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Wilhelm W. Hemecker

Vor Freud

Philosophiegeschichtliche Voraussetzungen der Psychoanalyse

ISBN: 3-88405-016-8

Price: €45.00 (including 7 % tax)


This volume is a long-awaited and completely new interpretation of Freud's psychoanalysis from the point of view of the history of philosophy.

The surprising breadth of Freud's early interest in philosophy is demonstrated on the basis of new and hitherto unknown sources, above all unpublished correspondence with Eduard Silberstein from student days, and material from the Nachlaß of Freud's college friend Josef Paneth.

An account is then presented of the way in which Freud's fascination with Goethe's natural philosophy led him first to the study of medicine, and from there to psychoanalysis. The solution here offered to a long-standing problem in Freud research is for the first time supported by a comprehensive analysis of the scientific situation of the time. The analysis is confirmed especially through an investigation of the role played by Goethe's text "Die Natur", which was of utmost importance to Freud's choice of profession.

In a treatment of the most important philosophical influence on psychoanalysis it is shown how Freud was able to extract almost all important psychological concepts from Gustav Adolf Lindner's Lehrbuch der empirischen Psychologie, a textbook in the tradition of Johann Friedrich Herbart. Freud came to know this work through the philosophy classes he attended during his last year at grammar school and an exact comparative investigation reveals a high degree of dependence.

These historical analyses are then exploited to yield a new determination of the position of psychoanalysis from the perspective of the philosophy of science and what results will serve as an outstanding contribution to current Freud research.

"Reading Wilhelm Hemecker's recommendable work on the philosophic-historical conditions of psychoanalysis one will profit from recognizing these contexts. The author draws attention to the fact that the young Freud was not that ignorant with respect to philosophy as the mature Freud wishes to make his disciples believe."

Die Zeit, Dec. 1990

Of interest to:
Philosophers, psychologists, psychoanalysts, historians, and also to Freud and Goethe specialists.

Munich: 1991, 180 pp., bibliography, index, library binding


 





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