When I originally though of the word ego before reading this section of Freud’s work, I imagined he would be explaining more along the lines of confidence or strictly the self-value of the human. I also thought of a particular artist, Beyonce, and her song “Ego” from 2008 and how she takes about exuding said confidence. I also thought about her persona in general and how when it comes to the ego, it’s one of those personal components of her being that seem to be very high. With numerous accolades in the music industry, it would only make sense for Beyonce to have such a high level of self-esteem, and thus, have a big ego.
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“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?
Sigmund Freud is a controversial figure. Beside his theories of the unconscious and Oedipus’s complex, many people don’t know that he played a large role in how Christian perceived homosexuality in the 1980s and 1990s.
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Even though I have never taken a psychology class, I am interested in many of their concepts. The idea of a complex in general is defined as a pattern of emotions based around a specific human quality. There is the famous Napoleon complex which states that short people are more envious and harsher towards taller people. I am interested if complexes are naturally within us or if they can change, as a quality such as height can change over a lifetime.
I have not read Freud in depth, but this article presents a strong introduction to his research. It presents his views of the psyche (division of id, ego, and super-ego), and the creation and control of pleasure. One famous theory attributed to Freud is the Oedipus complex, named after the tragic hero of Greek mythology. In the classic play Oedipus Rex, Oedipus unknowingly kills his biological father and marries his biological mother. I’m not sure about Freud’s thought process, but he comes to the conclusion that all males want sex with their mother. He further expands on this by arguing that “the hero of the Oedipus legend too felt guilty for his deeds and submitted himself to self-punishment, although the coercive power of the oracle should have acquitted him of guilt in our judgment and his own” (205). This further makes me question Freud’s philosophy, as this suggests that Oedipus could not help the fact that he had sex with his mother. The morality of his statement hinders my comprehension of his psychology contributions. Any psychology experts want to help me understand Freud’s statements?
Both Hegel and Freud venture to explain the consciousness and how we interpret our surroundings. In Freud’s piece, An Outline of Psycho-Analysis, he explains how we interact with internal and external events in terms of the id, ego, and super ego, while Hegel explains his ideas in Sense Certainty using the all-excompassing ‘I’. Continue reading →
Posted in Contemporary Philosophy, Experience, Knowledge
Tagged Alexia, Consciousness, ego, freud, hegel, I, id, sense certainty, super ego
The classic argument on learning/experience: what has a bigger influence over an individual’s life, his genetics, or his up-bringing? In Sigmund Freud’s “Outline of Psychoanalysis”, he seems to favor the latter.
Within one’s brain, Freud feels that there is different “psychical agencies” that control ourselves. This includes the id, a primal desire that drives us to achieve basic urges; the super-ego, a sort of moral compass; and the ego, a development from the id that analyzes the simultaneous needs of the id, superego, and the stimuli of reality in order to synthesis choices.
In Chapter 1, Continue reading →
For Freud, our parental figures are extremely important to the development and interactions of our consciousness. His model of consciousness is a little different from the others we have encountered so far in that it takes into deeper account the internalization of our external experiences and influences. Unlike the slave consciousness in the Hegelian Dialectic which eventually transcends external objects, Freud describes a process of token keeping in which external influences like our parents, culture, and “what is taken over from other people” are internalized and ever present in the “psychical province” which he calls our superego (An Outline of Psycho-Analysis 147). Continue reading →
When reading through chapter 1, the argument of nature vs. nurture appeared. Freud defines the id as everything that is innate, the nurture part. What is interesting is the addition of the ego in this argument. Freud believes that the ego is everything done to satisfy the id, or everything done to satiate innate needs. Freud’s definition of the super-ego is the most interesting. He states “The long period of childhood, during which the growing human being lives in dependence on his parents, leaves behind it as a precipitate the formation in his ego of a special agency in which this parental influence is prolonged. It has received the name of super-ego. In so far as this super-ego is differentiated from the ego or is opposed to it, it constitutes a third power which the ego must take into account.” The way I interpret this statement is that the personality of the child transitions from actions due to nature, to actions due to nurture, which I have never really thought about. Continue reading →