The Life, Career, and Contributions of Sigmund Freud

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Freud Himself

I think it would have been better if this part also included the reason why Freud engaged himself with academia in the first place, which was directly related to antisemitism at the time. I would say that this is important, because Freud’s attachment to the theme of the phallic organ is also not unrelated to this. According to the biography on Freud, it was theorized by so called “scientific racism at the time that, unlike other races that evolved from apes, “Jews and Gypsies evolved from eels in the ocean.” This theory was apparently “supported at the time by the fact that eels remained completely mysterious to the marine biologists at the time when it comes to their reproduction, as it remained mysteries in the early 20 century where eels lay their eggs in the ocean and how eels reproduce sexually.

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Freud began his early career as a biologist, whose main interest was to anatomically find out where eels have their penises on their body, as he longed to challenge this anti-semitic observation at the time, as much as Freud was of Jewish descent himself. In this broader context, it would have been helpful if this part of our textbook included this story on how Freud introduced himself to academia in the first place, as it would have illustrated Freud’s religious background as a person, along with the possible reason behind his life-long attachment to the symbol of penis.

Psychic Determinism

Since this part of the book came up with an example of a clerical figure being caught for his pedophilic activities in secret, it reminds me of how Durand and Barlow mentioned in their book Essentials of Abnormal Psychology, the observations that innate pedophiles often engage themselves actively in socially ethical opportunities and careers in order to compensate for their impulse. I remember that these observations were made academically right after it became a social issue back in 1980s how some of the most renowned televangelists at the time turned out to have committed pedophilic activities Perhaps according to this clinical conclusion that Durand and Barlow have illustrated, these clerical figures could reach up to their current status as the renowned clerics, exactly because they were so much in the self-hatred about their pedophilic impulse that they became just that active in their ethical activities in the Christian communion.

Internal Structure

As the concepts of Id, Ego, and Superego are being introduced here. I wonder how this would be applicable to the pathological situation of Alien Hand Syndrome. According to what I learned about Alien Hand Syndrome. The reason behind this pathology is the natural consequence of a split-brian. By which the left hemisphere, which is in charge of linguistic communication, becomes unable to keep track of what the right hemisphere thinks, hence the inability to explain and ponder intuitively on the behaviors of one’s own left hand. Yet, according to Freud’s concepts of Id, Ego, and Superego, now in the context of Alien Hand Syndrome, does it mean that the “Alien Hand” now only has animalistic Id for itself, as it is incapable of language, which is considered the major difference between human beings and other animal species? I would perhaps come up with this question in the class meeting next week.

Psychic Conflict and Compromise

Since this part of the book mentioned that Superego stands for ethical values. As opposed to basic desires. I wonder how we ought to explain the situation in which these “ethical values” themselves. Are actually not in accordance with the ecological nature of the universe. In fact, what if Superego itself has a set of ethics that is directly against the universal concept of ecology? For instance, back in the 19 century in Victorian England, there has been disseminated. This weird concept of chimneys that the smoke coming out of chimneys in the city directly symbolizes a civilization and the virtue of human victory. Nonetheless, now we understand from science that the Victorian Era was going through the most rapid form of environmental pollution in history, and this smoke they saw as the “symbol of human victory” was actually in the center of this pollution. What if a similar kind of situation happens in the future with yet another misunderstanding? Shall we still say that Superego stands for the universal form of ethics?

Mental Energy

This part of the book reminded me of what I learned back in my undergraduate in my cognitive science class on brain cells. According to this class material, if one neuron specializes in one thing, it cannot specialize in another thing until it is dead. Of course, this theme of “specialization”. Is a bit different from the Freudian concept. Based on the Newtonian thermodynamics, but I would still say that it’s worth a deep consideration. That there does exist a neurological limitation with each neuron when it comes to its capability, just as Freud has stated as a part of his theory.


For my own contribution to this part of the book. I would add the fact that there is also a political problem with the Freudian theory. Mainly in terms of its emphasis on phallicism, which used to be a tenet of the manorial days in Middle Age. If we were to adopt the illuminist perspective on this issue. It can be even said that the Freudian theory is friendly towards medieval components of our society. And shows an Anti-Englitenment aspect through its emphasis on phallicism and a penis as a “symbol of fertility.” Providing the concept of fertility with psychological and religious importance might be seen as an offshoot of the manorial days in which serfs were completely dependent on agrarian tasks, which does not abide by the more modem standard of global urbanism.

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The Life, Career, and Contributions of Sigmund Freud. (2022, Oct 06). Retrieved December 7, 2022 , from

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