The Temptation of Biology is one of Laplanche’s central achievements in the latter half of his career: a major monograph on sexuality. Originally published in 1987 as Le fourvoiement biologisant de la sexualité chez Freud, republished in 1999 as La sexualité humaine and as Problématiques VII in 2006, in this volume it is followed by Laplanche’s 1997 talk at the University of Buenos Aires when he was awarded the title Doctor Honoris Causa, a paper which addresses a key aspect of the monograph: “Biologism and Biology.”
Laplanche’s work is widely recognized as offering what may be the most important – certainly the most coherent – development and correction of Freud’s theories of sexuality. Building upon the 1984 volume New Foundations for Psychoanalysis, which Laplanche called the "hinge" of his theorizing, this book examines the origins of infantile sexuality. Laplanche works to demystify and demythologize the cult of biology within the work of Freud and his successors, to develop a theory of sexuality that both challenges and restores Freud's own foundational insights. In this remarkable translation, the text remains just as clear and illuminating as the original French. It is stimulating, rigorous, and (perhaps atypical for a work of theory) a pleasure to read.