Darwin-L Message Log 8:25 (April 1994)

Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

This is one message from the Archives of Darwin-L (1993–1997), a professional discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.

Note: Additional publications on evolution and the historical sciences by the Darwin-L list owner are available on SSRN.

<8:25>From KMURRAY@pitvax.xx.rmit.edu.au  Sun Apr 10 22:59:28 1994

Date: Mon, 11 Apr 1994 14:00:59 +1000
From: KEVIN MURRAY <KMURRAY@pitvax.xx.rmit.edu.au>
Subject: Darwin and Freud
To: Darwin-L@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu

I am currently working on a short piece about Darwin's influence on
Freud. The most quoted instance is probably from the _Introductory
Lectures to Psychoanalysis_ (1917), when Freud locates himself in a
line of descent from Copernicus to Darwin. A more theoretical link
is contained in _Totem and Taboo_, where Freud draws on Darwin's
hypothesis of the primal horde.

In a letter to Jung (14/5/1912), Freud writes:

  Many authors regard a primordial state of promiscuity as highly
  unlikely. I myself, in all modesty, favour a different hypothesis
  in regard to the primordial period -- Darwin's.

I presume this is the idea of the horde lead by a dominant male who
expelled rivalrous males, thus enforcing a kind of exogamy. Freud,
of course, proposed a second stage when the expelled sons return
to kill the leader/father.

I am curious to know how seriously Freud's participation in this argument
have been taken within the Darwinist tradition. Were there any Darwinists
who agreed with Freud's own positioning as the successor to Dawrin?

Kevin Murray
RMIT Australia

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