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Breuer, J. (1893). Theoretical from Studies on Hysteria. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume II (1893-1895): Studies on Hysteria, 183-251.
    

Breuer, J. (1893). [SEB183a1]Theoretical from Studies on Hysteria. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume II (1893-1895): Studies on Hysteria, 183-251

III Theoretical

[SEB183a1]Theoretical from Studies on Hysteria Book Information Previous Up Next Language Translation

Josef Breuer

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Josef Breuer in 1897 (Aet. 55

III [SEB183a2]Theoretical

[SEB183a3]In the ‘Preliminary Communication’ which introduces this work we laid down the conclusions to which we were led by our observations, and I think that I can stand by them in the main. But the ‘Preliminary Communication’ is so short and concise that for the most part it was only possible in it to hint at our views. Now, therefore, that the case histories have brought forward evidence in support of our conclusions it may be permissible to state them at greater length. Even here, there is, of course, no question of dealing with the whole field of hysteria. But we may give a somewhat closer and clearer account (with some added reservations, no doubt) of those points for which insufficient evidence was adduced or which were not given enough prominence in the ‘Preliminary Communication’.

[SEB183a4]In what follows little mention will be made of the brain and none whatever of molecules. Psychical processes will be dealt with in the language of psychology; and, indeed, it cannot possibly be otherwise. If instead of ‘idea’ we chose to speak of ‘excitation of the cortex’, the latter term would only have any meaning for us in so far as we recognized an old friend under that cloak and tacitly reinstated the ‘idea’. For while ideas are constant objects of our experience and are familiar to us in all their shades of meaning, ‘cortical excitations’ are on the contrary rather in the nature of a postulate, objects which we hope to be able to identify in the future.

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