1st Edition

Deconstructing Normativity?
Re-reading Freud’s 1905 Three Essays

ISBN 9781138232594
Published February 16, 2017 by Routledge
132 Pages

USD $62.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Deconstructing Normativity? brings together a unique collection of chapters in which an international selection of contributors reflect on the fundamental and often very radical ideas present in Freud’s original 1905 edition of the Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality.

The book has three aims: the contextualization of the text, the reconstruction of its central ideas and the further philosophical reflection of the contemporary relevance and critical potential of the 1905 edition. The authors challenge mainstream interpretations of the Three Essays, generally based on readings of the final 1924 edition of the text, and of the development of Freudian thought: including, most importantly, the centrality of the Oedipus complex and the developmental approach relative to a tendency towards heteronormativity. Deconstructing Normativity? makes an important contribution in rethinking Freudian psychoanalysis and reopening the discussion on its central paradigms, and in so doing it connects with queer and gender theories and philosophical approaches.

This book will be essential reading for psychoanalysts in practice and training, as well as academics and students of psychoanalysis, philosophical anthropology, continental philosophy, sex, gender and sexualities.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Excavating a Theory of Sexuality Philippe van Haute & Herman Westerink  2. Understanding Freud’s conflicted View of the Object-Relatedness of Sexuality and its Implications for Contemporary Psychoanalysis: A Re-examination of Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality Rachel Blass  3. Freud’s Discussion with Psychiatry on Sexuality, Drives and Objects in Three Essays  Herman Westerink  4. The pre-Freudian Modernization of Sexuality: Richard von Krafft-Ebing and Albert Moll Harry Oosterhuis  5. The Mystery of the Erased Sentence in Freud’s Three Essays Patrick Vandermeersch  6. Freud reads Krafft-Ebing – The Case of Sadism and Masochism Jens De Vleminck  7. Variations, Components, and Accidents: Critical Reflections on Freud’s Concept of the Drive Monique David-Ménard  8. Lacan meets Freud? Patho-analytic Reflections on the Status of the Perversions in Lacanian Metapsychology Philippe van Haute  9. Epilogue: The Three Essays Today Philippe van Haute & Herman Westerink

View More



Philippe Van Haute is professor of philosophical anthropology at Radboud University, the Netherlands, and extraordinary professor at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. He is a practising psychoanalyst and was president of the Belgian School for Psychoanalysis from 2006 to 2009.

Herman Westerink is lecturer at the Center for Contemporary European Philosophy, Radboud University, the Netherlands, and extraordinary professor at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium.


"Freud’s Three Essays is treated here as a palimpsest that contributors tease apart with forensic care. Van Haute and Westerink, masterminding a vital de-heterosexualizing of psychoanalysis, present a dramatically revised theory of sexuality. From Deconstructing Normativity? emerges a compelling picture of Freud as the original anti-Oedipus." - — Tim Dean, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; author of Unlimited Intimacy

Deconstructing Normativity? is an important and timely collection that sheds new light on Freud’s Three Essays of Sexuality.  This volume makes a vital contribution to contemporary discussions of sexuality and psychoanalysis.’ – Elissa Marder, Professor of French and Comparative Literature, Emory University, USA