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Wittels, F. (1938). The Position of the Psychopath in the Psycho-Analytic System. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 19:471-488.

(1938). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 19:471-488

The Position of the Psychopath in the Psycho-Analytic System

Fritz Wittels

At the Twelfth Congress in Wiesbaden, 1932, Ernest Jones presented a paper in which he suggested the division of Freud's phallic phase into two sections, protophallic and deuterophallic. The protophallic phase, according to Jones, reaches the definite primacy of the genitalia but does not as yet consider of high importance the difference between the two sexes, is not as yet aware of castration fear, with the Oedipus complex still in the future. We find the child at the peak of its first libidinous advance and near the turning-point of a phase which Jones calls the deuterophallic. This phase contains the impact of the Oedipus conflict with all its ramifications. I consider Jones' division of manifest importance, practical as well as theoretical. Although I cannot agree with certain details of his analysis, the following considerations are based on his findings.

The so-called psychopath, or a certain group of psychopaths, have their fixation-point in the protophallic phase, it seems to me. The complication of neurosis with psychopathy occurs by way of a second fixation-point in the deuterophallic phase. The protophallic psychopath is an individual whose super-ego differs considerably from that of the normal as well as the neurotic individual. Its evolution lags behind, thus sparing the psychopath the inevitable normal and neurotic conflicts between id and ego. He is impulsive, restrained only by fear of outer powers. He sees and comprehends dangers outside but dangers inside, pangs of conscience are alien to him. Only rarely do we happen upon the pure protophallic. What we generally encounter are combinations of psychopathy with neurosis or even psychosis. Yet it seems possible to separate the psychopathic component from the neurotic one, as was attempted conspicuously by Aichhorn and Reich.

As we know, frequent disruptions take place in the latency period even in the normal individual.

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