Critical Approaches

As Freud writes in such a literary style, but his topic is scientific, critics have generally been concerned with his theories and content of the book rather than his style per se. The psychodynamic theory has not been free from criticism. The main problems it has faced is that of a lack of rigorous empirical support, which modern day science values much more. The 'evidence' came largely from case studies of middle- class European women, most of whom were patients, (suffering psychoneuroses or similar dispositions) and so these subjects are not representative of the general population. Furthermore the data were retrospectively collected and given subjective interpretation, so could be subject to experimenter bias. Other commentators object to its reduction of human activity to a basic set of structures, and its deterministic implications. The emphasis that it places on innate biological forces, in determining infant behaviour, and these in turn, determining adult behaviour, has also been objected to. The most salient controversy though, is that concerning theories of infantile sexuality and the Oedipus complex, which were hardly in keeping with Victorian, extremely conservative, values. For these reasons Freud was never accorded full recognition during his lifetime, and even today is not given much emphasis due to the lack of empirical rigour in his studies, however he did succeed in founding a new medical discipline and basic therapeutic processes, which in modified form are applied widely in present day treatment of neuroses and psychoses.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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