Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Continuous Sexual Trajectory Essay -- Essays Papers

Continuous Sexual Trajectory In his Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis, Freud works inductively towards a theory of the (sexual) mind. The lectures consider years of psychoanalytic experience and try to fit them into a framework, in the process always slightly altering both the data and the theory. His primary interest lies in the competitive interplay of libido - the pleasure seeking unconscious part of the mind - and the ego - the rational and socially constituted character who internalizes norms and tries to tame the libido. The pleasure that the libido presses for is firstly sexual, but for Freud this expansive term indicates any kind of pleasure derived from physical contact. Working from these terms, he tries to consider the relationship between the normal, the neurotic and the perverted. Freud defines the pervert as one who lives out her or his desires for sexual pleasure despite the desires’ deviance from societal norms, and despite the fact that they do not lead to heterosex ual sex (377). The neurotic, on the other hand, shows symptoms created by the active and ongoing conflict between the ego’s demands and the libido’s desires (466). The question then becomes how this deviance relates to â€Å"normal† and why subjects become deviant. Ultimately, Freud’s attempt to establish a trajectory of human development taking the subject from childhood sexuality to adult life founders on the faulty basis of a presumed continuity. In order to explain his experiences as a psychoanalyst with patients and their myriad bizarre symptoms, Freud infers the structure of human development in general, with a focus on the sexual life of children. For adults to be sexual beings with particular symptoms, fix... development grounded in an inferred childhood sexuality that is itself somewhat questionable. The circularity of his method, by itself, certainly does not prove it wrong. He could indeed be correct in the assumptions he makes, and thus their reappearance in and as his conclusions could be for the best. However, that the argument leaves so much space for alternate routes for the origin of what are labeled forms of deviance does at least indicate its incomplete correctness, if not its complete incorrectness. The important question becomes, as it began whether his thoroughly political reading of the nature of the sexualized individual is useful, as opposed to â€Å"True†. When the conclusions he reaches from this troubled theory contradict our sense of justice and reason, it may well be prudent to assume error lies in his ratiocinations rather than in our own agenda.

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