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Edelheit, H. (1967). Binswanger and Freud. Psychoanal Q., 36:85-90.

(1967). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 36:85-90

Binswanger and Freud

Henry Edelheit, M.D.

Ludwig Binswanger's Daseinanalyse is, according to Professor Needleman, who writes an introduction to his selected papers, 'an effort to complement and correct the view of man and human experience implicit in Freudian psychoanalysis'. It is an imposing effort, and if in the long run it is unconvincing to a psychoanalytic reader, this is largely because clinical observation and straightforward interpretation are sacrificed to the philosophical framework. Moreover, that framework seems to be largely inspired by a need to reject psychoanalytic interpretations.

Freud's discovery of infantile sexuality and of the sexual etiology of the neuroses has made possible unprecedented clarifications in our understanding of man. At the same time, the unpalatability of his findings provoked an unending wave of repudiation. With Jung and Adler that repudiation was dramatic and led to violent rupture that was not only doctrinal but personal. Binswanger's nonacceptance of Freud's views was subtler and more civilized. It early took a form that was compatible with a lifelong friendship between the two men. Nevertheless, Binswanger's rejection of infantile sexuality (his repeated demurrers notwithstanding) is as total and as limiting as that of the great heresiarchs of the psychoanalytic movement. His rejection also included the concepts of psychic determinism and of a dynamic unconscious.

The selection of writings included in Being-in-the-World is intended to give a synopsis of Binswanger's philosophical and psychological views together with examples of their clinical application.

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