Freud and the sexual drive before 1905

Sigmund FreudIn a recent article published in History of the Human Sciences, 21(3), Patricia Cotti traces the development of Freud’s “sexual drive.”

A close study of Freud’s use of the terms Trieb, Impuls, etc., allows an insight into Freud’s sources of inspiration, through which I interrogate the importance he gradually granted the concept of drive before 1905. Freud first tentatively introduced the notion of ‘sexual drive forces’, then developed the hypothesis of a ‘communication drive’. There was much hesitancy in his defining the notion of sexual drive. He eventually adopted a concept widely used by psychiatrists at the time, which played a part in the recurrence of an innate — then hereditary — theory in psychoanalysis.

This article is the latest in a series by Cotti, several of which have previously been published in Psychoanalysis and History (2004 and 2008).

About Jeremy Burman

Jeremy Trevelyan Burman is a senior doctoral student in York University’s Department of Psychology, specializing in the history of developmental psychology and its theory (especially that pertaining to Jean Piaget). Prior to returning to academia, he was a producer at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.