Added: July 22, 2006 – Last updated: May 7, 2016
Author: Karin Ahbel-Rappe
Title: "I no Longer Believe"
Subtitle: Did Freud Abandon the Seduction Theory?
Journal: Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association
Year: Winter 2006 (Submitted: May 3, 2004)
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Abstract: »Recent accounts of the seduction theory and the question of its abandonment have emphasized the continuity of Freud’s work before and after the seduction theory, claiming that Freud did not abandon his concern with the event of seduction but rather came to appreciate that an understanding of fantasy was also essential. This claim is challenged. It is shown that Freud did abandon the passionate concerns of his seduction theory for the most part; that he left behind his early interest in reconstructing unconscious infantile incest and focused instead on later, conscious seduction; that he at times clearly reduced apparent paternal incest to fantasy; that he turned away from the phenomenology of incest he had begun to develop; and that he theoretically nullified the value of the difference between real and fantasied seduction. It is also shown that, contrary to a persistent concern in psychoanalytic history, attention to actual seduction need not detract from the essential psychoanalytic concern with fantasy and infantile sexuality. Thinking about incest specifically illuminates the capacity for fantasizing, the core of the Freudian psyche. In this way the intuition of the seduction theory that there is something of distinctive psychoanalytic significance about incest finds support.« (Source: Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association)