Tagged: Sigmund Freud

Freud’s View of Religion

This paper was written in 1998/1999, as part of my research into the relationship between psychoanalysis and religion. 1. An Outline of Freud’s Critique of Religion Freud’s notion of the Oedipal conflict attempts to conceptualize the triangulation between the child’s desire for the mother (the real origin for the child) and the intervening father who also has a libidinal investment in the mother and thus becomes the figure which represents conflict and prohibition for the child. This conflict exemplifies a basic structure: the prohibition that creates the limit of the enjoyment of the mother represents the “reality principle”; it enlists reason...

Transference in Freud and Lacan

What is “transference”? “Transference” is a psychoanalytic term that refers to something that is very common in daily life: People displace unresolved conflicts, dependencies, and aggressions onto others (e.g. substituting a lover, spouse, etc. for one’s parent) for reasons that are not easily understandable. This operation occurs commonly in psychotherapy when a client transfers feelings that were previously directed to someone else to the therapist. The client sees in her therapist the return of some important figure from her childhood or past and consequently transfers on to him feelings and reactions from the past. Early childhood relationships, memories, and emotions,...

Freud: Splitting of the Ego in the Process of Defense. 1938

This short essay was written in January 1938 and published after Freud’s death in 1939. He used the idea of ego-splitting in earlier texts, for instance in “Fetishism” (1927), or as an explanation for psychotic mechanisms, in his early papers on psychosis. In the paper, Freud describes a solution found by the child, to simultaneously satisfy his instincts and respect reality. Through the mechanism of splitting, the child “takes over the fear of that danger as a pathological symptom and tries subsequently to divest himself of the fear.” Anxiety gets displaced onto a phobia, and the satisfaction of the sexual drive continues through the...

Theology in Freud and Lacan

 A Short Summary of the Arguments. In the struggle to find what sustains the psychological reality of religious belief as well as its deep rootedness, psychoanalysis loses its initial hostility against the phenomenon. Religion becomes a fascinating field to study from the psychoanalytic point of view. The development of the psychoanalytic interpretation of religion from Freud to Lacan shows how psychoanalytic theory itself was transformed through this task. Analysis of the religious phenomenon leads to the core of Lacanian theory, which is the constitutive function of the signifier in relation to the subject. Freud’s psychoanalytic study of Moses and Monotheism is the...

Freud: Forgetting of Foreign Words. 1901.

From: Sigmund Freud (1901): Psychopathology of Everyday Life. Translation by A. A. Brill (1914) Chapter 2 The ordinary vocabulary of our own language seems to be protected against forgetting within the limits of normal function, but it is quite different with words from a foreign language. The tendency to forget such words extends to all parts of speech. In fact, depending on our own general state and the degree of fatigue, the first manifestation of functional disturbance evinces itself in the irregularity of our control over foreign vocabulary. In a series of cases this forgetting follows the same mechanism as...

Freud: Butcher’s Wife dream. 1900

This dream from Freud’s of “Interpretation of Dreams,” 1900, is often used to demonstrate the structure of hysteria. It can be found in Chapter 4, “Distortion in Dreams.” You are always saying that a dream is a wish fulfilled,” begins an intelligent lady patient. “Now I shall tell you a dream in which the content is quite the opposite, in which a wish of mine is not fulfilled. How do you reconcile that with your theory? The dream was as follows: I want to give a supper, but I have nothing available except some smoked salmon. I think I will...

Sigmund Freud: The History of the Psychoanalytic Movement. 1914.

If in what follows I bring any contribution to the history of the psychoanalytic movement nobody must be surprised at the subjective nature of this paper, nor at the role which falls to me therein. For psychoanalysis is my creation; for ten years I was the only one occupied with it, and all the annoyance which this new subject caused among my contemporaries has been hurled upon my head in the form of criticism.

Sigmund Freud: A Philosophy of Life (“Weltanschauung,” 1932)

Source: New Introductory Lectures on Psycho-analysis (1933). This is the last lecture of the series  (Lecture 35).  LADIES AND GENTLEMEN – In the last lecture we were occupied with trivial everyday affairs, with putting, as it were, our modest house in order. We will now take a bold step, and risk an answer to a question which has repeatedly been raised in non-analytic quarters, namely, the question whether psychoanalysis leads to any particular Weltanschauung, and if so, to what. ‘Weltanschauung’ is, I am afraid, a specifically German notion, which it would be difficult to translate into a foreign language. If...

Freud: The Dream Mechanism. 1921

This is Chapter II of Sigmund Freud (1856–1939): “Dream Psychology: Psychoanalysis for Beginners.” 1921. THE DREAM MECHANISM We are compelled to assume that such transformation of scene has also taken place in intricate dreams, though we do not know whether it has encountered any possible desire. The dream instanced at the commencement, which we analyzed somewhat thoroughly, did give us occasion in two places to suspect something of the kind. Analysis brought out that my wife was occupied with others at table, and that I did not like it; in the dream itself exactly the opposite occurs, for the person...

Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud has been one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century. His work is complex, and it is fair to say that he did not so much develop a theory, but rather he opened a whole field of study, something that can roughly be characterized as the field of the unconscious. Today, his influence has faded, but he still remains a towering figure in human science. It is questionable whether his ideas can be fully appreciated or understood outside the practice of psychotherapy or psychoanalysis. In his later works, Freud focused on theories of culture, and his...

Why War?

Why War? The correspondence between Einstein and Freud in 1931 and 1932. from Einstein on Peace ed. Otto Nathan and Heinz Norden (New York: Schocken Books, 1960), pp186-203 Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud on the question of war: The Einstein-Freud Correspondence (1931-1932) [1] The letter which Einstein addressed to Freud, concerning the projected organization of intellectual leaders, was sent in 1931, or possibly 1932, and read as follows: I greatly admire your passion to ascertain the truth–a passion that has come to dominate all else in your thinking. You have shown with irresistible lucidity how inseparably the aggressive and destructive...

Sigmund Freud – Discontent in Civilization

The basic idea in Discontent in Civilization is the understanding of culture as a tool to neutralize aggression. This is achieved by turning aggression back against the ego, and the instrument for this inversion is the superego. Freud writes: “Aggressiveness is introjected, internalized, it is, in point of fact, sent back to where it came from, that is, it is directed against his own ego. There it is taken over by a portion of the ego, which sets itself over against the rest of the ego as super-ego, and which now, in the form of conscience, is ready to put...