Renowned Freud scholar Barry R. Silverstein presents in a historical context an overview of the development of Freud’s theories. What was Freud thinking, when, and why, and what were the major influences which shaped his ideas? The book follows the inner movement of Freud’s theory construction, its meaning and coherence, as well as his conceptual logic and personal directions concerning his evolving views of the reciprocal interactions between mind and body, the motivational force of instinctual drives, and the dominant role of sexuality rooted in evolutionary biology in human development, behaviour, and the creation of neurotic disturbances. It also follows Freud’s construction and sequential reconstructions of his theoretical models concerning the nature, dynamics, and principles of unconscious mental functioning, including his changing concepts on the nature and purpose of dreams. The book traces his changing views on the role of deferred action of early childhood experiences, the determining role of unconscious fantasy, and psychic reality in the formation of adult character structure and neuroses. Through such historical analysis, The Evolution of Freud provides grounding for a meaningful understanding of Freud’s familiar concepts: id, ego, superego, and the Oedipus complex. It explores what these concepts meant to Freud, why he conceived them, and what functions they served in his theory of mind.
This is the perfect book for students and trainees wanting to learn more about the development of Freud’s ideas, as well as for established psychoanalysts and psychotherapists interested in expanding their knowledge of Freud’s theories.