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by Todd Dufresne

eBook Against Freud: Critics Talk Back download ISBN: 0804755477
Author: Todd Dufresne
Publisher: Stanford University Press; 1 edition (May 2, 2007)
Language: English
Pages: 200
ePub: 1348 kb
Fb2: 1549 kb
Rating: 4.5
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Category: Health and Diets
Subcategory: Psychology and Counseling

Todd Dufresne is the leading student of the Freud Wars of recent vintage. In his fascinating new book he assembles interviews with some of the leading Warriors, among them Frank Sulloway, Frederick Crews, and Edward Shorter

Todd Dufresne is the leading student of the Freud Wars of recent vintage. In his fascinating new book he assembles interviews with some of the leading Warriors, among them Frank Sulloway, Frederick Crews, and Edward Shorter. Dufresne himself is a Freud revisionist, but a judicious and learned on. -Paul Robinson, Stanford University.

Against Freud: Critics Talk Back. Against Freud collects the frank musings of some of the world’s best critics of Freud, providing a convincing and coherent case against Freud that is as amusing as it is rigorously presented. Hailing from diverse academic backgrounds-history, philosophy, literary criticism, sociology, psychotherapy, and psychiatry-this diverse group includes renowned international figures such as Edward Shorter, Frank Sulloway, Frederick Crews, and Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen, as well as those who knew Freud and his family.

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Against Freud: Critics Talk Back, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2007. G Richter, Peterborough: Broadview Books, 2016. Killing Freud: 20th Century Culture and the Death of Psychoanalysis, London/New York: Continuum, 2003/2006. Also published in Indonesian and Chinese translations. Sigmund Freud's The Future of an Illusion, ed. and intro. G Richter, Peterborough: Broadview Books, 2012. Superior Art: Local Art in a Global Context, ed.

Todd Dufresne, ed. Against Freud: Critics Talk Back. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2007. Since Sigmund Freud remains an enduring presence in the postmodern academy, Dufresne returns to critique and historicize psychoanalysis as a discipline that lacks even the basic standards of intellectual scholarship.

Author(s) : Todd Dufresne. Publisher : Stanford . Speaking of Freud" collects the frank musings of some of the world's best critics of Freud, providing a convincing and coherent "case against Freud" that is as amusing as it is rigorously presented. Hailing from diverse academic backgrounds - History, Philosophy, Literary Criticism, Sociology, Psychotherapy, and Psychiatry - this diverse group includes renowned international figures such as Edward Shorter, Frank Sulloway, Frederick Crews, and Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen, as well as those who knew Freud and his family.

Everyone agrees that Sigmund Freud has had a profound impact on Western society and intellectual life. But even today few people know much about his life and work beyond the legends that Freud and his adherents created, fostered, and repeated. The result is an enormous cross-disciplinary field characterized by contradiction and confusion.

Todd Dufresne's Against Freud collects nine interviews with critics of Freud and psychoanalysis, six conducted by Dufresne himself (with Joseph Wortis, Esther Menaker, Edward Shorter, Frederick Crews, Frank Cioffi and Allen Esterson jointly, and Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen), two b. .

Todd Dufresne's Against Freud collects nine interviews with critics of Freud and psychoanalysis, six conducted by Dufresne himself (with Joseph Wortis, Esther Menaker, Edward Shorter, Frederick Crews, Frank Cioffi and Allen Esterson jointly, and Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen), two by Borch-Jacobsen (with Frank Sulloway and Han Israëls), and one by Antonio Greco (with Dufresne).

Against Freud collects the frank musings of some of the world’s best critics of Freud . Listen in on the critics and then decide for yourself.

Against Freud collects the frank musings of some of the world’s best critics of Freud, providing a convincing and coherent case against Freud that is as amusing as it is. rigorously presented, while always keeping Freud’s historical context in mind. whether or not "Freud is dead. Todd Dufresne is Associate Professor and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Lakehead. He is the author of Tales from the Freudian Crypt: The Death Drive in Text and.

Cite this publication.

Everyone agrees that Sigmund Freud has had a profound impact on Western society and intellectual life. But even today few people know much about his life and work beyond the legends that Freud and his adherents created, fostered, and repeated. The result is an enormous cross-disciplinary field characterized by contradiction and confusion. Only the experts could possibly make sense of it all―but not always, since no field is as thoroughly undercut by ideology, acrimony, and bad faith as psychoanalysis. Against Freud collects the frank musings of some of the world's best critics of Freud, providing a convincing and coherent "case against Freud" that is as amusing as it is rigorously presented. Hailing from diverse academic backgrounds―history, philosophy, literary criticism, sociology, psychotherapy, and psychiatry―this diverse group includes renowned international figures such as Edward Shorter, Frank Sulloway, Frederick Crews, and Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen, as well as those who knew Freud and his family. Listen in on the critics and then decide for yourself whether or not "Freud is dead."
Comments: (2)
Chilldweller
Todd Dufresne's Against Freud collects nine interviews with critics of Freud and psychoanalysis, six conducted by Dufresne himself (with Joseph Wortis, Esther Menaker, Edward Shorter, Frederick Crews, Frank Cioffi and Allen Esterson jointly, and Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen), two by Borch-Jacobsen (with Frank Sulloway and Han Israëls), and one by Antonio Greco (with Dufresne). Though Dufresne writes that it was produced with interested lay readers in mind, they are likely to find it frustrating, since it deals with several figures who are of secondary importance in the history of psychoanalysis, and also with disputes between rival critics of Freud. Those looking for negative material on psychoanalysis would be better advised to read Frederick Crews's anthology Unauthorized Freud, which was published almost a decade before Against Freud and does a better job of representing the important parts of critical scholarship on psychoanalysis.

Dufresne's interview with Wortis, a man who was analyzed by Freud and who wrote a book about the experience, should be very interesting, but isn't. Wortis, a Marxist, criticizes Freud on a trivial level. He calls psychoanalytic theory "reactionary" because of its focus on the past, and tries to explain its popularity in terms of its supposed focus on individualism and congruence with "capitalist ideology." He also spends much time detailing his views on Havelock Ellis, and congratulating himself for having a liberal view of homosexuality. The interview with Menaker is also disappointing. Her criticisms of psychoanalysis (such as that it makes patients too dependent on their therapists) are perhaps partly true, but also predictable.

Shorter discusses the history of medicine, dismissing fashionable approaches such as feminism, post-structuralism, and post-modernism. He alludes to the debate over the social constructionist view of homosexuality, but crudely misrepresents it, wrongly implying that rejecting social constructionism requires acceptance of the theory that homosexuality is biologically innate. In reality one can reject social constructionism without embracing any particular theory of what causes homosexuality. I hope Shorter wouldn't make a mistake as serious as this in one of his own books. Shorter's criticisms of Freud, whom he finds guilty of emphasizing purely mental causes of psychological disorders at the expense of biology, are more serious and more interesting than those of Wortis and Menaker, which is not saying a great deal.

Borch-Jacobsen's interview with Sulloway, an important biographer of Freud, is the most useful thing in Against Freud. Sulloway covers the influence of 19th century science on Freud, Freud's self-analysis, and his relationship with Wilhelm Fliess. Some of his comments cover the same territory as his Freud, Biologist of the Mind, but other parts go beyond it, addressing criticisms of that work by Elisabeth Roudinesco.

Dufresne's interview with Crews makes for grim reading. Crews relates his early enthusiasm for, and later disenchantment with, psychoanalysis. Crews explains that his initial reason for becoming sceptical of psychoanalysis was that it lead him and his graduate students to incompatible "insights" about works of literature. But the ideas of literary critics, even when inspired by psychoanalysis, are their discourse, not "psychoanalytic discourse." Crews's accusation that psychoanalysis suffers from "glib laxity" is thus really only a comment on his and his graduate students work. Despite a widespread misconception to the contrary, psychoanalytic literary criticism is not psychoanalysis, which is something that happens between a patient and a therapist. Given that Crews's disenchantment with psychoanalysis seems to have stemmed from a misidentification between it and his own activities as a literary critic, it is perhaps unreasonable to expect his criticisms of psychoanalytic theory to make much sense. Crews calls the unconscious a "reification", but he does so in the manner of someone showing off his vocabulary, rather than as part of a real argument.

Dufresne's interview with Cioffi and Esterson is of some interest, but more to Freud scholars than to ordinary readers, who are likely to find Cioffi's complaints against Adolf Grünbaum (a philosopher who, like Cioffi, is critical of Freud, but who criticizes him in a way Cioffi doesn`t agree with), numbing. Much the same can be said for Borch-Jacobsen's interview with Israëls. Some might be interested in the details of Israëls's research into the famous mental patient Daniel Paul Schreber, but the real point of the interview seems to be to provide Israëls' with the opportunity to talk about how psychoanalytic scholarship attracts unbalanced people. Other readers may find this more interesting than I do.

Dufresne's interview with Borch-Jacobsen is somewhat peculiar. Borch-Jacobsen strikes me as a weak thinker, eager to make sweeping claims that in reality would be difficult or impossible to substantiate. He insists that "repression, the unconscious, Oedipal fantasies, infantile sexuality, the transference" are all "products of the analytic setup, of the analyst's interpretive strategies." Such views seem to be the product of philosophical commitments foreign to psychoanalysis rather than empirical research. The interview with Dufresne is the least interesting part of the book, since Dufresne is mainly interested in talking about himself. Out of charity, I refrain from further comment.
Lilegha
From Freud's Wednesday Seminars, over 100 years ago, until very recently "dynamic psychiatry" has been a closed book, both in its theory and praxis. This is not to say that a careful student could not get the low down on this black art by critical reading of the original fifteen, or so, foundational writings of Freud. Rather, that finding historians and knowing professionals to acknowledge the shell game that is psychoanalysis requires parsing cryptic references and reading between the lines of the professional commentary. As recently as Nietzsche's Presence in Freud's Life and Thought: On the Origins of a Psychology of Dynamic Unconscious Mental Functioning, Ronald Lehrer (1995); Nietzsche and Depth Psychology, Jacob Golomb (1999); Nietzsche and Jung: The Whole Self in the Union of Opposites, Lucy Huskinson (2005) Assoun, Paul-Laurent's Freud and Nietzsche (2006); otherwise praiseworthy authors have lacked the courage to tell the simple truth about Freud and Freudianism.

Plainly speaking, Freud was a liar, a plagiarist, and a con man. Or to use my terminology, Freud was a `pale criminal'.

With Todd Dufresne's book the charade should be over. Against Freud is a collection of interviews with people who either had first hand experience with Freud, or historians and practitioners who have parted the veil that has shrouded Freud scholarship. Although the interviews are said to be "edited", the feel of each is of sitting over the shoulder of the nine (or ten) interviewers, listening as the interview takes place--being present. The final chapter "Suggested Reading" is even-handed and complete. Dufresne's article of February 18, 2004, "Psychoanalysis Is Dead" for the Los Angeles Times should have laid many of the questions to rest. But the persistence of the Freudian illusion continues to today. (An illusion without a future, I would say.) Now there is no further reason to claim to be duped.

The language of the interviewee's is straightforward--as, for example, Frank Coiffi, in chapter 6, who analogizes the animal practice of "marking out an area as belonging to them", reminding me of the several, well-respected Yale scholars who have marked out entire disciplines based on a belief in and misreading of Freud. Or, the report of Hans Israel at page 124, "People still want to see Freud as a hero or as a villain, while, in fact, he was just an ambitious fellow who made stupid mistakes". Equally to be noted is the honesty and relative neutrality of the interviews, as marred by (or more precisely informed by) the reflexive question put to Hans Israël by the interview team of Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen and Sonu Shamdasani at page 119: "How do you know his motive? Are you his analysts?" The attentive reader (or listener) will immediately recognize interviewer bias from the formation of the question, from the implication that assignment of "motive" requires certification or credential. Israël's comments about the French Freudian psychoanalyst, Jacques Lacan, are, as the Master Card commercial puts it, "priceless" - "I've always hesitated about whether Lacan was a pure swindler or something more that that...Now, if what you are saying is true, this clearly shows that the man was swindler" (page 127). Powerful stuff.

I ordered Dufresne's book as a potential reference for my next book, left it on the shelf waiting for the time to be ripe; but pulled it down, on lark, or during a lull in the research. Against Freud: Critics Talk Back leaves nothing more for me to say on the subject; except, perhaps to refer my readers to this excellent account of Freudian revisionism.

Bravo, Mr. Dufresne!

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