On the Origins of Psychic Structure: A Case-Study Revisited on the Basis of Freud's ‘Project’
ByGertrudis Van De Vijver
Pages 17

One of the most striking points in Sigmund Freud's approach to psychic phenomena, is that he conceives of them—basically—in materialist, dynamic and structural terms. Psychic phenomena are taken to be of a material nature, and are apprehended on the basis of specific, concrete mechanisms. This chapter shows that a structuralist account of psychic phenomena has major advantages over a purely formal account of psychic—and, more specifically, cognitive phenomena. It traces the implications of a dynamic and materialist viewpoint on the origins of psychic structure for a theory of higher order psychic phenomena—that is, a theory of cognitive and linguistic phenomena. A dynamic structuralist theory of the psyche is certainly one of the most interesting directions to pursue in a variety of disciplines. The chapter presents a case study of a young boy, named Herbert who mastered the Austrian language perfectly at fourteen months.