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英文,耶鲁1991年注释版,带页码可引用。 On Narcissism: An Introduction
Sigmund Freud

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Editor's Note to "On Narcissism: An Introduction"

James Strachey 

    (a) German Edition:

    1914 Zur EinfÜHrung Des Narzissmus Jb. Psychoan., 6, 1-24.

    1918 Zur EinfÜHrung Des Narzissmus S.K.S.N. 4, 78-112. (1922, 2nd ed.)

    1924 Zur EinfÜHrung Des Narzissmus Leipzig, Vienna and Zurich:, Internationaler Psycho-analytischer Verlag. Pp. 35.

    1925 Zur EinfÜHrung Des Narzissmus G.S., 6, 155-187.

    1931 Zur EinfÜHrung Des Narzissmus Theoretische Schriften, 25-57.

    1946 Zur EinfÜHrung Des Narzissmus G.W., 10, 138-170.

    (b) English Translation:

    On Narcissism: An Introduction’ 1925 C.P., 4, 30-59. (Tr. C. M. Baines.)

    The present translation is based on the one published in 1925.

    The title of this paper would have been more literally translated ‘On the Introduction of the Concept of Narcissism’. Freud had been using the term for many years previously. We learn from Ernest Jones (1955304) that at a meeting of the Vienna Psycho-Analytical Society on November 10, 1909, Freud had declared that narcissism was a necessary intermediate stage between auto-erotism and object-love. At about the same time he was preparing the second edition of the Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (1905d) for the press (the preface is dated ‘December, 1909’), and it seems probable that the first public mention of the new term is to be found in a footnote added to that edition (Standard Ed.7145 n.)—assuming, that is to say, that the new edition appeared in the early part of 1910. For at the end of May in the same year Freud's book on Leonardo (1910c) appeared, in which there is a considerably longer reference to narcissism (Standard Ed.11100). A paper on the subject by Rank, mentioned by Freud at the beginning of the present study, was published in 1911, and other references by Freud himself soon followed; e.g. in Section III of the Schreber

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analysis (1911c) and in Totem and Taboo (1912-13)Standard Ed.1388-90.

    The idea of writing the present paper emerges in Freud's letters for the first time in June, 1913, and he finished a first draft of it during a holiday in Rome in the third week of September of the same year. It was not until the end of February, 1914, that he started on the final version and it was completed a month later.

    The paper is among the most important of Freud's writings and may be regarded as one of the pivots in the evolution of his views. It sums up his earlier discussions on the subject of narcissism and considers the place taken by narcissism in sexual development; but it goes far beyond this. For it enters into the deeper problems of the relations between the ego and external objects, and it draws the new distinction between ‘ego-libido’ and ‘object-libido’. Furthermore—most important of all, perhaps—it introduces the concepts of the ‘ego ideal’ and of the self-observing agency related to it, which were the basis of what was ultimately to be described as the ‘super-ego’ in The Ego and the Id (1923b). And in addition to all this, at two points in the paper—at the end of the first section and at the beginning of the third—it trenches upon the controversies with Adler and Jung which were the principal theme of the ‘History of the Psycho-Analytic Movement’, written more or less simultaneously with the present work during the early months of 1914. Indeed, one of Freud's motives in writing this paper was, no doubt, to show that the concept of narcissism offers an alternative to Jung's non-sexual ‘libido’ and to Adler's ‘masculine protest’.

    These are far from being the only topics raised in the paper, and it is therefore scarcely surprising that it should have an unusual appearance of being over-compressed—of its framework bursting from the quantity of material it contains. Freud himself seems to have felt something of the kind. Ernest Jones tells us (1955340) that ‘he was very dissatisfied with the result’ and wrote to Abraham: ‘The “Narcissism” had a difficult labour and bears all the marks of a corresponding deformation.’

    However this may be, the paper is one which demands and repays prolonged study; and it was the starting-point of many later lines of thought. Some of these, for instance, were pursued further in ‘Mourning and Melancholia’ (1917e [1915]), p. 237

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below, and in Chapters VIII and XI of Group Psychology (1921c). The subject of narcissism, it may be added, occupies the greater part of Lecture XXVI of theIntroductory Lectures (1916-17). The further development of the fresh views on the structure of the mind which are already beginning to become apparent in the present paper led Freud later to a re-assessment of some of the statements he makes here, especially as regards the functioning of the ego. In this connection it must be pointed out that the meaning which Freud attached to ‘das Ich’ (almost invariably translated by ‘the ego’ in this edition) underwent a gradual modification. At first he used the term without any great precision, as we might speak of ‘the self’; but in his latest writings he gave it a very much more definite and narrow meaning. The present paper occupies a transitional point in this development. The whole topic will be found discussed more fully in the Editor's Introduction to The Ego and the Id (1923b).

    Extracts from the translation of this paper published in 1925 were included in Rickman's A General Selection from the Works of Sigmund Freud (1937, 118-41).

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Section Citation

    Strachey, J. (1914). On Narcissism. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XIV (1914-1916): On the History of the Psycho-Analytic Movement, Papers on Metapsychology and Other Works, 67-102

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On Narcissism: an Introduction


    The term narcissism is derived from clinical description and was chosen by Paul Näcke1 in 1899 to denote the attitude of a person who treats his own body in the same way in which the body of a sexual object is ordinarily treated—who looks at it, that is to say, strokes it and fondles it till he obtains complete satisfaction through these activities. Developed to this degree, narcissism has the significance of a perversion that has absorbed the whole of the subject's sexual life, and it will consequently exhibit the characteristics which we expect to meet with in the study of all perversions.

    Psycho-analytic observers were subsequently struck by the fact that individual features of the narcissistic attitude are found in many people who suffer from other disorders—for instance, as Sadger has pointed out, in homosexuals—and finally it seemed probable that an allocation of the libido such as deserved to be described as narcissism might be present far more extensively, and that it might claim a place in the regular course of human sexual development.2 Difficulties in psycho-analytic work upon neurotics led to the same supposition, for it seemed as though this kind of narcissistic attitude in them constituted one of the limits to their susceptibility to influence. Narcissism in this sense would not be a perversion, but the libidinal


1 [In a footnote added by Freud in 1920 to his Three Essays (1905dStandard Ed.7218 n.) he said that he was wrong in stating in the present paper that the term ‘narcissism’ was introduced by Näcke and that he should have attributed it to Havelock Ellis. Ellis himself, however, subsequently (1927) wrote a short paper in which he corrected Freud's correction and argued that the priority should in fact be divided between himself and Näcke, explaining that the term ‘narcissus-like’ had been used by him in 1898 as a description of a psychological attitude, and that Näcke in 1899 had introduced the term ‘Narcismus’ to describe a sexual perversion. The German word used by Freud is ‘Narzissmus’. In his paper on Schreber (1911c), near the beginning of Section III, he defends this form of the word on the ground of euphony against the possibly more correct ‘Narzissismus’.]

2 Otto Rank (1911c).

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complement to the egoism of the instinct of self-preservation, a measure of which may justifiably be attributed to every living creature.

    A pressing motive for occupying ourselves with the conception of a primary and normal narcissism arose when the attempt was made to subsume what we know of dementia praecox (Kraepelin) or schizophrenia (Bleuler) under the hypothesis of the libido theory. Patients of this kind, whom I have proposed to term paraphrenics,1 display two fundamental characteristics: megalomania and diversion of their interest from the external world—from people and things. In consequence of the latter change, they become inaccessible to the influence of psychoanalysis and cannot be cured by our efforts. But the paraphrenic's turning away from the external world needs to be more precisely characterized. A patient suffering from hysteria or obsessional neurosis has also, as far as his illness extends, given up his relation to reality. But analysis shows that he has by no means broken off his erotic relations to people and things. He still retains them in phantasy; i.e. he has, on the one hand, substituted for real objects imaginary ones from his memory, or has mixed the latter with the former; and on the other hand, he has renounced the initiation of motor activities for the attainment of his aims in connection with those objects. Only to this condition of the libido may we legitimately apply the term ‘introversion’ of the libido which is used by Jung indiscriminately.2 It is otherwise with the paraphrenic. He seems really to have withdrawn his libido from people and things in the external world, without replacing them by others in phantasy. When he does so replace them, the process seems to be a secondary one and to be part of an attempt at recovery, designed to lead the libido back to objects.3

    The question arises: What happens to the libido which has been withdrawn from external objects in schizophrenia? The megalomania characteristic of these states points the way. This megalomania has no doubt come into being at the expense of


1 [For a discussion of Freud's use of this term, see a long Editor's footnote near the end of Section III of the Schreber analysis (1911c).]

2 [Cf. a footnote in ‘The Dynamics of Transference’ (1912b).]

3 In connection with this see my discussion of the ‘end of the world’ in [Section III of] the analysis of Senatspräsident Schreber [1911c]; also Abraham, 1908. [See also below, p. 86.]

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object-libido. The libido that has been withdrawn from the external world has been directed to the ego and thus gives rise to an attitude which may be called narcissism. But the megalomania itself is no new creation; on the contrary, it is, as we know, a magnification and plainer manifestation of a condition which had already existed previously. This leads us to look upon the narcissism which arises through the drawing in of object-cathexes as a secondary one, superimposed upon a primary narcissism that is obscured by a number of different influences.

    Let me insist that I am not proposing here to explain or penetrate further into the problem of schizophrenia, but that I am merely putting together what has already been said elsewhere,1 in order to justify the introduction of the concept of narcissism.

    This extension of the libido theory—in my opinion, a legitimate one—receives reinforcement from a third quarter, namely, from our observations and views on the mental life of children and primitive peoples. In the latter we find characteristics which, if they occurred singly, might be put down to megalomania: an over-estimation of the power of their wishes and mental acts, the ‘omnipotence of thoughts’, a belief in the thaumaturgic force of words, and a technique for dealing with the external world—‘magic’—which appears to be a logical application of these grandiose premisses.2 In the children of to-day, whose development is much more obscure to us, we expect to find an exactly analogous attitude towards the external world.3 Thus we form the idea of there being an original libidinal cathexis of the ego, from which some is later given off to objects, but which fundamentally persists and is related to the object-cathexes much as the body of an amoeba is related to the pseudopodia which it puts out.4 In our


1 [See, in particular, the works referred to in the last footnote. On p. 86 below, Freud in fact penetrates further into the problem.]

2 Cf. the passages in my Totem and Taboo (1912-13) which deal with this subject. [These are chiefly in the third essay, Standard Ed.1383 ff.]

3 Cf. Ferenczi (1913a).

4 [Freud used this and similar analogies more than once again, e.g. in Lecture XXVI of his Introductory Lectures (1916-17) and in his short paper on ‘A Difficulty in the Path of Psycho-Analysis’ (1917a)Standard Ed.17139. He later revised some of the views expressed here. See the end of the Editor's Note, p. 71 above.]

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researches, taking, as they did, neurotic symptoms for their starting-point, this part of the allocation of libido necessarily remained hidden from us at the outset. All that we noticed were the emanations of this libido—the object-cathexes, which can be sent out and drawn back again. We see also, broadly speaking, an antithesis between ego-libido and object-libido.1 The more of the one is employed, the more the other becomes depleted. The highest phase of development of which object-libido is capable is seen in the state of being in love, when the subject seems to give up his own personality in favour of an object-cathexis; while we have the opposite condition in the paranoic's phantasy (or self-perception) of the ‘end of the world’.2 Finally, as regards the differentiation of psychical energies, we are led to the conclusion that to begin with, during the state of narcissism, they exist together and that our analysis is too coarse to distinguish between them; not until there is object-cathexis is it possible to discriminate a sexual energy—the libido—from an energy of the ego-instincts.3

    Before going any further I must touch on two questions which lead us to the heart of the difficulties of our subject. In the first place, what is the relation of the narcissism of which we are now speaking to auto-erotism, which we have described as an early state of the libido?4 Secondly, if we grant the ego a primary cathexis of libido, why is there any necessity for further distinguishing a sexual libido from a non-sexual energy of the ego-instincts? Would not the postulation of a single kind of psychical energy save us all the difficulties of differentiating an energy of the ego-instincts from ego-libido, and ego-libido from object-libido?5

    As regards the first question, I may point out that we are


1 [This distinction is drawn here by Freud for the first time.]

2 [See footnote 3, p. 74 above.] There are two mechanisms of this ‘end of the world’ idea: in the one case, the whole libidinal cathexis flows off to the loved object; in the other, it all flows back into the ego.

3 [Some account of the development of Freud's views on the instincts will be found in the Editor's Note to ‘Instincts and their Vicissitudes’, below p. 113 ff.]

4 [See the second of Freud's Three Essays (1905d)Standard Ed.7181-3.]

5 [Cf. a remark on this passage in the Editor's Note to ‘Instincts and their Vicissitudes’, p. 115 below.]

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bound to suppose that a unity comparable to the ego cannot exist in the individual from the start; the ego has to be developed. The auto-erotic instincts, however, are there from the very first; so there must be something added to auto-erotism—a new psychical action—in order to bring about narcissism.

    To be asked to give a definite answer to the second question must occasion perceptible uneasiness in every psycho-analyst. One dislikes the thought of abandoning observation for barren theoretical controversy, but nevertheless one must not shirk an attempt at clarification. It is true that notions such as that of an ego-libido, an energy of the ego-instincts, and so on, are neither particularly easy to grasp, nor sufficiently rich in content; a speculative theory of the relations in question would begin by seeking to obtain a sharply defined concept as its basis. But I am of opinion that that is just the difference between a speculative theory and a science erected on empirical interpretation. The latter will not envy speculation its privilege of having a smooth, logically unassailable foundation, but will gladly content itself with nebulous, scarcely imaginable basic concepts, which it hopes to apprehend more clearly in the course of its development, or which it is even prepared to replace by others. For these ideas are not the foundation of science, upon which everything rests: that foundation is observation alone. They are not the bottom but the top of the whole structure, and they can be replaced and discarded without damaging it. The same thing is happening in our day in the science of physics, the basic notions of which as regards matter, centres of force, attraction, etc., are scarcely less debatable than the corresponding notions in psycho-analysis.1

    The value of the concepts ‘ego-libido’ and ‘object-libido’ lies in the fact that they are derived from the study of the intimate characteristics of neurotic and psychotic processes. A differentiation of libido into a kind which is proper to the ego and one which is attached to objects is an unavoidable corollary to an original hypothesis which distinguished between sexual instincts and ego-instincts. At any rate, analysis of the pure transference neuroses (hysteria and obsessional neurosis) compelled me to make this distinction and I only know that all attempts to


1 [This line of thought was expanded by Freud in the opening passage of his paper on ‘Instincts and their Vicissitudes’ (1915c), below, p. 117.]

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account for these phenomena by other means have been completely unsuccessful.

    In the total absence of any theory of the instincts which would help us to find our bearings, we may be permitted, or rather, it is incumbent upon us, to start off by working out some hypothesis to its logical conclusion, until it either breaks down or is confirmed. There are various points in favour of the hypothesis of there having been from the first a separation between sexual instincts and others, ego-instincts, besides the serviceability of such a hypothesis in the analysis of the transference neuroses. I admit that this latter consideration alone would not be unambiguous, for it might be a question of an indifferent psychical energy1 which only becomes libido through the act of cathecting an object. But, in the first place, the distinction made in this concept corresponds to the common, popular distinction between hunger and love. In the second place, there are biological considerations in its favour. The individual does actually carry on a twofold existence: one to serve his own purposes and the other as a link in a chain, which he serves against his will, or at least involuntarily. The individual himself regards sexuality as one of his own ends; whereas from another point of view he is an appendage to his germplasm, at whose disposal he puts his energies in return for a bonus of pleasure. He is the mortal vehicle of a (possibly) immortal substance—like the inheritor of an entailed property, who is only the temporary holder of an estate which survives him. The separation of the sexual instincts from the ego-instincts would simply reflect this twofold function of the individual.2 Thirdly, we must recollect that all our provisional ideas in psychology will presumably some day be based on an organic substructure. This makes it probable that it is special substances and chemical processes which perform the operations of sexuality and provide for the extension of individual life into that of the species.3 We are taking this probability into account in replacing the special chemical substances by special psychical forces.

    I try in general to keep psychology clear from everything that


1 [This notion reappears in The Ego and the Id (1923b), Standard Edition19, 44, where the German word ‘indifferent’ is, however (in the uncorrected printings of that volume), wrongly translated ‘neutral’.

2 [The psychological bearing of Weismann's germ-plasm theory was discussed by Freud at much greater length in Chapter VI of Beyond the Pleasure Principle (1920g)Standard Ed.1845 ff.]

3 [See below, footnote 2, p. 125.]

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is different in nature from it, even biological lines of thought. For that very reason I should like at this point expressly to admit that the hypothesis of separate ego-instincts and sexual instincts (that is to say, the libido theory) rests scarcely at all upon a psychological basis, but derives its principal support from biology. But I shall be consistent enough [with my general rule] to drop this hypothesis if psycho-analytic work should itself produce some other, more serviceable hypothesis about the instincts. So far, this has not happened. It may turn out that, most basically and on the longest view, sexual energy—libido—is only the product of a differentiation in the energy at work generally in the mind. But such an assertion has no relevance. It relates to matters which are so remote from the problems of our observation, and of which we have so little cognizance, that it is as idle to dispute it as to affirm it; this primal identity may well have as little to do with our analytic interests as the primal kinship of all the races of mankind has to do with the proof of kinship required in order to establish a legal right of inheritance. All these speculations take us nowhere. Since we cannot wait for another science to present us with the final conclusions on the theory of the instincts, it is far more to the purpose that we should try to see what light may be thrown upon this basic problem of biology by a synthesis of the psychological phenomena. Let us face the possibility of error; but do not let us be deterred from pursuing the logical implications of the hypothesis we first adopted1 of an antithesis between ego-instincts and sexual instincts (a hypothesis to which we were forcibly led by analysis of the transference neuroses), and from seeing whether it turns out to be without contradictions and fruitful, and whether it can be applied to other disorders as well, such as schizophrenia.

    It would, of course, be a different matter if it were proved that the libido theory has already come to grief in the attempt to explain the latter disease. This has been asserted by C. G. Jung (1912) and it is on that account that I have been obliged to enter upon this last discussion, which I would gladly have been spared. I should have preferred to follow to its end the course embarked upon in the analysis of the Schreber case without any discussion of its premisses. But Jung's assertion is,


1 [‘Ersterwählte’ (‘first selected’) in the editions before 1924. The later editions read ‘ersterwähnte’ (‘first mentioned’), which seems to make less good sense and may be a misprint.]

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to say the least of it, premature. The grounds he gives for it are scanty. In the first place, he appeals to an admission of my own that I myself have been obliged, owing to the difficulties of the Schreber analysis, to extend the concept of libido (that is, to give up its sexual content) and to identify libido with psychical interest in general. Ferenczi (1913b), in an exhaustive criticism of Jung's work, has already said all that is necessary in correction of this erroneous interpretation. I can only corroborate his criticism and repeat that I have never made any such retractation of the libido theory. Another argument of Jung's, namely, that we cannot suppose that the withdrawal of the libido is in itself enough to bring about the loss of the normal function of reality,1 is no argument but a dictum. It ‘begs the question’,2 and saves discussion; for whether and how this is possible was precisely the point that should have been under investigation. In his next major work, Jung (1913 [339-40]) just misses the solution I had long since indicated: ‘At the same time’, he writes, ‘there is this to be further taken into consideration (a point to which, incidentally, Freud refers in his work on the Schreber case [1911c])—that the introversion of the libido sexualis leads to a cathexis of the “ego”, and that it may possibly be this that produces the result of a loss of reality. It is indeed a tempting possibility to explain the psychology of the loss of reality in this fashion.’ But Jung does not enter much further into a discussion of this possibility. A few lines3 later he dismisses it with the remark that this determinant ‘would result in the psychology of an ascetic anchorite, not in a dementia praecox’. How little this inapt analogy can help us to decide the question may be learnt from the consideration that an anchorite of this kind, who ‘tries to eradicate every trace of sexual interest’ (but only in the popular sense of the word ‘sexual’), does not even necessarily display any pathogenic allocation of the libido. He may have diverted his sexual interest from human beings entirely, and yet may have sublimated it into a heightened interest in the divine, in nature, or in the animal kingdom, without his libido having undergone an introversion on to his phantasies or a return to


1 [The phrase is from Janet (1909): ‘La fonction du réel’. See the opening sentences of Freud, 1911b.]

2 [In English in the original.]

3 [All the German editions read ‘Seiten’ (‘pages’), a misprint for ‘Zeilen’.]

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his ego. This analogy would seem to rule out in advance the possibility of differentiating between interest emanating from erotic sources and from others. Let us remember, further, that the researches of the Swiss school, however valuable, have elucidated only two features in the picture of dementia praecox—the presence in it of complexes known to us both in healthy and neurotic subjects, and the similarity of the phantasies that occur in it to popular myths—but that they have not been able to throw any further light on the mechanism of the disease. We may repudiate Jung's assertion, then, that the libido theory has come to grief in the attempt to explain dementia praecox, and that it is therefore disposed of for the other neuroses as well.

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    Certain special difficulties seem to me to lie in the way of a direct study of narcissism. Our chief means of access to it will probably remain the analysis of the paraphrenias. Just as the transference neuroses have enabled us to trace the libidinal instinctual impulses, so dementia praecox and paranoia will give us an insight into the psychology of the ego. Once more, in order to arrive at an understanding of what seems so simple in normal phenomena, we shall have to turn to the field of pathology with its distortions and exaggerations. At the same time, other means of approach remain open to us, by which we may obtain a better knowledge of narcissism. These I shall now discuss in the following order: the study of organic disease, of hypochondria and of the erotic life of the sexes.

    In estimating the influence of organic disease upon the distribution of libido, I follow a suggestion made to me orally by Sándor Ferenczi. It is universally known, and we take it as a matter of course, that a person who is tormented by organic pain and discomfort gives up his interest in the things of the external world, in so far as they do not concern his suffering. Closer observation teaches us that he also withdraws libidinal interest from his love-objects: so long as he suffers, he ceases to love. The commonplace nature of this fact is no reason why we should be deterred from translating it into terms of the libido theory. We should then say: the sick man withdraws his libidinal cathexes back upon his own ego, and sends them out again when he recovers. ‘Concentrated is his soul’, says Wilhelm Busch of the poet suffering from toothache, ‘in his molar's narrow hole.’1 Here libido and ego-interest share the same fate and are once more indistinguishable from each other. The familiar egoism of the sick person covers both. We find it so natural because we are certain that in the same situation we should behave in just the same way. The way in which a lover's feelings, however strong, are banished by bodily ailments, and


    [Einzig in der engen Höhle

    Des Backenzahnes weilt die Seele.

    Balduin Bählamm, Chapter VIII.]

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suddenly replaced by complete indifference, is a theme which has been exploited by comic writers to an appropriate extent.

    The condition of sleep, too, resembles illness in implying a narcissistic withdrawal of the positions of the libido on to the subject's own self, or, more precisely, on to the single wish to sleep. The egoism of dreams fits very well into this context. [Cf. below, p. 223.] In both states we have, if nothing else, examples of changes in the distribution of libido that are consequent upon an alteration of the ego.

    Hypochondria, like organic disease, manifests itself in distressing and painful bodily sensations, and it has the same effect as organic disease on the distribution of libido. The hypochondriac withdraws both interest and libido—the latter specially markedly—from the objects of the external world and concentrates both of them upon the organ that is engaging his attention. A difference between hypochondria and organic disease now becomes evident: in the latter, the distressing sensations are based upon demonstrable [organic] changes; in the former, this is not so. But it would be entirely in keeping with our general conception of the processes of neurosis if we decided to say that hypochondria must be right: organic changes must be supposed to be present in it, too.

    But what could these changes be? We will let ourselves be guided at this point by our experience, which shows that bodily sensations of an unpleasurable nature, comparable to those of hypochondria, occur in the other neuroses as well. I have said before that I am inclined to class hypochondria with neurasthenia and anxiety-neurosis as a third ‘actual’ neurosis.1 It would probably not be going too far to suppose that in the case of the other neuroses a small amount of hypochondria was regularly formed at the same time as well. We have the best


1 [This seems to have been first hinted at in a footnote near the end of Section II of the Schreber case (1911c). It was again briefly, though more explicitly, mentioned by Freud in his closing remarks on masturbation at a discussion in the Vienna Psycho-Analytical Society (1912f). He returned to the subject later towards the end of Lecture XXIV of the Introductory Lectures (1916-17). At a much earlier period, Freud had already approached the question of the relation between hypochondria and the other ‘actual’ neuroses. See Section I (2) of his first paper on anxiety neurosis (1895b).]

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example of this, I think, in anxiety neurosis with its superstructure of hysteria. Now the familiar prototype of an organ that is painfully tender, that is in some way changed and that is yet not diseased in the ordinary sense, is the genital organ in its states of excitation. In that condition it becomes congested with blood, swollen and humected, and is the seat of a multiplicity of sensations. Let us now, taking any part of the body, describe its activity of sending sexually exciting stimuli to the mind as its ‘erotogenicity’, and let us further reflect that the considerations on which our theory of sexuality was based have long accustomed us to the notion that certain other parts of the body—the ‘erotogenic’ zones—may act as substitutes for the genitals and behave analogously to them.1 We have then only one more step to take. We can decide to regard erotogenicity as a general characteristic of all organs and may then speak of an increase or decrease of it in a particular part of the body. For every such change in the erotogenicity of the organs there might then be a parallel change of libidinal cathexis in the ego. Such factors would constitute what we believe to underlie hypochondria and what may have the same effect upon the distribution of libido as is produced by a material illness of the organs.

    We see that, if we follow up this line of thought, we come up against the problem not only of hypochondria, but of the other ‘actual’ neuroses—neurasthenia and anxiety neurosis. Let us therefore stop at this point. It is not within the scope of a purely psychological inquiry to penetrate so far behind the frontiers of physiological research. I will merely mention that from this point of view we may suspect that the relation of hypochondria to paraphrenia is similar to that of the other ‘actual’ neuroses to hysteria and obsessional neurosis: we may suspect, that is, that it is dependent on ego-libido just as the others are on object-libido, and that hypochondriacal anxiety is the counterpart, as coming from ego-libido, to neurotic anxiety. Further, since we are already familiar with the idea that the mechanism of falling ill and of the formation of symptoms in the transference neuroses—the path from introversion to regression—is to be linked to a damming-up of object-libido,2 we may come to closer quarters with the idea of a damming-up


1 [Cf. Three Essays (1905d)Standard Ed.7183 f.]

2 Cf. [the opening pages of] ‘Types of Onset of Neurosis’ (1912c).

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of ego-libido as well and may bring this idea into relation with the phenomena of hypochondria and paraphrenia.

    At this point, our curiosity will of course raise the question why this damming-up of libido in the ego should have to be experienced as unpleasurable. I shall content myself with the answer that unpleasure is always the expression of a higher degree of tension, and that therefore what is happening is that a quantity in the field of material events is being transformed here as elsewhere into the psychical quality of unpleasure. Nevertheless it may be that what is decisive for the generation of unpleasure is not the absolute magnitude of the material event, but rather some particular function of that absolute magnitude.1Here we may even venture to touch on the question of what makes it necessary at all for our mental life to pass beyond the limits of narcissism and to attach the libido to objects.2 The answer which would follow from our line of thought would once more be that this necessity arises when the cathexis of the ego with libido exceeds a certain amount. A strong egoism is a protection against falling ill, but in the last resort we must begin to love in order not to fall ill, and we are bound to fall ill if, in consequence of frustration, we are unable to love. This follows somewhat on the lines of Heine's picture of the psychogenesis of the Creation:

    Krankheit ist wohl der letzte Grund

    Des ganzen Schöpferdrangs gewesen;

    Erschaffend konnte ich genesen,

    Erschaffend wurde ich gesund.3

    We have recognized our mental apparatus as being first and foremost a device designed for mastering excitations which would otherwise be felt as distressing or would have pathogenic effects. Working them over in the mind helps remarkably towards an internal draining away of excitations which are incapable of direct discharge outwards, or for which such a


1 [This whole question is discussed much more fully in ‘Instincts and their Vicissitudes’ (1915c), below, p. 119 ff. For the use of the term ‘quantity’ in the last sentence, see Part I, Section 1, of Freud's ‘Project’ (1950a), written in 1895.]

2 [A much more elaborate discussion of this problem too will be found in ‘Instincts and their Vicissitudes’ (1915c), p. 134 ff. below.]

3 [God is imagined as saying: ‘Illness was no doubt the final cause of the whole urge to create. By creating, I could recover; by creating, I became healthy.’ Neue Gedichte, ‘Schöpfungslieder VII’.]

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discharge is for the moment undesirable. In the first instance, however, it is a matter of indifference whether this internal process of working-over is carried out upon real or imaginary objects. The difference does not appear till later—if the turning of the libido on to unreal objects (introversion) has led to its being dammed up. In paraphrenics, megalomania allows of a similar internal working-over of libido which has returned to the ego; perhaps it is only when the megalomania fails that the damming-up of libido in the ego becomes pathogenic and starts the process of recovery which gives us the impression of being a disease.

    I shall try here to penetrate a little further into the mechanism of paraphrenia and shall bring together those views which already seem to me to deserve consideration. The difference between paraphrenic affections and the transference neuroses appears to me to lie in the circumstance that, in the former, the libido that is liberated by frustration does not remain attached to objects in phantasy, but withdraws on to the ego. Megalomania would accordingly correspond to the psychical mastering of this latter amount of libido, and would thus be the counterpart of the introversion on to phantasies that is found in the transference neuroses; a failure of this psychical function gives rise to the hypochondria of paraphrenia and this is homologous to the anxiety of the transference neuroses. We know that this anxiety can be resolved by further psychical working-over, i.e. by conversion, reaction-formation or the construction of protections (phobias). The corresponding process in paraphrenics is an attempt at restoration, to which the striking manifestations of the disease are due. Since paraphrenia frequently, if not usually, brings about only a partial detachment of the libido from objects, we can distinguish three groups of phenomena in the clinical picture: (1) those representing what remains of a normal state or of neurosis (residual phenomena); (2) those representing the morbid process (detachment of libido from its objects and, further, megalomania, hypochondria, affective disturbance and every kind of regression); (3) those representing restoration, in which the libido is once more attached to objects, after the manner of a hysteria (in dementia praecox or paraphrenia proper), or of an obsessional neurosis (in paranoia). This fresh libidinal cathexis differs from the primary one in that it starts from another level and under other

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conditions.1 The difference between the transference neuroses brought about in the case of this fresh kind of libidinal cathexis and the corresponding formations where the ego is normal should be able to afford us the deepest insight into the structure of our mental apparatus.

    A third way in which we may approach the study of narcissism is by observing the erotic life of human beings, with its many kinds of differentiation in man and woman. Just as object-libido at first concealed ego-libido from our observation, so too in connection with the object-choice of infants (and of growing children) what we first noticed was that they derived their sexual objects from their experiences of satisfaction. The first auto-erotic sexual satisfactions are experienced in connection with vital functions which serve the purpose of self-preservation. The sexual instincts are at the outset attached to the satisfaction of the ego-instincts; only later do they become independent of these, and even then we have an indication of that original attachment in the fact that the persons who are concerned with a child's feeding, care, and protection become his earliest sexual objects: that is to say, in the first instance his mother or a substitute for her. Side by side, however, with this type and source of object-choice, which may be called the ‘anaclitic’ or ‘attachment’ type,2 psycho-analytic research has revealed a second


1 [See some further remarks on this at the end of the paper on ‘The Unconscious’ (pp. 203-4 below).]

2 [‘Anlehnungstypus.’ Literally, ‘leaning-on type’. The term has been rendered in English as the ‘anaclitic type’ by analogy with the grammatical term ‘enclitic’, used of particles which cannot be the first word in a sentence, but must be appended to, or must lean up against, a more important one, e.g. the Latin ‘enim’ or the Greek ‘δε’. This seems to be the first published appearance of the actual term ‘Anlehnungstypus’. The idea that a child arrives at its first sexual object on the basis of its nutritional instinct is to be found in the first edition of the Three Essays (1905d)Standard Ed.7222; but the two or three explicit mentions in that work of the ‘anaclitic type’ were not added to it until the 1915 edition. The concept was very clearly foreshadowed near the beginning of the second of Freud's papers on the psychology of love (1912d)Standard Ed.11180-1. The term ‘angelehnte’ (‘attached’) is used in a similar sense near the beginning of Section III of the Schreber case history (1911c), but the underlying hypothesis is not stated there.—It should be noted that the ‘attachment’ (or ‘Anlehnung’) indicated by the term is that of the sexual instincts to the ego-instincts, not of the child to its mother.]

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type, which we were not prepared for finding. We have discovered, especially clearly in people whose libidinal development has suffered some disturbance, such as perverts and homosexuals, that in their later choice of love-objects they have taken as a model not their mother but their own selves. They are plainly seeking themselves as a love-object, and are exhibiting a type of object-choice which must be termed ‘narcissistic’. In this observation we have the strongest of the reasons which have led us to adopt the hypothesis of narcissism.

    We have, however, not concluded that human beings are divided into two sharply differentiated groups, according as their object-choice conforms to the anaclitic or to the narcissistic type; we assume rather that both kinds of object-choice are open to each individual, though he may show a preference for one or the other. We say that a human being has originally two sexual objects—himself and the woman who nurses him—and in doing so we are postulating a primary narcissism in everyone, which may in some cases manifest iself in a dominating fashion in his object-choice.

    A comparison of the male and female sexes then shows that there are fundamental differences between them in respect of their type of object-choice, although these differences are of course not universal. Complete object-love of the attachment type is, properly speaking, characteristic of the male. It displays the marked sexual overvaluation which is doubtless derived from the child's original narcissism and thus corresponds to a transference of that narcissism to the sexual object. This sexual overvaluation is the origin of the peculiar state of b

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