chapter  Chapter Three
8 Pages

A communicative framework for evaluating Freud

ByRobert Langs, James O. Raney, David Smith

There have been many assessments of Freud’s interaction with Darwinian theory, each from its own vantage point. Most psychoanalytically oriented writers have characterized Freud as having adopted a strong adaptive and evolutionary viewpoint. They have stressed the spirit of harmony between Freud and Darwin and pointed to the many ideas that Freud either borrowed from Darwin or developed independently in ways that concurred with Darwin’s thinking. Badcock specifically proposed a unification of the two theories—Freudian and Darwinian—in what he calls psycho-Darwinism. However, he based his joining together of these two fields of biological science almost entirely on Freud’s early writings, in that he argued that the revisions in Freudian theory made in the last fifty years are more a regression than an advance. The communicative approach possesses several unique features that favour its use as a means of linking psychoanalysis with evolutionary theory, and as a basis for assessing Freud’s evolutionary thinking.