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Greenberg, V.D. (1993). Tangled Patterns: Freud, Vienna, and the Brain. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 74:1017-1025.

(1993). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 74:1017-1025

Tangled Patterns: Freud, Vienna, and the Brain

Valerie D. Greenberg


A pattern that prevails in Freud's early texts and carries over into his life suggests a culturally-derived coherence in Freud's thinking and work. This pattern connects the early studies in neuro-anatomy, the description in Studies on Hysteria of the structure of hysterical neuroses, urban design in Vienna, antisemitism, and the role of bourgeois values in Freud's life. The theoretical basis for this view depends upon the work of cognitive psychologists who define thinking as pattern recognition. I propose that consideration of such features as the structure of physical space can lend additional dimensions to our understanding of Freud, and that a complex appreciation might include attention to recent interdisciplinary developments such as chaos theory, and lead to a redefinition of the notion of 'cultural context'.

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