s desires, the child begins
forming a discrete sexual identity D 0boy0, 0girl0 D that alters the dynamics of the parent and child
relationship2 the parents become the focus of infantile libidinal energy. /he boy focuses his libido
(sexual desire) upon his mother, and focuses @ealousy and emotional rivalry against his father D
because it is he "ho sleeps "ith mother. /o facilitate uniting him "ith his mother, the boy,s id "ants to
9ill father (as did 5edipus), but the ego, pragmatically based upon the reality principle, 9no"s that the
father is the stronger of the t"o males competing to possess the one female. Aevertheless, the boy
remains ambivalent about his father,s place in the family, "hich is manifested as fear of castration by
the physically greater father2 the fear is an irrational, subconscious manifestation of the infantile Id.
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Electra 3 Bhereas boys develop castration anxiety, girls develop penis envy that is rooted in anatomic
fact3 "ithout a penis, she cannot sexually possess mother, as the infantile id demands. Gesultantly, the
girl redirects her desire for sexual union upon father2 thus, she progresses
to"ards heterosexual femininity that culminates in bearing a child "ho replaces the absent penis.
7oreover, after the phallic stage, the girl,s psychosexual development includes transferring her
primary erogenous zone from the infantile clitoris to the adult vagina. Freud thus considered a girl,s
5edipal conflict to be more emotionally intense than that of a boy, resulting, potentially, in a
submissive "oman of insecure personality.
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!sychologic defense 3 In both sexes, defense mechanisms provide transitory resolutions of the
conflict bet"een the drives of the Id and the drives of the Ego. /he first defense mechanism
is repression, the bloc9ing of memories, emotional impulses, and ideas from the conscious mind2 yet
it does not resolve the IdEgo conflict. /he second defense mechanism is "dentification, by "hich the
child incorporates, to his or her ego, the personality characteristics of the same-sex parent2 in so
adapting, the boy diminishes hiscastration anxiety, because his li9eness to father protects him from
father,s "rath as a rival for mother2 by so adapting, the girl facilitates identifying "ith mother, "ho
understands that, in being females, neither of them possesses a penis, and thus they are not
antagonists.
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#$nouement 3 Hnresolved psychosexual competition for the opposite-sex parent might produce a
phallic-stage fixation leading a girl to become a "oman "ho continually strives to dominate men
(viz. penis envy), either as an unusually seductive "oman (high self-esteem) or as an unusually
submissive "oman (lo" self-esteem). In a boy, a phallic-stage fixation might lead him to become an
aggressive, over-ambitious, vain man. /herefore, the satisfactory parental handling and resolution of
the 5edipus complex and of the Electra complex are most important in developing the infantile super-
ego, because, by identifying "ith a parent, the child internalizes morality, thereby, choosing to comply
"ith societal rules, rather than having to reflexively comply in fear of punishment.
%atency stage
Main article: Latency stage
/he fourth stage of psychosexual development is the latency stage that spans from the age of six
years until puberty, "herein the child consolidates the character habits he or she developed in the
three, earlier stages of psychologic and sexual development. Bhether or not the child has successfully
resolved the 5edipal conflict, the instinctual drives of the id are inaccessible to the Ego, because his or
her defense mechanisms repressed them during the phallic stage. .ence, because said drives are
latent (hidden) and gratification is delayed D unli9e during the preceding oral, anal, and phallic stages
D the child must derive the pleasure of gratification from secondary process-thin9ing that directs the
libidinal drives to"ards external activities, such as schooling, friendships, hobbies, etc.
;ny neuroses established during the fourth, latent stage, of psychosexual development might derive
from the inade4uate resolution either of the 5edipus conflict or of the Ego,s failure to direct his or her
energies to"ards socially acceptable activities.
&enital stage
Main article: Genital stage
/he fifth stage of psychosexual development is the genital stage that spans puberty and adult life, and
thus occupies most of the life of a man and of a "oman2 its purpose is the psychologic detachment
and independence from the parents. /he genital stage affords the person the ability to confront and
resolve his or her remaining psychosexual childhood conflicts. ;s in the phallic stage, the genital stage
is centered upon the genitalia, but the sexuality is consensual and adult, rather than solitary and
infantile. /he psychological difference bet"een the phallic and genital stages is that the ego is
established in the latter2 the person,s concern shifts from primary-drive gratification (instinct) to
applying secondary process-thin9ing to gratify desire symbolically and intellectually by means of
friendships, a love relationship, family and adult responsibilities.
Criticisms
Scientific
; usual criticism of the scientific (experimental) validity of the Freudian psychology theory of human
psychosexual development is that igmund Freud ($'()$*+*) "as personallyfixated upon human
sexuality, therefore, he favored defining human development "ith a normative theory of psychologic
and sexual development.
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.ence, the phallic stage proved controversial, for being based upon
clinical observations of the 5edipus complex.
In Analysis of a Phobia in a Five-year-old Boy ($*F*), the case study of the boy 0>ittle .ans0 (.erbert
1raf, $*F+E+) "ho "as afflicted "ith e4uinophobia, the relation bet"een .ans,s fears - of horses and
of father - derived from external factors such as the birth of his sister, and internal factors li9e the
desire of the infantile id to replace father as companion to mother, as "ell as guilt for en@oying
the masturbation normal to a boy of his age. 7oreover, his admitting to "anting to procreate "ith
mother "as considered proof of the boy,s sexual attraction to the opposite-sex parent2 he "as a
heterosexual male. Cet, the boy .ans "as unable to relate fearing horses to fearing his father.
/he psychoanalystFreud noted that 0.ans had to be told many things that he could not say himself0
and that 0he had to be presented "ith thoughts, "hich he had, so far, sho"n no signs of possessing0.
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7any Freud critics believe the memories and fantasies of childhood seduction Freud reported "ere
not real memories but constructs that Freud created and forced upon his patients.
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;ccording
to Frederic9 <re"s, the seduction theory that Freud abandoned in the late $'*Fs acted as a precedent
to the "ave of false allegations of childhood sexual abuse in the $*'Fs and $**Fs.
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Feminist
<ontemporaneously, igmund Freud,s psychosexual development theory is criticized as sexist,
because it "as informed "ith his introspection (self-analysis). /o integrate the female libido (sexual
desire) to psychosexual development, he proposed that girls develop 0penis envy0. In response, the
1erman Aeo-Freudian psychoanalyst Iaren .orney, counter-proposed that girls instead develop
08o"er envy0, rather than penis envy. he further proposed the concept of 0"omb and vagina envy0,
the male,s envy of the female ability to bear children2 yet, contemporary formulations further develop
said envy from the biologic (child-bearing) to the psychologic (nurturance), envy of "omen,s perceived
right to be the 9ind parent.
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Anthropologic
<ontemporary criticism also 4uestions the universality of the Freudian theory of personality (Id, Ego,
uper-ego) discussed in the essay On Narcissism ($*$:), "herein he said that 0it is impossible to
suppose that a unity, comparable to the egocan exist in the individual from the very start0.
<ontemporary cultural considerations have 4uestioned the normative presumptions of the Freudian
psychodynamic perspective that posits the sonfather conflict of the 5edipal complex as universal and
essential to human psychologic development.
/he anthropologist 6ronisJa" 7alino"s9i,s studies of the /robriand islanders challenged the Freudian
proposal that psychosexual development (e.g. the 5edipus complex) "as universal. .e reported that
in the insular matriarchal society of the /robriand, boys are disciplined by their maternal uncles, not
their fathers2 impartial, avuncular discipline. In e! and "e#ression in avage ociety ($*&E),
7alino"s9i reported that boys dreamed of feared uncles, not of beloved fathers, thus, 8o"er D not
sexual @ealousy D is the source of 5edipal conflict in such nonBestern societies. In $%man Behavior
in Global Pers#ective: an &ntrod%ction to 'ross-'%lt%ral Psychology ($***), 7arshall .. egall et al.
propose that Freud based the theory of psychosexual development upon a misinterpretation.
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Furthermore, contemporary research confirms that although personality traits corresponding to the
oral stage, the anal stage, the phallic stage, the latent stage, and the genital stage are observable,
they remain undetermined as fixed stages of childhood, and as adult personality traits derived from
childhood.
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%i'ido /lb i d o /, or collo4uially sex drive, is a person,s overall sexual drive or desire for sexual
activity. ex drive is determined by biological, psychological, and social factors. 6iologically, levels of
hormones such as testosterone are believed to affect sex drive2 social factors, such as "or9 and
family, also have an impact2 as do internal psychological factors, li9e personality and stress. ex drive
may be affected by medical conditions, medications, lifestyle and relationship issues. ; person "ho
has extremely fre4uent or a suddenly increased sex drive may be experiencing hypersexuality,
or puberty in "hich the body builds up chemicals and causes a higher sex drive. .o"ever, there is no
universally agreed measure of "hat is a healthy level for sex
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. ;sexual people may lac9 any
sexual desires.
; person may have a desire for sex, but not have the opportunity to act on that desire, or may on
personal, moral or religious reasons refrain from acting on the urge. 8sychologically, a person,s urge
can be repressed or sublimated. 5n the other hand, a person can engage in sexual activity "ithout an
actual desire for it. 7ales reach the pea9 of their sex drive in their teens, "hile females reach it in their
thirties.
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7ultiple factors affect human sex drive, including stress, illness, pregnancy, and others.
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exual desires are often an important factor in the formation and maintenance of intimate
relationships in both men and "omen, and a lac9 or loss of sexual desire can adversely affect
relationships. <hanges in the sexual desires of either partner in a sexual relationship, if sustained and
unresolved, may cause problems in the relationship. /he infidelity of a partner may be an indication of
that a partner,s changing sexual desires can no longer be satisfied "ithin the current relationship.
8roblems can arise from disparity of sexual desires bet"een partners, or poor communication
bet"een partners of sexual needs and preferences.
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!sychological perspectives
igmund Freud defined libido as 0the energy, regarded as a 4uantitative magnitude ... of those
instincts "hich have to do "ith all that may be comprised under the "ord ,love,.0
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It is the instinct
energy or force, contained in "hat Freud called the id, the strictly unconscious structure of thepsyche.
6uilding on the "or9 of Iarl ;braham, Freud developed the idea of a series of developmental phases
in "hich the libido fixates on different erogenous zonesDfirst in the oral stage (exemplified by an
infant,s pleasure in nursing), then in the anal stage (exemplified by a toddler,s pleasure in controlling
his or her bo"els), then in the phallic stage, through a latency stage in "hich the libido is dormant, to
its reemergence at puberty in the genital stage.
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Freud pointed out that these libidinal drives
can conflict "ith the conventions of civilized behavior, represented in the psyche by the superego. It is
this need to conform to society and control the libido that leads to tension and disturbance in the
individual, prompting the use of ego defenses to dissipate the psychic energy of these unmet and
mostly unconscious needs into other forms. Excessive use of ego defenses results in neurosis. ;
primary goal of psychoanalysis is to bring the drives of the id into consciousness, allo"ing them to be
met directly and thus reducing the patient,s reliance on ego defenses.
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Freud vie"ed libido as passing through a series of developmental stages "ithin the individual. Failure
to ade4uately adapt to the demands of these different stages could result in libidinal energy becoming
,dammed up, or fixated in these stages, producing certain pathological character traits in adulthood.
/hus the psychopathologized individual for Freud "as an immature individual, and the goal of
psychoanalysis "as to bring these fixations to conscious a"areness so that the libido energy "ould be
freed up and available for conscious use in some sort of constructivesublimation.
;ccording to "iss psychiatrist <arl 1ustav =ung, the libido is identified as psychic energy. ?uality
(opposition) that creates the energy (or libido) of the psyche, "hich =ung asserts expresses itself only
through symbols3 0It is the energy that manifests itself in the life process and is perceived sub@ectively
as striving and desire.0 (Ellenberger, )*E)
?efined more narro"ly, libido also refers to an individual,s urge to engage in sexual activity. In this
sense, the antonym of libido is destrudo
Early life and education
Freud "as born to =e"ish 1alician parents in the 7oravian to"n of 8KLbor (1erman3 Freiberg in
M(hren), part of the <zech Gepublic, the first of their eight children.
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.is father, =acob Freud ($'$(
$'*)), a "ool merchant, had t"o sons, Emanuel ($'++$*$:) and 8hilipp ($'+)$*$$), from his first
marriage. =acob,s family "ere .asidic =e"s, and though =acob himself had moved a"ay from the
tradition, he came to be 9no"n for his /orah study. .e and Freud,s mother, ;malia (nMe Aathansohn),
&F years her husband,s @unior and his third "ife, "ere married by Gabbi Isaac Aoah 7annheimer on
&* =uly $'((. /hey "ere struggling financially and living in a rented room, in a loc9smith,s house at
chlossergasse $$E "hen their son igmund "as born.
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.e "as born "ith a caul, "hich his mother
sa" as a positive omen for the boy,s future.
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In $'(* the Freud family left Freiberg. FreudNs half brothers emigrated to 7anchester, England, parting
him from the OinseparableP playmate of his early childhood, EmanuelNs son, =ohn.
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=acob Freud too9
his "ife and t"o children (Freud,s sister, ;nna, "as born in $'('2 a brother, =ulius, had died in infancy)
firstly to >eipzig and then in $')F to Qienna "here four sisters (Gosa, 7arie, ;dolfine and 8aula) and a
brother (;lexander) "ere born. In $')(, the nine-year-old Freud entered the Leo#oldst(dter
)omm%nal-"ealgymnasi%m, a prominent high school. .e proved an outstanding pupil and graduated
from the 7atura in $'E+ "ith honors. .e loved literature and "as proficient
in 1erman, French, Italian, panish, English, .ebre", >atin and 1ree9.
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Freud read Billiam
ha9espeare in English throughout his life, and it has been suggested that his understanding of
human psychology "as derived from ha9espeare,s plays.
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Freud entered the Hniversity of Qienna at age $E. .e had planned to study la", but @oined the medical
faculty at the university, "here his studies included philosophy under Franz 6rentano, physiology
under Ernst 6rRc9e, and zoology under ?ar"inist professor <arl <laus.
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In $'E) Freud spent four
"ee9s at <laus,s zoological research station in /rieste, dissecting hundreds of eels in an inconclusive
search for their male reproductive organs.
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.e graduated "ith an 7? in $''$.
Early career and marriage
/he follo"ing year, $''&, he began his medical career in /heodor 7eynert,s psychiatric clinic at
the Qienna 1eneral .ospital. .e resigned his hospital post and entered private practice in $''),
specializing in 0nervous disorders0. /he same year he married 7artha 6ernays, the granddaughter
of Isaac 6ernays, a chief rabbi in .amburg. /he couple had six children3 7athilde, born $''E2 =ean-
7artin, born $''*2 5liver, born $'*$2 Ernst, born $'*&2 ophie, born $'*+2 and ;nna, born $'*(.
<arl =ung started the rumor that a romantic relationship may have developed bet"een Freud and his
sister-in-la", 7inna 6ernays, "ho had moved into the Freud household at 6erggasse $* in $'*) after
the death of her fiancM.
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/he publication in &FF) of a "iss hotel log, dated $+ ;ugust $'*', sho"ing
Freud had stayed there "ith a "oman not his "ife, has been regarded by some Freud scholars as
sho"ing that there "as a factual basis to these rumors. 8eter 1ay, previously s9eptical of the
suggestion that Freud had an affair "ith 6ernays, revised his vie" of the matter and concluded that an
affair bet"een them "as possible.
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6ased on historical investigations and contextual analysis of
relevant Freud "ritings, 8eter =. "ales suggested that 6ernays became pregnant and had an
abortion during their affair.
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Freud began smo9ing tobacco at age &:2 initially a cigarette smo9er, he became a cigar smo9er. .e
believed that smo9ing enhanced his capacity to "or9 and that he could exercise self-control in
moderating it. ?espite health "arnings from colleague Bilhelm Fliess, he remained a smo9er,
eventually suffering a buccal cancer.
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Freud suggested to Fliess in $'*E that addictions, including
that to tobacco, "ere substitutes for masturbation, 0the one great habit0.
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Freud had greatly admired his philosophy tutor, 6rentano, "ho "as 9no"n for his theories of
perception and introspection, as "ell as/heodor >ipps "ho "as one of the main contemporary
theorists of the concepts of the unconscious and empathy.
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6rentano discussed the possible
existence of the unconscious mind in his $'E: boo9 Psychology from an Em#irical tand#oint.
;lthough 6rentano denied the existence of the unconscious, his discussion of it probably helped
introduce Freud to the concept.
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Freud o"ned and made use of <harles ?ar"in,s ma@or evolutionary
"ritings, and "as also influenced by Eduard von .artmann,s *he Philoso#hy of the +nconscio%s.
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.e read Friedrich Aietzsche as a student, and analogies bet"een his "or9 and that of Aietzsche "ere
pointed out almost as soon as he developed a follo"ing.
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In $*FF, the year of Aietzsche,s death,
Freud bought his collected "or9s2 he told his friend, Fliess, that he hoped to find in Aietzsche,s "or9s
0the "ords for much that remains mute in me.0 >ater he said he had not yet opened them.
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Freud
came to treat Aietzsche,s "ritings 0as texts to be resisted far more than to be studied.0 .is interest in
philosophy declined after he had decided on a career in neurology and psychiatry.
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FreudNs =e"ish origins and his allegiance to his secular =e"ish identity "ere of significant influence in
the formation of his intellectual and moral outloo9, especially "ith respect to his intellectual non-
conformism, as he "as the first to point out in his A%tobiogra#hical t%dy.
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/hey "ould also have a
substantial effect on the content of psychoanalytic ideas Oparticularly in respect of the rationalist values
to "hich it committed itselfP.
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#evelopment of psychoanalysis
In 5ctober $''(, Freud "ent to 8aris on a fello"ship to study "ith =ean-7artin <harcot, a reno"ned
neurologist "ho "as conducting scientific research into hypnosis. .e "as later to recall the experience
of this stay as catalytic in turning him to"ard the practice of medical psychopathology and a"ay from a
less financially promising career in neurology research.
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<harcot specialized in the study of hysteria
and susceptibility to hypnosis, "hich he fre4uently demonstrated "ith patients on stage in front of an
audience.
5nce he had set up in private practice in $''), Freud began using hypnosis in his clinical "or9. .e
adopted the approach of his friend and collaborator, =osef 6reuer, in a use of hypnosis "hich "as
different from the French methods he had studied in that it did not use suggestion. /he treatment of
one particular patient of 6reuer,s proved to be transformative for Freud,s clinical practice. ?escribed
as;nna 5 she "as invited to tal9 about her symptoms "hile under hypnosis (she "ould coin the
phrase 0tal9ing cure0 for her treatment). In the course of tal9ing in this "ay, these symptoms became
reduced in severity as she retrieved memories of traumatic incidents associated "ith their onset.
/his led Freud to eventually establish in the course of his clinical practice that a more consistent and
effective pattern of symptom relief could be achieved, "ithout recourse to hypnosis, by encouraging
patients to tal9 freely about "hatever ideas or memories occurred to them. In addition to this
procedure, "hich he called 0free association0, Freud found that patient,s dreams could be fruitfully
analyzed to reveal the complex structuring of unconscious material and to demonstrate the psychic
action of repression "hich underlay symptom formation. 6y $'*), Freud had abandoned hypnosis and
"as using the term 0psychoanalysis0 to refer to his ne" clinical method and the theories on "hich it
"as based.
#+$%
Freud,s development of these ne" theories too9 place during a period in "hich he experienced heart
irregularities, disturbing dreams and periods of depression, a 0neurasthenia0 "hich he lin9ed to the
death of his father in $'*)
#+&%
and "hich prompted a 0self-analysis0 of his o"n dreams and memories of
childhood. .is explorations of his feelings of hostility to his father and rivalrous @ealousy over his
motherNs affections led him to a fundamental revision of his theory of the origin of the neuroses.
5n the basis of his early clinical "or9, Freud had postulated that unconscious memories of sexual
molestation in early childhood "ere a necessary precondition for the psychoneuroses (hysteria and
obsessional neurosis), a formulation no" 9no"n as Freud,s seduction theory.
#++%
In the light of his self-
analysis, Freud abandoned the theory that every neurosis can be traced bac9 to the effects of infantile
sexual abuse, no" arguing that infantile sexual scenarios still had a causative function, but it did not
matter "hether they "ere real or imagined and that in either case they became pathogenic only "hen
acting as repressed memories.
#+:%
/his transition from the theory of infantile sexual trauma as a general explanation of ho" all neuroses
originate to one that presupposes an autonomous infantile sexuality provided the basis for Freud,s
subse4uent formulation of the theory of the 5edipus complex.
#+(%
"deas
Early (ork
Freud began his study of medicine at the Hniversity of Qienna in $'E+.
#'+%
.e too9 almost nine years to
complete his studies, due to his interest in neurophysiological research, specifically investigation of the
sexual anatomy of eels and the physiology of the fish nervous system, and because of his interest in
studying philosophy "ith Franz 6rentano. .e entered private practice in neurology for financial
reasons, receiving his 7.?. degree in $''$ at the age of &(.
#':%
;mongst his principal concerns in the
$''Fs "as the anatomy of the brain, specifically the medulla oblongata. .e intervened in the important
debates about aphasia "ith his monograph of $'*$, ,%r A%ffass%ng der A#hasien, in "hich he coined
the term agnosia and counselled against a too locationist vie" of the explanation of neurological
deficits. >i9e his contemporary Eugen 6leuler, he emphasized brain function rather than brain
structure.
Freud also an early researcher in the field of cerebral palsy, "hich "as then 9no"n as 0cerebral
paralysis0. .e published several medical papers on the topic, and sho"ed that the disease existed
long before other researchers of the period began to notice and study it. .e also suggested
that Billiam >ittle, the man "ho first identified cerebral palsy, "as "rong about lac9 of oxygen during
birth being a cause. Instead, he suggested that complications in birth "ere only a symptom. Freud
hoped that his research "ould provide a solid scientific basis for his therapeutic techni4ue. /he goal of
Freudian therapy, or psychoanalysis, "as to bring repressed thoughts and feelings
into consciousness in order to free the patient from suffering repetitive distorted emotions.
<lassically, the bringing of unconscious thoughts and feelings to consciousness is brought about by
encouraging a patient to tal9 about dreams and engage in free association, in "hich patients report
their thoughts "ithout reservation and ma9e no attempt to concentrate "hile doing so.
#'(%
;nother
important element of psychoanalysis is transference, the process by "hich patients displace on to their
analysts feelings and ideas "hich derive from previous figures in their lives. /ransference "as first
seen as a regrettable phenomenon that interfered "ith the recovery of repressed memories and
disturbed patients, ob@ectivity, but by $*$&, Freud had come to see it as an essential part of the
therapeutic process.
#')%
/he origin of Freud,s early "or9 "ith psychoanalysis can be lin9ed to =osef 6reuer. Freud credited
6reuer "ith opening the "ay to the discovery of the psychoanalytical method by his treatment of the
case of ;nna 5. In Aovember $''F, 6reuer "as called in to treat a highly intelligent &$-year-old
"oman (6ertha 8appenheim) for a persistent cough that he diagnosed as hysterical. .e found that
"hile nursing her dying father, she had developed a number of transitory symptoms, including visual
disorders and paralysis and contractures of limbs, "hich he also diagnosed as hysterical. 6reuer
began to see his patient almost every day as the symptoms increased and became more persistent,
and observed that she entered states of absence. .e found that "hen, "ith his encouragement, she
told fantasy stories in her evening states of absence her condition improved, and most of her
symptoms had disappeared by ;pril $''$. .o"ever, follo"ing the death of her father in that month her
condition deteriorated again. 6reuer recorded that some of the symptoms eventually remitted
spontaneously, and that full recovery "as achieved by inducing her to recall events that had
precipitated the occurrence of a specific symptom.
#'E%
In the years immediately follo"ing 6reuer,s
treatment, ;nna 5. spent three short periods in sanatoria "ith the diagnosis 0hysteria0 "ith 0somatic
symptoms0,
#''%
and some authors have challenged 6reuer,s published account of a cure.
#'*%#*F%
#*$%
Gichard 9ues re@ects this interpretation, "hich he sees as stemming from both Freudian and anti-
psychoanalytical revisionism, that regards both 6reuer,s narrative of the case as unreliable and his
treatment of ;nna 5. as a failure.
#*&%
Seduction )heory
In the early $'*Fs, Freud used a form of treatment based on the one that 6reuer had described to him,
modified by "hat he called his 0pressure techni4ue0 and his ne"ly developed analytic techni4ue of
interpretation and reconstruction. ;ccording to Freud,s later accounts of this period, as a result of his
use of this procedure most of his patients in the mid-$'*Fs reported early childhood sexual abuse. .e
believed these stories, "hich he used as the basis for his seduction theory, but then he came to
believe that they "ere fantasies. .e explained these at first as having the function of 0fending off0
memories of infantile masturbation, but in later years he "rote that they represented 5edipal fantasies,
stemming from innate drives that are sexual and destructive in nature.
#*+%
;nother version of events focuses on Freud,s proposing that unconscious memories of infantile sexual
abuse "ere at the root of the psychoneuroses in letters to Fliess in 5ctober $'*(, before he reported
that he had actually discovered such abuse among his patients.
#*:%
In the first half of $'*), Freud
published three papers, "hich led to his seduction theory, stating that he had uncovered, in all of his
current patients, deeply repressed memories of sexual abuse in early childhood.
#*(%
In these papers,
Freud recorded that his patients "ere not consciously a"are of these memories, and must therefore
be present as %nconscio%s memories if they "ere to result in hysterical symptoms or obsessional
neurosis. /he patients "ere sub@ected to considerable pressure to 0reproduce0 infantile sexual abuse
0scenes0 that Freud "as convinced had been repressed into the unconscious.
#*)%
8atients "ere
generally unconvinced that their experiences of Freud,s clinical procedure indicated actual sexual
abuse. .e reported that even after a supposed 0reproduction0 of sexual scenes the patients assured
him emphatically of their disbelief.
#*E%
;s "ell as his pressure techni4ue, Freud,s clinical procedures involved analytic inference and the
symbolic interpretation of symptoms to trace bac9 to memories of infantile sexual abuse.
#*'%
.is claim
of one hundred percent confirmation of his theory only served to reinforce previously expressed
reservations from his colleagues about the validity of findings obtained through his suggestive
techni4ues.
#**%
Freud subse4uently sho"ed inconsistency as to "hether his seduction theory "as still
compatible "ith his later findings.
#$FF%
Cocaine
;s a medical researcher, Freud "as an early user and proponent of cocaine as a stimulant as "ell
as analgesic. .e believed that cocaine "as a cure for many mental and physical problems, and in his
$'': paper 05n <oca0 he extolled its virtues. 6et"een $''+ and $''E he "rote several articles
recommending medical applications, including its use as anantidepressant. .e narro"ly missed out on
obtaining scientific priority for discovering its anesthetic properties of "hich he "as a"are but had
mentioned only in passing.
#$F$%
(Iarl Ioller, a colleague of Freud,s in Qienna, received that distinction in
$'': after reporting to a medical society the "ays cocaine could be used in delicate eye surgery.)
Freud also recommended cocaine as a cure for morphine addiction.
#$F&%
.e had introduced cocaine to
his friend Ernst von Fleischl-7arxo" "ho had become addicted to morphine ta9en to relieve years of
excruciating nerve pain resulting from an infection ac4uired "hile performing an autopsy. .o"ever, his
claim that Fleischl-7arxo" "as cured of his addiction "as premature, though he never ac9no"ledged
he had been at fault. Fleischl-7arxo" developed an acute case of 0cocaine psychosis0, and soon
returned to using morphine, dying a fe" years later after more suffering from intolerable pain.
#$F+%
/he application as an anesthetic turned out to be one of the fe" safe uses of cocaine, and as reports
of addiction and overdose began to filter in from many places in the "orld, Freud,s medical reputation
became some"hat tarnished.
#$F:%
;fter the 0<ocaine Episode0
#$F(%
Freud ceased to publicly recommend use of the drug, but continued to
ta9e it himself occasionally for depression, migraine and nasal inflammation during the early $'*Fs,
before discontinuing in $'*).
#$F)%
In this period he came under the influence of his friend and confidant
Fliess, "ho recommended cocaine for the treatment of the so-called nasal refle! ne%rosis. Fliess, "ho
operated on the noses of several of his o"n patients, also performed operations on Freud and on one
of Freud,s patients "hom he believed to be suffering from the disorder, Emma Ec9stein. .o"ever, the
surgery proved disastrous.
#$FE%
It has been suggested that much of Freud,s early psychoanalytical
theory "as a by-product of his cocaine use.
#$F'%
)he *nconscious
Main article: +nconscio%s mind
/he concept of the unconscious "as central to Freud,s account of the mind. Freud believed that "hile
poets and thin9ers had long 9no"n of the existence of the unconscious, he had ensured that it
received scientific recognition in the field of psychology. .o"ever, the concept made an informal
appearance in Freud,s "ritings.
/he unconscious "as first introduced in connection "ith the phenomenon of repression, to explain
"hat happens to ideas that are repressed. Freud stated explicitly that the concept of the unconscious
"as based on the theory of repression. .e postulated a cycle in "hich ideas are repressed, but remain
in the mind, removed from consciousness yet operative, then reappear in consciousness under certain
circumstances. /he postulate "as based upon the investigation of cases of traumatic hysteria, "hich
revealed cases "here the behavior of patients could not be explained "ithout reference to ideas or
thoughts of "hich they had no a"areness. /his fact, combined "ith the observation that such behavior
could be artificially induced by hypnosis, in "hich ideas "ere inserted into people,s minds, suggested
that ideas "ere operative in the original cases, even though their sub@ects 9ne" nothing of them.
Freud, li9e =osef 6reuer, found the hypothesis that hysterical manifestations "ere generated by ideas
to be not only "arranted, but given in observation. ?isagreement bet"een them arose, ho"ever, "hen
they attempted to give causal explanations of their data3 6reuer favored a hypothesis of hypnoid
states, "hile Freud postulated the mechanism of defense. Gichard Bollheim comments that given the
close correspondence bet"een hysteria and the results of hypnosis, 6reuer,s hypothesis appears
more plausible, and that it is only "hen repression is ta9en into account that Freud,s hypothesis
becomes preferable.
#$F*%
Freud originally allo"ed that repression might be a conscious process, but by the time he "rote his
second paper on the 0Aeuro-8sychoses of ?efence0 ($'*)), he apparently believed that repression,
"hich he referred to as 0the psychical mechanism of (unconscious) defense0, occurred on an
unconscious level. Freud further developed his theories about the unconscious in *he &nter#retation of
-reams ($'**) and in .o/es and their "elation to the +nconscio%s ($*F(), "here he dealt "ith
condensation and displacement as inherent characteristics of unconscious mental activity. Freud
presented his first systematic statement of his hypotheses about unconscious mental processes in
$*$&, in response to an invitation from the >ondon ociety of 8sychical Gesearch to contribute to
its Proceedings. In $*$(, Freud expanded that statement into a more ambitious metapsychological
paper, entitled 0/he Hnconscious0. In both these papers, "hen Freud tried to distinguish bet"een his
conception of the unconscious and those that predated psychoanalysis, he found it in his postulation
of ideas that are simultaneously latent and operative.
#$F*%
#reams
Main article: -ream
Freud believed that the function of dreams is to preserve sleep by representing as fulfilled "ishes that
"ould other"ise a"a9en the dreamer.
#$$F%
Freud also believed that there is a specific psychological
techni4ue through "hich dreams can be interpreted, and that, if the techni4ue is successfully
accomplished, each dream is revealed as a psychical structure, "hich has a significant meaning and
functioning in the mental activities of the a"a9ened life.
#$$$%
!sychosexual development
Main article: Psychose!%al develo#ment
Freud hoped to prove that his model "as universally valid and thus turned to ancient mythology and
contemporary ethnography for comparative material. Freud named his ne" theory the 5edipus
complex after the famous 1ree9 tragedy Oedi#%s "e! by ophocles. 0I found in myself a constant
love for my mother, and @ealousy of my father. I no" consider this to be a universal event in childhood,0
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. *hree Essays on the *heory of e!%ality). .e used the 5edipus conflict to point out
ho" much he believed that people desire incest and must repress that desire. /he 5edipus conflict
"as described as a state of psychosexual development and a"areness. .e also turned
toanthropological studies of totemism and argued that totemism reflected a ritualized enactment of a
tribal 5edipal conflict.
#$$&%
Freud also believed that the 5edipus complex "as bisexual, involving an
attraction to both parents.
/raditional accounts have held that, as a result of fre4uent reports from his patients, in the mid-$'*Fs
Freud posited that psychoneuroses "ere a conse4uence of early childhood sexual abuse.
#$$+%
7ore
specifically, in three papers published in $'*) he contended that %nconscio%s memories of sexual
abuse in infancy are a necessary precondition for the development of adult psychoneuroses. .o"ever,
examination of Freud,s original papers has revealed that his clinical claims "ere not based on patients,
reports but "ere findings deriving from his analytical clinical methodology, "hich at that time included
coercive procedures.
#$$:%#$$(%#$$)%#$$E%#$$'%
.e privately expressed his loss of faith in the theory to his friend
Fliess in eptember $'*E, giving several reasons, including that he had not been able to bring a single
case to a successful conclusion.
#$$*%
In $*F), "hile still maintaining that his earlier claims to have
uncovered early childhood sexual abuse events remained valid, he postulated a ne" theory of the
occurrence of unconscious infantile fantasies of sexual abuse.
#$&F%
.e had incorporated his notions of
unconscious fantasies in *he &nter#retation of -reams ($'**), but did not explicitly relate his seduction
theory claims to the 5edipus theory until $*&(.
#$&$%
Aot"ithstanding his abandonment of the seduction
theory, >aplanche and 8ontalis state3 0Freud continued to assert the existence, prevalence and
pathogenic force of scenes of seduction actually experienced by children0.
#$&&%
/his vie", ho"ever, has
been challenged by others.
#$FF%
;hbel-Gappe states3 0; statement to the effect that Freud never denied
the reality of seductions is not true to the complexity of the matter. /here is clearly a tendency in Freud
to"ard precisely such a denial.0
#$&+%
Freud sho"ed an inconsistency as to "hether his later theory
invalidated his earlier seduction theory3 In an addendum to *he Aetiology of $ysteria he stated3 S;ll
this is true #the sexual abuse of children%2 but it must be remembered that at the time I "rote it I had
not yet freed myself from my overvaluation of reality and my lo" valuation of phantasyN.
#$&:%
ome years
later Freud explicitly re@ected the claim of his colleague Ferenczi that his patientsN reports of sexual
molestation "ere actual memories instead of fantasies, and he tried to dissuade Ferenczi from ma9ing
his vie"s public.
#$FF%
Freud also believed that the libido developed in individuals by changing its ob@ect, a process codified
by the concept of sublimation. .e argued that humans are born 0polymorphously perverse0, meaning
that any number of ob@ects could be a source of pleasure. .e further argued that, as humans develop,
they become fixated on different and specific ob@ects through their stages of developmentDfirst in
the oral stage (exemplified by an infant,s pleasure in nursing), then in the anal stage (exemplified by a
toddler,s pleasure in evacuating his or her bo"els), then in the phallic stage. In the latter stage, Freud
contended, male infants become fixated on the mother as a sexual ob@ect (9no"n as the 5edipus
<omplex), a phase brought to an end by threats of castration, resulting in the <astration anxiety, the
severest trauma in his young life.
#$&(%
In his later "ritings Freud postulated an e4uivalent 5edipus
situation for infant girls, the sexual fixation being on the father. /hough not advocated by Freud
himself, the term ,Electra complex, is sometimes used in this context.
#$&)%
/he repressive or
dormant latency stage of psychosexual development preceded the sexually mature genital stage of
psychosexual development. /he child needs to receive the proper amount of satisfaction at any given
stage in order to move on easily to the next stage of development2 under or over gratification can lead
to a fixation at that stage, "hich could cause a regression bac9 to that stage later in life.
#$&E%
Freud felt that masturbation "as un"ise and harmful. .e and his colleague Fliess "rote about the
topic during a period in "hich vie"s on the topic "ere becoming more liberal due to the influence of
doctors such as .aveloc9 Ellis. Freud remained an opponent of masturbation, seeing it as having
partially caused the neuroses. .e stated 0a #riori one is forced to oppose the assertion that
masturbation has to be harmless2 on the contrary there must be cases in "hich masturbation is
harmful. ince the aetiology of the neuroses is given by "ay of the conflict bet"een infantile sexuality
and the opposition of the ego (repression) masturbation, "hich is only an executive of infantile
sexuality, cannot a #riori be presented as harmless0.
#$&'%
"d+ ego and super,ego
Main article: &d0 ego and s%#er-ego
In his later "or9, Freud proposed that the human psyche could be divided into three parts3 Id, ego and
super-ego. Freud discussed this model in the $*&F essay Beyond the Pleas%re Princi#le, and fully
elaborated upon it in *he Ego and the &d ($*&+), in "hich he developed it as an alternative to his
previous topographic schema (i.e., conscious, unconscious and preconscious). /he id is the
completely unconscious, impulsive, childli9e portion of the psyche that operates on the 0pleasure
principle0 and is the source of basic impulses and drives2 it see9s immediate pleasure and
gratification.
#$&E%
Freud ac9no"ledged that his use of the term &d (das Es, 0the It0) derives from the "ritings of 1eorg
1roddec9.
#$&*%
/he super-ego is the moral component of the psyche, "hich ta9es into account no
special circumstances in "hich the morally right thing may not be right for a given situation. /he
rational ego attempts to exact a balance bet"een the impractical hedonism of the id and the e4ually
impractical moralism of the super-ego2 it is the part of the psyche that is usually reflected most directly
in a person,s actions. Bhen overburdened or threatened by its tas9s, it may employ defense
mechanisms including denial repression, undoing, rationalization, repression, and displacement. /his
concept is usually represented by the 0Iceberg 7odel0.
#$+F%
/his model represents the roles the Id, Ego,
and uper Ego play in relation to conscious and unconscious thought.
Freud compared the relationship bet"een the ego and the id to that bet"een a charioteer and his
horses3 the horses provide the energy and drive, "hile the charioteer provides direction.
#$&E%
%ife and death drives
Main articles: Libido and -eath drive
Freud believed that people are driven by t"o conflicting central desires3 the life drive (libido or Eros)
(survival, propagation, hunger, thirst, and sex) and the death drive. /he death drive "as also termed
0/hanatos0, although Freud did not use that term2 0/hanatos0 "as introduced in this context by 8aul
Federn.
#$+$%
Freud hypothesized that libido is a form of mental energy "ith "hich processes, structures
and ob@ect-representations are invested.
#$+&%
8rior to the "ar, Freud believes, fiction had constituted a
different mode of relation to death, a place of compensation in "hich 0the condition for reconciling
ourselves to death is fulfilled, namely, if beneath all vicissitudes of life a permanent life still remains to
us0.
#$++%
In Beyond the Pleas%re Princi#le, Freud inferred the existence of the death instinct. Its premise "as a
regulatory principle that has been described as 0the principle of psychic inertia0, 0the Airvana
principle0, and 0the conservatism of instinct0. Its bac9ground "as Freud,s earlier Pro1ect for a cientific
Psychology, "here he had defined the principle governing the mental apparatus as its tendency to
divest itself of 4uantity or to reduce tension to zero. Freud had been obliged to abandon that definition,
since it proved ade4uate only to the most rudimentary 9inds of mental functioning, and replaced the
idea that the apparatus tends to"ard a level of zero tension "ith the idea that it tends to"ard a
minimum level of tension.
#$+:%
Freud in effect readopted the original definition in Beyond the Pleas%re Princi#le, this time applying it
to a different principle. .e asserted that on certain occasions the mind acts as though it could
eliminate tension entirely, or in effect to reduce itself to a state of extinction2 his 9ey evidence for this
"as the existence of the compulsion to repeat. Examples of such repetition included the dream life of
traumatic neurotics and children,s play. In the phenomenon of repetition, Freud sa" a psychic trend to
"or9 over earlier impressions, to master them and derive pleasure from them, a trend "as prior to the
pleasure principle but not opposed to it. In addition to that trend, ho"ever, there "as also a principle at
"or9 that "as opposed to, and thus 0beyond0 the pleasure principle. If repetition is a necessary
element in the binding of energy or adaptation, "hen carried to inordinate lengths it becomes a means
of abandoning adaptations and reinstating earlier or less evolved psychic positions. 6y combining this
idea "ith the hypothesis that all repetition is a form of discharge, Freud reached the conclusion that
the compulsion to repeat is an effort to restore a state that is both historically primitive and mar9ed by
the total draining of energy3 death.
#$+:%
Femininity and female sexuality
Freud delivered his beliefs about "omen in Ne2 &ntrod%ctory Lect%res on Psycho-Analysis, >ecture
TTTIII, 0Femininity0.
#$+(%
.e believed that suppression of aggression, both by society in "omen and
innately by "omen themselves, results in masochism "hich he deemed 0truly feminine0.
#$+)%
.e "rote
that girls are 0more intelligent and livelier0 than boys of the same age,
#$+E%
but that because of
their pubic hair, "omen invented only 0plaiting and "eaving0 and other"ise have made almost no
0contributions to the discoveries and inventions in the history of civilization0.
#$+'%
.e decided that a
female,s castration complex precedes her 5edipus complex.
#$+*%
Initiating "hat became the first debate "ithin psychoanalysis on femininity, Iaren .orney of the 6erlin
Institute set out to challenge Freud,s account of the development of feminine sexuality. Ge@ecting
Freud,s theories of the feminine castration complex and penis envy, .orney argued for a primary
femininity and penis envy as a defensive formation rather than arising from the fact, or Oin@uryP, of
biological asymmetry as Freud held. .orney had the influential support of 7elanie Ilein and Ernest
=ones "ho coined the term OphallocentrismP in his criti4ue of Freud,s position.
#$:F%
Religion
Main article: Fre%d and religion
Freud regarded the monotheistic 1od as an illusion based upon the infantile emotional need for a
po"erful, supernatural pater familias. .e maintained that religion once necessary to restrain man,s
violent nature in the early stages of civilization in modern times, can be set aside in favor
of reason and science.
#$:$%
05bsessive ;ctions and Geligious 8ractices0 ($*FE) notes the li9eness
bet"een faith (religious belief) and neurotic obsession.
#$:&%
*otem and *aboo ($*$+) proposes that
society and religion begin "ith the patricide and eating of the po"erful paternal figure, "ho then
becomes a revered collective memory.
#$:+%
In 'ivili3ation and its -iscontents ($*+F), he 4uotes his
friend Gomain Golland, "ho described religion as an 0oceanic sensation0, but says he never
experienced this feeling.
#$::%
Moses and Monotheism ($*+E) proposes that 7oses "as the tribal pater
familias, 9illed by the =e"s, "ho psychologically coped "ith the patricide "ith a reaction
formation conducive to their establishing monotheist =udaism2
#$:(%
analogously, he described the
Goman <atholic rite of .oly <ommunion as cultural evidence of the 9illing and devouring of the sacred
father.
#'$%#$:)%
7oreover, he perceived religion, "ith its suppression of violence, as mediator of the societal and
personal, the public and the private, conflicts bet"een Eros and /hanatos, the forces of life and death.
#$:E%
>ater "or9s indicate Freud,s pessimism about the future of civilization, "hich he noted in the $*+$
edition of 'ivili3ation and its -iscontents.
#$:'%