: 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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Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Civilization and Its Discontents by Sigmund Freud.

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. It is both witness and tribute to the late theory of mind—the so-called structural theory, with its stress on aggression, indeed the death drive, as the pitiless adversary of eros. Civilization and Its Discontents is one of th 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.

Civilization and Its Discontents is one of the last of Freud’s books, discontens in the decade before his death and first published in German in In it he states his views on the broad question of man’s place doscontents the world, a place Freud defines in terms of ceaseless conflict between the adn quest for freedom and society’s demand for conformity. Freud’s theme is that what works for civilization doesn’t necessarily work for man.

Man, by nature aggressive and egotistical, seeks self-satisfaction. But culture inhibits his instinctual drives. The result is a pervasive and familiar guilt. Of the various English translations of Freud’s major works to appear in his lifetime, only one was authorized by Freud himself: Freud approved the overall editorial plan, specific renderings of key words and phrases, and the addition of valuable notes, from bibliographical and explanatory.

Many of the translations were done by Strachey himself; the rest were prepared under his supervision. The result was to place the Standard Edition in a position of unquestioned supremacy over all other existing versions. Paperbackpages. Published September 17th by W. Norton Company first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

To ask other readers questions about Civilization and Its Discontentsplease sign up. How extensive should one’s knowledge about Freud’s ideas be, in order to properly enjoy the content of this book? Marcelo Campos Freud is a great writer, a very clear scholar.

Most of his books, although intended for the scholar, can be understood by anyone. This one is …more Freud is a great writer, a very clear scholar. This one is specially an easy one besides part VI, when he discussed narcisismus. You could profit civilieation reading “Introduction to Narcisismus” before you read this one, but it is not necessary.

How civllisation pages are in this book? This is followed by an appendix and notes on the following 31 pages. Then two pages …more The whole book has pages, but the main part is only pages. Then two pages of references and 13 pages of closing remarks not by the author himself.


Civilization and Its Discontents

See 2 questions about Civilization djscontents Its Discontents…. Lists with This Book. Exploring what Freud sees as the important clash between the itw for individuality and the expectations of society, the book is considered one of Freud’s most important and widely read works, and one of the most influential and studied books in the field of modern psychology.

Apr 03, C C rated it really liked it. Something deep and ancient roils inside as you do a quick civilixation You stand there fronting a twitching half-smile that conceals the throbbing urge to rip the man-bun off his head with your bare hands. Alas, the spell is broken: Later, tis behind the wheel of your Hybrid, you shudder. Where did that come from, you wonder. That handsomely tailored Oxford button down only goes so far to hide the truth: Go on, if you dare, look inside yourself.

Doscontents see the truth. Just ciivilisation to keep your clothes on. View all 5 comments. Feb 01, Corinne rated it really liked it Shelves: It rejoins what Victor Hugo and Tolstoy and Steinbeck show in their works But, most of all, I think it acutely depicts the 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.

View all 9 comments. Nov 11, Jessica rated it really disclntents it Recommends it for: This is not just transference, and no, he doesn’t remind me at all of my father; I believe Freud ihs a great genius, and far more importantly, that he was a fantastic writer and very interesting person.

I ifs believe that Freud is one of the most unfairly maligned and willfully misinterpreted figures ciivlisation the past hundred-or-so years. If you haven’t read him HIM, not his theoriesor if you have but your mind was so full of distracting, disparaging thoughts about how he was a sexist pig or whatever that you couldn’t concentrate, I encourage you to go back and read him again. He’s a lot of fun, extremely interesting, and surprisingly humorous — check out his short itd on jokes for a good time.

This book here explores dark themes and ends on a somber note, as one might expect of a European book about civilization written disconfents 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. View all 19 comments. Oct 07, Mr. It is a superficial masterpiece that stretches further than any of his other works; he is reaching for an explanation for human civilidation in terms of the id-ego-superego structure of the individual as he exists in civilization.

This small book is filled with as many interesting ideas as any work of modern philosophy. Freud adopts perhaps a bit hastilya Nietzschean position with regard to the role of religion and institutions of social morality which curb and shape primordial human drives.


As a result, human beings, and civilizations as a whole remain unsatisfied and suffer from neuroses. He concludes with a discussion of human aggression, which manifests itself in the form of communalized human aggression. He wonders as to whether or not human beings will be able to overcome this drive.

It seems to me that this question remains the most important for human beings in the 21st century. Will we be able to overcome our Thanatos and survive the destructive powers that we have created?

I suspect that Freud will be better remembered as a thinker and philosopher than as an analyst or doctor precisely because he asks the questions that remain relevant for civilization today, and are likely to remain imperative in the future. Jul 13, Roy Lotz rated it liked it Shelves: If he was some ancient Greek or Medieval thinker, his ideas might not seem as strange. Nonetheless, he remains one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century. In their diluted form, his ideas have pervaded our culture civilisatino the extent that we do not even realize that we are drawing on them.

His name is just as recognizable as Einstein’s, or Darwin’s.

Pondering this, I came upon a realization. Instead of a soul experiencing the temptations of the body, we get the ego experiencing the temptations of the id. Instead of Original Sin, we get the Oedipus Complex.

Civilization and Its Discontents | work by Freud |

Instead of confession and atonement, we get psychotherapy. Replace the Virgin Mother with the mother as an object of lust. Replace the Heavenly Father with the father as an object of jealousy. And replace Jesus with Freud. It is an entire secular religion. His ideas are so appealing, that some people have become enthralled enough to apply them to nearly aspect of human life. The whole sexual liberation movement drew inspiration from this sexually repressed Austrian.

But I am rambling now, let me get to this book. The two works tackle nearly identical issues: And both give historical answers.

But most psychologists nowadays, I suspect, would find it quixotic to look for a historical origin to an emotion. When trying to grapple with something as abstract as a mind, it seems that thinkers resort to an analogy.

These drives can be diverted and redirected, like a stream of water. While this analogy seems viable when thinking about sexual desire or hunger, it is useless when thinking of questions like language acquisition. Moreover, Freud places sexuality in the center of his system. Yet this makes just as much sense as placing the urge to eat in the center of a theory of human nature.

Human behavior is complex. Reducing it down to the satisfaction of one or two drives is beyond simplistic. Freud was one of the first intellectuals though by no means the first to place the emotional life in the center of human nature.