In this engrossing new study of Sigmund Freud's life and work, Richard Webster has set out to provide a clear answer to the controversies that have raged for a century around one of the most influential of all modern thinkers. Tracing Freud's essentially religious personality to his childhood, Webster shows how the founder of psychoanalysis allowed his messianic dreams to shape the ”science” he created and to lead him ever deeper into a labyrinth of medical error. Meticulously researched and powerfully argued, Why Freud Was Wrong is destined to become a classic work.
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Richard Webster, the author of A Brief History of Blasphemy, studied English literature at the University of East Anglia, where he has also taught. His articles and reviews have appeared in Critical Quarterly, The Observer, the Times Literary Supplement, and many other journals. He lives in Suffolk, England.From Publishers Weekly:
In a formidable critique of Freud's theories and modern psychoanalytic practice, English journalist Webster argues that Freud's mentor, French neurologist Jean Charcot, misdiagnosed as traumatic hysteria what were actually cases of injury-related brain damage and epilepsy. Misled by this error, Freud, in Webster's opinion, himself misdiagnosed many of his early cases, seeking to explain physical ailments or illnesses with recourse to patients' childhood emotional traumas. To Webster, psychoanalysis, for all its rationalism and professed secularism, is a "crypto-theological system," a modernized reworking of traditional Judeo-Christian morality, sexual realism and restraint. He portrays Freud as the founder of a messianic movement that placed at its core a confessional ritual: the therapy session. Freud's hero-worship of crackpot Berlin physician Wilhelm Fliess, his demonizing of dissidents such as Alfred Adler and Carl Jung, his inflating of successful therapeutic results and his overbearing, aggressive, even prosecutorial attitude toward his patients come under scrutiny. Yet, though Webster calls psychoanalysis a pseudoscience, he contends that it nevertheless has yielded productive insights about human nature and society because of its internal logic, sophistication and emotional nuance.
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Book Description HarperCollins 1995-09-21, 1995. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 2555689