BIOGRAPHY
HISTORICAL ARTICLE
JOURNAL ARTICLE
Add like
Add dislike
Add to saved papers

Remembering the evolutionary Freud.

Throughout his career as a writer, Sigmund Freud maintained an interest in the evolutionary origins of the human mind and its neurotic and psychotic disorders. In common with many writers then and now, he believed that the evolutionary past is conserved in the mind and the brain. Today the "evolutionary Freud" is nearly forgotten. Even among Freudians, he is regarded to be a red herring, relevant only to the extent that he diverts attention from the enduring achievements of the authentic Freud. There are three ways to explain these attitudes. First, the evolutionary Freud's key work is the "Overview of the Transference Neurosis" (1915). But it was published at an inopportune moment, forty years after the author's death, during the so-called "Freud wars." Second, Freud eventually lost interest in the "Overview" and the prospect of a comprehensive evolutionary theory of psychopathology. The publication of The Ego and the Id (1923), introducing Freud's structural theory of the psyche, marked the point of no return. Finally, Freud's evolutionary theory is simply not credible. It is based on just-so stories and a thoroughly discredited evolutionary mechanism, Lamarckian use-inheritance. Explanations one and two are probably correct but also uninteresting. Explanation number three assumes that there is a fundamental difference between Freud's evolutionary narratives (not credible) and the evolutionary accounts of psychopathology that currently circulate in psychiatry and mainstream journals (credible). The assumption is mistaken but worth investigating.

Full text links

We have located links that may give you full text access.
Can't access the paper?
Try logging in through your university/institutional subscription. For a smoother one-click institutional access experience, please use our mobile app.

For the best experience, use the Read mobile app

Mobile app image

Get seemless 1-tap access through your institution/university

For the best experience, use the Read mobile app

All material on this website is protected by copyright, Copyright © 1994-2024 by WebMD LLC.
This website also contains material copyrighted by 3rd parties.

By using this service, you agree to our terms of use and privacy policy.

Your Privacy Choices Toggle icon

You can now claim free CME credits for this literature searchClaim now

Get seemless 1-tap access through your institution/university

For the best experience, use the Read mobile app