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The Psychopathology of Everyday Life - Essay Example

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Today Sigmund Freud is regarded as one of the forefathers of modern psychology. Even as many of Freud’s ideas have been abandoned by contemporary thinkers, much of his terminology remains within the fabric of modern language. Freud published a wide array of literature throughout his lifetime. …
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The Psychopathology of Everyday Life
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The Psychopathology of Everyday Life

Download file to see previous pages... One of his central texts is the Psychopathology of Everyday Life. This text provides an overarching perspective on Freud’s theory of psychoanalysis. The first chapter considers the phenomenon of forgetting proper names. While many individuals attribute the forgetting of names simply to a lapse in memory, Freud works to uncover the deeper psychological ramifications of these memory lapses. Specifically Freud argues that these lapses in memory are attributable to past instances of repression. This perspective on everyday events is thematic throughout the entire text. For instance, Freud does not simply link his psychoanalytic perspectives on forgetting to proper names, but also extends these notions to forgetting of foreign words, and the forgetting of the order of words. In this way Freud argues that oftentimes individuals will be unable to reproduce the correct order of lines in a poem because the mispronouncing actually is the surfacing of past repressed painful events. Freud’s belief that lapses in memory hold an underlining psychoanalytic significance can be extended to considerations surrounding reading and speech. In this way, Freud believes that language, through both verbal speech and written text, provides a window on the subconscious. For example Freud indicates that, “A woman who is very anxious to get children always reads storks instead of stocks” (Freud, p. 88). ...
s without doubt a motor function, admits of such a conception, it is quite natural to transfer to the lapses of our other motor functions the same expectation” (Freud, p. 131). In this way, the most central aspect of the text is not these memory lapses or disturbances in functioning, but the unconscious that underlines all of these everyday behaviors. In one example Freud discusses the use of keys. Freud indicates that in one situation he had two keys. When he attempted to access his work office he accidently used the key for his house, despite the fact that this key looked entirely different from his work key. In this situation Freud argues that his use of the home key instead of the work key demonstrates his desire to be at home rather than to be at work. Finally, towards the end of Freud’s text he indicates that human actions are controlled by determinist mechanisms in ways far greater than most humans suspect. Part II Opinion There are a number of personal opinions I have developed in my reading and study of Freud’s Psychopathology of Everyday Life. From an overarching perspective, one considers Freud’s methods of scientific inquiry. In certain situations, it’s clear that Freud indicates that he incorporates empirical methods of study. For instance, Freud states, “I was led to examine exhaustively the phenomenon of temporary forgetfulness through the observation of certain peculiarities, which, although not general, can, nevertheless, be seen clearly in some cases” (Freud, p. 4). In this instance, Freud is indicating that his insights are not simply gained through abstraction rationalism, but also involve empirical observation. Freud’s initial observations in these regards appear scientifically replicable. In this way, he simply indicates that he ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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