Author Topic: Freud and all that lot  (Read 1040 times)

Freud and all that lot
« on: February 13, 2019, 11:56:10 AM »
What would you recommend on the lad Freud? I’ve been lapping up some Jung lately and thought I’d have a go on the original prankster next, see what he was on about. Entry-level though mind...if it's too hard, I can't understand it. Cheers

Consignia

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Re: Freud and all that lot
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2019, 12:24:41 PM »
I read a book years ago, called "Killing Freud". It was quite an interesting book as far I recall, sort of really laying into Freud's methodology. It did have a section having a go at someone only tangentially related to Freud, but it's worth a read on the subject.

Re: Freud and all that lot
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2019, 08:42:18 PM »
The (limited) impression I have of him is an insightful quack. I'm not really won over by it but I like reading, eg Adam Phillips writing about it. I suppose like any mythic structure (Christianity, human rights, etc) it has the potential to be meaningful depending on the intelligence of the person espousing it.

I do think he gets the 'better' of the naive Einstein in their famous exchange, despite Einstein's unshakeable reputation as a sage.

https://www.public.asu.edu/~jmlynch/273/documents/FreudEinstein.pdf

Re: Freud and all that lot
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2019, 02:56:06 AM »
Freud has a lot of fascinating works that have little to nothing to do with the weirder psychoanalytic theories he is more famous for.

Civilization and Its Discontents is a good one. Basically just a work of political philosophy.

Twit 2

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Re: Freud and all that lot
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2019, 07:06:33 AM »
The psychopathology of everyday life is worth a look.

Re: Freud and all that lot
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2019, 03:28:31 PM »
A little bibliography:

Stannard, Shrinking History: On Freud and the Failure of Psychohistory
Webster, Why Freud Was Wrong: Sin, Science and Psychoanalysis
Sulloway, Freud, Biologist of the Mind: Beyond the Psychoanalytic Legend
Bouveresse, Wittgenstein Reads Freud: The Myth of the Unconscious
Gay, Freud: A Life for Our Time
Borch-Jacobsen, The Freud Files: An Inquiry into the History of Psychoanalysis
Crews, Freud: The Making of An Illusion

All of these, save the comparatively credulous Gay, are mildly to unerringly critical. The Sulloway, as a contribution to the history of science, is perhaps the best place to start.

ToneLa

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Re: Freud and all that lot
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2019, 10:16:41 AM »
Freud's shite, Jung is life.

Funcrusher

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Re: Freud and all that lot
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2019, 10:28:39 AM »
It's interesting how Freud seems to have all but disappeared from academic and public intellectual consciousness. When I was an undergrad many years ago the fashion was for critique which was an amalgam of Freud and post-modern post-structural gubbins, with Freudian ideas as pretty much the root of everything.

chveik

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Re: Freud and all that lot
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2019, 05:16:17 PM »
Freud's shite, Jung is life.

it's quite the contrary I'm afraid.

ToneLa

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Re: Freud and all that lot
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2019, 05:53:45 PM »
it's quite the contrary I'm afraid.

The psychologists I've known have thrown aboot terms like "largely discredited" for Freud, whereas I happily read Jung for fun and it rarely gets scowled at in the same way, albeit I enjoy his work as more of a philosopher (and frankly he does have his own odd peccadilloes)

Can happily defer to a current professional on whether that holds true though. I vastly, vastly enjoy Jung more

chveik

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Re: Freud and all that lot
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2019, 06:06:58 PM »
The psychologists I've known have thrown aboot terms like "largely discredited" for Freud, whereas I happily read Jung for fun and it rarely gets scowled at in the same way, albeit I enjoy his work as more of a philosopher (and frankly he does have his own odd peccadilloes)

Can happily defer to a current professional on whether that holds true though. I vastly, vastly enjoy Jung more

well there are hardly any practicing Jungians out there though, so he's the discredited one in those circles. I think that Freud's work is more interesting, but mostly because of the influence he had on other thinkers. Jung is probably a better writer to be fair.

Re: Freud and all that lot
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2019, 09:22:24 AM »
Can't stand Jung. Anyone who believes in that 'archetypes' nonsense is a moron as far as I'm concerned. And yes, Jung is correctly regarded as a mystic these days. At least Freud was trying to be scientific.

ToneLa

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Re: Freud and all that lot
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2019, 10:19:33 PM »
Can't stand Jung. Anyone who believes in that 'archetypes' nonsense is a moron as far as I'm concerned. And yes, Jung is correctly regarded as a mystic these days. At least Freud was trying to be scientific.

I don't disagree with this at all because I am a philsophy nerd and many of Jung's ideas in what should be a science are, frankly, fantasy.

But I admire him for more reasons than the Liverpool quote. I'd like to be indulged without it being shat on, I'll cover archetypes:

I was working for the NHS when my mother died and because I was a one-man department they booked an appointment with a psychiatrist after I asked because I wanted to get it off my chest and was very, very eager to discuss my recent feelings about myself that were franklt WAY outside my usual thought with a professional. I walked out of that room feeling validated!

I went into Jung. Here's what she agreed was valid:

- Archetypes. I don't believe in the collective unconscious for a start. But Jung's strength was symbols and I think his analysis of the way humanity developed symbols is peerless. Forgive me if you've already done this; but I have related to archetypes at different times in my life. You'd do well to see them as representations you can identify with rather than his, frankly self-indulgent, impractical fishing trips from the unreal unconscious.

I think the closest analogue would be Shakespeare, "all the world's a stage" - I don't personally see archetypes as "real" but I have recognised certain traits, IE the hero, the trickster, in certain moods that have absolutely aligned me with such.

I see archetypes as role models, as stances, as positions life puts you in. In this context Jung is magnificent - just in the sense you can link your circumstances to those times you act without thinking yet fulfill an archetypal role.

The Jung quote that validated my own feelings around this area was:

Quote
"This is particularly true of religious ideas, but the central concepts of science, philosophy, and ethics are no exception to this rule. In their present form, they are variants of archetypal ideas created by consciously applying and adapting these ideas to reality. For it is the function of consciousness, not only to recognize and assimilate the external world through the gateway of the senses but to translate into visible reality the world within us,"

Such. Fucking. Liberation! Such fucking wisdom.


- change

Look, I didn't obsess about archetypes because i was happy. I lost the most important in my entire life and sought to not redefine myself but to appreciate who I was. I prefer a Buddhist stance on change - an inevitability, as positive as it is negative, for all woes disappear and we grow to appreciate the short-term happinesses we find.

In short I wanted not to erase who I was - despite being in the worst turmoil I've ever had; I wanted to understand myself, and this man summed up concepts such as projection, how we lash out at others, how others react to us, as:

Quote
A man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them. As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being. Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.

- Destiny

I don't believe in it. But I did resonate with:

Quote
I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.

I am not negligent enough to believe Jung or Freud have a modern place in psychology beyond forebears and shapers of concepts we take for granted.

I just hope you appreciate idiocy is by-the-by; at my strongest moments I led my family through fucking doom and it made me who I am; I was brave enough to repeat my readings and conclusions to a professional - I was working in mental health at the time - and see light from it.

I am cherrypicking, yes, but if I lead one person - ONE - away from the opinion that Jung is for thickos I will be grateful. He is not a meme generator, he is a superb author who led a fascinating life and shaped an emotional network I find resonates to this day to the point I couldn't, in good faith, abandon it.

Science failed me when my mother died. I most certainly did not reach for a biology textbook.

May this post not anger you; may it point to you that, IMO, the real qualification of Jung is application to life, inspiration and making sense of what you became.

Freud, meanwhile, seems a sceptic, and not much resonated. In the terms I've described, I find way, way more identification with Jungian concepts as I have thrown around with a context here, to the naked, outdated discussion of Freud.

.. And may you appreciate that our lived lives are never without context.

I still await a reader of Freud who felt as positively unravelled as I did with Jung.

Indeed. I don't mind if you find this moronic - the simple truth is I wouldn't wish my journey on anybody; and there's a handful of writers who made sense of it - Camus, Alan Watts; Jung - and life is not science, it is not philosophy, it is everything, but mainly it is reason and how one relates theirs to, and from, the world they experience.

Psychology has a long way to go before the science element is nailed down, so forgive me for dismissing complaints such as "he was no scientist". No offence but it sounds snobbish and naive. I wouldn't have found him if he was. I wouldn't - and specifically, ITT, didn't - describe Jung as such.

I'm just glad I found something applicable (and I fully accept if I'm boxing myself off into something not universally applicable) and that's my recommendation for Jung.

Tldr: I've actually lived some of this shit trying to make sense of the world and I'm not battling sceptics here; I'm pointing at a boat for the drowning
« Last Edit: February 22, 2019, 10:38:55 PM by ToneLa »

Re: Freud and all that lot
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2019, 05:26:54 PM »
All The Jung Dudes

ToneLa

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Re: Freud and all that lot
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2019, 06:11:57 PM »
Jung Guns Go for Id

PlanktonSideburns

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Re: Freud and all that lot
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2019, 06:30:25 PM »
You burden me with your questions
You'd have me tell no lies
You're always asking what it's all about, darlin' listen to my replies
You say to me I don't talk enough
But when I do I'm a fool
These times I've spent, I've realized
I'm going to shoot through and leave you
The things, you say
Your purple prose just gives you away
The things, you say
You're jung-believable

JifMoose

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Re: Freud and all that lot
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2019, 11:38:50 PM »
A little bibliography:

...
Crews, Freud: The Making of An Illusion

All of these, save the comparatively credulous Gay, are mildly to unerringly critical. The Sulloway, as a contribution to the history of science, is perhaps the best place to start.

Thanks for these Productionforuse - I've worked my way through the Crews over the last week, which is excellent - and even very entertaining in parts, particularly in the cocaine sections.

Coming from a starting point of natural scepticism of Freud, the intriguing thing to me is his continued influence and the very uneven acceptance of his ideas beyond historic interest. In the scientific world I get the impression you'd have to spend a lot of time before you found anyone who takes him seriously: the general view seems to be he was a visionary, using bad methodology against a very small and self-selecting group of patients (essentially, rich Viennese women), and his insights haven't held up well under evidence and over time.

But in the humanities, I seem to keep running up against sophisticated Fruedians that claim that this isn't true; his insights were driven from a long clinical experience; and that his critics haven't just haven't read him enough. Even writers like Camille Paglia, who are scathing about most of the contemporary themes in humanities, seem to revere him ("As for the Lacan, Derrida, Foucault people who needs them? Put them on an island and let them float out to sea" she writes, a few sentences before claiming that "Freud is one of the major thinkers in world history ... reading [Freud], you feel new tracks being cut in your brain").

So I've been looking for something along these lines - in depth but coming from outside the tradition (or as Crews might say, not "acculturated")- for a while. On my last attempt I failed to find any of these great recommendations, and stumbled upon a very strange little book, Against Therapy by Masson - a rather grim read. That book frankly careens all over the place and very clearly has an axe to grind, but gives an account of "Dora" case which certainly doesn't present Freud as a careful investigator. I was curious to see if it held up.

In Crews account, I feel that all those early impressions have just been completely validated. He painstakingly reconstructs a sequence of events where it's clear that Freud had virtually no interest in testing his ideas; really only addressed a handful of patients during the years of developing psychoanalysis, and was not above inventing cases or reporting on himself as a case; remarkably little stake in seeing his patients improve; retreated further and further into cocaine-assisted introspection for validation; and was hidebound by the morality of his day. He was obsessed with masturbation as physically causing all ills, and the cessation of masturbation as the source of all psychological. He continually ripped off his mentors (Charcot, Fleishl, and Breuer) while slowly writing them out of history; and those tasked with perpetuating his memory, particular Anna Freud and Jones, were no better. One that particularly sticks in the mind is their surreptitious modification of "ein" to "mein", to make it look as if Freud was claiming that he hadn't finished his analysis, rather than lamenting the fact that he hadn't completed a single (one) analysis in a whole year when he was meant to be most productive.

The record is so complete it seems hard to dispute: I wonder, have any modern Freudians attempted a defence?

And yes, Jung is correctly regarded as a mystic these days. At least Freud was trying to be scientific.

You are quite right, of course. On the other hand, the currents that I guess made Freud so influential: the anti-enlightenment Nietzschian romanticism - which I do think has some psychological depth - seem more defensible when it isn't couched in science. The impression I got was that even when looking to his own dreams for literal truth, Freud aspired to science. His model of the mind was almost mechanical: it seems he regarded "libido" as a kind of hydraulic pressure to be released and distributed. He even created a "neuronal" model of the mind, involving quantifiable exchanges of energy through three (exactly three) different types of "neurones" - as the cause of all psychological problems. I'd argue it's this kind of reductionism that lead to (mainstream) Freudian though becoming so rigid in erroneous and frankly dangerous doctrines. With someone with a clear anti-empiricist bent like Nietzsche I don't have to worry about his (very dubious) evidential claims, which it seems he often didn't take too seriously himself - but use him as inspiration or provocation: I find Nietzsche constantly interesting, even if I mostly disagree with him. Interesting ToneLa in that this seems to be how you use Jung.

I feel a bit let down by the humanists that have talked up Freud now. Isn't it their job to delve into the literature and history, check sources for evidence etc? Aren't they meant to spend all day down the library with my penis?

Re: Freud and all that lot
« Reply #17 on: April 02, 2019, 06:32:28 AM »
[Boring dumb post by a dumb dumb, ignore.]