The Interpretation of Dreams
The Interpretation of Dreams is an 1899 book by Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, in which the author introduces his theory of the unconscious with respect to dream interpretation, discusses what would become the theory of the Oedipus complex. Freud revised the book at least eight times and, in the third edition, added an extensive section which treated dream symbolism literally, following the influence of Wilhelm Stekel. Freud said of this work, "Insight such as this falls to one's lot but once in a lifetime."Dated 1900, the book was first published in an edition of 600 copies, which did not sell out for eight years. The Interpretation of Dreams gained in popularity, seven more editions were published in Freud's lifetime; because of the book's length and complexity, Freud wrote an abridged version called On Dreams. The original text is regarded as one of Freud's most significant works. Freud spent the summer of 1895 at Schloss BelleVue near Grinzing in Austria, where he began the inception of The Interpretation of Dreams.
In a 1900 letter to Wilhelm Fliess, he wrote in commemoration of the place: "Do you suppose that some day a marble tablet will be placed on the house, inscribed with these words:'In this house on July 24, 1895, the secret of dreams was revealed to Dr. Sigm. Freud'? At the moment I see little prospect of it." — Freud in a letter to Wilhelm Fliess, June 12, 1900 While staying at Schloss Bellevue, Freud dreamed his famous dream of'Irma's injection'. His reading and analysis of the dream allowed him to be exonerated from his mishandling of the treatment of a patient in 1895. In 1963, Belle Vue manor was demolished, but today a memorial plaque with just that inscription has been erected at the site by the Austrian Sigmund Freud Society. Dreams, in Freud's view, are formed as the result of two mental processes; the first process involves unconscious forces that construct a wish, expressed by the dream, the second is the process of censorship that forcibly distorts the expression of the wish. In Freud's view, all dreams are forms of "wish fulfillment".
Freud states: "My presumption that dreams can be interpreted at once puts me in opposition to the ruling theory of dreams and in fact to every theory of dreams..."Freud advanced the idea that an analyst can differentiate between the manifest content and latent content of a dream. The manifest content refers to the remembered narrative; the latent content refers to the underlying meaning of the dream. During sleep, the unconscious condenses and forms representations of the dream content, the latent content of, unrecognizable to the individual upon waking. Critics have argued. Freud, contested this criticism, noting that "the assertion that all dreams require a sexual interpretation, against which critics rage so incessantly, occurs nowhere in my Interpretation of Dreams, it is not to be found in any of the numerous editions of this book and is in obvious contradiction to other views expressed in it." Freud acknowledged that the interpretation of dreams is the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind."
Freud claimed. Though, the connection may be minor, as the dream content can be selected from any part of the dreamer's life, he described four possible sources of dreams: a) mentally significant experiences represented directly, b) several recent and significant experiences combined into a single unity by the dream, c) one or more recent and significant experiences which are represented in the content by the mention of a contemporary but indifferent experience, d) an internal significant experience, such as a memory or train of thought, invariably represented in the dream by a mention of a recent but indifferent impression. Oftentimes people experience external stimuli, such as an alarm clock or music, being distorted and incorporated into their dreams. Freud explained that this is because "the mind is withdrawn from the external world during sleep, it is unable to give it a correct interpretation..." He further explained that our mind wishes to continue sleeping, therefore will try to suppress external stimuli, weave the stimuli into the dream, compel a person to wake up, or encourage him or her to overcome it.
Freud believed that dreams were picture-puzzles, though they may appear nonsensical and worthless on the surface, through the process of interpretation they can form a "poetical phrase of the greatest beauty and significance." Dreams are brief compared to the abundance of dream thoughts. Through condensation or compression, dream content can be presented in one dream. Oftentimes, people may recall having more than one dream in a night. Freud explained that the content of all dreams occurring on the same night represents part of the same whole, he believed. The first dream is more distorted and the latter is more distinct. Displacement of dream content occurs when manifest content does not resemble the actual meaning of the dream. Displacement comes through the influence of a censorship agent. Representation in dreams is the causal relation between two things. Freud argues that objects can be combined into a single representation in a dream. An abridged version called On Dreams was published in 1901 as part of Lowenfeld and Kurella's Grenzfragen des Nerven und Seelenlebens.
It was re-published in 1911 in larger form as a book. On Dreams is also
A need is something, necessary for an organism to live a healthy life. Needs are distinguished from wants in that, in the case of a need, a deficiency causes a clear adverse outcome: a dysfunction or death. In other words, a need is something required for a safe and healthy life while a want is a desire, wish or aspiration; when needs or wants are backed by purchasing power, they have the potential to become economic demands. Basic needs such as water, air and protection from environmental dangers are necessary for an organism to live. In addition to basic needs, humans have needs of a social or societal nature such as the human need to socialise of belong to a family unit or group. Needs can be objective and physical, such as the need for food, or psychological and subjective, such as the need for self-esteem. Needs and wants are a matter of interest in, form a common substrate for, the fields of philosophy, psychology, social science, economics and politics. To most psychologists, need is a psychological feature that arouses an organism to action toward a goal, giving purpose and direction to behavior.
The most known academic model of needs was proposed by psychologist, Abraham Maslow, in 1943. His theory proposed that people have a hierarchy of psychological needs, which range from basic physiological or lower order needs such as food and safety through to the higher order needs such as self-actualization. People tend to spend most of their resources attempting to satisfy these basic before the higher order needs of belonging and self-actualization become meaningful. Maslow's approach is a generalised model for understanding human motivations in a wide variety of contexts, but must be adapted for specific contexts. While intuitively appealing, Maslow's model has been difficult to operationalize experimentally, it was developed further by Clayton Alderfer. The academic study of needs, at its zenith in the 1950s, receives less attention among psychologists today. One exception involves Richard Sennett's work on the importance of respect. One difficulty with a psychological theory of needs is that conceptions of "need" may vary radically among different cultures or among different parts of the same society.
For a psychological theory of human need, one found compatible with the Doyal/Gough Theory, see self-determination theory. A second view of need is presented in the work of political economy professor Ian Gough, who has published on the subject of human needs in the context of social assistance provided by the welfare state. Together with medical ethics professor Len Doyal, he has published A Theory of Human Need, their view goes beyond the emphasis on psychology: it might be said that an individual's needs represent "the costs of being human" within society. A person who does not have his needs fulfilled—i.e. A "needy" person—will function poorly in society. In the view of Gough and Doyal, every person has an objective interest in avoiding serious harm that prevents that person from endeavoring to attain his vision of what is good, regardless of what that may be; that endeavor requires a capacity to participate in the societal setting in which the individual lives. More every person needs to possess both physical health and personal autonomy.
The latter involves the capacity to make informed choices about what should be done and how to implement it. This requires mental health, cognitive skills, opportunities to participate in society's activities and collective decision-making. How are such needs satisfied? Doyal and Gough point to twelve broad categories of "intermediate needs" that define how the needs for physical health and personal autonomy are fulfilled: Adequate nutritious food and water Adequate protective housing A safe work environment A supply of clothing A safe physical environment Appropriate health care Security in childhood Meaningful primary relations with others Physical security Economic security Safe birth control and child-bearing Appropriate basic and cross-cultural educationHow are the details of needs satisfaction determined? The authors point to rational identification of needs; the satisfaction of human needs cannot be imposed "from above". This theory may be compared to the"capability approach" developed by Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum.
Individuals with more internal "assets" or "capacities" have more capabilities. They are thus more able to avoid poverty; those individuals who possess more capabilities fulfill more of their needs. Pending publication in 2015 in the Cambridge Journal of Economics of the final version of this work, Gough discussed the Doyal/Gough theory in a working paper available online; the concept of intellectual need has been studied in education, as well as in social work, where an Oxford Bibliographies Online: Social Work entry on Human Need reviewed the literature as of 2008 on human need from a variety of disciplines. See the 2008 and pending 2015 entries on Human Needs: Overview in the Encyclopedia of Social Work. In his 1844 Paris Manuscripts, Karl Marx famously defined humans as "creatures of need" or "needy creatures" who experienced suffering in the process of learning and working to meet their needs; these needs were both physical needs as well as moral and intellectual needs. According to Marx, human development is characterized by the fact that in the process of meeting their needs, humans develop new needs, implying that at least to some extent they
Suffering, or pain in a broad sense, may be an experience of unpleasantness and aversion associated with the perception of harm or threat of harm in an individual. Suffering is the basic element; the opposite of suffering is happiness. Suffering is categorized as physical or mental, it may come from mild to intolerable. Factors of duration and frequency of occurrence compound that of intensity. Attitudes toward suffering may vary in the sufferer or other people, according to how much it is regarded as avoidable or unavoidable, useful or useless, deserved or undeserved. Suffering occurs in the lives of sentient beings in numerous manners dramatically; as a result, many fields of human activity are concerned with some aspects of suffering. These aspects may include the nature of suffering, its processes, its origin and causes, its meaning and significance, its related personal and cultural behaviors, its remedies and uses; the word suffering is sometimes used in the narrow sense of physical pain, but more it refers to mental pain, or more yet it refers to pain in the broad sense, i.e. to any unpleasant feeling, emotion or sensation.
The word pain refers to physical pain, but it is a common synonym of suffering. The words pain and suffering are used both together in different ways. For instance, they may be used as interchangeable synonyms. Or they may be used in'contradistinction' to one another, as in "pain is physical, suffering is mental", or "pain is inevitable, suffering is optional". Or they may be used to define each other, as in "pain is physical suffering", or "suffering is severe physical or mental pain". Qualifiers, such as physical, mental and psychological, are used to refer to certain types of pain or suffering. In particular, mental pain may be used in relationship with physical pain for distinguishing between two wide categories of pain or suffering. A first caveat concerning such a distinction is that it uses physical pain in a sense that includes not only the'typical sensory experience of physical pain' but other unpleasant bodily experiences including air hunger, vestibular suffering, sleep deprivation, itching.
A second caveat is that the terms physical or mental should not be taken too literally: physical pain or suffering, as a matter of fact, happens through conscious minds and involves emotional aspects, while mental pain or suffering happens through physical brains and, being an emotion, involves important physiological aspects. The word unpleasantness, which some people use as a synonym of suffering or pain in the broad sense, may be used to refer to the basic affective dimension of pain in contrast with the sensory dimension, as for instance in this sentence: "Pain-unpleasantness is though not always linked to both the intensity and unique qualities of the painful sensation." Other current words that have a definition with some similarity to suffering include distress, misery, woe, discomfort, disagreeableness. Hedonism, as an ethical theory, claims that good and bad consist in pleasure and pain. Many hedonists, in accordance with Epicurus and contrarily to popular perception of his doctrine, advocate that we should first seek to avoid suffering and that the greatest pleasure lies in a robust state of profound tranquility, free from the worrisome pursuit or the unwelcome consequences of ephemeral pleasures.
For Stoicism, the greatest good lies in reason and virtue, but the soul best reaches it through a kind of indifference to pleasure and pain: as a consequence, this doctrine has become identified with stern self-control in regard to suffering. Jeremy Bentham developed hedonistic utilitarianism, a popular doctrine in ethics and economics. Bentham argued that the right act or policy was that which would cause "the greatest happiness of the greatest number", he suggested a procedure called hedonic or felicific calculus, for determining how much pleasure and pain would result from any action. John Stuart Mill promoted the doctrine of hedonistic utilitarianism. Karl Popper, in The Open Society and Its Enemies, proposed a negative utilitarianism, which prioritizes the reduction of suffering over the enhancement of happiness when speaking of utility: "I believe that there is, from the ethical point of view, no symmetry between suffering and happiness, or between pain and pleasure. Human suffering makes a direct moral appeal for help, while there is no similar call to increase the happiness of a man, doing well anyway."
David Pearce, for his part, advocates a utilitarianism that aims straightforwardly at the abolition of suffering through the use of biotechnology. Another aspect worthy of mention here is that many utilitarians since Bentham hold that the moral status of a being comes from its ability to feel pleasure and pain: therefore, moral agents should consider not only the interests of human beings but those of animals. Richard Ryder came to the same conclusion in his concepts of'speciesism' and'painism'. Peter Singer's writings the book Animal Liberation, represent the leading edge of this kind of utilitarianism for animals as well as for people. Another doctrine related to the relief of suffering is humanitarianism. "Where humanitarian efforts seek a positive addition to the happiness of sentient beings, it is to make the unhappy happy rather than the happy happier. [
Psychophysics quantitatively investigates the relationship between physical stimuli and the sensations and perceptions they produce. Psychophysics has been described as "the scientific study of the relation between stimulus and sensation" or, more as "the analysis of perceptual processes by studying the effect on a subject's experience or behaviour of systematically varying the properties of a stimulus along one or more physical dimensions". Psychophysics refers to a general class of methods that can be applied to study a perceptual system. Modern applications rely on threshold measurement, ideal observer analysis, signal detection theory. Psychophysics has important practical applications. For example, in the study of digital signal processing, psychophysics has informed the development of models and methods of lossy compression; these models explain why humans perceive little loss of signal quality when audio and video signals are formatted using lossy compression. Many of the classical techniques and theories of psychophysics were formulated in 1860 when Gustav Theodor Fechner in Leipzig published Elemente der Psychophysik.
He coined the term "psychophysics", describing research intended to relate physical stimuli to the contents of consciousness such as sensations. As a physicist and philosopher, Fechner aimed at developing a method that relates matter to the mind, connecting the publicly observable world and a person's experienced impression of it, his ideas were inspired by experimental results on the sense of touch and light obtained in the early 1830s by the German physiologist Ernst Heinrich Weber in Leipzig, most notably those on the minimum discernible difference in intensity of stimuli of moderate strength which Weber had shown to be a constant fraction of the reference intensity, which Fechner referred to as Weber's law. From this, Fechner derived his well-known logarithmic scale, now known as Fechner scale. Weber's and Fechner's work formed one of the bases of psychology as a science, with Wilhelm Wundt founding the first laboratory for psychological research in Leipzig. Fechner's work systematised the introspectionist approach, that had to contend with the Behaviorist approach in which verbal responses are as physical as the stimuli.
During the 1930s, when psychological research in Nazi Germany came to a halt, both approaches began to be replaced by use of stimulus-response relationships as evidence for conscious or unconscious processing in the mind. Fechner's work was studied and extended by Charles S. Peirce, aided by his student Joseph Jastrow, who soon became a distinguished experimental psychologist in his own right. Peirce and Jastrow confirmed Fechner's empirical findings, but not all. In particular, a classic experiment of Peirce and Jastrow rejected Fechner's estimation of a threshold of perception of weights, as being far too high. In their experiment and Jastrow in fact invented randomized experiments: They randomly assigned volunteers to a blinded, repeated-measures design to evaluate their ability to discriminate weights. Peirce's experiment inspired other researchers in psychology and education, which developed a research tradition of randomized experiments in laboratories and specialized textbooks in the 1900s.
The Peirce–Jastrow experiments were conducted as part of Peirce's application of his pragmaticism program to human perception. Jastrow wrote the following summary: "Mr. Peirce’s courses in logic gave me my first real experience of intellectual muscle. Though I promptly took to the laboratory of psychology when, established by Stanley Hall, it was Peirce who gave me my first training in the handling of a psychological problem, at the same time stimulated my self-esteem by entrusting me fairly innocent of any laboratory habits, with a real bit of research, he borrowed the apparatus for me, which I took to my room, installed at my window, with which, when conditions of illumination were right, I took the observations. The results were published over our joint names in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; the demonstration that traces of sensory effect too slight to make any registry in consciousness could none the less influence judgment, may itself have been a persistent motive that induced me years to undertake a book on The Subconscious."
This work distinguishes observable cognitive performance from the expression of consciousness. Modern approaches to sensory perception, such as research on vision, hearing, or touch, measure what the perceiver's judgment extracts from the stimulus putting aside the question what sensations are being experienced. One leading method is based on signal detection theory, developed for cases of weak stimuli. However, the subjectivist approach persists among those in the tradition of Stanley Smith Stevens. Stevens revived the idea of a power law suggested by 19th century researchers, in contrast with Fechner's log-linear function, he advocated the assignment of numbers in ratio to the strengths of stimuli, called magnitude estimation. Stevens added techniques such as cross-modality matching, he opposed the assignment of stimulus strengths to points on a line that are labeled in order of strength. That sort of response has remained popular in applied psychophysics; such multiple-category layouts are misnamed Likert scaling after the question items used by Likert to create multi-item psychometric scales, e.g. seven phrases from "strongly
Epicurus was an ancient Greek philosopher who founded a influential school of philosophy now called Epicureanism. He was born on the Greek island of Samos to Athenian parents. Influenced by Democritus and the Cynics, he turned against the Platonism of his day and established his own school, known as "the Garden", in Athens, he and his followers were known for eating simple meals and discussing a wide range of philosophical subjects, he allowed women to join the school as a matter of policy. An prolific writer, he is said to have written over 300 works on various subjects, but the vast majority of these writings have been lost. Only three letters written by him—the Letters to Menoeceus and Herodotus—and two collections of quotes—the Principle Doctrines and the Vatican Sayings—have survived intact, along with a few fragments and quotations of his other writings, his teachings are better recorded in the writings of authors, including the Roman poet Lucretius, the philosopher Philodemus, the philosopher Sextus Empiricus, the biographer Diogenes Laërtius.
For Epicurus, the purpose of philosophy was to attain the happy, tranquil life, characterized by ataraxia—peace and freedom from fear— and aponia—the absence of pain— and by living a self-sufficient life surrounded by friends. He taught that the root of all human neurosis is death denial, the tendency for human beings to assume that death will be horrific and painful, which he claimed causes unnecessary anxiety, selfish self-protective behaviors, hypocrisy. According to Epicurus, death is the end of both the body and the soul and therefore should not be feared. Epicurus taught that the gods, though they do exist, have no involvement in human affairs and do not punish or reward people for their actions. Nonetheless, he maintained that people should still behave ethically because amoral behavior will burden them with guilt and prevent them from attaining ataraxia. Like Aristotle, Epicurus was an empiricist, meaning he believed that the senses are the only reliable source of knowledge about the world.
He derived much of his cosmology from the earlier philosopher Democritus. Like Democritus, Epicurus taught that the universe is infinite and eternal and that all matter is made up of tiny, invisible particles known as atoms. All occurrences in the natural world are the result of atoms moving and interacting in empty space. Epicurus deviated from Democritus in his teaching of atomic "swerve", which holds that atoms may deviate from their expected course, thus permitting humans to possess free will in an otherwise deterministic universe. Though popular, Epicurean teachings were controversial from the beginning. Epicureanism reached the height of its popularity during the late years of the Roman Republic, before declining as the rival school of Stoicism grew in popularity at its expense, it died out in late antiquity in the wake of early Christianity. Epicurus himself was popularly, though inaccurately, remembered throughout the Middle Ages as a patron of drunkards and gluttons, his teachings became more known in the fifteenth century with the rediscovery of important texts, but his ideas did not become acceptable until the seventeenth century, when the French Catholic priest Pierre Gassendi revived a modified version of them, promoted by other writers, including Walter Charleton and Robert Boyle.
His influence grew during and after the Enlightenment, profoundly impacting the ideas of major thinkers, including John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, Jeremy Bentham, Karl Marx. Epicurus was born in the Athenian settlement on the Aegean island of Samos in February 341 BC, his parents and Chaerestrate, were both Athenian-born, his father was an Athenian citizen. Epicurus grew up during the final years of the Greek Classical Period. Plato had died seven years before Epicurus was born and Epicurus was seven years old when Alexander the Great crossed the Hellespont into Persia; as a child, Epicurus would have received a typical ancient Greek education. As such, according to Norman Wentworth DeWitt, "it is inconceivable that he would have escaped the Platonic training in geometry and rhetoric." Epicurus is known to have studied under the instruction of a Samian Platonist named Pamphilus for about four years. His Letter of Menoeceus and surviving fragments of his other writings suggest that he had extensive training in rhetoric.
After the death of Alexander the Great, Perdiccas expelled the Athenian settlers on Samos to Colophon, on the coast of what is now Turkey. After the completion of his military service, Epicurus joined his family there, he studied under Nausiphanes. Epicurus's teachings were influenced by those of earlier philosophers Democritus. Nonetheless, Epicurus differed from his predecessors on several key points of determinism and vehemently denied having been influenced by any previous philosophers, whom he denounced as "confused". Instead, he insisted that he had been "self-taught". According to DeWitt, Epicurus's teachings show influences from the contemporary philosophical school of Cynicism; the Cynic philosopher Diogenes of Sinope was still alive when Epicurus would have been in Athens for his required military training and it is possible they may have met. Diogenes's pupil Crates of Thebes was a close contemporary of Epicurus. Epicurus agreed with the Cynics' quest for honesty, but rejected their "insolence and vulgarity", instead teaching that honesty must be coupled with courtesy and kindness.
Epicurus shared this view with the comic playwright Menander. Epicurus's Lett
Gustav Theodor Fechner was a German philosopher and experimental psychologist. An early pioneer in experimental psychology and founder of psychophysics, he inspired many 20th-century scientists and philosophers, he is credited with demonstrating the non-linear relationship between psychological sensation and the physical intensity of a stimulus via the formula: S = K ln I, which became known as the Weber–Fechner law. Fechner was born near Muskau, in Lower Lusatia, where his father was a pastor. Despite being raised by his religious father, Fechner became an atheist in life, he was educated first at Sorau. In 1817 he studied of medicine at the Medizinische Akademie Carl Gustav Carus in Dresden and from 1818 at the University of Leipzig, the city in which he spent the rest of his life, he earned his PhD from Leipzig in 1835. In 1834 he was appointed professor of physics, but in 1839, he contracted an eye disorder while studying the phenomena of color and vision, after much suffering, resigned. Subsequently recovering, he turned to the study of the mind and its relations with the body, giving public lectures on the subjects dealt with in his books.
Whilst lying in bed Fechner had an insight into the relationship between mental sensations and material sensations. This insight proved to be significant in the development of psychology as there was now a quantitative relationship between the mental and physical worlds. Fechner published chemical and physical papers, translated chemical works by Jean-Baptiste Biot and Louis Jacques Thénard from the French. A different but essential side of his character is seen in his poems and humorous pieces, such as the Vergleichende Anatomie der Engel, written under the pseudonym of "Dr. Mises." Fechner's epoch-making work was his Elemente der Psychophysik. He starts from the monistic thought that bodily facts and conscious facts, though not reducible one to the other, are different sides of one reality, his originality lies in trying to discover an exact mathematical relation between them. The most famous outcome of his inquiries is the law known as the Weber–Fechner law which may be expressed as follows: "In order that the intensity of a sensation may increase in arithmetical progression, the stimulus must increase in geometrical progression."Though holding good within certain limits only, the law has been found to be immensely useful.
Fechner's law implies that sensation is a logarithmic function of physical intensity, impossible due to the logarithm's singularity at zero. Fechner's general formula for getting at the number of units in any sensation is S = c log R, where S stands for the sensation, R for the stimulus numerically estimated, c for a constant that must be separately determined by experiment in each particular order of sensibility. Fechner's reasoning has been criticized on the grounds that although stimuli are composite, sensations are not. "Every sensation," says William James, "presents itself as an indivisible unit. In 1838, he studied the still-mysterious perceptual illusion of what is still called the Fechner color effect, whereby colors are seen in a moving pattern of black and white; the English journalist and amateur scientist Charles Benham, in 1894, enabled English-speakers to learn of the effect through the invention of the spinning top that bears his name. Whether Fechner and Benham actually met face to face for any reason is not known.
In 1878 Fechner published a paper. He delved into experimental aesthetics and thought to determine the shapes and dimensions of aesthetically pleasing objects, he used the sizes of paintings as his data base. In his 1876 Vorschule der Aesthetik he used the method of extreme ranks for subjective judgements. Fechner is credited with introducing the median into the formal analysis of data. In 1871 Fechner reported the first empirical survey of coloured letter photisms among 73 synesthetes, his work was followed in the 1880s by that of Francis Galton. One of Fechner's speculations about consciousness dealt with brain. During his time, it was known that the brain is bilaterally symmetrical and that there is a deep division between the two halves that are linked by a connecting band of fibers called the corpus callosum. Fechner speculated that if the corpus callosum were split, two separate streams of consciousness would result - the mind would become two. Yet, Fechner believed. During the mid-twentieth century, Roger Sperry and Michael Gazzaniga worked on epileptic patients with sectioned corpus callosum and observed that Fechner's idea was correct.
Fechner constructed ten rectangles with different ratios of width to length and asked numerous observers to choose the "best" and "worst" rectangle shape. He was concerned with the visual appeal of rectangles with different proportions. Participants were explicitly instructed to disregard any associations that they have with the rectangles, e.g. with objects of similar ratios. The rectangles chosen as "best" by the largest number of participants and as "worst" by the least number of participants had a ratio of 0.62. This ratio is known as the "golden section" and referred to the ratio of a rectangle's width to length, most appealing to the eye. Carl Stumpf was a p
Civilization and Its Discontents
Civilization and Its Discontents is a book by Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis. It was written in 1929 and first published in German in 1930 as Das Unbehagen in der Kultur. Exploring what Freud sees as the important clash between the desire for individuality and the expectations of society, the book is considered one of Freud's most important and read works, one of the most influential and studied books in the field of modern psychology. Freud enumerates what he sees as the fundamental tensions between the individual; the primary friction, he asserts, stems from the individual's quest for instinctive freedom and civilization's contrary demand for conformity and repression of instincts. Freud states that when any situation, desired by the pleasure principle is prolonged, it creates a feeling of mild contentment. Many of humankind's primitive instincts are harmful to the well-being of a human community; as a result, civilization creates laws that prohibit killing and adultery, it implements severe punishments if these rules are broken.
Thus our possibilities for happiness are restricted by the law. This process, argues Freud, is an inherent quality of civilization that gives rise to perpetual feelings of discontent among its citizens. Freud's theory is based on the notion that humans have certain characteristic instincts that are immutable; these include, most notably, the desires for sex, the predisposition to violent aggression towards authority figures and sexual competitors, who obstruct the individual's path to gratification. Freud begins this work by taking up a possible source of religious feeling that his previous book, The Future of an Illusion, overlooked: the "oceanic feeling" of wholeness and eternity. Freud himself cannot experience this feeling of dissolution, but notes there exist different pathological and healthy states where the boundary between ego and object is lost, blurred, or distorted. Freud categorizes the oceanic feeling as being a regression into an earlier state of consciousness — before the ego had differentiated itself from the world of objects.
The need for this religious feeling, he writes, arises out of "the infant's helplessness and the longing for the father," as there is no greater infantile need than a father's protection. Freud "imagine that the oceanic feeling became connected with religion on" in cultural practices; the second chapter delves into how religion is one coping strategy that arises out of a need for the individual to distance himself from all of the suffering in the world. The ego of the child forms over the oceanic feeling when it grasps that there are negative aspects of reality from which it would prefer to distance itself, but at the same time as the ego is hoping to avoid displeasure, it is building itself so that it may be better able to act towards securing happiness, these are the twin aims of the pleasure principle when the ego realizes that it must deal with'reality'. Freud claims that the'purpose of life is the programme of the pleasure principle' and the rest of the chapter is an exploration of various styles of adaptation that humans use to secure happiness from the world while trying to limit their exposure to suffering or avoid it altogether.
Freud points out three main sources of displeasure that we attempt to master: our own painful and mortal existence, the cruel and destructive aspects of the natural world, the suffering endemic to the reality that we must live with other human beings in a society. Freud regards this last source of displeasure as "perhaps more painful to us than any other", the remainder of this book will extrapolate on the conflict between the individual's instinct for seeking gratification and the reality of societal life; the third chapter of the book addresses a fundamental paradox of civilization: it is a tool we have created to protect ourselves from unhappiness, yet it is our largest source of unhappiness. People become neurotic because they cannot tolerate the frustration which society imposes in the service of its cultural ideals. Freud points out that advances in science and technology have been, at best, a mixed blessing for human happiness, he asks what society is for if not to satisfy the pleasure principle, but concedes that as well as pursuing happiness, civilization must compromise happiness in order to fulfill its primary goal of bringing individuals into peaceful relationship with one another, which it does by making them subject to a higher, communal authority.
Civilization is built out of wish-fulfillments of the human ideals of control, hygiene and for the exercise of humanity's highest intellectual functions. Freud draws a key analogy between the development of civilization and libidinal development in the individual, which allows Freud to speak of civilization in his own terms: there is anal eroticism that develops into a need for order and cleanliness, a sublimation of instincts into useful actions, alongside a more repressive renunciation of instinct; this final point Freud sees as the most important character of civilization, if it is not compensated for “one can be certain that serious disorders will ensue.". The structure of civilization serves to circumvent the natural processes and feelings of human development and eroticism, it is no wonder that this repression could lead to discontent among civilians. In the fourth chapter, Freud attempts a conjecture on the developmental history of civilization, which he supposes coincided with man learning to stand upright.
This stage is followed by Freud's hypothesis from Totem and Taboo that human culture is bound up in an