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Montgomery, S.L. (2001). A Case of (Mis)taken Identity? II: Freudian Language in the Ego and the ID. Psychoanal. Rev., 88(1):51-81.

(2001). Psychoanalytic Review, 88(1):51-81

A Case of (Mis)taken Identity? II: Freudian Language in the Ego and the ID

Scott L. Montgomery

The Question of Place

Freud's early, neurological style contained some literary and dramatic touches, yet remained wholly acceptable to the scientific community of the 1870s and 1880s (Montgomery, 2001). At this time, even in Germany, such elements, though less frequent than in the past, were still a common, even expected part of technical style. Freud's teachers employed them; physicists, astronomers, and biologists made use of them. Perhaps only in chemistry, which set the pattern for the future of scientific discourse, were they sometimes absent. By the 1920s, however, this lingering use of humanistic ingredients was gone, for all practical purposes extinct, even in fields such as botany or geology, which retained them longer, due to the exploratory, reconnaissance nature of much field study. Freud's language, meanwhile, had changed too, but somewhat in the opposite direction; this therefore begs the question of its historical place.

Some idea of this place can be gained from analysis of works that Freud hoped would serve a theoretical, scientific purpose. Freudian discourse has been examined a great deal in recent years, of course, in many different formats and by many different writers (e.g., Laplanche, Cotet, & Bourguignon, 1992; Mahoney, 1989).

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