The Temptation of Biology: Freud's Theories of Sexuality

The Temptation of Biology: Freud's Theories of Sexuality

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The Temptation of Biology is one of Laplanche’s central achievements in the
latter half of his career: a major monograph on sexuality. Originally published
in 1987 as Le fourvoiement biologisant de la sexualité chez Freud,
republished in 1999 as La sexualité humaine and as Problématiques VII in
2006, in this volume it is followed by Laplanche’s 1997 talk at the University
of Buenos Aires when he was awarded the title Doctor Honoris Causa, a
paper which addresses a key aspect of the monograph: “Biologism and
Biology.”

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Laplanche’s work is widely recognized as offering what may be the most
important – certainly the most coherent – development and correction of
Freud’s theories of sexuality. Building upon the 1984 volume New
Foundations for Psychoanalysis
, which Laplanche called the "hinge" of his
theorizing, this book examines the origins of infantile sexuality. Laplanche
works to demystify and demythologize the cult of biology within the work of
Freud and his successors, to develop a theory of sexuality that both
challenges and restores Freud's own foundational insights. In this remarkable
translation, the text remains just as clear and illuminating as the original
French. It is stimulating, rigorous, and (perhaps atypical for a work of theory)
a pleasure to read.

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