Why Freud Was Wrong
The 2005 Orwell Press edition
|Published||1995 (The Orwell Press)|
|Pages||673 (2005 edition)|
Why Freud Was Wrong: Sin, Science and Psychoanalysis is a 1995 book by Richard Webster, a critique of Sigmund Freud and psychoanalysis. Webster argues that Freud became a kind of Messiah and that psychoanalysis is a pseudo-science and a disguised continuation of the Judaeo-Christian tradition. The book for which Webster may be best remembered, Why Freud Was Wrong has been called "brilliant" and "definitive", but has also been criticized for perceived shortcomings of scholarship and argument.
Webster argues that Freud became a kind of Messiah and that psychoanalysis is a pseudo-science and a disguised continuation of the Judaeo-Christian tradition. He sees Freud as an impostor who sought to found a false religion. However, Webster also writes that, "My ultimate goal is not to humiliate Freud or to inflict mortal injury either on him or his followers. It is to interpret and illuminate his beliefs and his personality in order that we may better understand our own culture, our own history, and indeed, our own psychology. It is to this constructive attempt to analyse the nature and sources of Freud's mistakes that my title primarily refers."
Gilbert Ryle's arguments against mentalist philosophies in The Concept of Mind (1949) are endorsed by Webster, who suggests that they imply that "theories of human nature which repudiate the evidence of behaviour and refer solely or primarily to invisible mental events will never in themselves be able to unlock the most significant mysteries of human nature."
Why Freud Was Wrong has been called "brilliant" and "definitive", but has also been criticized for perceived shortcomings of scholarship and argument. Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson criticized Webster in a preface to the 1998 edition of The Assault on Truth for blaming him for the current interest in recovered memories.
Why Freud Was Wrong has been translated into French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and Hungarian.
- Gathorne-Hardy, Jonathan (2005). Kinsey: A Biography. London: Pimlico. ISBN 1-84413-836-4.
- Masson, Jeffrey (1998). The Assault on Truth: Freud’s Suppression of the Seduction Theory. New York: Pocket Books. ISBN 0-671-02571-6.
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- Tallis, Raymond (1999). Enemies of Hope: A Critique of Contemporary Pessimism. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0-312-22417-6.
- Webster, Richard (2005). Why Freud Was Wrong: Sin, Science and Psychoanalysis. Oxford: The Orwell Press. ISBN 0-9515922-5-4.
- Online articles