On the psychoanalytic theory of affects : Autumn 1953 : David Rapaport

by Julia Evans on September 1, 1953

Published: International Journal of Psychoanalysis: Vol 34: 3rd part: 1953 : p166-198

Download at www.LacanianWorksExchange.net   /authors a-z (Rapaport) or authors by date  (Autumn 1953)

Further texts on Lacanian History  https://lacanianworks.net/category/lacanianworks-references-to-freud-lacan/some-lacanian-history/   

Texts by David Rapaport  https://lacanianworks.net/category/by-author/rapoport-david/  & www.LacanianWorksExchange.net  /authors a-z (Rapaport)

Access to references quoted by David Rapaport

(3) Bleuler, E. ‘Affectivity, Suggestibility, Paranoia ‘, State Hosp. Bull., 4, 48l-60, 1912. Related text : Eugene Bleuler : The prognosis of dementia praecox: the group of schizophrenias : See here   http://www.lacanianworks.net/?p=650    

(5) Breuer, J. and Freud, S. (1895). Studies in Hysteria. Trans. by A. A. Brill, New York, Nerv. and Ment. Dis. Monographs, 1937. See, translated by James Strachey, Sigmund Freud : Studies on Hysteria : 1893-1895SE II, Published at  https://www.freud2lacan.com/freud-philosophy/   /15. STUDIES ON HYSTERIA—with Breuer’s original case history sent to Robert Binswanger in Kreuzlingen 

(8) Deutsch, H. ‘Some Forms of Emotional Disturbance and Their Relationship to Schizophrenia’, Yearb. of Psa., l, 12l-136, 1945. See Helene Deutsch : Some forms of emotional disturbance and their relationship to schizophrenia (known as the ‘as if’ case) : 1942 : Information http://www.lacanianworks.net/?p=480  

(17a) Freud, A. (1930. The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defense. New York, Int. Univ. Press, 1946.  Related text : Anna Freud : Chapter 4 – The Mechanism of Defence : 1936 : Information   here   http://www.lacanianworks.net/?p=12696  

(18) Freud, S. (1893). ‘On the Psychical Mechanism of Hysterical Phenomena’, See The Psychic Mechanism of Hysterical Phenomena (1893) Josef Breuer & Sigmund Freud, SE II p1 – 18 : Published at  https://www.freud2lacan.com/freud-philosophy/   /15. STUDIES ON HYSTERIA—with Breuer’s original case history sent to Robert Binswanger in Kreuzlingen

(19) Freud S (1894). ‘The Defence Neuro-Psychoses Probably as above

(20) —– (1894). ‘The Justification for Detaching from Neurasthenia a Particular Syndrome: The Anxiety-Neurosis’  See Grounds for Detaching a Particular Syndrome from Neurasthenia under the Description “Anxiety Neurosis’ : June 1894 [1895b] : SE III p85-115

(21) —– (1895). ‘ Entwurf einer Psychologie’, Aus den Anfängen der Psychoanalyse,  See The Project for a Scientific Psychology: 23rd & 25th September & 5th October 1895: Sigmund Freud  or    http://www.lacanianworks.net/?p=401        s

(22) —– (1898). ‘Sexuality in the Aetiology of the Neuroses’  Probably My Views On The Part Played By Sexuality In The Aetiology Of The Neuroses : 1906a : Sigmund Freud : SE VII

(23) —– (1900). ‘The Interpretation of Dreams’  See The Interpretation of Dreams: 1st November 1899 (published as 1900): Sigmund Freud  or   http://www.lacanianworks.net/?p=655   Published SE IV & V, bilingual at www.Freud2Lacan.com /homepage ( The complete bilingual of THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS and ON DREAMS   Chapters I-V, Chapter V, Chapter VI, Chapter VII, ON DREAMS; Bibliographies, Indices)

(24) —– (1909). ‘ Analysis of a Phobia in a Five-Year-Old Boy’  See Analysis of a Phobia in a Five-year-old Boy – ‘Little Hans’: 1909SE X p5-149, Published www.Freud2Lacan.com /homepage  (Analysis of a Phobia in a Five-year-old Boy (Little Hans))

(25) —– (191l). ‘ Formulations Regarding the Two Principles in Mental Functioning’ Put on LW & LWE _ Done

(26) —– (1914). ‘ Further Recommendations in the Technique of Psycho-Analysis. Recollection, Repetition and Working Through’  See Remembering, Repeating and Working Through (Further Recommendations in the Technique of Psychoanalysis II) : 1914 : Sigmund Freud, SE XII p145 -156.  Published, bilingual, by www.Freud2Lacan.com /Freud: The Metapsychological Papers, Papers on Technique and others (Papers on technique)

(27) —– (1915). ‘ Repression’,  See Repression : (1915d) : Sigmund Freud,  SE XIV p141-158.  Published. bilingual, at www.freud2Lacan.com  / Freud: The Metapsychological Papers, Papers on Technique and others (7. Repression)

(28) —– (1915). ‘The Unconscious’ : (‘Das Unbewusste’) The unconscious : 1915e : Sigmund Freud, SE XIV p159-215

 The final section of Freud’s paper on the The Unconscious seems to have roots in his early monograph ’On Aphasia’ (1891).  Published bilingual at www.Freud2Lacan.com  / Freud: The Metapsychological Papers, Papers on Technique and others (8. The Unconscious : Parts 1-2, Parts 3-5, Parts 6-7, Appendices A-B)

(29) —– (1917). ‘ Mourning and Melancholia ‘ See Mourning and Melancholia: 1915 [published 1917e] : Sigmund Freud, SE XIV p238-259 : Published bilingual at www.Freud2Lacan.com   /Freud: The Metapsychological Papers,  Papers on Technique and others  (10.  Mourning and Melancholia)

(30) —– (1920). ‘Beyond the Pleasure Principle’. See Beyond the Pleasure Principle : 1920g : Sigmund Freud, SE XVIII  p1-64,  Available bilingual as published at www.Freud2Lacan.com   //homepage (BEYOND THE PLEASURE PRINCIPLE)

(31) —– (1923). ‘The Ego and the Id’ See The Ego & the Id (‘Das Ich und das Es’) : 1920 [1923]: Sigmund Freud, SE XIX p12-63, Published bilingual at www.Freud2Lacan.com / Freud/Philosophy  (28. THE EGO AND THE ID (Das Ich und das Es))  

(32) —– (1925). ‘A Note upon the “Mystic Writing-Pad”’ See A Note upon the ‘Mystic Writing-Pad’ : Autumn 1924 [1925a] : Sigmund Freud, Notiz ober den ‘Wunderblock’ : SE XIX p227-234. Published bilingual at www.Freud2Lacan.com  / Freud/Philosophy (10.  A Note Upon the ‘Mystic Writing-Pad’ (Notiz über den »Wunderblock«))         

(33) —– (1920). The Problem of Anxiety

The Problem of Anxiety. By Sigmund Freud. English Translation by H. A. Bunker. (New York: W. W. Norton, Inc., 1936.)  


Sigmund Freud (1856–1939).  A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis.  1920,  Part Three: General Theory of the Neuroses, XXV. Fear and Anxiety


Lecture XXV Anxiety : 1917 : Sigmund Freud,   SE XVI :  Download, James Strachey’s translation & notes, PFL, at www.LacanianWorksExchange.net  /Freud (1917)

(34) —– (1928).  Humour,  An extract

(1928). International Journal of Psychoanalysis , 9():1-6


Sigmund Freud  

In my work on Wit and its relation to the Unconscious (1905) I considered humour really from the economic point of view alone. My object was to discover the source of the pleasure derived from humour, and I think I was able to show that that pleasure proceeds from a saving in expenditure of affect.

There are two ways in which the process at work in humour may take place. Either one person may himself adopt a humorous attitude, while a second person acts as spectator, and derives enjoyment from the attitude of the first; or there may be two people concerned, one of whom does not himself take any active share in producing the humorous effect, but is regarded by the other in a humorous light. To take a very crude example: when the criminal who is being led to the gallows on a Monday observes, ‘Well, this is a good beginning to the week’, he himself is creating the humour; the process works itself out in relation to himself and evidently it affords him a certain satisfaction. I am merely a listener who has not assisted in this functioning of his sense of humour, but I feel its effect, as it were from a distance. I detect in myself a certain humorous satisfaction, possibly much as he does.

We have an instance of the second type of humour when a writer or a comedian depicts the behaviour of real or imaginary people in a humorous fashion. There is no need for the people described to display any humour; the humorous attitude only concerns the person who makes them the object of it, and the reader or hearer shares his enjoyment of the humour, as in the former instance.


(1927).  The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud,  21():159-166

SE XXI p159-166


Sigmund Freud  


Editor’s Note to “Humour”

By James Strachey

(a) German Editions:

1927 Der Humor Almanack 1928, 9-16.

1928 Der Humor Imago, 14 (1), 1-6.

1928 Der Humor G.S., 11, 402-8.

1948 Der Humor G.W., 14, 383-9.

(b) English Translation:

1928 ‘Humour’ Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 9 (1), 1-6. (Tr. Joan Riviere.)

1950 ‘Humour’ C.P., 5, 215-21. (Revised reprint of above.)

The present translation is a corrected version of that published in 1950.

Freud wrote this paper in five days during the second week of August, 1927 (Jones, 1957, 146), and it was read on his behalf by Anna Freud on September 1, before the Tenth International Psycho-Analytical Congress at Innsbruck. It was first published in the autumn of the same year in the psycho-analytic ‘Almanac’ for 1928.

The paper returns, after an interval of more than twenty years, to the subject discussed in the last section of the book on Jokes (1905c). Freud now considers it in the light of his new structural picture of the human mind. Some interesting metapsychological points emerge in the later pages of the paper, and for the first time we find the super-ego presented in an amiable mood.

(35) —– (1937). ‘Analysis Terminable and Interminable’.  See Sigmund Freud : Analysis Terminable & Interminable : 1937c, SE XXIII, p209-54.  Published, bilingual, at www.Freud2Lacan.com /Homepage  (Analysis Terminable and Interminable (Die endliche und die unendliche Analyse))

(37) GLOVER  E. ‘The Psycho-Analysis of Affects’ Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 20, 299-307, 1939. See Edward Glover : The Psycho-analysis of Affects : 1939 : Information  http://www.lacanianworks.net/?p=900

Cited by Jacques Lacan in Seminar X

Seminar X 24th  November 1962, pII 13-14 of Cormac Gallagher’s translation, www.LacaninIreland.com,

More, paradoxically, than what we can find in recent, modern developments – let us call things by their name: the nineteenth century – of a psychology which claimed to be, without no doubt being fully entitled to do so, more experimental. This again, this path, has the inconvenience of pushing us in the direction, into the category of the classification of affects, and experience proves that too great an abandon in this direction only culminates for us – and even however centrally we may bring it, with respect to our experience, to that part to which a little earlier I gave the trait, the accent of theory * – in obvious impasses a lovely testimony of which for example is given by this article which appears in Tome 34, the third part of 1953 of the International Journal, where Mr David Rapaport attempts a psychoanalytic theory of affect. 

This article is really exemplary for the properly dismaying evaluation, at which as a matter of fact it culminates, without the author dreaming of hiding it, namely the astonishing result that an author who announces by this title an article which after all could not fail to allow us to hope for something new, original, to come out of it as regards what the analyst can think about affect, should finally culminate only in him also, staying strictly within analytic theory, giving a catalogue of the acceptations in which this term has been used, and seeing that within the very theory itself these acceptations are irreducible to one another, the first being that of affect conceived of as constituting substantially the discharge of the drive, the second within the same theory, and, to go even further, supposedly from the Freudian text itself: affect being nothing but the connotation of a tension at its different phases, usually conflictual, affect constituting the [p14] connotation of this tension in so far as it varies, a connotation of the variation of tension, and a third term equally marked as irreducible in Freudian theory itself: affect constituting in a properly topographical reference the signal at the level of the ego concerning something happening elsewhere, the danger coming from elsewhere. The important thing is that he notes that there still subsists, in the debates of the most recently emerging authors in analytic discussion, divergent claims about the primacy of each one of these three meanings, so that nothing can be resolved about it. And that the author in question can say no more to us about it, is all the same indeed the sign that here the method described as “cataloguing” cannot here be marked indeed by any profound gain, since it culminates in impasses, even indeed in a very special type of infecundity. 

There is, differentiating itself from this method – I apologise for going on so long today about a question which is nevertheless of great interest as a preamble, as regard the timeliness of what we are doing here, and it is not for nothing that I am introducing it, as you will see as regards anxiety** [concernant l’angoisse] – the method that I would call, using a need for consonance with the preceding term, the method of analogy, which will lead us to discern what one can call levels. I saw in a work which I will not otherwise quote today, an attempted gathering together of this kind, where one sees, in separate chapters, anxiety conceived as it is put – it is an English work – biologically, then socially, sociologically, then as far as I know culturally, culturellement, as if it were enough in this way to reveal, at supposedly independent levels, analogical positions, to succeed in doing anything more than separating out, no longer what I called earlier a classification, but here a sort of type. 

We know what this method culminates in: in what is called an anthropology. Anthropology, to our eyes, is something which, of all the paths to which we might commit ourselves, involves the greatest number of the most hazardous presuppositions. What such a method culminates in, no matter how eclectic it is, is always and necessarily what we, in our familiar vocabulary, and without making of this name or of this title the index of someone who has even occupied such an eminent position, is what we call Jungianism. 

On the subject of anxiety*** [Sur le sujet de l’anxiété], this will necessarily lead us to the theme of this central core which is the absolutely necessary thematic at which such a path culminates. This means that it is very far from what is involved in experience. Experience leads us to what I would call here the third way which I would place under the index, under the heading of the function of what I would call that of the key. 

* This may be a reference to Sacha Nacht.  See What is concealed by the so-called “Cht” and why? : 9th March 2019 : Réginald Blanchet or   http://www.lacanianworks.net/?p=12329  &   https://lacanianworks.net/category/by-author/nacht-sacha/

** ‘concernant l’angoisse’ in the French transcript, so ‘concerning anguish/angst’ – see note on translation in Seminar X  here http://www.lacanianworks.net/?p=212

*** ‘Sur le sujet de l’anxiété’, in the French transcript, so ‘On the subject of anxiety’

Seminar X Seminar X: The Anxiety (or Dread): 1962-1963: begins 14th November 1962: Jacques Lacan   or http://www.lacanianworks.net/?p=212

Texts on Seminar X  https://lacanianworks.net/category/works-in-progress/reading-seminar-x/


See http://www.lacanianworks.net/?p=11980 &  http://www.lacanianworks.net/?p=12124  

Jacques Lacan & Psychoanalytical Institutions

Object Relations theory (from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Object_relations_theory) : The initial line of thought emerged in 1917 with Sandor Ferenczi and, later in the 1920s, Otto Rank, coiner of the term “pre-Oedipal,”. British psychologists Melanie Klein (https://lacanianworks.net/category/by-author/klein-melanie/ ), Donald Winnicott (https://lacanianworks.net/category/by-author/winnicott-donald-w/ ), Harry Guntrip, Scott Stuart, and others extended object relations theory during the 1940s and 1950s. Ronald Fairbairn in 1952 independently formulated his theory of object relations.

Within the London psychoanalytic community, a conflict of loyalties took place between Klein and object relations theory (sometimes referred to as “id psychology”), and Anna Freud (https://lacanianworks.net/category/by-author/freud-anna/)and ego psychology. In America, Anna Freud heavily influenced American psychoanalysis in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. American ego psychology was furthered in the works of Hartmann (https://lacanianworks.net/category/by-author/hartmann-dr-heinz/ ), Kris (https://lacanianworks.net/category/by-author/kris-ernst/ ), Loewenstein (https://lacanianworks.net/category/by-author/loewenstein-rudolph/ ), Rapaport (https://lacanianworks.net/category/by-author/rapoport-david/ ), Erikson, Jacobson, and Mahler. In London, those who refused to choose sides were termed the “middle school,” whose members included Michael Balint (https://lacanianworks.net/category/by-author/balint-michael/ ) and D.W. Winnicott (https://lacanianworks.net/category/by-author/winnicott-donald-w/ ).

1932 to 1938 : Dr Rudolph Loewenstein was Jacques Lacan’s training analyst. Born in Poland, Loewenstein would emigrate to New York during the War, where he would be a principal proponent of ego psychology.

1934 : Joined the Société Psychoanalytique de Paris

1936 : Presented paper on the ‘mirror stage’ to the International Psychoanalytic Congress in Marienbad (Information here) See Mirror Stage: 16th June 1936 (Paris), 3rd August 1936 (Marienbad), 1938, 17th July 1949 (Zurich), 1966: Jacques Lacan  or   http://www.lacanianworks.net/?p=303

Until 1952 : Distinguished member of the French psychoanalytic establishment

1953 : 

From Wikipedia : Société Française de Psychanalyse : Despite wishing himself to avoid a split, Lacan was drawn into the dissident movement led by Daniel Lagache (https://lacanianworks.net/category/by-author/lagache-daniel/ ), as a result of his own separate dispute with the president Sacha Nacht (https://lacanianworks.net/category/by-author/nacht-sacha/ ) over his practice of “short sessions”.

8th July 1953 : Conference Report, SIR : Inaugural meeting of SFP, Paris : 8th July 1953 : Jacques Lacan or here This was the first so-called scientific presentation of the new Societé Française de Psychanalyse (French Psychoanalytic Society), which had just resulted from the split that occurred in the French psychoanalytic movement.

14th July 1953 : Letter to Rudolf Loewenstein : 14th July 1953 : Jacques Lacan or here Rudolf Loewenstein was also the analyst of the two other principles referred to in this letter, Sacha Nacht and Daniel Lagache. Daniel Lagache, a psychoanalyst and Sorbonne professor, was a proponent of integrating psychoanalysis into a general theory of psychology. He saw in the University the institutional ethos best suited for guiding the organization of the practice of psychoanalysis

21st July 1953 : Letter to Heinz Hartmann : 21st July 1953 : Jacques Lacan or here

30th July 1953 : Minutes of the meeting of the International Psychoanalytical Association : 30th July 1953 : Dr Heinz Hartmann (IPA President & Chairman of the Meeting) . An analysis of the emergent themes here Many of those critiqued in Seminars I & II, were present & active at this meeting. Dr Rudolph Loewenstein, tried to find a way through supported by Dr Paula Heimann & others. Miss Anna Freud (https://lacanianworks.net/category/by-author/freud-anna/ ) & Dr Sacha Nacht, supported by Dr Ernest Jones (https://lacanianworks.net/category/by-author/jones-ernest/ ) & Princess Marie Bonaparte (https://lacanianworks.net/category/by-author/bonaparte-marie/ ) seem to lead the attack.

26th September 1953 : Following the lecture in July 1953, Lacan set about writing the report that he was to present in Rome two months later at the first congress of the new society and which was epoch-making (Rome Report (Autres Écrits) : Also known as ‘The function and field of speech in psychoanalysis’ :  September 1953 (Écrits) : see here for information & availability.

18th November 1953 : Seminar I begins  See Seminar I: Freud’s papers on technique: 1953-1954 : begins on 18th November 1953 : Jacques Lacan or  http://www.lacanianworks.net/?p=1139  

17th November 1954 : Seminar II begins. See Seminar II: The Ego in Freud’s Theory and in the Technique of Psychoanalysis: 1954-1955: begins 17th November 1954 : Jacques Lacan or http://www.lacanianworks.net/?p=1141

21st November 1956 : Seminar IV begins. See Seminar IV : The Object Relation 1956-1957 : from 21st November 1956 : Jacques Lacan or  http://www.lacanianworks.net/?p=11980

 In the first session, Seminar IV 21st  November 1956, La psychanalyse d’aujourd’hui : 1956 (See La thérapeutique psychanalytique (Psychoanalytic Therapy) : 1956 : Sacha Nacht  or  http://www.lacanianworks.net/?p=12654 ) : a collection under the direction of Sacha Nacht is criticised by Jacques Lacan [See here for further information.] The whole seminar is returning ‘object relations’ from the certainties emerging with the ego psychologists to the structures as proposed by Sigmund Freud. Jacques Lacan also comments on Sigmund Freud’s fifth case study ‘Little Hans’

Related texts

A history in Seminar IV,  See Seminar IV : The Relation of/from Object & Freudian Structures 1956-1957 : begins 21st November 1956 : Jacques Lacan  or  http://www.lacanianworks.net/?p=11980

The Curative Factors in Psycho-Analysis : July-August 1961 (Edinburgh) : Sacha Nacht or  https://lacanianworks.net/1961/08/%EF%BF%BCthe-curative-factors-in-psycho-analysis-july-august-1961-edinburgh-sacha-nacht/

Seminar X Seminar X: The Anxiety (or Dread): 1962-1963: begins 14th November 1962: Jacques Lacan   or http://www.lacanianworks.net/?p=212

Texts on Seminar X  https://lacanianworks.net/category/works-in-progress/reading-seminar-x/

Joan Copjec (Editor) : Television: A Challenge to the Psychoanalytic Establishment : 1990 : Information http://www.lacanianworks.net/?p=12366

Joan Copjec : Dossier on the Institutional Debate, An Introduction : 1990 : Information http://www.lacanianworks.net/?p=12020    

Notes & References for Jacques Lacan’s Seminar IV : 21st November 1956 by  Julia Evans  http://www.lacanianworks.net/?p=12365 on 28th February 2017 or http://www.lacanianworks.net/?p=12124  

Notes on Sacha Nacht : What is concealed by the so-called “Cht” and why? : 9th March 2019 : Réginald Blanchet or here    http://www.lacanianworks.net/?p=12329

Texts by David Rapaport  https://lacanianworks.net/category/by-author/rapoport-david/  & www.LacanianWorksExchange.net  /authors a-z (Rapaport)


For a number of broken links, texts can now be found at www.LacanianWorksExchange.net. If not then contact Julia Evans to request a particular text or book. 


Julia Evans  

Practicing Lacanian Psychoanalyst 


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