Reasons for the Freudian revolution

Psychoanal Q. 1977;46(4):623-49.


Freud's revolution may be viewed as the discovery of a way of locating in the mind objective entities which can be studied like physical things. If Freud's is representative of scientific revolutions, perhaps what Thomas Kuhn has described as a change of paradigm might generally consist of the demonstration of new entities. This particular revolution occurred in the setting of a prevalent concern about the entities underlying all of the sciences. Because of his genius for structural thought, Freud was able to respond satisfactorily to a challenge that all the sciences were facing. It is that common challenge rather than a popular exemplary model, such as mechanics or hydraulics, that shaped Freud's theory.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Conflict, Psychological
  • Forecasting
  • Freudian Theory*
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / etiology
  • Mental Processes
  • Philosophy, Medical
  • Psychoanalysis / history
  • Psychoanalytic Theory*
  • Science