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Unformatted text preview: In 1930, Freud's Civilization and Its Discontents, a book in the same spirit as his earlier Totem and Taboo (1913), was published. In it, Freud attempted to use psychoanalysis to explain the origins and consequences of civilization. His major thesis was a pessimistic one. He argued that civilization could never be entirely comfortable for humanity, since civilization's purpose was to control and repress each person's instinctive desires. Civilization, according to Freud, was to the individual much as the superego was to the ego and id: it was a method of controlling and punishing the individual's excesses so that society could prosper. There was a bright side to civilization that Freud did not ignore: civilization fostered art, culture, literature, and an increase in the quality of life of its members. But Freud firmly believed that civilization would always struggle against its members....
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This note was uploaded on 12/14/2011 for the course HIST 2320 taught by Professor Siegenthaler during the Fall '07 term at Texas State.
- Fall '07