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Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality Paperback – February 18, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0465097081 ISBN-10: 0465097081 Edition: Revised
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Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality + Plato Symposium (Hackett Classics) + Talk Dirty to Me: An Intimate Philosophy of Sex
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Language Notes

Text: English, German (translation)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; Revised edition (February 18, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465097081
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465097081
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Brian C. on September 12, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality is an important work for a number of reasons. Anyone in possession of even a passing familiarity with Freud will certainly be aware of the importance Freud places on the sexual instinct in his psychology. Freud's theories on human sexuality are often criticized for being reductionistic (for reducing love to sex) but as Freud himself says in his Preface to the fourth edition of this work, "anyone who looks down with contempt upon psycho-analysis from a superior vantage-point should remember how closely the enlarged sexuality of psycho-analysis coincides with the Eros of the divine Plato" (pg. xxx). Three Essays is one of Freud's most sustained analyses of this important aspect of his thought and is valuable for that reason alone. No one who is interested in Freudian psychology in general, Freud's theories on the sexual instinct in particular, or in human sexuality in general can afford to miss this book.

I also think this work is an important step (or can become one) towards dispelling some of the myths about sexuality (like the myth that heterosexuality is "natural" and homosexuality is "unnatural"). It is true that Freud still uses the term perversion when discussing homosexuality (which he calls inversion) but his analysis also tends to undermine the view that heterosexuality is in some sense more natural than homosexuality in a number of ways (or I should say Freud's analysis undermines the metaphysics of the sexual instinct that underlies such a view). The sexual instinct, for Freud, is complex and is something constructed in the concrete development of the individual; in other words, even the "normal" sexual instinct is unnatural to the degree that it is constructed and not innate or based on immutable laws of nature.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The content of this book is excellent. The analysis included is very useful. My primary problem is with the kindle edition of the book. The kindle edition does not include page numbers or a usable table of contents. I am using this book for a college class and I need to be able to cite passages by page number. ( I understand that official guidelines have been established for ebooks but some professors are old fashioned.) The lack of page numbers also makes it difficult when the professor assigns readings by the page number only and not the section or chapter title. I have used a competing marketplace's preview of the book to get a rough idea of the page numbers, but I eventually ended up buying the book from there as well.
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Freud's work should be read more as classical literature than as a collection of actual scientific essays. That being said, the Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality was an entertaining and interesting read.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Christina Stoker on April 12, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book specifically for a project I was working on in a Master's level history course. It was a wonderful primary source and met my needs well.
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