Monday, April 28, 2014

Freud Questions

-How is Freud's account of primal/savage man different from that of Rousseau's?
-What is Freud's perspective on religion and the ways in which it can lead to an individual's happiness? Does he view religion as a positive gateway to happiness?
-What does Freud mean when he states "on the one hand love comes into opposition to the interests of civilization; on the other, civilization threatens love with substantial restrictions" (83)?
-In what ways do relationships between family members and women restrict the development of civilization?
-How does the economic structure of society alter the amount of sexual freedom in society?


  1. Freud's view on religion I found particularly interesting. He starts of by explaining how one of his friends is not necessarily very religious but has a sense of limitless life and a sort of "oceanic" feeling which may not be within the means of religious practices and beliefs but that oceanic feeling in itself means something. However, Freud goes on to strongly disagree with this relatively relatable view of an "oceanic" feeling that I think many of us less religious people can relate to today. Freud claims he struggles to relate to this feeling, but doesn't deny that this feeling exists. It's interesting because his main problem with this idea is more the fact that humans are trying to make something as abstract as a feeling into scientific, almost trivial terms therefore renouncing the entire purpose of the initial feeling. Therefore, I think he makes it pretty clear that by going against the natural psychology of humans to just feel whatever it is that they are feeling, these religious urges of higher places, immortality or an "oceanic" life can only be detrimental to ones happiness.

  2. In response to the question "In what ways do relationships between family members and women restrict the development of civilization?"

    Freud clearly differentiates the two types of love to genital love and aim-inhibited love. Genital love is between man and woman and leads to the formation of families. Whereas aim-inhibited love is the type of love between parents and children, siblings or even those outside of the family. Aim-inhibited love is essentially friendship and Freud says it isn't as restricting as genital love because it is not exclusive between two people. The reason why he believes it is restricting is that the development of civilization means to bring more and more people together in order to form 'large unities'. However, this love or bond between family members or even friends makes it more difficult to actually 'give up' the individual to society. In other words, the more connected you are with people, the more you are likely to stay within that group and not expand beyond it. Also, Freud mentions how women are put into the back ground of civilization as their role in society is overshadowed by that of men.

    I guess I can see where Freud is coming from as a lot of people tend to stick to what they're comfortable with or in a familiar group and become less bothered or encouraged to step outside of their safe zone; especially when they have close ties with their families. But I feel that having close ties or relationships with family or even to friends won't restrict the civilization as a whole to continue to develop as society's development doesn't rely on simply genital or aim-inhibited love.


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