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Salyard, A. (1994). On Not Knowing What You Know: Object-Coercive Doubting and Freud's Announcement of the Seduction Theory. Psychoanal. Rev., 81(4):659-676.

(1994). Psychoanalytic Review, 81(4):659-676

On Not Knowing What You Know: Object-Coercive Doubting and Freud's Announcement of the Seduction Theory

Ann Salyard, ED.D.

Freud's Announcement of the Seduction Theory: The Need for a Critical Look

Freud announced his discovery of the Seduction Theory in a lecture to the Society for Psychiatry and Neurology of Vienna on April 21, 1896; his rejection of the theory seventeen months later is considered a landmark in the early history of psychoanalysis. Although it has been the subject of numerous interpretations (Balmary, 1979; Eis-sler, 1993; Garcia, 1987; Jones, 1953; Krull, 1979/1986 trans.; Kupfersmid, 1993; LaPlanche and Pontalis, 1967/1973 trans.; Ler-man, 1986; Masson, 1984; McGrath, 1986; Miller, 1984; Robinson, 1993; Rush, 1980; Sulloway, 1979), the issue of Freud's rejection of the theory is far from resolved (Kupfersmid, 1993). In my opinion, we have not been able to satisfactorily explain Freud's abandonment of the theory because little attention has been given to the circumstances under which Freud claimed its discovery in the first place.

The fact that Freud's announcement of the Seduction Theory has been given little scrutiny likely reflects the fact that Freud's published writings were the source of the traditional account and the reason for its announcement appears self-evident.

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