Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To suggest new content…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Help us improve PEP Web. If you would like to suggest new content, click here and fill in the form with your ideas!

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Sandler, J. (1991). Anna Freud's 1952 Harvard University Lectures. Bul. Anna Freud Centre, 14(1):31-61.

(1991). Bulletin of the Anna Freud Centre, 14(1):31-61

Anna Freud's 1952 Harvard University Lectures

Joseph Sandler

Lecture Seven: Towards the Oedipus Complex

Quite a number of questions came in last time. Some of these related to the theory and I don't think I can do much more than name them. There was the almost inevitable question about whether aggression is inborn or whether it is produced by the frustrations which the child has to suffer. The questioner wanted to know whether there was any direct evidence to show that aggression exists without frustration. Well, there is no direct evidence because those people who would like to prove it are hampered by the fact that there is no such thing as life without frustration, and it is only if we could have a child who experienced no frustrations could we prove that aggression is there nevertheless. I suppose discussion of these different theories of aggression will accompany you further through your dealings but you will realize that our theories are formed, not so much on the basis of direct evidence, on the observation of single cases, but rather on overall impressions. The theories are tried out to see whether they fit the facts, whether they make it easier to understand the facts. If they do not fulfil that particular purpose for any length of time they are dropped again. Well the theory of aggression being inborn has not yet been dropped. Or I should say, very many people hold on to it while very many other people doubt it, so you can take it as an open question.

The other theoretical point is easier to answer. Somebody wanted to know whether the description, as I gave it last time, of the ego being built up of identifications, negates completely the idea that temperament, and character can be inherited factors or can contain inherited elements.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2021, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.