Sigmund Freud

Essay by recklessrave October 2004

download word file, 2 pages 3.0

Downloaded 75 times

I agree to the following writings of Sigmund Freud: -

Civilization and its Discontents

The Interpretation of Dreams

The Psychopathology of Everyday Life.

These writings can be found at the following links: -

When Freud looks at civilization (Civilization and its Discontents), he sees two fundamental principles at work. He calls them the "reality principal" and the "pleasure principal" and according to him, the pleasure principle tells us to do whatever we like to do, and the reality principle tells us to subordinate pleasure to what really needs to be done. To subordinate the pleasure principle to the reality principle, the individual has to go through a psychological process which Freud calls "sublimation", where you take desires that can not be fulfilled, or should not be fulfilled, and turn their energy into something useful and productive (e.g.: work, play sports...). But the desire for pleasure never truly disappears, even when it is sublimated into something else.

The desires that can not be fulfilled are repressed into a particular place in the mind, which Freud labels "the unconscious". Because it contains repressed desires, things that our conscious mind is not supposed to want, and is not even supposed to know about, nobody can get to his or her unconscious just by thinking about it directly. Indirect routes can therefore be taken to get to the content of one's unconscious.

The first one is dreams, and according to Freud, they are symbolic fulfillment of wishes that can't be fulfilled in real life because they have been repressed into the unconscious (The Interpretation of Dreams). He says that no matter how bizarre they may be, are actually thoughts that the mind has repressed while one is awake. During sleep, these repressed thoughts can no longer be held...