The Unconscious Before Freud

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The Unconscious Before Freud
The Unconscious Before Freud.gif
Cover of the first edition
Author Lancelot Law Whyte
Country United States
Language English
Subject Unconscious mind
Published 1960 (Basic Books)
Media type Print (Hardcover and Paperback)
Pages 219
ISBN 978-0904014488

The Unconscious Before Freud is a 1960 book about the history of ideas about the unconscious mind by Lancelot Law Whyte.


Whyte, writing from a nonpsychoanalytic perspective,[1] describes the two thousand years of thinking about the unconscious that preceded Sigmund Freud, showing how Freud's predecessors established its importance.[2]


Psychologist Hans Eysenck notes in his Decline and Fall of the Freudian Empire (1985) that Whyte's book has become a classic.[2] Historian Peter Gay called the work "a brief but helpful survey" in his Freud: A Life for Our Time (1988), but contrasted it unfavorably with Henri Ellenberger's subsequent work The Discovery of the Unconscious (1970).[3]



  1. ^ Gay 1995. p. 767.
  2. ^ a b Eysenck 212. p. 213.
  3. ^ Gay 1995. p. 754.


  • Eysenck, Hans (1986). Decline and Fall of the Freudian Empire. Harmondsworth: Pelican Books. ISBN 0-14-022562-5. 
  • Gay, Peter (1995). Freud: A Life for Our Time. London: Papermac. ISBN 0-333-48638-2.