primal fantasy

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In psychoanalysis, a primitive fantasy (2) of the primal scene, infantile seduction, castration, or similar experiences, believed by Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) to be universal and to be transmitted by genetic inheritance from practices that were common occurrences in prehistory. Freud introduced the concept in an article on ‘A Case of Paranoia Running Counter to the Psycho-Analytic Theory of the Disease’ (1915): ‘I call such phantasies—of the observation of sexual intercourse between the parents, of seduction, of castration, and others—“primal phantasies”’ (Standard Edition, XIV, pp. 263–72, at p. 269), and he expounded this genetic theory in his book Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis (1916–17, Standard Edition, XV-XVI, at p. 371). See also seduction theory.

Subjects: Psychology.

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