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Origins of Religion: "Totem and Taboo" and "Moses and Monotheism" (The Penguin Freud library) [Paperback]

Sigmund Freud


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13 Dec 1990 The Penguin Freud library
This work presents a detailed account of Freud's views on the subject of religious belief. Stressing its unconscious and primitive aspects, Freud draws parallels between religion and the mental life of primitive societies, children and neurotics.


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Sigmund Freud was born in 1856 in Moravia; between the ages of four and eighty-two his home was in Vienna: in 1938 Hitler's invasion of Austria forced him to seek asylum in London, where he died in the following year.

His career began with several years of brilliant work on the anatomy and physiology of the nervous system. He was almost thirty when, after a period of study under Charcot in Paris, his interests first turned to psychology, and another ten years of clinical work in Vienna (at first in collaboration with Breuer, an older colleague) saw the birth of his creation, psychoanalysis. This began simply as a method of treating neurotic patients by investigating their minds, but it quickly grew into an accumulation of knowledge about the workings of the mind in general, whether sick or healthy. Freud was thus able to demonstrate the normal development of the sexual instinct in childhood and, largely on the basis of an examination of dreams, arrived at his fundamental discovery of the unconscious forces that influence our everyday thoughts and actions.

Freud's life was uneventful, but his ideas have shaped not only many specialist disciplines, but the whole intellectual climate of the last half-century.


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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a past that is terrifying 30 Sep 2010
By Bruce P. Barten - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
On a scale from stillborn to born with a brain, Freud lived too long to be pleased with the ideas of his own society and went searching though the information we have about antiquity to see why societies behave like the father has been killed, eaten, and anyone with a sure plan to usher in a new world can find followers who will burn books and people like Freud. Freud sure was thinking, and hundreds of years or a thousand years might illustrate how empires have been twisting in the wind. Freud had learned so much about the behavior of individuals with neuroses that he could classify stages of religious development with the way new ideas are first rejected. Then what? TV never gets mentioned, and Freud never got to play video games.
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