Freud

30 Oct 2021 02:15 - 16 Dec 2022 12:22
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    • Freud was apparently a terrible scientist and a terrible person, and yet so important that we have to pay a lot of attention to him and his broken theories. This is from Freud: Inventor of the Modern Mind by Peter Kramer
      • Most of Freud’s particular contributions—such as castration anxiety in boys and its counterpart, penis envy in girls— have faded in similar fashion. Some of Freud’s ideas have been disproved. But for most, the problem is yet worse. The concepts are too distant from current belief to merit any research effort. Freud’s framework of understanding seems simply wrong... This combination of changes has proved destructive to Freud’s reputation. He was more devious and less original than he made himself out to be, and where he pioneered, he was often wrong. Freud displayed bad character in the service of bad science. And yet, Freud remains influential. What is most remarkable about Freud is the combination of ephemeral discoveries and lasting impact. Freud is sui generis precisely because he has turned out not to resemble Copernicus, Darwin, or Einstein.
    • And yet
      • It is impossible to imagine the modern without Freud...we remain Freudians in our daily lives. We discuss intimate concerns in Freud’s language, using words like ego and defensiveness. We listen and observe as Freudians. As others address us, we make note of telltale incongruities that simultaneously hide and reveal unacceptable thoughts and feelings. > This Freud is our Freud, a man mistaken on many fronts whose work provided the stimulus for the making of the modern. Was Freud a visionary or a huckster?... If we are all Freudians, we have reason to try to make sense of the flawed and brilliant thinker who, in the words of W. H. Auden’s eulogy, often “was wrong and, at times, absurd,”
    • I basically agree with all this, although the more scientific/rationalist part of me wants to just throw it all away with great force. It's not just that Freud is important, it's that he got some big thing right even if all the details were wrong.