Hans Blumenberg, in his Legitimacy of the Modern Age, argues that curiosity played the central role in the emergence of the modern age. In his account, Blumenberg cites Sigmund Freud as a contributor to curiosity's rise to prominence. This essay takes issue with Blumenberg's reception of Freud, claiming that there are major problems with his presentation of the psychoanalytic theory of curiosity. Through a careful reading of Freud's texts, this essay reconstructs the psychoanalytic theory of curiosity and presents it as the first modern theory of curiosity, grounded in the dual anti-Aristotelian premises of nonspontaneity and creativity.
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