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Foucault on Freud

For, as we see in the case study of Dora, his modus operandi of curing is based on the process of having people talk about their sexuality in terms of confession. Freud draws out Dora's experiences and emotions as if he were a police detective and she a murder suspect.

Foucault's second comment on the ways in which science talks about sex is that the scientist require that there be "a clinical codification of the inducement to speak". In other words, and of course we see this again with Freud and Dora, the scientist investigating sexuality attempts to determine the "symptoms" of sexual desire in the same manner that a physician attempts to determine the cause and nature of high blood pressure. There is a concentration on the physical manifestations of desire and also an attempt to somaticize the psychological aspects of sex.

Foucault's third commentary on scientific commentary on sexuality is that the scientist extracts "the truth of sex through the technique of confession" not only because the social strictures that surround sex set up taboos that can only be broken down and broken through by the act of confession but also because for most people "the ways of sex were obscure". Dora cannot talk about sex in the beginning of her therapy not necessarily because she is ashamed of it. In fact, we do not see that she is fundamentally ashamed of it; the sense of shame and guilt that manifests itself in hysteria is not something that we divi


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Foucault on Freud. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 13:10, October 23, 2014, from
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