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What do we know about Sigmund Freud's theories?
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Freud didn’t invent psychoanalysis

Freud is not the true father of psychoanalysis; it was invented by Joseph Breuer.
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The Argument

The origin of Freud's early work with psychoanalysis can be linked to Joseph Breuer. Breuer who became famous after treating a young woman, diagnosed with what was called female hysteria, Anna O, with kindness and allowing her to talk. He said his patients all reported being sexually abused or had fantasised about it. Freud's said he had uncovered ‘unconscious’ memories of early childhood sexual abuse for every single one his patients from the mid-1890s, who all showed the symptoms of 'hysteria' and obsessional neurosis derived from in infancy. However, a close reading of his papers and letters from this period indicates this was untrue – instead, he analytically inferred the supposed incidents by a procedure heavily dependent on the symbolic (subjective) interpretation of somatic symptoms.

Counter arguments

Freud did actually credit Breuer with the discovery of the psychoanalytical method.


[P1] Freud is not the true founder of psychoanalysis.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] This does not decrease Freud's achievements.


This page was last edited on Monday, 23 Mar 2020 at 12:11 UTC

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