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Fraud and Unjustified Conjectures in Dora An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria by Sigmund Freud

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Many aspects of our lives, including culture and religion, are fabricated on the basis of conjectures. Although these facts may remain unproven, little harm is inflicted from the possibility of misinformation. Contrarily, in the case of science, the smallest error can lead to severely misguided results and an inability to reach a solution. Dora An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria by Sigmund Freud exemplifies this situation, as Freud reveals an incomplete analysis relying on a slew of unjustified conjectures. During Dora’s time of treatment, Freud consistently ignores her denials and impresses his frequently outlandish theories on her, which ultimately leads to her early termination of treatment. Freud fails to cure Dora due to his flawed…show more content…
He continues by comparing himself to an archaeologist for restoring “what is missing, taking the best models known to [him] from other analyses” (7). With this eloquent metaphor, he’s simply trying to validate his use of conjectures and although he claims to inform the reader upon his use of assumptions, the fact remains that his analysis is partially formed on the basis of fabrication. It appears as though Freud is merely trying to convince the reader to trust his diagnosis regardless of its legitimacy as is repeated later with Dora.

During one of the first treatments, Dora recounts an unfavorable situation in which Herr K. arranges a meet between Dora, Frau K. and himself. Against Dora’s knowledge Herr K. convinces Frau K. to stay at home to be alone with Dora. Upon her arrival, Herr K. pulls “down the outside shutters […] and, instead of going out the open door, suddenly [clasps] the girl to him and [presses] a kiss upon her lips” (21). Freud immediately begins to analyze the situation in stating the strangeness of Dora’s reaction. Instead of eliciting sexual excitement, the encounter evokes a “violent feeling of disgust” (21) and the need to flee. Freud states that any person “in whom an occasion for sexual excitement elicited feelings that were preponderantly or exclusively unpleasurable” (22) is undoubtedly hysterical. With this claim, he gives no concrete evidence to support this theory except his limited knowledge on
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