chapter  7
5 Pages

Freud's three theories

It is a curious but easily verifiable fact that for many years Freud held three mutually exclusive views of the individual's most primitive relation with his environment. The oldest of these appeared in print in 1905 in his Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality and remained unchanged in all its later editions, though it is worth noting that this book and The Interpretation of Dreams were the only ones that Freud tried to keep up to date, revising and amending them with each new edition to include all discoveries in the years since the previous edition. Oddly enough this passage occurs in the last section of the third and final essay which has the sub-title in German: Die Objektfindung, a beautifully concise phrase which had to be translated into English rather clumsily as 'The Finding of an Object' (Standard Edition, VII, p. 222).