Instinctual Scapegoat

The turn of the twentieth century saw the end of the Victorian Era in Europe, and the disciplines of literature, natural science, philosophy, and psychology spearheaded a backlash against formerly dominant middle class ideals. The psychologists Ivan Pavlov and Sigmund Freud studied conditioned reflexes and human instinct, bringing into question mans’ own agency, and thus his ability to marshal infinite progress. Freud’s “Civilization and Die Weltanschauung” was written in the waning days of World War I in 1918.… Read the rest here

Freud: Civilization & Die Weltanschauung

Sigmund Freud was a controversial Austrian neurologist who is largely considered the founder of the psychoanalysis field of psychology. For this piece, Civilization & Die Weltanschauung, Freud diverts from the field of abnormal psych and the study of sexuality to write about the relationship between economics, civilization, philosophy, religion and science. Freud writes in 1918, around the end of the first World War.

It is clear that Freud is addressing an audience for this lecture, as he uses phrases such as “In an earlier lecture we have emphasized…”, beyond that Freud utilizes rhetoric skillfully to make his point, starting with the first sentence of the lecture in which he defines Weltanschauung,

 I mean an intellectual construction which gives a unified solution of all the problems of our existence in virtue of a comprehensive hypothesis, a construction, therefore, in which no question is left open and in which everything in which we are interested finds a place.

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Freud’s Weltanschauung

Sigmund Freud, known to college students everywhere for his ability to trace all human activity back to sex, published “Civilization and Die Weltanschauung” in 1918, near the end of World War I. While Freud never explicitly mentioned WWI in the excerpt discussed here, he did state that man’s natural inclination to aggression is one of the greatest impediments to civilization. The struggle between a number of contrasting factors, including the struggle between the instinct for life and the instinct for destruction (aggression) forms the evolution of human civilization, according to Freud.… Read the rest here

Civilization and Die Weltanshauung

Three Points:

1) Weltanschauung offers a solution to all problems in existences by way of a comprehensive hypothesis and construction. That way, everything finds a place.

2) Religion is a negative influence on civilization, as it inhibits thought and exerts power over human emotions. Furthermore, religion is dismissed by Freud as outdated and ignorant.

3) Civilization progresses due to economic situations, and is comparable to an organic process. Evolution of civilization is brought on by the struggle for life of humans.… Read the rest here