- Mass Market Paperback: 112 pages
- Publisher: Penguin; Rev Ed edition (2 Sept. 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0141018992
- ISBN-13: 978-0141018997
- Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 1 x 17.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
30,240 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #7 in Books > Health, Family & Lifestyle > Psychology & Psychiatry > Schools of Thought > Psychoanalysis > Freud, Sigmund
- #42 in Books > Health, Family & Lifestyle > Psychology & Psychiatry > Schools of Thought > Psychoanalysis > Theory
- #66 in Books > Health, Family & Lifestyle > Psychology & Psychiatry > History & Philosophy
Penguin Great Ideas : Civilisation and Its Discontents Mass Market Paperback – 2 Sep 2004
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About the Author
Sigmund Freud was born in 1856 and died in exile in London in 1939. As a writer and doctor he remains one of the informing voices of the twentieth century.
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Top Customer Reviews
The main concern of Freud is how people find and maintain happiness. Freud thinks that life is so hard to bear that human beings need a palliative. Palliatives could take the form of religion, the arts or work. In order to sustain his argument about the reasons that keep us happy, Freud uses a wide array of concepts. Many of these concepts such as the Id, the Ego, the Superego, the Libido, the Pleasure Principle, and the Reality Principle are to be found elsewhere in Freud's great oeuvre but ironically it is these very concepts that make for a difficult read, in some passages, of this great little book.
Many of Freud's views has long been criticised as lacking empirical evidence, as being sexist and/or Eurocentric. Some of that criticism stands. However, on the other hand, I think some of that criticism has been over stated. For example, take the issue of Eurocentricism, what Freud stated all those years ago I now see many non European people striving to achieve in the search for happiness - for example, the palliative of materialism.
I began by stating that the book is still relevant today so let me conclude by giving two examples as to why it is relevant. Some 80 years on from publication human beings are still faced with a lot of aggression and wars.Read more ›
Religion is 'so patently infantile.' Voluntary loneliness: 'the happiness found along this path is that of peace.' I have never put so many Bookmarks or Underlined so much as I have in Sigmund Freud's 'Civilization and Its Discontents.'
I had started on my exploration of 'civilisation' in Henri Charriere's Papillon when the word was so clearly dirty and untrustworthy when compared to the purity involved in 'crime' and the 'underworld.' From there I enjoyed A Brief Guide to Classical Civilization with its analysis of Greek and Roman literature as illuminating as its insights into architecture and politics.
So I could not resist a television documentary made in the 1960s called Civilisation : Complete BBC Series (4 Disc Box Set)Lord Clark won me over with his report of capitalism's 'monstrous proportions.' I want to watch this documentary right through a couple of times before I consider reviewing it.
With Freud civilisation and culture are overlaid. It is a straight fight between the individual and civilisation. The sexual urge and the community. 'Civilised man has exchanged some part of his chances for happiness for a measure of security,' very sad. He analyses the quest for something we call happiness.Read more ›
According to Freud our happiness is in constant jeopardy from our bodies (inevitable decline, pain, anxiety), the external world (overwhelming, implacable destructive forces) and our relations to others (the unpredictability and capriciousness of others being perhaps the cause of the most pain). In response to such exigencies we need palliative measures - distractions, substitutions, intoxicants. Moreover we are constitutionally incapable of maintaining states of permanent happiness as happiness is largely the satisfaction of pent up frustrations and needs. To make matters worse many of our strategies for avoiding suffering are double edged swords that can create greater long-term suffering - as Jung wisely said elsewhere 'the cause of neuroses is the avoidance of legitimate suffering ' - and this is particularly evident in 'the archaeology of the mind' in which our early stages of our developmental psychology uneasily coexist with our more adult states often causing us to behave in less than rational, subtle and difficult to understand ways. At the root of all this is also a tendency towards aggressiveness.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I may like it because Freud always did write clearly about complicated subjects. Since I am investigating (again) his thought it is not a matter of my agreeing with him or not. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Roger
This book is written in archaic English which, on one hand, is interesting and on the other, makes for a slightly tougher read. This is not a long book. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Tony Alexander
So many years on and this still all feels very relevant to today's world. A great theory well thought out and explained. A must for the starting knowledge of psychology .Published 13 months ago by N. Drennan
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