Category : Psychiatrics
By Jerome C. Wakefield
In this close reading of Freudian theory, Jerome C. Wakefield reconstructs Freud’s argument for the Oedipal theory of the psychoneuroses, placing the case of Little Hans into a philosophy-of-science context and critically rethinking the epistemological foundations of psychoanalysis.
Wakefield logically evaluates four central Freudian arguments: the "undirected anxiety" argument which contends that Hans suffered from anxiety before he developed his horse phobia; the "day the horse fell down" argument where, engaging in some scholarly detective work, Wakefield resolves a century-old dispute between behaviorists and psychoanalysts about when Hans witnessed a frightening horse accident; the "N=1 sexual repression" argument that the trajectory of Hans’s sexual desires matches the Oedipal theory’s predictions; and lastly, the "detailed symptom characteristics" argument that the Oedipal theory is needed to understand otherwise inexplicable details of Hans’s symptoms. Wakefield demonstrates that, although Freud’s arguments are brilliantly conceived, he misread the facts of the Hans case and failed to support the Oedipal theory as judged by his own stated evidential standards. However, this failure creates an opportunity for renewed consideration of psychoanalysis’s distinctive contribution: the understanding of an individual’s unique meaning system and confrontation with meanings outside of focal awareness in order to reshape an individual’s fate.
This book will be of interest to psychoanalysts and psychotherapists alike, and will prove essential for scholars working in the fields of psychoanalysis, philosophy of science, and the history of psychiatry.
- Publisher : Routledge; 1st edition (September 23, 2022)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 296 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1032224088
- ISBN-13 : 978-1032224084
- ISBN-13 : 9781032224084
- eText ISBN: 9781000643350