The Evolution of Freud’s Thought

Term: Summer 2009

Subject Code: GPSY

Course Number: 6328

In this course we will explore and discuss some of the major concepts, innovations and stages in the evolution of Sigmund Freud's thinking over the course of his lifetime. An emphasis will be placed on understanding the role that Freud's thinking has played in the development of subsequent psychoanalytic theory, and on exploring the influence of relevant historical, biographical and sociological factors. All reading will come from The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud (edited by James Strachey).We will begin by reading and discussing Freud's early case histories on hysteria published in collaboration with Josef Breuer (1895). From there we will move on to study Freud's first attempts to develop a model of the unconscious in such works as The Interpretation of Dreams (1900) and Formulations on the two Principles of Mental Functioning (1911). We will then study some of Freud's thinking about psychosexuality (1905), as well as his early attempts to come to terms with the role of transference in psychoanalysis in the case of Dora (1905). Next we will move on to study Freud's technical papers (1904-1919) exploring such important themes as transference, evenly hovering attention, the analytic frame and so on. We will then move on to Freud's early excursion into object relations theory in Mourning and Melancholia (1917), and the development of structural theory with the publication of The Ego and the Id (1923). We will conclude by studying Freud's cultural thinking in Civilization and its Discontents (1930).

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