Unauthorized Freud: Doubters Confront a Legend

Overview

Over the past 30 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 his own memories - has been exposed as a fiction, a joint concoction of Freud himself and his official biographer, Ernest Jones. The emerging truth is that Freud was a dogmatist who ...
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Overview

Over the past 30 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 his own memories - has been exposed as a fiction, a joint concoction of Freud himself and his official biographer, Ernest Jones. The emerging truth is that Freud was a dogmatist who browbeat his patients and consistently failed to mark the crucial difference between their fantasies and his own. And while the heroic Freud has been shrinking to human size, philosophers and psychologists have been finding that psychoanalytic evidence offers no credible support for the top-heavy, tottering Freudian system of mental laws and powers. Frederick Crews' Unauthorized Freud surveys the growing field of revisionist Freud studies and decisively forges the case against the man and his creation.
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Editorial Reviews

Books & Culture: A Christian Review
...[H]ardhitting.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Here are 20 rigorous essays that mount a formidable critique of mainstream Freudian theory and practice, and of Freud's major cases. Whereas Freud fostered the idea of solitary, heroic discovery through his self-analysis, in reality, the authors contend, he taught his followers to replace the empirical attitude with blind loyalty and censorship, instilling in them a negative, quasi-paranoid view of rival theorists and clinicians. The contributors--among them Frank J. Sulloway, Ernest Gellner, Peter J. Swales and other noted American and European scholars in fields ranging from philosophy to neuroscience--present compelling evidence that Freud habitually and greatly exaggerated his therapeutic successes. They also cast serious doubt on new Freudians' confidence in free association as a curative tool to decipher the meaning of dreams or to reconstruct events from a patient's distant past. Freud's attempt to fit women (whom he apparently viewed as second-class humans) into his "castration-based" account of the mind is seen as having disastrous consequences, such as assumptions of "normal" female masochism or women's moral and cultural weakness. Although the book as a whole overstates its case, Crews, eminent literary critic, satirist and professor emeritus at U.C.-Berkeley, has done such an excellent job of choosing and editing the selections--all of which have been previously published, mainly in academic books and periodicals--that they form a cohesive whole, and as such put psychoanalysis squarely on the defensive.
Booknews
A mustering of 18 opposition stalwarts who accuse the master of being a dogmatist who browbeat his patients and consistently failed to distinguish between their fantasies and his own, and accuse his child, psychoanalysis, of offering no credible evidence for the top-heavy Freudian system of mental laws and powers.
Books & Culture: A Christian Review
...[H]ardhitting.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765535399
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 8/1/1998
  • Pages: 301

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction
I Wrong from the Start
1 "Anna O.: The First Tall Tale" 10
2 "Freud's Master Hysteric" 22
3 "Was Freud a Liar?" 34
4 "Self-Seduced" 43
5 "The Rhythm Method" 54
II The Illusion of Rigor
6 "Made-to-Order Evidence" 76
7 "Manifestly Fallacious" 85
8 "Error's Reign" 94
9 "Can Intuitive Proof Suffice?" 106
10 "Claims Without Commitments" 116
11 "Why Can't a Woman Be More Like a Man?" 129
III Psychic Inspector Clouseau
12 "Delusion and Dream in Freud's 'Dora'" 147
13 "A Little Child Shall Mislead Them" 162
14 "Exemplary Botches" 174
15 "The Primal Scene of Persuasion" 186
16 "Culture Vulture" 200
IV We Few
17 "Free Fall" 218
18 "Paranoia Methodized" 228
19 "Sons and Killers" 246
20 "The Marriage Counselor" 260
Works Editorially Cited
Permissions Acknowledgments
Index
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