he stood on shoulders of philosophical giants whether he wanted or not
>Freud explained that he avoided reading Shopenhauer and Nietzsche until late in life, "i was less concerned with priority than with preserving my impartiality." In a letter to Fliess, written on august 31 1898, freud shows some disappointment at discovering that Theodor Lipps had expressed some of his own basic assumptions in a work pulished in 1883. this shows that when Freud was forty-two he was unaware that at least fifty writers (probably many more) had been developing similar assumptions for over two hundred years. finally in 1925, at the age of sixty-nine, Freud wrote: "the overwhelming majority of philosophers regard as mental only the phenomena of consciousness. for them the world of consciousness coincides with the sphere of what is mental." this curious mistake shows how narrow his reading had been, and how wrong a conception he must then have had of his own originality.
t. lancelot whyte