love object freud

Throughout, but with many a lapse, Freud shows an awareness of the cultural relativity of any notion of sexual health or normality.

Freud starts his discussion of human sexuality with a treatment of the sexual life of infants, who derive pleasure from vital functions such as eating and being protected and who take as their first sexual objects those people who are responsible for these functions. Freud traces these (and other) preconditions back to an “infantile fixation of tender feelings [Zärtlichkeit] on the mother” (pp.

The appropriate kind of seduction can lead Danes and Jews to act on this inclination, to acquire a taste for such acts and to make a habit of them. (See Appendix 1 for an overview.) (1990). This type of neurotic needs a woman about whom he can be jealous. 3. Freud: a Life for Our Time.

As for women, Freud’s description of the double bind in which they find themselves insufficiently brings out their unenviable position: It is naturally just as unfavourable for a woman if a man approaches her without his full potency as it is if his initial overvaluation of her when he is in love gives place to undervaluation after he has possessed her [nach der Besitzergreifung—after seizing possession] (1912, p. 186; German: p. 86). Here his refusal to acknowledge the implications of his own apparently contradictory remarks takes its toll. Women for instance not only protest against being denigrated as whores; they often protest as vehemently against being idealized as Madonnas, with the slightest unpremeditated movement leading to a disastrous fall from the lofty pedestals they have been placed on. New Haven & London: Yale University Press. The main protective measure against such a disturbance which men have recourse to in this split in their love consists in a psychical debasement of the sexual object, the overvaluation that normally attaches to the sexual object being reserved for the incestuous object and its representatives (p. 183). (Boas, 1967, p. 90). We have claimed that Freud foregrounds the phenomenon of bonding in his discussion of love and being in love.

187-188). When Freud distinguishes the normative stages in the development of sexuality—the oral, the anal, the phallic and the genital—he leaves normality, the Valhalla of sexual development, surprisingly undefined. It develops on the basis of the self-preservative instincts and is directed at family and other caretakers—the child’s primary object-choices.7 From the beginning there is some sensual admixture in the affectionate current, especially because of the said sexual component in how others approach the infant (1912, pp. I find it hard to say where this passage leaves children in general (as opposed to lower class children.) German: G.W.

In the Three Essays, Freud opposes his own approach to sexuality to one that focuses exclusively on (an ideal of) “healthy” adult heterosexual genital coitus (p. 135).

When Empedocles links Aphrodite to peace and harmony, it is a major innovation, according to Boas. Ithaca & London: Cornell University Press. In his disenchanted description, love and being in love have hardly anything to do with the ethical attitude of benevolence, caring and compassion4 with which the term “love” is often associated.

—— (1912). Freud initially describes this overvaluation from the point of view of the cynical onlooker, not the person in love: Only in the rarest instances [does] the psychical valuation that is set on the sexual object … stop[…] short at the genitals. 15 I owe the idea expressed in the last three sentences to a personal communication (24 September 1999) by the South African novelist Ingrid Winterbach. And when Freud unpacks this sexual overvaluation, it turns out to hinge completely on the sexual fidelity and exclusivity that the subject thinks can be expected from the object.

8 In discussing ‘being in love’ [Verliebtheit], Freud perhaps does not intend ‘a passing phase of infatuation’. Love is love of beauty; there is a scale of beauty, progressing from that of bodies, through that of forms, thoughts, minds, institutions and laws, the sciences, to absolute or ideal beauty. A special type of choice of object made by men (Contributions to the psychology of love: I). 11 Even the German and the English titles of the second Contribution differ as to the extent of the phenomenon under discussion.

Common sense/PC of the day too easily assumed?

(1912). London: Macmillan.

(Weininger will have nothing to do with any explanation of prostitution based on social and economic conditions.

Those who supply the infant’s needs (or later: remind the subject of those who supplied his infantile needs), become love objects.

“unfaithfulness” of mother in giving sexual favours to father, rather than son (171), “woman who is chaste and whose reputation is irreproachable” (166)
Here sexual overvaluation seems to be part and parcel of the relation with the sexual object as such, rather than being limited to (a passing phase of? … Sexual love itself, although lowest on the scale of love, is nevertheless the seed of ideal love, since what attracts a man to his beloved is beauty, The main protective measure against such a disturbance which men have recourse to in this split in their love consists in a psychical, In normal love the woman’s value is measured by her sexual integrity, and is reduced by any approach to the characteristic of being like a prostitute. “mental achievements and perfections” (1905, p. 151), Dirne: prostitute/whore/harlot/wanton/slut; woman of ill repute, woman of easy virtue This is not so. Hence the fact that women with this characteristic are considered by men of our type to be, In normal love the woman’s value is reduced by any approach to the characteristic of being like a prostitute. Admittedly, these are vast questions. I argue that Freud flounders and contradicts himself on many of the central issues concerned, and that there is an enormous asymmetry between the judgements attached to female as opposed to male sexual infidelity.

(1963). There are only a very few educated people in whom the two currents of affection and sensuality have become properly fused; the man almost always feels his respect for the woman acting as a restriction on his sexual activity, and only develops full potency when he is with a debased sexual object; and this in its turn is partly caused by the entrance of perverse components into his sexual aims, which he does not venture to satisfy with a woman he respects (p. 185).

Without naming the structure of his argument, let me therefore construct an analogue to it: Danes are inclined to perversions of every kind. Oxford Duden German Dictionary. Gay, P. (1988). The seducer initiating a woman into perversion can see himself as just the nth enjoyer of something that was already perverse.) Freud can again serve as an example of this ambivalence. I think you miswrote that, it mus be love object: someone or something that is invested with love by someone.

Freud’s theoretical concerns here are probably overdetermined by personal ones. It is not a simple matter, he argues, of deciding that this person has engaged in an anaclitic object choice and this other person in a narcissistic object choice. An amoral conception that seems to be quite far removed from a normative use of the term “love”. also 1912, pp.

1 These two articles were first published separately. I am surprised by the force and the range of terms of condemnation that, in Freud’s account, are heaped on any woman who is not exclusive in her sexual relations. Invoking my conclusions about the Three Essays in this paper would be of little value, as they are sure to provoke controversy, and there is no space to rehearse my arguments for them here. I will thus not attempt to place the views of Freud discussed here in the context of his further intellectual development, nor to determine to what extent his later views successfully resolve the inadequacies I signal in these earlier ones.

Does Freud in his attempt at toughmindedness not end up giving a reductionist account of human sexual relationships here? But to return to Freud’s discussion of the neurotic for whom the debasement of the object is a precondition for sexual desire: In normal love the woman’s value is measured by her sexual integrity, and is reduced by any approach to the characteristic of being like a prostitute. We thus see that Freud exemplifies both conditions on object-choice—respect/exclusivity and debasement/sharing—that he discusses in the texts under consideration in this article. A special type of choice of object made by men (Contributions to the psychology of love: I). 8. Why does this sexual behavior elicit so much condemnation? She is his possession, not a free subject, and all other men must respect his property rights over her.

Nevertheless, I of course realise that alternative, perhaps more charitable readings of these texts are possible.

Whatever the degree of comparability between Freud’s Eros (in 1920) and Plato’s ethically colored Eros may be, there is very little in the Three Essays (of 1905, or even of 1924) that agrees with the latter.


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