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The Origins of Psychoanalysis and Foundational Theory
September 26 @ 8:00 pm - 9:15 pm, Wyman Classroom
2-Year Certificate Program (2YCP)
2022-23, 1st Term — Mondays, 8:00-9:15pm
James Basinski, MD
April Crofut, MD
Karen Weisbard, PsyD
September 26, 2022
Presenters: James Basinski, MD, April Crofut, MD
Infantile sexuality and drive theory are two of Freud’s most revolutionary and controversial ideas. In this class, we will review them through modern secondary sources, which outline Freud’s original theory and expand it with more contemporary perspectives.
Dominique Scarfone is a psychoanalyst based in Montreal who draws upon concepts from the French school of psychoanalysis (Lacan, Laplanche) in his writing. This paper reviews Freud’s theory of infantile sexuality and introduces Laplanche’s elaborations on the unconscious being structured by enigmatic sexual messages from adult to infant. Scarfone packs a lot into a short paper – don’t worry about all of the details of Laplanche’s theory; the intent is to get the general feel.
Mark Solms is a South African neuroscientist and psychoanalyst who established the field now known as neuropsychoanalysis. He is also a Freud scholar who has played a key role in re-translating the entirety of Freud’s works from German to English in recent years. In this paper, he outlines Freud’s original drive theory and then updates it with modern findings from neuroscience. This is a very long paper, so we ask you to just focus on pages 1064-1080 where Solms outlines 7 core drives confirmed by modern neuroscience research.
- Become familiar with Freud’s landmark book, “Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality”, including Freud’s view of libido, polymorphous perversity, and psychosexual stages.
- Become familiar with Laplanche’s elaborations on early sexual experience and the unconscious.
- Recognize the economic point of view in Freud’s metapsychology of psychic life, including psychoanalytic drives from libido and aggression to recent neurobiological conceptualizations by Solms and colleagues
Scarfone, D. (2014) The Three Essays and the Meaning of the Infantile Sexual in Psychoanalysis. Psychoanalytic Quarterly 83:327-344
Solms, M. (2021) Revision of Drive Theory. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association 69:1033-1091
Read the first few pages for an introduction, then skip to 1064-1080.