Psychoanalytic Theories

Ralph Colp Jr. M.D.

in Darwin's Illness

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9780813032313
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039237 | DOI:
Psychoanalytic Theories

Show Summary Details


Dr. Edward Kempf's explanations and diagnosis of Charles Darwin need more evidence and discussion. A succession of psychoanalytically-oriented psychiatrists then argued that Darwin felt hostility for his father. Douglas Hubble contended that Darwin needed to deny the occasion when his father rebuked him for being idle and predicted that he would become a “disgrace” to himself and his family. Dr. Rankine Good pictured a direct struggle of a son revolting from his father. In 1963, Phyllis Greenacre wrote that Darwin had an “unusual capacity for neurotic denial”, and that it was his need to deny his paternal aggression which contributed to his illness. Following the appearance of the views of Hubble, Good, and Greenacre, with their emphasis on Darwin's paternal hostility, several individuals questioned the validity of these views by putting them into a larger perspective. In 1990, John Bowlby, in his biography of Darwin, delineated two kinds of father–son interactions. Bowlby's view that Darwin sometimes doubted his father's good opinion of his work seems more plausible than the view that he had conscious and unconscious paternal hostility.

Keywords: Charles Darwin; Dr. Edward Kempf; Dr. Rankine Good; Phyllis Greenacre; paternal hostility; John Bowlby; psychoanalytic theories

Chapter.  1221 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.