freud paper

freud paper - Sigmund Freud possibly the world's most...

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Sigmund Freud, possibly the world’s most venerated psychoanalyst, has, during his lifetime, produced an extraordinary number of timeless analyses covering nearly every significant subject involving the human psyche. His negative outlook on mankind and the way the human psyche behaves is clearly evident throughout his entirety of compositions. In each composition, Freud breaks down the topic he is analyzing and refutes every angle, with arguments in his favor and against. In this manner, he asserts his thoughts on human behavior and its inherent evil. Freud then uses these universal assumptions of human behavior as starting points leading on to more specific opinions and explanations behind them in order to explicate more specific concepts. In Future of an Illusion , possibly one of his most read and learned works, Freud uses his collective theory of man’s inherent evil to explain that given man’s social and physical necessities and inextricable evil, civilization and religion are necessary evils in maintaining an orderly society. He then turns to the question of civilization and its true purpose amongst mankind, and whether or not mankind would be able to survive without it. In this passage, he delivers specific arguments for civilization as well as against, relating the concept of civilization to mankind’s necessity for a superior form of organization. He claims that civilization is both destructive and necessary for man, and uses such arguments as the distribution of wealth and fear of nature to prove it. Freud begins his argument by defining the term “civilization.” Human civilization, he claims, is “all those respects in which human life has raised itself above its animal status and differs from the life of beasts” (Ln. 1-3). Although he is defining civilization, Freud is also keeping in mind that humans are primarily animals and their ability to form a civilization is the reason why they are above all other animals. As a side note, he includes that he plans on keeping in mind the differences between culture and civilization (ln. 3). While this is not entirely
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pertinent to the argument of what civilization is and its necessity, it is important in remembering that Freud feels that although humans are civilized, they are in no way as a whole cultured. One of his overarching beliefs is that there is an elite group of cultured beings and the masses are indolent and unreasonable. In saying so, a hypothesis can be made that by knowing Freud’s cynical position on human beings and how they are hardly more than beasts, he is associating mankind more so with civilization, a more objective and not necessarily positive concrete system of regulations, than culture, a higher, more ideological state not all can attain. Following this, Freud moves into his two aspects of civilization in further explanation of his question of
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course MAP 101 taught by Professor Mitsis during the Fall '07 term at NYU.

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freud paper - Sigmund Freud possibly the world's most...

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