Our Original Scenes: Freud's Theory of Sexuality
Freud's ideas on infantile sexuality can only be understood as constructions that are necessary to understand the psychopathological formations of adults. These constructions of infantile sexuality, therefore, must not be considered to be speculations about infant behaviour as such, because in infancy sexuality is obviously a rather marginal problem, and because, consequently, only their nachträglich effects reveal the significance of our infantile sexual experiences. In the psychoanalytic cure, these infantile experiences are never remembered as such. The idea that what is repressed in adults can be observed in infants does not take into account this notion of Nachträglichkeit, while Freud's theory cannot be understood without it.The relation between the pathological and the infantile bridges the gap between pathology and normality because pathology is caused by universally human problems or "weak points": infantile sexuality and, following our interpretation of the death instinct, the infant's radical Hilflosigkeit. In psychoanalysis, therefore, the analysis of the different pathologies has inevitably an anthropological claim. To understand what it means to be human, says Freud, we must analyse the extreme, paradigmatic answers to this problem that we all are ourselves. The analysis of different pathologies will highlight the different aspects of our infantile experience and its nachträglich effects. In this perspective, the difference between normality and pathology can only be a quantitative, not a qualitative difference. In this way, Freud transformed the study of psychopathology into a clinical anthropology, i.e. a clarification of the specifically human in human nature by analysing its pathological manifestations.
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IntroductionPsychoanalysis as clinical anthropology
An instinct perverted by beautyThree Essays as a sexual aesthetics
What is sexual about infantile sexuality?
The constitution of sexual phantasy
The destruction of sexual phantasy
Love and need in Instincts and their vicissitudes
The capacity to suffer
Abandonment and exile
The MinoanMycenaean civilisation
Freud beyond psychoanalysis?
According to Freud adult sexuality anaclitic anxiety autoerotic beaten beauty become biological castration complex cathected child childhood compulsion to repeat Darwin death instinct disgust dominant dreams drives ego-instincts emphasis erotogenic zones experiences explain fact father female sexuality fetishism Flechsig Fliess Freud describes Freud says Freud's analysis Freud's theory function genital excitation girl hate homosexuality human sexuality idea implies infant infantile sexuality infantile trauma interpretation Jung Krafft-Ebing Laplanche libido Mack-Brunswick male masochistic monosexual mother narcissism neurotic non-genital normal object-choice Oedipus complex organic repression original pain passivity pathologies patients penis perspective phallic stage phase Pleasure Principle primal problem psychic conflict psychoanalysis psychopathology psychosis puberty reflexive relation sadism sadism and masochism sadomasochism Schreber scopophilia search for pleasure sexual aim sexual difference sexual excitation sexual instincts sexual object sexual overvaluation sexual phantasies sexual selection sexual theories smell symptom thumb-sucking tion transformed traumatic neurosis unconscious unpleasure Vicissitudes 1915 voyeurism widdler