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Alfred Adler

Alfred AdlerAlfred Adler (1870-1937) was a young doctor in Vienna and among the very first disciples to join Freud, and take part in the discussion sessions on Wednesday meetings. He was never a close relation of Freud however, as the latter's correspondence often expressed his little regard for his disciples who did not produce a significant work.

Adler quickly proved an ambitious and suspicious collaborator, not very inclined to play the role of disciple. Adler soon worked out his theoretical divergences around the idea of the dominate-dominated ratio. In his opinion, Oedipus is merely a symbol of much more fundamental problems, bringing to the fore the weak little boy seeking to compensate for his physical inferiority versus his father in his desire to dominate the mother.

Adler estimated that the position of President of the International Psychoanalytic Association was rightfully his, and he disagreed with the appointment made by Jung in 1910. Adler was not satisfied with Freud's proposal who, in spite of his own dislike for him, offerred Adler the leadership of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society.

Adler, who, together with Stekel, ran the Zentralblatt fur Psychoanalyse, gave up his positions in 1911 in order to create, with nine of the 35 members of the Vienna Society, an association which was going to become the Society for Individual Psychology.

After having moved away from Freud, Adler worked much in the field of pedagogy. The sources of his thought seem more on the side of Marx, Nietzsche and Leibniz than of Freud.

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Copyright René DesGroseillers
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