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Freud, A. (1978). Inaugural Lecture for the Sigmund Freud Chair at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 59:145-148.
(1978). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 59:145-148
Inaugural Lecture for the Sigmund Freud Chair at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem
When I received President Harman's invitation to provide an Inaugural Lecture for the Sigmund Freud Chair at the Hebrew University, I felt surprised and deeply honoured. I also felt over-awed when finding myself faced with the responsibility of putting the final seal on the realization of a venture which, up to now, has existed merely as a wish-fantasy in the minds of some psychoanalysts.
Obviously, this particular inaugural lecture bears little resemblance to the usual one. Traditionally, the newly elected chairholder of an old-established branch of science uses this occasion to present himself and his plans to his colleagues. But here, the author of the lecture and the elected man are not identical; the latter's name (at least at the time when this was written) is still unknown; so are his plans. And what requires introduction is therefore not the new incumbent but, surprisingly enough, the discipline itself.
In our time, of course, psychoanalysis is no longer the unknown quantity which it was 80 years ago, when its theory of the unconscious mind met with disbelief and its emphasis on the role of the sexual drive aroused moral indignation. By now, a degree of familiarity with its tenets has seeped through, even to the general public. Not that this simplifies a formal presentation. There are too many aspects to consider, all of them important. It leaves the presenter with a threefold task: to enumerate what is basic in psychoanalysis, bypassing for the present purpose the many developments, innovations, departures and distortions built on the essential; to select what may appeal to the academic community which psychoanalysis now proceeds to enter; and, incidentally, to substantiate the claim that psychoanalytic work fares best in the freedom which it has arrogated to itself from the beginning, and some of which it wishes to retain even within a university curriculum.
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