The relationship between the philosophy of Plato and the psychology of Freud.

Essay by antlive84College, Undergraduate September 2003

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Plato and Freud

Plato and Freud, two very influential and intellectual people of their own respective societies, have formed opinions about the mind and the soul and how it is constructed to work hand in hand. According to Plato, all individuals possess instinctive knowledge that tells us about the things we experience in our world. Plato's view suggests that one must resurrect the knowledge that is already imbedded in the brain when we were born. The Republic may be a fairly utopian vision; however it does not seem particularly optimistic about its chances of being realized. This is because one must elevate themselves to the high order of illumination which few are able to attain, therefore making it hard to be realized. Freud was a biological scientist, more interested in the working of individual psychology than in group dynamics. In Freud's pieces his goal is to increase (even if only slightly) individual freedom.

To do this, Freud believes, we have to give human beings a better sense of how they function psychologically, and excellent points can be derived by the interpretation of one's dreams. There's a sense that if we are to establish civilized life properly, then the first thing we must attend to is the individual's sense of his or her own psychological and therefore moral makeup and in this respect, Plato and Freud are very alike.

Although centuries apart, Plato and Freud witnessed the same break up of societies and the collapse of apparently stable social units which had functioned to organize people's sense of themselves for several generations. In this we can almost assume a rapport between the philosophy of Plato and the psychology of Freud, in that both attempt to educate intrapersonally to a different degree. In the excerpt from The Interpretation of Dreams, Freud...