FreudBoth lived in Vienna, Austria. Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) was older than Rudolf Allers (1883-1963). Freud had begun to work up an ideological interpretation of the human mind since some years before he met Allers. He established a theoretical frame that has caused serious and deep rebuke as well as worshipers of his eccentric proposals. A good number of his brightest students, disciples and coworkers abandoned him. Names like Alfred Adler, Karl Gustav Jung, Rudolf Allers make up just a few of the multitude of critics of psychoanalysis. Precisely that is the Trade Mark of Freud´s psychological approach.

His ideas are an interpretation of a long tradition that goes as far back as the Desert Fathers (Third Century onwards) and Christian monks. Saint Augustine (354-430), Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), Rene Descartes (1556-1650), Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) and many others had speculated of nonconscience thoughts or memories that influenced people without their full awareness. Subconscious or unconscious is an old idea. Many of the beliefs that flourished in the XIX about the unconscious had a close relation with Leibniz's speculations of an unconscious affecting thought and action in human being. He believed that even in sleep the unconscious mind was at work expressing itself in dreams.

With the arrival of Romanticism, the idea of the unconscious became a popular fashion. Works like The Simbolism of Dreams (1814) by Heinrich von Schubert and Confessions of an English Opium Eater (1822) are some of the great many books published in the XIX century that can be called forerunners of the place unconscious and dreams would take in some modern psychology schools. Karl Gustav Carus, in his 1846 book Psyche, and Eduard von Hartman in his 1869 Philosophy of the Unconscious, established the basis for the theories that were eccentrically interpreted by Freud and his disciples.

To reach and understand Freud one has to follow the history of other men like Joseph Gassner, Franz Mesmer, Michel Chevrul, Jean Martin Charcot and others. Pierre Janet (1859 -1947) has a special place by his own right. He published his findings about ideas outside awareness as cause of mental illness in the famous French Revue Philosophique.

The retrieval of unconscious ideas as a path to mental illness cure was one of Janet´s many discoveries. Many people that have had access to his works consider him "the father of psychotherapy". When he read about the discoveries of Freud and Josef Breuer, Janet wrote: "I am happy because the results of old findings of mine have been confirmed in nowadays by two German writers, Freud and Breuer".

While Janet´s work was little known except in certain circles, Freud made his way to the hall of fame. There was a well known disagreement between the ideas of the two psychologists. It is said that Freud could not endure to hear of Janet, and tried to throw a shadow of silence over Pierre Janet and his work. The Viennese Psychoanalitical Society and other Freud devotees took good care that Janet and his findings were to be little known. Nevertheless recently, in the centenary of Janet´s "L´Automatisme Psychologique", many articles were published recognizing Janet´s precedence over Freud. H. Ey published in 1988 Pierre Janet: The man and his work, showing the historic roots of some trends in modern psychology.

Allers' critiques to Freud are not directed to this historical problem, but to a more critical situation: the basis of Sigmund Freud's inadequate theories and their implication in relation with mental health and the understanding of human being.

Rudolf Allers was one of the most brilliant students in the last class Sigmund Freud taught in Vienna´s Medical School. Already then he strongly disagreed with Freud´s ideas. In 1941 he wrote The Successful Error, recently republished as What´s Wrong with Freud? A Critical Study of Freudian Psychoanalysis. He says about his book: "This book is a critique. It is written by one who has studied psychoanalysis closely and is forced to deliver an adverse verdict". His object is to unveil the background of Freudian theory, showing the philosophy that lies behind Freud´s whole system, and pervades the theory as well as the practice of psychoanalysis.



false prophets

"Freud and Hitler shared a neighborhood. They also shared the ambition to convince other men of the one and only truth that they had come upon, one with brilliant rhetoric, the other with brutal force. Adored by their followers they founded powerful movements. In my eyes both Adolf Hitler and Sigmund Freud were false prophets of the twentieth century."

Dr. Sophie Freud

Sigmund´s Freud granddaughter

Professor of Psychology at Simmons College in Boston




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Freud: Darkness in the Midst of Vision--An Analytical Biography

by Louis Breger

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This biography is the best one can read on Freud. If you are serious about getting to know the real Freud reading this book is a must.

Sophie Freud has praised Breger´s book on her grandfather: "The Freud biography we have long been awaiting for".

It is a book full of groundbreaking information.

Breger gives you a good deal of hints but lets you conclude what they really mean.

Breger has dedicated his life to investigate Psychoanalysis.

He is Emeritus Professor of Psychoanalytic Studies at the California Institute of Technology.

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The Memory Wars: Freud's Legacy in Dispute

by Frederick Crews and his critics:

Harold P. Blum, Marcia Cavell, Morris Eagle, Matthew Hugh Erdelyi, Allen Esterson, Robert R. Holt, James Hopkins, Lester Luborsky, and more.

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Very interesting book by Frederick Crews one of Freud´s most sound critics. Well written and easy to read. Crews includes his critics voices and his own answer to them.

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Unauthorized Freud. Doubters Confront a Legend

Edited by Frederick Crews

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One of the most revealing book on who was Freud. Easy to read. Written by 18 authors like Mikkel Borch Jaconsen, Adolf Grünbaum, Frank Cioffi, Allen Esterson, Frank Sulloway and others. All of them constitute a serious indictment of the Myth of Freud. It shows how dangerous is Freud´s reasoning was and how unreliable could he be.

Freud the myth crumbles as one reads the pages of this authoritative book.

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Tales from the Freudian Crypt: The Death Drive in Text and Context
by Todd Dufresne

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Freud´s unstable"discoveries" were not such. There are fantasies. Once more the author teacher of Freud and Philosophy in Lakehead University shows what has been called his "erudition off sure-fire caviar." The general idea is that death is defense mechanism for Freud flawed personality. But it is not an easy book to read. So it just got two stars.

Dufresne has one more book coming soon: An Introduction to Critical Freud Studies.

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Freud Under Analysis: History, Theory, Practice: Essays in Honor of Paul Roazen
by Todd Dufresne

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Another erudite book edited by Dufresne.

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Anti-Freud: Karl Kraus's Criticism of Psychoanalysis and Psychiatry
by Thomas Szasz

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The famous Professor of Psychiatry at the State University of New York sometimes seems to critical. This is not the case. It is a very illustrative book on psychoanalysis, psychiatry, history and Karl Krauss. Krauss is an austrian from Vienna, as Freud. He was quite famous in Freud´s time. So famous that Freud tried to get hold of him for his personal campaign. But... Kraus lost all faith in psychoanalytic theory, and began to publish against Freud. For this he was punished by the Freudian establishment for unmasking the puppeteer.

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Freud and the Question of Pseudoscience
by Frank Cioffi

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Informative, entertaining, easy to read, provocative... a real must to read...

Albert Ellis has said that Cioffi´s book is a "brilliant criticism of Freud´s scientific integrity and truthfulness", and he has hit the mark in his review.

The Times Literary Supplement, says about the author and this book:

"Cioffi displays a remarkable knowledge of Freud's works and of writings on Freud from both sides of the fence. His own writing is saturated with indignation, scorn and high-spirited mockery, and his criticisms are delivered with a brilliant wit. His engagement with Freud's theories appears to be, in a very strong and specific sense, a personal matter. His stance is that of one whose legitimate expectations of fair dealing and honest accounting with another individual have been confounded. The basic issue for Cioffi is that of broken trust: Freud promised new discoveries, and feigned conformity to the rules of truth-seeking inquiry, but manufactured a pack of intricate and seductive falsehoods."

Frederick Crews states: "Exercising logical clarity and occasionally mischievous wit, Cioffi has retained his place as the most trenchant and provocative critic of psychoanalysis. Does the Freudian tradition deserve to survive? Some readers who are inclined to answer yes may change their minds after pondering this important book."

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Killing Freud. Twentieth century culture and the death of psychoanalysis

by Todd Dufresne

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Somebody has called it "a devastating critique" on Freud and psychoanalysis. Well it surely is a critique on many of the dogmas of psychoanalysis. But even if it is an entertaining book, well written, non dogmatic, it has a flaw: it usually uses information already well known. Nevertheless, for beginners it is a great choice. It is a good summary of how deceitful and dangerous is the theory of freundianism.

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Decline and Fall of the Freudian Empire

Hans J. Eysenck

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Eysenck is in his own field when analyzing if there are any scientific foundations for Freud´s theories. The author quite famous because of his work on the I. Q. and testing, shows an unrivaled knowledge of the flaws of dynamic psychology and dismiss it as a pseudo-science.

Eysenck is quite critical on the myth Freud and his credulous followers have created. He also shows consistently that psychoanalysis is unsuccessful in curing patients, and the theories about the dream interpretation, the Oedipus complex, slips of tongue are quite implausible and not seldom absolutely ridiculous.