“This is one of the dangers to health by which human beings are faced on their path to cultural development. Holding back aggressiveness is in general unhealthy and leads to illness (to mortification). A person in a fit of rage will often demonstrate how the transition from aggressiveness that has been prevented to self-destructiveness is brought about by diverting the aggressiveness against himself: he tears his hair or beats his face with his fists, though he would evidently have preferred to apply this treatment to someone else. Some portion of self-destructiveness remains within, whatever the circumstances; till at last it succeeds in killing the individual, not, perhaps, until his libido has been used up or fixated in a disadvantageous way.” (Ch. 2, Freud)
In “An Outline of Psycho-Analysis,” Freud talks about how we have two basic instincts: Eros and the destructive instinct (or the death instinct). In the quote that I have above, he talks about the effects of the destructive instinct if it is repressed in every day life. I agree somewhat but not wholly wholly on the conclusion that Freud said about what would happen to people if the destructive instinct was repressed. I do not believe that having rage inside can necessarily lead you to be destructive in such a way that you ” tear [your] hair or beat [your] face with [your] fist.” I believe that people deal with rage in many different ways, ways that can be either constructive or destructive to their psyche. For example, a man has rage toward his mother because while he was growing up, she did nothing to encourage him educationally and give him support in the things that he wanted to do (like sports or school plays). She was always absent and neglectful because she was an alcoholic. Now, the man can deal with his rage in two ways. He can repress it, and decide that he will make something of himself without the support of his mom, and use his rage to drive him to do his best and prove to his mom that he is somebody that should be recognized, or he could take his rage and decide to stop attending school because he figures, what’s the point if his own mother doesn’t even care about him? So he’ll be a high school or middle school drop out, and to cope with his rage he starts to become an alcoholic just like his mother, and his life goes in a downward spiral from then on.
Even though, in the first instance, the man is using his rage and is working hard in life for the wrong reason (in order to prove something to his mother rather than just for personal satisfaction or because he has a desire to make something of his life for himself), he is still using that rage in a constructive way. Of course, maybe later in life he will need some counseling to deal with that rage, but he still got far in life by using his rage in a constructive way. I just think that Freud needs to acknowledge that destructive instinct is not always something that, if repressed, can lead to self-destructedness. What do you guys think?
Consciousness is usually defined as the awareness of the self and the surrounding world. Traditionally, consciousness is theorized to be an immaterial entity, a production of the mind rather than the brain. Consequently, most people believe that there is no physiological mechanism for the production of consciousness; it is just present with every human being and is intertwined with his thoughts and feelings. Locke and Hegel both discuss consciousness in the readings we did for this class, and both philosophers do not think that the brain produces consciousness. Locke asserts that consciousness is necessary for the thought process but it is not itself produced by thought.
In fiction, clones often struggle with their identities. Will they always be pale imitations of the people they are based off of? Or will they find their own purpose and deviate from the future that was predestined for them?
While reading Paulo Freire’s, The Pedagogy of the Oppressed, I couldn’t help but relate his depiction of the narrative style of education to the life of Jim Carrey’s character, Truman Burbank, in the satirical film, The Truman Show. Continue reading
Posted in Contemporary Philosophy, Education, Experience, Identity, Knowledge, Perception, Pop Culture
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There is a quote by Fred Astaire that has to do with parenting and that also ties into the Emile readings that we’ve had. He said, “The hardest jobs kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any.” Now, I personally agree with this statement. Having good manners means that you treat others as well as yourself with respect. There are many things in the world today that are constantly in childrens’ lives that affect their manners. It could be a television show that they saw their parents watching, or it could be one of their friends that always gets their way, or it could be a video game that has disrespectful characters. Children learn from these things/people that are constantly in their life.
In Emile, Rousseau distinguishes the rich from the poor, saying that, “The artificial education of the rich never fails to make them politely imperious, by teaching them the words to use so that no one will dare to resist them.” (Pg. 68) Rousseau is rejecting politeness, which is a central part of having manners. He believes that havng a different social status from one person can make you polite but also “fake”, so it is not something that people should teach their children about. He believes that children should be taught on how to “preserve” their life, and that adults should not try to keep preserving them. (pg. 42). Basically, what he believes is that children should be taught how to do things for themselves, and that adults should have a hands-off method in teaching them, letting them explore and do what they want until they reach a consequence.
Now, I don’t agree with Rousseau and his rejection of teaching politeness because I personally think that learning how to be polite, or to be respectful, especially in certain situations, can help people a lot in life. However, he is correct to an extent. Teaching your children how to be polite is not always the most important thing, because politeness can be faked. I do believe that teaching your children how to preserve their life and do things for themselves takes precedence over teaching them how to be polite, but I don’t think that Rousseau should completely write politeness out of the books. What do you guys think? Should we even be polite anymore?