Article Review: Freud Scholarly Research on Freud's Theories Austrian

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Scholarly Research on Freud's Theories

Austrian physicist, philosopher and writer Sigmund Freud is highly regarded for his groundbreaking insights and heavily criticized for the flimsiness of his scientific processes. This would create a figure of value both for breaking away from stalwart assumptions about human psychology and also for inviting the type of future critical scrutiny that could ultimately lend greater empricism to some of his most profound ideas. The three articles here selected, two by Freud (1936, 1937) and one by du Prie (1998) concerning Freud's studies in human sexuality, demonstrate this dichotomy.

Freud, S. (1936). Inhibitions, Symptoms and Anxiety. The Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 5, 415-443.

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Freud's 1936 examination of the experience of anxiety is essentially a discussion which attempts to understand the role played by anxiety in our understanding of certain phobias, emotional dissonance or psychological discord. Freud indicates that anxiety has been characterized by some theorists as a condition which is to be viewed as a symptom of the larger condition present. However, he suggests that there is some compelling evidence to dissuade this view and to instead suggest that many of the symptoms which may arise in one's complex should be viewed as a response mechanism which is appealed to in order to suppress feelings of anxiety.

Freud makes the case that "according to this latter view, all symptom formation would be brought about solely in order to avoid anxiety; the symptoms bind the psychic energy which otherwise would be discharged as anxiety, so that anxiety would be the fundamental phenomenon and the central problem of neurosis." (Freud, 1936, p. 415)

Freud provides a few examples in order to illustrate a resolution that is, to be fair, somewhat speculative in nature. Here surfaces one of the criticisms which is frequently leveled against Freud concerning his relative lack of empiricism, insofar as much of his theory is based on inductive reasoning. In this case, he makes an example out of the agoraphobic individual who may require accompaniment from a trusted companion when venturing outside. This needs for accompaniment can be seen as the symptom. In the absence of this accompaniment, the individual may respond by appealing to his or her anxieties. The article suggests that this is a response which denotes the need to redress the source of one's anxieties, even where other symptoms appear at the surface to characterize the condition in question.

Freud, S. (1937). Analysis Terminable and Interminable. International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 18, 373-405.

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Freud's 1937 discussion on the contrast between terminable and interminable treatment courses reveals something of the groundbreaking importance of his work in expanding the scope of what was considered possible or desirable in psychoanalytic treatment. Accordingly, Freud reflects that "from the very beginning, attempts have been made to shorten the course of analysis. Such endeavours required no justification: they could claim to be prompted… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Freud Scholarly Research on Freud's Theories Austrian.  (2010, April 21).  Retrieved October 14, 2019, from

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"Freud Scholarly Research on Freud's Theories Austrian."  April 21, 2010.  Accessed October 14, 2019.