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Sygmund Freud

Life and Legacy

Julia S

on 12 June 2010

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Transcript of Sygmund Freud

Sygmund Freud! Personal Life Sygmund Freud was born Sigismund Schlomo Freud May 6th of 1856.
He was born in the small Moravian town of Pribor, in the Austrian Empire (now part of the Czech Republic.)
He was born to father Jacob, and mother, Amalie- who favoured him over the rest of his 7 siblings (He was the first child), due to his outstanding intellect as a youngster. Despite living in poverty, his parents sacrificed everything to give Sygmund a proper education.
They had hopes of him becoming a doctor (an agreable profession for a Jewish boy at the time)
His father was a wool merchant, and unfortunately, lost his buisness due to the economis crisis of 1857 and the family moved to Leipzig, before settling in Vienna.
In 1865, Sigmund entered the Leopoldstädter Kommunal-Realgymnasium, a prominent high school. Freud was an outstanding pupil and graduated in 1873 with honors
Freud then joined the medical faculty at University of Vienna to study under Darwinist Prof. Karl Claus.
Here, during his first year of study, Ernst Brucke, a physiologist supervising Freud proposed his new theory of "psychodynamics". (the systematized study and theory of the psychological forces that underlie human behavior, emphasizing the interplay between unconscious and conscious motivation) Which would form the fundamentals of some of Freuds later theories.
In 1879, Freud interrupted his studies to complete his one year of obligatory military service, and in 1881 he received his M.D. with the thesis translating to "on the spinal cord of lower fish species".
1884, he publishes works on his studies of cocaine, of which he was an early user and propagated it as a stimulant as well as analgesic. Later discoveries of it's addictive properties slightly tarnished his reputation. Freud's friend Fleischl-Marxow even developed an acute case of "cocaine psychosis" as a result of Freud's prescriptions and died a few years later.
1885, Freud went to Paris on a traveling fellowship to study with Europe's most renowned neurologist, Jean Martin Charcot. Specializing in the study of hysteria, Charcot would often use hypnosis. Freud found this to be highly innefective, and this is what turned him to favour psychopathology....

The Beginnings In 1886 Freud married Martha Bernays after a 4 year engagement. It is said by Freuds official biographer that the letters "would be a not unworthy contribution to the great love literature of the world." Martha and Sygmund had 6 children.
Before marrying Martha, Freud had to make a name for himself, so he opened up his own practice where he developed the "talking cure" in favour of hypnosis.
The "talking cure" is widely seen as forming the basis of psychoanalysis. The goal of talking to his patients, or LISTENING, rather, was to locate rejected emotional energy that, Freud speculated, was damaging the functions of the psyche, and hindering physical functioning. Freud called this "repression."
In his forties, Freud had numerous psychosomatic disorders as well as exaggerated fears of dying, so he involved himself in the task of exploring his own dreams, memories, and the dynamics of his personality development. He came to realize the hostility he felt towards his father, and his childhood sexual feelings for his mother. (This difficult time in his life he considered to be the most creative.)
A small number of men became interested in Freud's new science of psychoanalysis. (Including Carl Jung- with whom Freud often dissagreed, mostly because Jung was religious and Freud thought this to be unscientific- G. Stanley Hall, Abraham Brill, Ernest Jones, and Sándor Ferenczi.) This new interest was due to Freud's books and theories being published in 1900 and 1902.
Life after marriage & Middle Age

THE END. In 1932, Freud recieved the Goethe Prize in appreciation of his contribution to psychology and to German literary culture.
In 1933 the Nazis took over Germany and burned many of Sygmund's books calling them "Jewish pornography."
In 1938 Austria was anexed by Germany in Anchluss, resulting in large outbursts of Anti-semitism in Vienna.
Freud decided to move to London with his family- even though he found this process painful as he considered his homeland part if his identity.
In Freud's escaping Austria he was helped greatly by Anton Sauerwald, a Nazi official put in charge of Freud's assets in Austria. Though Sauerwald was a Nazi, he did not disclose to his superiors that Freud had many secret bank accounts, and even disobeyed an order to have Freud's books on psychoanalysis destroyed. Instead, Sauerwald and an accomplice smuggled them to the Austrian national library, where they were hidden.
All of Sygmund's sisters perished in the Holocaust.

Freud was a heavy cigar smoker, and developed oral cancer. After many painful operations, he ended up with the whole left side of his face being a prosthesis, affecting his speech and hearing. (Prosthesis was painful to put on, take off...)
On 23 September 1939, Freud died of cancer.
" What progress we are making. In the Middle Ages they would have burned me. Now they are content with burning my books. " " " My dear Schur... You promised... not to forsake me when my time comes. Now it is nothing but torture and makes no sense anymore." Major Theories and Accomplishments and How Freud Challenged the Status Quo The Unconscious
Freud publishes The Interpretation of Dreams (1899)
This book contained what was to be the basis of psychoanalysis (and his "talking therapy" the basis of the practice). A key element to Freud's exploration of the unconscious, or subconscience, was repression. Freud believed that repressed experiences bother us through our subconscience and still influence our behaviour. In his earlier exploration, Freud believed that all repression was caused by sexual abuse in childhood, and later thought this theory to be flawed.

The Oedipus Complex (or Electra Complex)
Freud publishes Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality
To put it lightly, Freud believed that infant's craved for exclusive possesion of the parent of the opposite sex.
What this really meant was that Freud argued that children passed through a stage in which they fixated on the mother as a sexual object but that the child eventually overcame and repressed this desire because of its taboo nature. (Electra Complex refers to girls and fathers.)

Id Ego and Superego
Beyond the Pleasure Principle (1920), and The Ego and the Id (1923)
Freud proposed that the human psyche could be divided into three parts: ego, super-ego, and id. The ego being governed by the reality principle, that people reject pleasures so that they might live together in society. The id being like a baby- governed by the pleasure principle- impulses, and desires. Then the superego, which represented inhibitions, and moral values placed upon people by society, and they're parents. These are constantly in battle. Since the superego is in charge of discerning what is "morally right" in a situation, when overburdened, Freud believed that it would employ certain "defense mechanisms." (denial, represion, desplacement.) This became a much debated over psychology topic in the 1990's.

The Life and Death Drives
Beyond the Pleasure Principle
Freud believed that humans were driven by two conflicting central desires: the life drive (survival, propagation, hunger, thirst, and sex) and the death drive, (representing an urge inherent in all living things to return to a state of calm: in other words, an inorganic or dead state.)

How Freud Challenged the Status Quo People were in a stage of reason and science. These offered confidence in human reason and progress. People believed that humans responded to conscious motives in a rational fashion, and then Freud went along and focused on the irrational aspects of the human mind and the unconscious.
His theory of simply listening to his patients was groundbreaking. (Patients with hysteria and other illnesses were never treated nicely, so this was new.)
His theories on sex, or even talking about it didn't sit well with Victorian society at the time. Any open discussion of sex was not favoured. Speaking freely about one's inner feelings was all part of the Freudian revolution.
His theories on dreams and repression were groundbreaking as well. Freud thought of dreams as an unscensored running of the mind- where they were aways thought of as either nonsensical , or profecies of a divine meaning. Freud elevated them into the realm of scientific observation and discovery.

The Legacy! "I have the distinct feeling that I have touched on one of the great secret's of nature" Though there where flaws in Freud's theories, his works remain seminal in humans quest for self-understanding. Sygmund Freud is considered to be one of the most prominent thinkers of the first half of the 20th century in terms of his originality and his intellectual influence.
Though some have agreed that "what is true in Freud is not new and what is new in Freud is not true," his criticism's were summed up by David Stafford-Clark : "Psychoanalysis was and will always be Freud's original creation. It is manifest injustice, as well as wantonly insulting, to commend psychoanalysis, still less to invoke it 'without too much of Freud'." " It's like supporting the theory of evolution 'without too much of Darwin'"
Sygmund Freud's legacy remains- the he is the founder of psychoanalysis, and had great influence on Western psychology.
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