Freud and the ideas of the Enlightenment - Essay Example

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Intuition, instincts, mystical experience, revelation, and feelings supersede reason and appeal in Irrationalism. Hence, religious beliefs on…
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Freud and the ideas of the Enlightenment
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Freud and the Ideas of the Enlightenment Irrationality is an attitude or a theory, or set of beliefs of having a non-rational basis or non-rational forces governing the globe. Intuition, instincts, mystical experience, revelation, and feelings supersede reason and appeal in Irrationalism. Hence, religious beliefs on God and immortal soul are irrational. Irrationalism takes various forms that include revival, irrational trends like astrology, and old religions like Christianity and Islam (Fotopoulos, 1998).
Irrationalism has flourished in both the North and the South in the last quarter of this century. Sigmund Freud was born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1856 in Jewish family background. His father was a freethinker while Freud was a vowed atheist. Freud is regarded as the most famous, influential, and controversial thinker in figure in psychology (PBS, 1998). Sigmund Freud has many works and theories to his credit that has helped in shaping our childhood, personality, memory, sexuality, and therapy views. Indeed, Sigmund Freud has made immense contribution to the understanding of irrationalism. Through Sigmund Freud and Charles Darwin, irrationalism began to explore subconscious and biological roots of experience. Though he did not invent the theory of consciousness, Sigmund Freud introduced the wider public to the notion of the unconscious mind. He noted that unconscious is the source of our motivations for food or sex, artist, or scientist (Boeree, 2009). He theorized the idea that forgetfulness/ repression or slips of the tongue are not accidental but a revelation of dynamic unconscious. This was an articulation of the concept of unconscious. Freud claims that human behavior relies on drives or instincts, which are the neurological representations of physical needs. He also theorized the idea that sexual drive was the most powerful shaper of a persons psychology, and that sexuality manifests itself from childhood. Indeed, he claims that young boys develop attraction to their mothers and develop hate towards the fathers and vice versa for girls. This refined the concept of the infantile sexuality. Additionally, Sigmund Freud devised innovative treatment of human dreams, actions, and cultural artifacts (Liukkonen, 2008). This innovation has significantly brought relevant input in the fields of psychology, semiotics, appreciation, anthropology, and artistic creativity (Thornton, 2010). Most of these fields seek to define irrationalism. Freud also classified anxiety that is a feeling that signals ego into realistic, moral, and neurotic anxiety. However, though Sigmund Freud changed the way people think and view their lives, he did not manage to influence the field of psychology and psychiatry.
There is relevant connection between Freud and the ideas of the enlightenment. Old irrationalism that developed in the 19th century brought the reaction to the rationalism, which characterized the enlightenment. The old irrationalism did not rely on religious absurdity and truth by revelation but chose to expand rationality to enrich mans understanding of life. The old irrationalism however relied on the dimensions of feelings, instincts, and human will over and against reason that all enjoyed Sigmund Freud’s input. Hence, the connection between Sigmund Freud and ideas of enrichment as adopted in the old irrationalism. Both Sigmund Freud and the old irrationalism that manifests enrichment lay their foundation in metaphysics or in awareness of the unique individual experiences.
Boeree, G (2009) Sigmund Freud 1856 – 1939 Webspace Retrieved from
FOTOPOULOS, T (1998). The Rise of New Irrationalism and its Incompatibility with Inclusive Democracy Democracy and nature retrieved from
Liukkonen, P (2008). Sigmund Freud Kirjasto 1856 – 1939 retrieved from
Pbs. (1998) Sigmund Freud 1856 – 1939 Pbs Retrieved from
Thornton, S (2010). Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) IEP retrieved from
SIGMUND FREUD (1856-1939) - in full Sigismund SIGMUND FREUD (1856-1939) - Read More
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