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May, U. (2013). Freud's “Beyond the pleasure principle”: The end of psychoanalysis or its new beginning?. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 22(4):208-216.

(2013). International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 22(4):208-216

Freud's “Beyond the pleasure principle”: The end of psychoanalysis or its new beginning?

Ulrike May

Taking Freud's “Beyond the pleasure principle” as a case in point, the author draws attention to how Freud had a tendency to develop different theories simultaneously and to neglect to state how they were related to each other. The theory of traumatic neurosis, which he explains by both the theory of the two egos and the theory of the mental apparatus and the energies at work within it, is cited as an example. Similarly, Freud's definition of the death instinct is also not reconcilable with his previous definition of the instinctual drives. A third example is that of Eros, important parts of whose definition are at variance with Freud's previously formulated definition of the sexual drives. In none of these cases, the author argues, did Freud replace the “old” theory “with the “new” one. He simply retained the old theory and added the new one, without integrating them.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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