Thursday, 10 January 2008

Peter Swales conducts: Who was Wilhelm Fliess? Inner Circle Seminar 133 (26 October 2008)

   Wilhelm Fließ                           Peter J. Swales

Who was Wilhelm Fließ?

Demythologising the Psychoanalytic Myth
of Fließ as Freud’s ‘Other’
150th Anniversary Seminar

Peter J. Swales

Inner Circle Seminar No. 133
introduced by

Anthony Stadlen

Sunday 26 October 2008
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Wilhelm Fließ (24 October 1858 – 13 October 1928) was a Berlin physician, the founder of the notion of biorhythms, remembered today as a friend of Sigmund Freud, for whom psychoanalysts suppose he served as a transferential ‘Other’. Fließ’s ideas on biological periodicity are ridiculed, and Freud is said to have discovered his own, correct, ideas through overcoming his idealisation of Fließ.

Peter Swales is the only historian to have comprehensively researched the life and work of Fließ. His biography of Fließ is eagerly awaited. Today, 150 years after Fließ’s birth, and 80 years after his death, Swales gives an unprecedentedly rich and detailed account of Fließ’s origins, childhood and youth; character and personality; medico-scientific studies; journalism; social orbit; work as a physician; and research on the ‘nasal reflex neurosis’ and biorhythms. This reverses the usual picture, reveals Freud as a friend of Fließ, and throws surprising new light on the genesis of psychoanalysis. Your contribution to the discussion will be welcome.

Venue: Regent’s College Conference Centre, Inner Circle, London NW1
Cost: Students £96, others £120, IN ADVANCE
Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8888 6857 E-mail:
For further information on seminars, visit:

The Inner Circle Seminars were founded by Anthony Stadlen in 1996 as an ethical, existential, phenomenological search for truth in psychotherapy. They have been kindly described by Thomas Szasz as ‘Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness’. But they are independent of all institutes, schools and colleges, including Regent’s College.

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