Freud and philosophy an essay in interpretation

In his later work, Freud proposed that the psyche could be divided into three parts: Ego, super-ego, and id.

Freud discussed this structural model of the mind in the essay Beyond the Pleasure Principle , and fully elaborated it in The Ego and The Id , where he developed it as an alternative to his previous topographic schema conscious, unconscious, preconscious. Freud acknowledges that his use of the term Id or the It derives from the writings of Georg Grodeck. It is interesting to note that the term Id appears in the earliest writing of Boris Sidis , attributed to William James , as early as According to Kirrilee Arb, the defense mechanisms are the methods by which the ego can deal with conflicts between the super-ego and the id.

The use of defense mechanisms may attenuate the conflict between the id and super-ego, but their overuse or reuse rather than confrontation can lead to either anxiety or guilt which may result in psychological disorders such as depression. His daughter Anna Freud had done the most significant work on this field, yet she credited Sigmund with defense mechanisms as he began the work.

Freud believed that humans were driven by two conflicting central desires: the life drive Eros incorporating the sex drive and the death drive Thanatos.

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Freud's description of Eros and Libido included all creative, life-producing drives. The death drive or death instinct represented an urge inherent in all living things to return to a state of calm, or, ultimately, of non-existence. The presence of the Death Drive was only recognized in his later years, and the contrast between the two represents a revolution in his manner of thinking. The death instinct is also referred to as the Nirvana Principle. It should be added that these ideas owe a great deal to both Arthur Schopenhauer and Friedrich Nietzsche.

Schopenhauer's pessimistic philosophy, expounded in The World as Will and Representation , describes a renunciation of the will to live that corresponds on many levels with Freud's Death Drive. Freud was an avid reader of both philosophers and acknowledged their influence.

Freud gave explanations of the genesis of religion in his writings, included in a reflection on crowd psychology. Ethnologists would later criticize this point, leading to ethno- psychoanalytic studies. According to Freud, the father is protective, so his sons love him, but they are also jealous of their father for his relationship with their mothers.

The super-ego then takes the place of the father as the source of internalized authority. A ban was then put upon incest and upon marriage within the clan, and symbolic animal sacrifice was substituted for the ritual killing of a human being. In Moses and Monotheism Freud reconstructed biblical history in accord with his general theory, but many biblical scholars and historians would not accept his account since it defied commonly accepted views on the history of Judaism and of dynastic Egypt.

However, this book remains interesting as an interpretation of leadership based on charisma and mass psychology , using the Prophetic figure of Moses. His ideas about religion were also developed in The Future of an Illusion When Freud spoke of religion as an illusion , he maintained that it is a fantastic structure from which a man must be set free if he is to grow to maturity ; and in his treatment of the unconscious he moved toward atheism.

In this sense, Freud approached the Marxist theory of alienation. Freud isolated two main principles: Thanatos is the drive towards the dissolution of all life, whereas Eros is to strive towards stopping that drive. When one goal is reached, the other becomes out-of-reach, and vice versa. When the individual joins a crowd, he ceases repressing his instincts, and thus relapses into primitive culture , according to Freud's analysis.

However, crowds must be distinguished into natural and organized crowds, following William McDougall 's distinction. Thus, if intellectual skills the capacity to doubt and to distance oneself are systematically reduced when the individual joins a mass, he may eventually be "morally enlightened". Prefiguring Moses and Monotheism and The Future of an Illusion , he states that the love relationship between the leader and the masses, in the Church or in the Army , are only an "idealist transformation of the conditions existing in the primitive horde ".

Freud then compares the leader's relationship with the crowd to a relation of hypnosis , a force to which he relates Mana. Pessimistic about humanity's chances of liberty , Freud writes that "the leader of the crowd always incarnates the dreaded primitive father, the crowd always wants to be dominated by an unlimited power, it is grasping at the highest degree for authority or, to use Le Bon 's expression, it is hungry for subservience".

The significance of Freud for modern philosophy of mind

According to Freud, self-identification to a common figure, the leader, explained the phenomenon of masses' obedience. Each individual connected themselves vertically to the same ideal figure or idea , each one thus has the same self-ideal, and hence identify together horizontal relation.

Along with Moses and Monotheism , Massenpsychologie Freud's theories and research methods were controversial during his life and still are so today, but few dispute his huge impact on psychologists and the academically inclined. Most importantly, Freud popularized the "talking-cure"—an idea that a person could solve problems simply by talking over them, something that was almost unheard of in the 19th century.

Even though many psychotherapists today tend to reject the specifics of Freud's theories, this basic mode of treatment comes largely from his work. Most of Freud's specific theories—like his stages of psychosexual development—and especially his methodology, have fallen out of favor in modern experimental psychology.


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Some psychotherapists, however, still follow an approximately Freudian system of treatment. Many more have modified his approach, or joined one of the schools that branched from his original theories see Neo-Freudian. Still others reject his theories entirely, although their practice may still reflect his influence. Psychoanalysis today maintains the same ambivalent relationship with medicine and academia that Freud experienced during his life.

While he saw himself as a scientist , yet failed to employ any aspect of the scientific method, he greatly admired Theodor Lipps , a philosopher and main supporter of the ideas of the subconscious and empathy.

Freud and Philosophy: An Essay on Interpretation - Paul Ricoeur - Google книги

Freud's model of the mind is often criticized as an unsubstantiated challenge to the enlightenment model of rational agency , which was a key element of much modern philosophy. Although Freud's theories were quite influential, they came under widespread criticism during his lifetime and afterward. A paper by Lydiard H. Horton , read in at a joint meeting of the American Psychological Association and the New York Academy of Sciences , called Freud's dream theory "dangerously inaccurate" and noted that "rank confabulations Grayling , writing in The Guardian in , said "Philosophies that capture the imagination never wholly fade But as to Freud's claims upon truth, the judgment of time seems to be running against him.

Kramer , a psychiatrist and faculty member of Brown Medical School , said "I'm afraid [Freud] doesn't hold up very well at all. It almost feels like a personal betrayal to say that. But every particular is wrong: the universality of the Oedipus complex, penis envy , infantile sexuality.

Other critics, like Dr. Frederick C. Another frequently criticized aspect of Freud's theories is his model of psychosexual development.

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Some have attacked Freud's claim that infants are sexual beings, and, implicitly, Freud's expanded notion of sexuality. Others have accepted Freud's expanded notion of sexuality, but have argued that this pattern of development is not universal, nor necessary for the development of a healthy adult.

Instead, they have emphasized the social and environmental sources of patterns of development. Moreover, they call attention to social dynamics Freud de-emphasized or ignored, such as class relations. This branch of Freudian critique owes a great deal to the work of Herbert Marcuse. Freud has also come under fire from many feminist critics.

Freud was an early champion of both sexual freedom and education for women Freud, " Civilized Sexual Morality and Modern Nervousness ". Some feminists, however, have argued that at worst his views of women's sexual development set the progress of women in Western culture back decades, and that at best they lent themselves to the ideology of female inferiority. Believing as he did that women are a kind of mutilated male, who must learn to accept their "deformity" the "lack" of a penis and submit to some imagined biological imperative, he contributed to the vocabulary of misogyny.

Terms such as " penis envy " and " castration anxiety " contributed to discouraging women from entering any field dominated by men, until the s. Some of Freud's most criticized statements appear in his 'Fragment of Analysis' on Ida Bauer such as " This was surely just the situation to call up distinct feelings of sexual excitement in a girl of fourteen " in reference to Dora being kissed by a 'young man of prepossessing appearance ' [15] implying the passivity of female sexuality and his statement " I should without question consider a person hysterical in whom an occasion for sexual excitement elicited feelings that were preponderantly or exclusively unpleasurable " [15].

On the other hand, feminist theorists such as Juliet Mitchell , Nancy Chodorow , Jessica Benjamin , Jane Gallop , and Jane Flax have argued that psychoanalytic theory is essentially related to the feminist project and must, like other theoretical traditions, be adapted by women to free it from vestiges of sexism. Freud's views are still being questioned by people concerned about women's equality.

Another feminist who finds potential use of Freud's theories in the feminist movement is Shulamith Firestone. In "Freudianism: The Misguided Feminism ", she discusses how Freudianism is essentially completely accurate, with the exception of one crucial detail: everywhere that Freud wrote "penis", the word should be replaced with "power". Jurgen von Scheidt speculated that most of Freud's psychoanalytical theory was a byproduct of his cocaine use. Chronic cocaine use can produce unusual thinking patterns due to the depletion of dopamine levels in the prefrontal cortex.

Finally, Freud's theories are often criticized for not being real science. Popper argued that no experiment or observation could ever falsify Freud's theories of psychology e. However, despite the aforementioned criticisms, scientific research has provided some support for Freudian theories. Indeed, recent research on the neuropsychology of dreaming indicates that Freud's dream theory long thought to be discredited is consistent with what is currently known about the dreaming brain.

These findings have lead to the development of a new discipline , neuropsychoanalysis, which seeks to discover the neurological foundation of psychoanalytic theories. Freudian theory has given way to dozens of other theories during the 20th century. As a "for instance," notable Christian theorists such as Dr. James Dobson, Dr. Gary Smalley and Dr.