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The body, according to Freud is causal, mechanical, secular and a symptomatic representative of the mind. This declaration is not surprising--after all, Freud was a child of his times.1 As a person who grew up in the late German Enlightenment, Freud could not help but be influenced by the predominant intellectual attitudes of that era. The styles of conceptualization, or narratives, which were the most influential means of comprehending the world during Freud's formative years include the following: mechanicalism, natural science, Darwinism, positivism and a prevailing tendency toward secularism. In this paper, I intend to look at Freud's writings, especially his early discourses, with a view to the prominent intellectual attitudes which influenced the theoretical development of his understanding of the mind-body relation. That is, I intend to confront this issue from the theoretical standpoint of Freud's writings and not (I cannot emphasize this strongly enough) from his clinical practice of the "talking cure."2

The format of this paper is twofold. First I will critically investigate how Freud's early writings reflect the Weltanschauung of the late Enlightenment. This involves, of course, an inquest into the Freud's tendency to see the person through mechanistic eyes, the influence of the Darwinism vision and the aetiological viewpoint of nineteenth-century medicine. The following section provides a further critique of the Freudian understanding of the mind-body relationship.


Freud's narratives of the body almost invariably involve notions of causality and mechanicalism. In the "Project for a Scientific Psychology" Freud betrays his intent to develop an understanding of the "mental apparatus" that is mechanical and causal in nature. In this [in]famous paper he refers to and tries to develop a psychology that is based solely upon neurology--i.e., the medical viewpoint. Although he never completed this project, the ideas that were outlined in it were of immense importance throughout almost all of his later writings.

In the "Project," Freud develops the notion that it is through the alteration of the body's neurones that mental events occur. This idea is facilitated through the concept of permeable and impermeable neurones. This notion reflects the possibility that neurones may be altered depending upon their accessibility to excitations which race through the system like electrical impulses.3 This notion suggests to me that Freud had cultivated at a very early stage in his work a causally mechanistic understanding of the body.

What I have alluded to in the preceding paragraph is the fact that Freud often employed an electrical metaphor when describing the mind. This is a metaphor which reveals that Freud had subscribed to such an understanding of the anatomy and operation of the brain. For instance, he writes the following:

When the brain is performing actual work, a greater consumption of work is no doubt required than when it is merely prepared to perform work. (In just the same way the electrical system described above by way of comparison must cause a greater amount of electrical energy to flow into conducting lines when a large number of lamps or motors are switched into the circuit.).... The brain, however, behaves like one of those electrical systems of restricted capability which are unable to produce both a large amount of light and mechanical work at the same time.4

Freud demonstrates this metaphor again when he writes:

We ought not to think of the cerebral path of conduction as resembling a telephone wire which is only excited electrically at the moment at which it has to function (that is, in the present context, when it has to transmit a signal). We ought to liken it to a telephone line through which there is a constant flow of galvanic current and which can no longer be excited if that current ceases. Or better, let us imagine a widely ramified electrical system for lighting and the transmission of motor power; what is expected of this system is that simple establishment of a contact shall be able to set any lamp or machine in operation.5

Even if Freud uses this comparison of the brain's functioning to electricity merely as a metaphor, it has a great deal of importance in the comprehension of his implicit understanding of the body's operation. It reflects the intellectual spirit of the Enlightenment--the Harvian understanding of the body as a machine--and the desire for a teleological understanding of how things behave in relation to the world.

But Freud did not limit his understanding of the body to mere electrical metaphors. Thus his scientific imagery is characterized by the necessity of mechanics. Thus as Gregory Zilbourg puts it: "At times the imagery is hydraulic: suppress this stream of impulses, and perforce it breaks out in a displacement elsewhere." The system is closed and mechanical. "At times it is electrical, as when cathexes are formed and withdrawn like electrical charges." In other words, this means of thinking fit incredibly well with the physics of its age.6

Zilboorg is not the only Freudian scholar that understands Freud's view of the body and mind as being mechanical. For instance, Gerald Izenberg also notes that in his early writings Freud had no real distinction between physiological and psychic explanations and that his mechanistic terms are obvious. To Freud the nervous system operated as "a self-regulating mechanism" which worked to maintain a certain equilibrium of energy. Thus, Izenberg's understanding of the "Project for a Scientific Psychology" was that it offered a "scheme of nervous functioning [which was] outlined in a restatement and modification of that of Freud's teachers Brücke, Exner, and above all Meynert, itself based on a materialist-mechanist view of science associated with the so-called 'Helmholtzian school."'7 That is, Freud by fully subscribing to the explanatory model of mid-nineteenth-century science, "arrived at his very conception of meaningfulness through a priori assumptions about the mechanical functioning of the nervous system."8

We can come to an understanding as to why Freud maintained such a strict conception of the brain's and, in extension, the body's mechanical functioning when we look at his megalomaniac assertion about the "three blows" to human narcissism.9 These three blows, as Freud put it, were a result of the researches of science. They consist of the Copernican, Darwinian and Freudian revolutions. That is, Copernicus' cosmological blow destroyed the notion that the Earth was the centre of the universe. Darwin's biological revolution put an end to the presumption on the part of Homo sapiens that they possessed a divine soul and a divine descent which allowed humanity to transcend the bond of community between themselves and the animal kingdom.10 And, Freud's psychological blow, called the most severe of the three, taught humanity that the "ego is not master in its own house."11

In placing himself among Copernicus and Darwin, Freud egoistically betrays his inclination to see the world in rationalistic terms. This attitude went as far as to cause Freud to make the narcissistic statement that "strictly speaking there are only two sciences: psychology, pure and applied, and natural science."12 Such a statement, in my opinion, can tell us much about Freud's view of the world. When he says that there is only psychology and natural science he reflects an approach to the body which was at the same time evolutionary and mechanical in nature. It is merely through his self-association with figures like Copernicus and Darwin that Freud betrays his ideals, of his self-image as a scientist and researcher in the scientific tradition.

I think, therefore, that we can say that Freud subscribed to a world view that the positivistic Enlightenment offered. This way of understanding the world was partially a result of the Darwin's researches. This was an understanding of the world that employed conceptions such as 'survival of the fittest,' that humanity had evolved from so-called 'lower creatures,' and so on. Thus it was natural for Freud to think of man as an organism. "But beyond this," as Izenberg writes, "the all-pervasive influence of Darwinism, which had captured much of German thinking just before Freud's formative years, had elevated the biological viewpoint into a comprehensive world-view."13 It was specifically through the incorporation of man into animal that Darwinism presented a unified image of human behaviour and evolution. This was a conceptualization that was not founded in supernaturalism or in mythical discourse but "in the imperative of Nature: survival and preservation of the species."14

This Darwinian Weltanschauung was part of the basis of a new medical and biological imagination of the human organism. Coupled with the Harvian "discovery" of the circulatory system (which resulted with a conception of the heart as hydraulic and mechanical)15 evolutionism insisted on an understanding of the human as an animal entirely subject to his or her instincts and base desires. Freud was not immune to this view. His psychology can be called an instinctual psychology just as Darwin's has been.16

Stan Draenos also confronts the question of the relation between Freud's instinctual theory and the biology of the Enlightenment. Draenos notes that when Freud first decided to attempt to place his psychological theories in a natural scientific context, "he turned to speculations on the mechanics and evolution of the body and nervous system [in order] to get his bearings."17 Freud, however, did not attempt to extend the field of biology into that of human psychology. Instead, he begins with a psychological theory that reaches 'downward' to secure a biological grounding for the evidence of consciousness--evidences that, in the wake of Darwin, necessarily have their origin in an organic substrate.18

Draenos continues by noting that rather than developing his own theory of the instincts Freud borrowed one ready made from biology. Hence, Freud looked to the authority of natural science and grounded his psychology in the fundamental biological distinction "between the functions of reproduction and self-production, whose correlative instincts are sexuality and self-preservation."19 In fact Freud, in "On Narcissism," writes the following:

I try in general to keep psychology clear from everything that is different in nature from it, even biological lines of thought. For that very reason I should like at this point expressively to admit that the hypothesis of separate ego-instincts and sexual instincts (that is to say, libido theory) rests scarcely at all upon a psychological basis, but derives its principle support from biology.20

It makes sense in light of the above to conclude, as Draenos does, if Freud could show that data from the psychoanalytic investigation of man coincided with that of the organic sciences, the claim of psychoanalysis as a science would be greatly enhanced.21 From a postmodern or imaginal perspective this refusal to speak of the psyche in terms other than psychological does an injustice to the fact that biology, like psychology, is the product of the human imagination and, as such, they both reflect the human psyche and can teach us about the mind.

Another avenue of investigation into this mechanical understanding of the mind/body can be found in nineteenth-century medicine. Because medicine is at least partially an out-growth of biology, and foundational to the development of psychoanalysis,22 its attitudes to the body could not help but find their way into Freud's narratives. In fact, Freud makes some comments upon the relationship between the mind and the body--something which I have so far "skated over" but will take up more extensively later in this exposition.

Freud indicates that the mind-body relationship is a reciprocal one. It is one which in earlier times the other side of this relation, the effect of the mind on the body, found little favour in the eyes of physicians. They seemed to be afraid of granting mental life any independence, for fear of that implying an abandonment of the scientific ground on which they stood.23

Freud continues to indicate that he thinks this one-sided approach has changed since he began to work in the psychiatric profession.24 I, on the other hand, find this statement rather curious. If what Draenos indicated above is true (that Freud turned to biological, physical theories in order to legitimatize his psychology), we may have found a piece of evidence of Freud's iconoclastic inclinations.25 Nonetheless, this does indicate what I think is Freud's habit of separating the mind and the body in his theoretical discourses.

Returning to the topic at hand, we find that descriptions of nineteenth-century medicine suggest that

the theoretical structure of [nineteenth-century] medicine is based on a value judgment and an imperative to action: 'sick' designates something harmful, inferior in character, and unwanted....[And that t]he organism, the object of medical concern, was conceived of theoretically as a complex of structures and processes, increasingly viewed through the nineteenth century as mechanical and chemical in nature, each of which individually and in coordination with others had a necessary, empirically ascertainable, function in the sustenance of life....By the last third of the nineteenth century, psychiatry had been almost completely assimilated to the medical outlook....It was from this general medical and psychiatric background that Freud came to the study of the neuroses.26
Thus, Freud's theoretical position complied with conventional and social standard of permissible and expectable behaviour to be assimilate into medical concepts of health. Abnormal behaviour was comprehend as symptoms to which a medical aetiological diagram of "hereditary predisposition, specific cause and releasing cause could be applied."27

What this all suggests is an understanding of the human body as a purely mechanical-materialistic organism. It is an narrative that sees the human individual as a machine who is subject to his or her instincts, whose life is causally determined by things beyond his or her control--that is, it is the view which resulted from Freud's so-called "psychological blow to humanity's self-love." The implications of this view to Freud's later theories are far reaching. Not only does Freud maintain this outlook, he expands it--something which is demonstrable in his conception of the Id, Ego, Superego, his notion of the primal scene, the function of religion, culture and civilization, and so on.

Charles Rycroft declares that there are several aspects of Freud's ideational groundwork which "confuse rather than enlighten and which, when applied to the arts and humanities, have a diminishing, reductionist and disparaging effect."28 Rycroft also notes these ideas have a historical basis in the rationalist, medical world in which Freud grew and worked intellectually. He points specifically to two ideas that Freud built into his theorizations--ideas which Rycroft doubts could be consistently followed up in Freud's practice. These two ideas are as follows: psychoanalysis is a natural science and "that it is legitimate to use pathological phenomena as paradigms of normal experience."29

Rycroft proceeds by noting that the first idea led Freud to construct a model of the mind which was based on a mechanical, neuroanatomical metaphor, in which the actions, thoughts, feelings, aspirations of real, live people were conceptualized as though they were movements of energy within and between the various parts of what he called the psychic apparatus--these movements of energy being assumed to be as causally determined as are chemical reactions or the workings of a physical apparatus.30

Thus the point that Rycroft endeavours to make is that Freud's insistence upon the idea that psychoanalysis must be a natural science constructed a language with which one may talk about people only in ways which dehumanize them. "After all," he continues, "people are not apparatuses." Such metaphors, Rycroft complains, operate not only by omitting but by actively excluding "any conception of an agent or self who creates or generates meaningful activity."31 Rycroft's comments in the above foreshadows the next section of this paper where I will examine the influence of the Cartesian ego on some of Freud's metapsychological considerations.


The preceding discussion has led us, I think, to Rycroft's conclusion that Freud's "natural scientific" psychology does talk about humanity in a dehumanizing manner. It is not difficult to see that any way of imagining or describing living sentient beings which is materialistic and mechanical in nature subsumes such creatures to the realm of the unaware and inanimate. As we have seen, Freud, in his early writings, constantly and consistently described the person through the languages of determinism, causality, mechanics, and so on. This is a result of his intellectual heritage. A question which arises, however, is one that meets the Cartesian dualism of the mind-body split. That is, does Freud maintain or even further this dualistic understanding of the individual?

It is known that Freud employed a dualistic model of the instincts--those instincts towards life against those aiming for destruction (or Eros and Thanatos)--which are considered to be antagonistic toward each other.32 Ernest Jones also asserts that Freud maintained an "obstinate dualism." In fact Jones goes as far as to proclaim "had he [Freud] been a philosopher he certainly would not have been a monist nor would he have felt at home in William James's pluralistic universe."33 Jones continues to note that Freud has a characteristicly dialectical type of thinking that inclined to situate theories in the interaction of bipolar opposites. "This," Jones follows, "was of course most pronounced in his basic classifications: love-hunger; ego-sexuality; auto-eroticism-hetro-eroticism; Eros-Thanatos; life-death, and so on."34 Based upon the above discussion, I believe that we can answer the question whether Freud complied with the Cartesian dualism with the affirmative. I would like to do so by referring to Freud's notion of causality involved in the development of secondary process thinking as opposed to the primary process.35

Not only does this opposition suggest the dehumanizing aspect of mechanicalism but it also reflects one of the dominant models of understanding employed during Freud's scholarly reign. This is a model that had a great deal of intellectual investment in ideals as empiricism and materialism as well as rationalism and a fixation in the physical. In light of the above, it is understandable that Freud's perspective of the mind-body relation was mechanical and causal in nature. There was always something causing another thing--instincts causing desires causing tension causing a need for release causing a response.

A good example of Freud's understanding of the relation between the mind and body can be seen in his constructions of the primary and secondary processes. The primary process, on the one hand, is characterized as the purely unconscious mental means of dealing with instinctual pressures. It does this work through purely mental phenomenon (dreams, hallucinations, phantasies, etc). The secondary process, on the other hand, also functions to relieve the organism of unpleasurable tension. However, it does so more efficiently--i.e., it employed a consciously physical means of release (the flight response, motor activity, alterations of the external world, etc.). This apparent dichomotization of the means of release of instinctual tension makes me wonder if this is not a reformulation or reiteration of Decartes' mind-body dualism--an idea that was rampant in Freud's and, to some extent, in our time.36

As an instinctual psychology psychoanalysis "refers the evidences of mind to the functions of the organism."37 And that

In positing the body (an object of external nature) as the ground of the mind (the inward subject to which external nature appears), Freud tries to relocate the body within the dualistic framework of understanding....The peculiar situation of psychoanalytic theory in relation to Descartes's dualism is manifest in this philosophically naive but intuitively profound inversion of the body: the turning of the body outside within the Cartesian framework.38

Also Freud's usage of the electrical metaphor and flow of energy not only reflects a nineteenth-century positivist's "presumption of the primary reality of material forces and entities,"39 it also reveals the Cartesian epistemological opinion which gives the mind priority over the body. It suggests, as Draenos points out, that the predominant view was one of "the body lived from within"40 [Draenos' emphasis].

Thus it may be said that Freud posits the body as being the origin of the mind; this is done because evolutionary science conveys the inescapable implication that human existence has an animal principle.41 Freud, however, would place rationality and civilization (or sublimation 42) with the response to reality--i.e., rationality belongs to the secondary process43 while identifying this "animal principle" with the primary process.44 Anthony Storr agrees with this critique by noting that for Freud "science is to be equated with the abandonment of fantasy; with postponement of immediate satisfaction; with secondary process mental functioning; [and] with thinking that is adapted to reality."45

The point of all of this is that one of the two functions of the nervous system was for "the reception of stimuli from outside and the discharge of excitations of endogenous origin. It was this latter obligation, indeed, that, owing to the exigencies of life, a compulsion came about towards further biological development." [Freud's emphasis]46 In other words, we note a further instance of Freud's casual understanding of the of the mind as it is related to the body. In this instance, however, he refers to the mind's evolution. That is, the notion that the rational mind has developed as a response to the body. If it were not for the influence of excitations of endogenous origin and external stimuli, the mind would never have evolved from the original state of primary thinking--i.e., that of hallucinatory wish fulfilment.47

To me this provides a further example of Freud's tendency to separate the mind and body while placing the emphasis on the mind. It may be said that: in effect what Freud answers is the age old question of the chicken and the egg. This position is, however, understandable--after all Freud's major contributions and scientific concerns were in the psychological realm. Nonetheless, this is a contentious issue because we really cannot not say that the mind came before the body--after all, where could it have resided without some form of body?

Still, Freud's writings about the mind-body relationship can be characterized as ambiguous at best and conflictual at worst. At times the emphasis is placed on the body--in the case of effectively releasing instinctual tensions through the secondary process--and at times the mind is prioritized--in terms of the delayed gratification, sublimation of instinctual pressures. I think this ambiguity, of which there are other examples, operates to obfuscate the issue, while, at the same time, it permits a variety of interpretations of how Freud understood the relation between the mind and the body.

Returning to the dehumanizing aspect of Freud's theorizations, we can see that, by separating the mind from the body Freud has not only rejected a commonsense belief--i.e., an interactive understanding of the mind-body relationship--he also prioritizes mind over body and therefore marginalizes any interactive understanding of the two. By separating two inseparable aspects of the human being, Freud tends to dehumanize, dichotomize and pathologize our ontological security. Although it would be improper to accuse Freud strictly of neglecting the interaction between the mind and body, it seems to me that more often than not he would make the body a symptom of the mind.48

In conclusion, I think we can state that Freud's narrative of the mind is often mechanical and causal in nature. This is seen in his choices of metaphors about how the "mental apparatus" operates. At times he describes the mind's functioning in terms of electrical dynamics, at times he discusses instincts with a hydraulic allusion of a cause-and-effect relationship, and at times his means of description is bio-chemical in nature. Freud is not necessarily to blame for this dehumanizing interpretation of his means of symbolizing the human organism. It must be remembered that his indoctrination in the intellectual climate of the late Enlightenment had a great deal to do with the way in which he imagined and symbolized the parts of the world with which he was concerned. Once we recognize the context of this dehumanizing aspect of Freud's thought we, I think, are in a better position to approach and understand psychoanalysis. It does not mean that Freud's work should be discarded, rather it requires us to consider the possibilities available for intellectual reflection as well as those ideas which are misguided in Freud's intellectual corpus.


1 Gerald N. Izenberg, The Existentialistic Critique of Freud: The Crisis of Autonomy. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1976) p. 52.

2 This choice was made due to the fact that the thrust of this paper is to consider the ideational influences of natural sciences and empirical philosophy on Freud's thoughts. Freud's clinical practice, however, is something of a different order even if it has its roots in the medicine of the nineteenth-century. See Roy J. Howard's Three Faces of Hermeneutics: An Introduction to Current Theories of Understanding. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982) pp. 112-114.

3 Sigmund Freud, "Project for a Scientific Psychology," (The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud. [Henceforward S.E.] Volume 1. Translated by James Strachey. London: the Hogarth Press, 1966) p. 302.

4 Joseph Breuer & Sigmund Freud, Studies in Hysteria. (The Penguin Freud Library Volume 3. Translated by James Strachey. Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1974) p. 270.

5 Ibid., pp. 268-269.

6 Gregory Zilboorg, "The Changing Concept of Man In Present-Day Psychiatry." (Freud and the 20th Century. Edited by Benjamin Nelson. London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1958) p. 280.

7 Ibid., p. 36.

8 Ibid., pp. 17-18.

9 See: Sigmund Freud (S.E. 16:285; 17:140; 19:221).

10 Ibid., "A Difficulty in the Path of Psychoanalysis," (S.E. 17:140-141).

11 Ibid., pp. 140-143.

12 Ibid., "The Question of a Weltanschauung," (New Introductory Lectures. Lecture XXXV. 22:179).

13 Gerald N. Izenberg, The Existentialistic Critique of Freud: The Crisis of Autonomy. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1976) p. 58.

14 Ibid.

15 See: James Hillman's The Thought of the Heart. Eranos Lecture Series 2. Dallas: Spring Publications, 1981) pp. 11-15.

16 Ibid. Izenberg also has this to say about Freud's psychology, as an instinct theory [it] was an attempt to integrate biological, physiological, and psychological perspectives.....the concept of instinct was not intended to be one of essentially human meaning or motivation; it belonged to an independent systematic construct. Its ultimate reference was not to the purposes of the individual but to those of Nature; instinctual behaviour was seen from the point of view of its biological function, an external perspective not logically congruent with the purposes of an individual. (59) Stan Draenos in Freud's Odyssey: Psychoanalysis and the End of Metaphysics, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982.) follows Izenberg in positing a Darwinian psychology. To this end he writes the following: "The essentials of a Darwinian psychology...are found in the mechanistic explanation of patterned behaviour, that is , of instinct in the etiological sense." (17) Thus the work of a Darwinian psychology was to identify inherited instinctual behaviour patterns and then to fit them into this mechanicalistic scheme. This type of psychology is obviously fundamentally behaviouralistic whereas psychoanalysis, in contrast, is distinguished by its exclusive concern with human psychology, but more essentially, by a fundamental epistemological decision to confine itself wholly to the phenomena of consciousness for its evidence. (18)

17 Stan Draenos, Freud's Odyssey: Psychoanalysis and the End of Metaphysics. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982) p. 19.

18 Ibid.

19 Ibid., p. 53.

20 Sigmund Freud, "On Narcissism," (S.E. 14:78-79).

21 Stan Draenos, Freud's Odyssey: Psychoanalysis and the End of Metaphysics. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982), p. 54. [My emphasis]. Draenos himself writes the following: By planting himself upon somatic territory whose rudimentary dimensions were already marked out by biological science, and by bracketing the ego and exploiting the biological ground of possibility offered by sexuality, Freud placed the foundations of the psychoanalytic theory on eminently respectable and defensible epistemological grounds. (62)

22 Gerald N. Izenberg, The Existentialistic Critique of Freud: The Crisis of Autonomy. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1976) p. 22.

23 Sigmund Freud, "Psychical or Mental Treatment," (S.E. 7:284).

24 Ibid.

25 William J. McGrath, in Freud's Discovery of Psychoanalysis: the Politics of Hysteria. (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1986) notes that Freud had an iconoclastic temperament. (97)

26 Gerald N. Izenberg, The Existentialistic Critique of Freud: The Crisis of Autonomy. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1976) pp. 19-25.

27 Ibid., p. 29.

28 Charles Rycroft, "Symbolism, Imagination and Biological Destiny." (Freud and the Humanities. Edited by Peregrine Hordern. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1985), p. 27.

29 Ibid., p. 28

30 Ibid.

31 Ibid. The second idea, that pathological behaviour can be considered to be paradigms for normal behaviour, is still current today and tends to have a harmful effect. For instance, if anxiety has been considered to be a neurotic symptom and thus must always be such, then the logical conclusion ought to be that a "normal" person would never suffer from anxiousness.(29)

32 Sigmund Freud, "Analysis Terminable and Interminable" (S.E. 23:243-246). It should be noted that Freud makes the connection of this dualism and evolutionary theory while referring to both Empedocles of Acragas and William Capelle. (245) Also in Beyond the Pleasure Principle (S.E. 18:49, 53) Freud admits that he has a predominately dualistic view of the instincts--now more so than ever before.

33 Ernest Jones, The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud: Years of Maturity. (Volume 2. New York: Basic Books, 1955) p. 422.

34 Ibid.

35 The development of the secondary process is dependent upon the recognition of the failure of the primary process. That is, since hallucinatory wish fulfilment can not successfully alleviate psychic tension the secondary process develops in order to permanently dispose of such tension. That is, because dreams do not succeed in resolving the tension it is up to the adaptive behaviour--through motor activity--of the second process to complete the work. Here we see an example of determinism in Freud's thoughts. (See: Charles Rycroft's A Critical Dictionary of Psychoanalysis. Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1968. pp. 124-125.).

36 In all fairness, however, I must point out that this construction Freud seems to reverse his priority of the mind over the body. In other words, when he suggests that it is through the secondary process that instinctual tension is most effectively released, he implies that the body and not the mind is the best means of resolving mental disorders. This is a point that, in my opinion, refers directly to the practice of psychoanalysis which is something, as I remarked in the introduction, I have decided not to approach in this paper.

37 Stan Draenos, Freud's Odyssey: Psychoanalysis and the End of Metaphysics. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982) p. 22.

38 Ibid., p. 23.

39 Ibid., p. 21.

40 Ibid.

41 Ibid.

42 Ibid.

43 See: Civilization and its Discontents. (S.E. 21: 57-146).

44 See: "Formulations on the Two Principle of Mental Functioning," (S.E. 12:215-226) where Freud states: it is probable that thinking was originally unconscious, in so far as it went beyond mere ideational presentations and was directed to the relations between impression of objects, and that it did not acquire further qualities, perceptible to consciousness, until to became connected with verbal residues.(221)

45 Anthony Storr, "Psychoanalysis and Creativity" (Freud and the Humanities. Edited by Peregrine Hordern. New York: Martin's Press, 1985) p. 46.

46 Sigmund Freud, "Project for a Scientific Psychology," (S.E. 1:304).

47 Sigmund Freud, "Formulation of the Two Principles of Mental Functioning," (S.E. 12:219-222).

48 Freud's discussions of the anxiety neurosis not withstanding. For instance, in "On the Grounds for Detaching a Particular Syndrome from Neurasthenia under the Description 'Anxiety Neurosis'," (S.E. 3:87-157) Freud claims twice that anxiety neurosis has no psychical origins--that is it is strictly due to somatic excitations.(107, 114) But earlier in this same paper he notes that the primary cause of anxiety is due to a fright or tension related mainly to sex and sexuality.(99f) This begs the question as to how can the physical symptoms of anxiety develop without an emotional perception of such affects.


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