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Freud, S. (1915). Letter to Dr. Frederik van Eeden. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XIV (1914-1916): On the History of the Psycho-Analytic Movement, Papers on Metapsychology and Other Works, 301-302.

Freud, S. (1915). [SEN301a1]Letter to Dr. Frederik van Eeden. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XIV (1914-1916): On the History of the Psycho-Analytic Movement, Papers on Metapsychology and Other Works, 301-302

[SEN301a1]Letter to Dr. Frederik van Eeden Book Information Previous Up Next Language Translation

Sigmund Freud

[SEN301a2]Appendix to "Letter to Dr. Frederik van Eeden"

[SEN301a3][This letter was written by Freud at the end of 1914, a few months after the outbreak of the first World War and a few months before the composition of his ‘Thoughts for the Times on War and Death’. Van Eeden, to whom the letter was addressed, was a Dutch psychopathologist, better known, however, as a man of letters. He was a long-standing acquaintance of Freud's, although never accepting his views. The letter was first published in German by van Eeden in an Amsterdam weekly periodical, De Amsterdammer, on January 17, 1915 (No. 1960, p. 3). It seems not to have been reprinted in German hitherto. An English translation is included in the second volume of Dr. Ernest Jones's life of Freud (1955, 413), and the version which follows is the same, apart from a few verbal changes.]

[SEN301a4]Vienna, December 28, 1914.

[SEN301a5]Dear Dr. van Eeden,

[SEN301a6]I venture, under the impact of the war, to remind you of two theses which have been put forward by psycho-analysis and which have undoubtedly contributed to its unpopularity.

[SEN301a7]Psycho-analysis has inferred from the dreams and parapraxes of healthy people, as well as from the symptoms of neurotics, that the primitive, savage and evil impulses of mankind have not vanished in any of its individual members, but persist, although in a repressed state, in the unconscious (to use our technical terms), and lie in wait for opportunities of becoming active once more. It has further taught us that our intellect is a feeble and dependent thing, a plaything and tool of our instincts and affects, and that we are all compelled to behave cleverly or stupidly according to the commands of our [emotional] attitudes and internal resistances.

[SEN301a8]If

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