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Hoffer, P.T. (1992). The Concept of Phylogenetic Inheritance in Freud and Jung. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 40:517-530.

(1992). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 40:517-530

The Concept of Phylogenetic Inheritance in Freud and Jung

Peter T. Hoffer, Ph.D.


At the height of their collaboration in late 1911, Freud had succeeded in persuading Jung of the role of phylogenetic factors in the etiology of neuroses and psychoses. Phylogenetic considerations play an important part in the formulation of Jung's genetic standpoint of psychology with its conception of a desexualized primal libido, which figured prominently in the dispute which ended the relations between Freud and Jung. Freud's unpublished draft of "Overview of the Transference Neuroses" was in part an attempt to counter Jung's revisions of libido theory by using phylogenetic considerations to reaffirm his original conception of a unified sexual libido. Despite the sharp divergence of many aspects of their respective psychologies after the break, a conception of phylogenetic inheritance continued to play an important role in their developing theoretical formulations.

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