Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To report problems to PEP-Web…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Help us improve PEP Web. If you find any problem, click the Report a Problem link located at the bottom right corner of the website.

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

Paul, R.A. (2016). Rejoinder to Jorge L. Ahumada's Response. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 97(3):871-872.

(2016). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 97(3):871-872

Rejoinder to Jorge L. Ahumada's Response Related Papers

Robert A. Paul

Contrary to Ahumada's assertion about robust population growth in Europe, “The birth rate dropped precipitously across Europe from the 1870's onwards. In Austria the rate dropped from 34.5 per 1000 (1871-75) to 24.9 (1911/1913) to 22.6 (1920/1924)” (McLaren, 1979, p. 514, cited in my article). But why quibble about such picayune details? That (some sectors of) Western society went from Victorian attitudes about sex to an entirely different sexual landscape today is undeniable; and, as I hope I made clear in my response to Ahumada's paper, he and I are basically in partial agreement about the contemporary ‘trivialization’ of sexuality.

It is certainly the case, as Ahumada says, that the benefit to the gene pool is not what psychologically motivates people to have sex most of the time; but that genetic benefit is nonetheless its frequent result, and also therefore (to a large extent) its evolved reason for existing and physiologically providing pleasure to the organism. (This, by the way, is Darwinian, not Lamarckian, reasoning.) Ahumada here fails to understand Tinbergen's now canonical distinction between proximate and evolutionary perspectives, and between phylogenesis and ontogenesis - something Freud apparently understood well before Tinbergen wrote.

Ahumada has what I would view as an outdated and inadequate grasp of evolutionary theory. Therefore he both misunderstands and misrepresents what I mean by dual inheritance. To begin with, he denies that culture is ‘inherited’, but this is simply wrong.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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.