How I was betrayed by the ego: a reading of Inhibitions, symptoms and anxiety

By: Robert Silhol

Abstract: There is at least one thing Freud’s Inhibitions, symptoms and anxiety establishes clearly, and that is that “id” and “superego” are engaged in a merciless battle. Between the two, however, in this fight, the place of the ego is not easy to define. In a word, Freud’s inquiry into or demonstration about the nature of the concept of ego can be open to criticism, and this mostly because Freud himself has a strikingly ambiguous manner of dealing with a notion he introduced himself to form his second topology. Readers of Inhibitions, symptoms and anxiety may remember how Section V ended on a rather disparaging portrait of the ego, pointing out the inability of the said ego “to carry out its office of mediator.”