4. Sigmund Freud (I) Are we bound by our past? Can we never free ourselves from influences we can probably barely remember? Freud was born in 1856, trained as medical student but he was not happy with patients… Moved to psychiatric clinic. He experimented with cocaine while working in a hospital (cure seasickness? diabetes?) He studied neurology, became doubtful about electric shocks as treatments, the standard associations of different parts of the brain with different disorders. He studied hysteria in children. How do we make sense of the relation bt. the mental and the physical? Are we confusing the physiological with the psychological? A bit of your brain ≠ a particular mental illness, behaviour . This idea is a misunderstanding of how brains works. (eg.: pelvic douche) Freud’s psychological explanations could be seen as a welcome liberation from very narrow psychological explanations (that ignored the woder narrative of life in family & society) (kinda cf to Marx too) However there are 2 different understandings of Freud controversial issue , what is the real cause of a condition ? Eg.: Hysteria: how do you identify the cause? controversial Freud became close to Breuer (discovered that when one of his patients talks about his symptoms, they disappear) « the talking cure » + artificial hypnosis = « catharsis » Freud still practises some « electrotherapy » but is moving towards psychoanalysis . He decides that hypnotism doesn’t help, you have to be conscious. The best way was to lay down, close your eyes, revive your memories, not interrupt the flow (« free association ») sometimes painful, childhood, sexual experiences. Freud: sexuality is linked to sexual attacks (similar appearance). Hysterics trace back their symptoms to fictitious traumas (there must be incest wishes of children towards their parents Led to the Oedipus Complex Dreams = unconscious activities in the mind Wealth brings ‘so little happiness’ bc ‘money was not a wish in childhood’ too liberating, rarely prepared, he psychoanalysed the composer Mahler. Primitive societies are dependent on nature but they lack the means to control it ( they thus personify the forces of nature, prayer, sacrifice) = strategy learned in childhood (we learn to make the prent provide food). Father-figure = father-god it will go away with adulthood (just like humanity discovers science, …) Freud argues that certain primitive instincts are subliminated in society and that they should be. (endemic problems of social science) (Eg. : cannibalism but not other instincts such as incest) These instincts (incest) are explored in mythology (Adam and Eve have 2 boys it continues through incest).
« Civilised society is perpetually menaced with disintegration through this primary hostility of men towards each other » (1st World War) = independent instinctual disposition in a man How do you deal with it? by internalising it in your « super-ego » or conscience. Every time you feel
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- Fall '19
- Karl Marx