chapter  2
16 Pages

Freud’s discussion with psychiatry on sexuality, drives and objects in Three Essays

WithHerman Westerink

Although Freud's Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality is only a short text in comparison to the voluminous studies on sexuality published by his predecessors in the field of the scientific study of sexuality and the perversions, he considered it to be one of his key publications. This chapter highlights several of the main theoretical and methodological aspects of the text in order to reveal the radicality of the text by exploring its central concepts and the composition of its ideas relative to the contemporary psychiatric literature. The reading of Three Essays is guided by the idea that with this text Freud (again) attempted to launch psychoanalysis in the field of psychiatry, opting for a double strategy. On the one hand, he adapts to the conceptual framework of psychiatric reasoning. On the other, he redefines these concepts from the perspective of his clinical insights in hysteria and in continuity with his own thought that was based in neurophysiology.