Sigmund Freud - Encyclopedia




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Medical warning!
This article is from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica. Medical science has made many leaps forward since it has been written. This is not a site for medical advice, when you need information on a medical condition, consult a professional instead.

"SIGMUND FREUD (1856-), Austrian physician and psycho-analyst, was born on May 6 1856 at Freiberg in Moravia, and studied medicine and psychology at Vienna, being strongly influenced by Brucke in the latter subject. He took his doctor's degree in 1881, became a member of the teaching faculty in 1885, extraordinary professor in 1902 and ordinary professor in 1919. After working in Paris under Charcot in 1885-6, he devoted himself, under his influence and in cooperation with the Viennese physician, Josef Breuer, to the study of nerve cases. The results of their joint investigations were published in 1895 as Studien über Hysterie, of which several editions have appeared, expounding a new treatment, the so-called catharsis. This consisted in putting the patient in a hypnotic state, and the examination by the physician, while under this condition, of the forgotten original circumstances under which the symptoms first appeared. Subsequently Freud pursued a path of his own, and developed a special technique, abandoning hypnosis in favour of the socalled " psycho-analytic " method, under which the pathogenic material of which the patient was unconscious was revealed by means of free association and by the interpretation of dreams, etc. The technique and the results of this research work are explained in Freud's most important works: Die Traumdeutung (6th ed. 1921), Psychopathologie des Alltags (7th ed. 1920), Drei Abhandlungen zur Sexualtheorie (4th ed. 1920). Freud's smaller works were collected in four volumes under the title, Kleinere Beiträge zur Neurosenlehre. Freud also published two general sketches of his theory: a shorter one, Fünf Vorlesungen über Psychoanalyse (delivered at Worcester, Mass., in 1909), and a comprehensive one in Vorlesungen zur Einführung in die Psychoanalyse. These medical-psychological studies yielded surprising results in relation to other subjects, and in the possibilities of their adaptation in other branches of knowledge, e.g. mythology and the history of religion, civilization and literature. The principal works in this connexion are Totem and Tabu (2nd ed. 1920), Der Witz (3rd ed. 1921), Eine Kindheitserinnerung: Leonardo da Vinci (1916), Jenseits des Lustprinzips (1920), Massenpsychologie und Ich-analyse (1921). Freud's works have been translated into English in collected form. He was given an honorary degree by Clark University, Worcester, Mass.

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