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The first edition of this classic work from 1905 shows a radically different psychoanalysis
Available for the first time in English, the 1905 edition of Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality presents Sigmund Freud’s thought in a form new to all but a few ardent students of his work.
This is a Freud absent the Oedipal complex, which came to dominate his ideas and subsequent editions of these essays. In its stead is an autoerotic theory of sexual development, a sexuality transcending binary categorization. This is psychoanalysis freed from ideas that have often brought it into conflict with the ethical and political convictions of modern readers, practitioners, and theorists.
The non-Oedipal psychoanalysis Freud outlined in 1905 possesses an emancipatory potential for the contemporary world that promises to revitalize Freudian thought. The development of self is no longer rooted in the assumption of a sexual identity; instead the imposition of sexual categories on the infant mind becomes a source of neurosis and itself a problem to overcome.
The new edition of Three Essays presents us with the fascinating possibility that Freud suppressed his first and best thoughts on this topic, and that only today can they be recognized and understood at a time when societies have begun the serious work of reconceptualizing sexual identities.
About the Author
Sigmund Freud was born in Freiberg, which is now known as the Czech Republic, on May 6, 1856. Freud developed psychoanalysis, a method through which an analyst unpacks unconscious conflicts based on the free associations, dreams and fantasies of the patient. His theories on child sexuality, libido and the ego, among other topics, were some of the most influential academic concepts of the twentieth century.
Philippe Van Haute is professor at the Center for Contemporary European Philosophy, Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and extraordinary professor of philosophy at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. He is a psychoanalyst of the Belgian School for Psychoanalysis and a founding member of the International Society for Psychoanalysis and Philosophy. He has published numerous books, among them Against Adaptation, Confusion of Tongues, From Death Instinct to Attachment Theory, and A Non-Oedipal Psychoanalysis?. He is the coeditor of the book series Figures of the Unconscious.
Herman Westerink is associate professor at the Center for Contemporary European Philosophy, Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and extraordinary professor at the University of Leuven, Belgium. He is a member of the International Society for Psychoanalysis and Philosophy. He has published numerous books and articles on psychoanalysis, including A Dark Trace and The Heart of Man’s Destiny. He is editor of the book series Sigmund Freuds Werke: Wiener Interdisziplinäre Kommentare.
Ulrike Kistner is professor at the Department of Philosophy at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. She has published Commissioning and Contesting Post-Apartheid’s Human Rights and numerous articles on political, aesthetic, and psychoanalytic theory.
“Freud’s Three Essays on Sexuality stands beside his Interpretation of Dreams as his most momentous and original contributions to human knowledge.”