abstractions which are their surrogate

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Sirius77

Senior Member
Turkish
Hello,

This is from Freud's letter to Oscar Pfister (5 June 1910) quoted in Becoming Freud by A. Philips.

I am not sure what he means by "abstractions which are their surrogate".

".. . these psychoanalytical matters are intelligible
only if presented in pretty full and complete detail,
just as an analysis really gets going only when the
patient descends to minute details from the abstractions
which are their surrogate
."

Please let me know what you think.

Best wishes.
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    As I understand it, Freud teaches that the patient rarely, if ever, has (or is able to have) a clear idea of the cause of his neurosis. The patient will, instead, cite, as the origin of the neurosis, an abstraction (an unreliable, imagined, and/or generalised explanation that he himself has arrived at) as the cause.

    ".. . these psychoanalytical matters are intelligible only if presented in pretty full and complete detail, just as an analysis really gets going only when the patient starts to give minute details of the abstractions which (the abstractions) are the substitute for the true origins of the neurosis."
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    It's a language question, don't worry.;)

    ...patient descends to minute details from the abstractions
    which are their surrogate."


    During a session of analysis the patient descends from [the level of] abstractions to minute details.

    "...abstractions, which are their surrogate" - the abstractions are merely the surrogate for these minute details, since it's the minute details that are of interest to the analyst.
     

    Sirius77

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    I see Velisarius. I see your point. I agree with you after thinking a while. Thank you both. :cool:
     
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