Freud’s Shibboleth: Psychoanalysis
Freud’s story begins at the Institute of Ernest Brücke, professor of physiology at the University of Vienna.2 In Brücke’s laboratory, Freud spent 6 years, 1876–1882. There, in addition to being introduced to reductionistic physiology and publishing a few neurological papers, he first met Josef Breuer. He also studied with the phenomenologist, Franz Brentano, and translated some of his works. Freud received the MD in 1881. The years 1882–1893 became his period of clinical training. He published a single experimental study, the effects of cocaine on muscular strength in 1885. He prescribed the drug for his patients, took it frequently himself, and introduced it to his medical colleagues until one of them died of it through the deleterious effect of the cocaine on a preexisting medical condition. But in all this, Freud never mastered the methodology of the experimental laboratory.