Re: Psych or Fad: Freud's Slip on Penis Envy, among other things

From: J. Goard (
Date: Mon May 15 2000 - 20:52:44 MDT

At 08:03 PM 5/15/00 -0500, Everitt Mickey wrote:

"I guess i musta missed that was darwin wrong in his overall
conclusions? I understand that he might have been mistaken in some of his
speculations regarding the mechanisms involved...after all were genes or
dna known in his time?"

I wanted to quote from Steve Jones' _Almost like a Whale_, but since I'm
away from it at the moment, I'll point you to a review of it:

Darwin's belief in pangenesis was what I had in mind. (I specifically
recall a passage in which he suggested that an amputee would be
statistically more likely to produce offspring lacking the particular
limb.) It was an understandable conclusion, from his strong insights plus
a relative lack of information about related fields. I think that Freud's
ideas about female inferiority complex ("penis envy") or fetish acquisition
are misapplications of his theoretical perspective, but they're certainly
understandable, and still more accurate than pangenesis. But my primary
point is only that Freud's underlying perspective (view the psyche as
distinct modules, with their own sorts of values, and view human behavior
in terms of internal conflict and internal communication between the
modules) is both historically important and worthy of our study. Probably
because of their shock-value and humor-value, Freud's most bizarre
conclusions have overshadowed his useful perspective on the mind.

J. Goard
The Beyond outside us is indeed swept away, and the
great undertaking of the Enlightenment complete;
but the Beyond *inside* us has become a new heaven
and calls us to renewed heaven-storming.
                                      --Max Stirner

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