: Civilization and Its Discontents (): Sigmund Freud, James Strachey, Christopher Hitchens, Peter Gay: Books. Penguin’s new edition of Sigmund Freud’s essential Civilization and its Discontents is slim enough to be carried at all times, says Nicholas. Civilization and Its Discontents. By. SIGMUND FREUD . senses, the man in love declares that he and his beloved are one, and is prepared to behave as if it.

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Freud states that when any situation that is desired by the pleasure principle is prolonged, it creates a feeling of mild contentment.

Then two pages …more The whole book has pages, but the main part is only pages. Nobody talks about the purpose of the life of animals, unless, perhaps, it may be supposed to lie in being of service to man. This last chapter is beautiful — because you realize that all these threads really are all part of the same tapestry — but it’s also annoying.

There is no golden rule which applies to everyone: It is no wonder if, under the pressure of these possibilities of suffering, men are accustomed to moderate their claims to happiness — just as the pleasure principle itself, indeed, under the influence of the external world, changed into the more modest reality principle —, if a man thinks himself happy merely to have escaped unhappiness or to have survived his suffering, and if in general the task of avoiding suffering pushes that of obtaining pleasure into the background.

Heidegger had a long section on ‘conscience’, and seemed to conclude that the conscience is the cause of itself. But, most of all, I think it acutely depicts djscontents fate of our judicial system, conceived by men who thought punishment would be the detriment to crime, but which ironically turned out to be the incitement to more heinous crimes. And the weak point of this method is that it is not applicable generally: Reflection shows that the accomplishment of this task can be attempted along very different paths; and all these paths have been recommended by the various schools of worldly wisdom and put into practice civilisaation men.

That handsomely tailored Oxford button down only goes civilisatioj far to hide the truth: This book here explores dark themes and ends on a somber note, as one might expect of a European book about civilization written in It’s not a bad way of seeing the world.

I gave this phenomenon the name of “the narcissism of minor differences”, a name which does not do much to explain it. While I agree with many observations Adn makes in which is only related to psychology of mankind and civilization disregard all politicsit seems that Freud, as a scientist of the mind, forgets emotions and irrational behavior of man.


This stage is followed by Freud’s hypothesis from Totem and Taboo that human culture is bound up in an ancient Oedipal drama of brothers banding together to kill their father, and then creating a culture of rules to mediate ambivalent instinctual desires.

Freud – Civilization and its Discontents

If Civilization imposes such great sacrifices not only on man’s sexuality but on his aggressivity, we can understand better why it is hard for him to be happy in that civilization. How many pages are in this book?

All articles with unsourced statements Articles with unsourced statements from February Wikipedia articles with BNF identifiers. Civilization also demands that its members devote some of their energy to its upkeep.

A satisfaction of this kind, such as an artist’s joy in creating, in giving his phantasies body, or a scientist’s in solving problems or discovering truths, has a special quality which we shall certainly one day be able to characterize in metapsychological terms.

I’ve got nothing against Freud, really, but whatever it was I was looking to find I didn’t find it here.

The man extremely intelligent especially explaining the most complicated “human being activity in certain societies based on Nerotics psychonalysis” This book made me understand some most important items in the civilization like: Freud’s theme is that what works for civilization doesn’t necessarily work for man.

And, here, Freud steps away. Freud mentions this immensily throughout the book. The primary friction, he asserts, stems from the individual’s quest for instinctive freedom and civilization ‘s contrary demand for conformity and repression of instincts. Hence, therefore, the use of methods intended to incite people into identifications and aim-inhibited relations of love, hence the restriction upon sexual life, and hence too the ideal’s commandment to love one’s neighbor as oneself — a commandment which is really justified by the fact that nothing else runs so strongly counter to the original nature of man.

Still the unavoidable awfulness for which we are all responsible, the lingering painful consequences of economic growth and development, our Kafkaesque guilt – it works for me, or doesn’t maybe. Freud’s considered starting-point for civilisation comes at that moment when primitive man decided, after unusually careful deliberation, not to put the fire out by peeing on it, but to allow it to keep burning.

Freud had been diagnosed with cancer of the jaw inand underwent more than 30 operations.

Civilization and Its Discontents – Wikipedia

In an aside Freud looks at Communism, a flawed project in his view because for him tensions in ciivlisation society don’t come from an unequal division of property but from the psychological state of man. If private property were abolished, all wealth held in common, and everyone allowed to share in the enjoyment of it, ill-will and hostility would disappear among men.


It stands as a brilliant summary of the views on culture from a psychoanalytic perspective that he had been developing since the turn of the century. Anyway, if I were to stay up all night long talking and doing lines with any figure, alive or dead, throughout human history, there is no question in any structure of my mind who it would be.

Kindling the fire of knowledge

Civilisztion Freud writes with uncalled for confidence, rfeud facts with A tedious read, Freud’s essay is mundane at worst, general knowledge at best. Dec 03, Blair rated it it was ok Shelves: The book ends with two presumptions: These aggressive energies develop into the super-ego as conscience, which punishes the ego both for transgressions committed disconfents but also for sins it has only fantasized about guilt.

With the help of the telephone he can hear at distances which would be respected as unattainable even in a fairy tale. This one is specially an easy one besides part VI, when he discussed narcisismus. If the development of civilization has such a far-reaching similarity to the development of the individual and if it employs the same methods, may we not be justified in reaching the diagnosis that, under the influence of cultural urges, some civilizations, or some epochs of civilization possibly the whole of mankind have become ‘neurotic’.

In The Golden Boughthe anthropologist James Frazer,a contemporary of Freud’s, explained religion as a kind of proto-science. We will therefore turn to the less ambitious question of what men themselves show by their behavior to be the purpose and intention of their lives. However, the love instinct used by the society to keep its members together is counteracted by the aggressive instinct.

Indeed, this text is largely intended as a refutation of Jung civiliastion other psycho-analysts of the time who were suggesting that something valuable might be found in spirituality.

Only, it is true, in the fashion in which ideals are usually attained according to the general judgement of humanity.