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Introducing the Freud Wars Paperback – 4 Nov 2002


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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Icon Books Ltd (4 Nov. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840463813
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840463811
  • Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 1.1 x 21.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,123,756 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Stephen Wilson is a practising psychotherapist and Fellow of the Royal College of Psychialrists. Oscar Zarate was the winner of the 1994 Will Eisner Prize for graphic novel illustration, and has illustrated 10 Introducing titles.

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lark TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 31 Mar. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In this book the author's perspective is definitely somewhere between presentation and advocacy/defence, which is unsurprising since they are also the author of another book in the series introducing (a very freudian) psycho-analysis.

The book itself follows the format, famous in the series, of cartoon graphics, captions and dialogue, as a result its very accessible and easy to read in under and hour or two, great if you're a student or simply want an undemanding read on the train or bus. There's also a good index and bibliography for reference and the sequence is pretty clearly introduced at the onset, the book has a clear beginning, middle and end.

Discussed, or at least highlighted, are some of the main controversies about Freud's thinking, is it scientific, literary or cultural, how are any of his conclusions evidence based, did Freud cover up sexual abuse, was he mysogynistic, in what ways did he and those who followed his work revise it.

This however is a major fault of this book, it is merely an introduction and brief at that, its really only a taster and will leave the seriously interested reader ready to search out more. For instance Wittgenstein's observation that in the masses of case studies there are no sex dreams, it is implicit or requires analysis but yet these dreams are commonplace is presented but not really elaborated upon. Likewise Eric Fromm's revision of libido theory is summed up in a single thought bubble but similarly left to one side.

It was none the less interesting to read a partisan defence of Freud, given that I'm aware of so much popular and literary criticism of his theories and it was pretty enlightening for how point and counterpoint where made.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Excellent series 7 July 2008
By Y. Trakru - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I started with Introducing Quantum physics--and then was hooked on to this series. I got this book and the one on Jung together, it is amazing how much we have travelled in such a short period of time in psychiatric care, and how much these two have influenced even our current thought process. Its easy to see now ( at least for me)-- how Aristotles' thoughts held sway for a thousand years before anyone even questioned them.
Freudville--Remanufactored Homes Cheap! 21 Sept. 2014
By Gypsy Samuels - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is clearly written in an enjoyable fashion that is necessary to help demystify the mythology that Freud spent his whole life creating. If you live in 1897 or 1927 you might believe that Freudville is a great place to live. If you don't think that addictive minds are self driven for their own glorification then Freudville is a the place for you and your children. Especially, the little girls who can be told that they are second rate human beings because they do not have a penis. And, of course, that this "...impressive unscientific mythology..." (Harris, p.75, Waking Up) is of true value along with Blavatsky who believed and promoted in 1875 that she was in contact with the "Great White Brotherhood." She was in psychic contact with the members of this brotherhood of course. Just as Freud was in psychic contact with the "unconscious" minds of his patients and could somehow interpreted their dreams. This was right before they gave him the money they owed him of course. Dream on and make sure you check out the Scientology website. Oh yes, and you might want to read William James' comments on the unconscious that were written 25 years before Freud's book on the unconscious. Fifteen arguments against the existence of an unconscious. Strangely enough, Freud use the flip side of these arguments in his "monumental contribution" to the world of psychology. But, yes, of course Freud "discovered" the unconscious--right?
AN ENTERTAINING INTRODUCTION TO CRITICAL VIEWS OF FREUD 11 Oct. 2013
By Steven H Propp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
If you're not familiar with them, the "Introducing..." series combines serious text with abundant illustrations (like a graphic novel), photos, etc. They're almost invariably an engaging way to first delve into a particular topic, thinker, or writer. The text author, Stephen Wilson, is a consultant psychotherapist and Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. This book was published in both the UK and the US in 2002.

He notes about Freud's book Beyond the Pleasure Principle, "[it] is a fascinating book, ingeneously argued, but in which Freud admits his uncertainty... [Freud wrote] 'If I am asked, "Am I myself convinced of the truth of these hypotheses?" I would answer that I am not and do not seek to persuade others to believe in them.'" (Pg. 39)

He observes, "Freud pioneered a revolutionary new interpretative method of FREE ASSOCIATION... [which] means that I 'let go' of my normal self-critical reflection and follow thoughts wherever they might lead. This provides the analyst with observational data from which unconscious desires could be inferred. But if I say 'whatever comes into my mind,' can this prove that what emerges is in fact organized by some unconscious principle?... Or is it imposed by some other 'observing agency'? This is a real problem for Freudianism." (Pg. 63)

He points out, "In today's post-Freudian world, it is difficult to gauge the 'moral shock' and 'extreme disgust' first produced by Freud's exposition of the Oedipus complex. Modern opponents of psychoanalysis are more likely to entrench themselves in the paradoxical claim that the Oedipal theory is both UNTESTABLE and DEMONSTRABLY UNTRUE. Let us take a closer look at the case against the Oedipus complex as presented by Frederick Crews [The Memory Wars]... Crews tells us that well-designed experimental studies have not produced a shred of evidence to substantiate it." (Pg. 140)

He states that "Melanie Klein, who together with Anna Freud pioneered child-psychoanalysis, managed to cap Freud's theory of penis-envy, by postulating an earlier and more profound form of envy from which it derived---breast envy! In doing so she rescued psychoanalysis from its anti-feminist bias. [Klein wrote] 'Yes... penis-envy and the castration complex play an important part in the girl's development... But they derive from an earlier envy, shared by both sexes, of the mother's inexhaustible breast. Only later is this transferred onto the paternal organ.'" (Pg. 165)

Those who wish to dig deeper into the subject can start with the "Further Reading" section Wilson includes at the book's end. But this book is a very helpful "overview" for beginners.
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