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Freud and Friends  

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Jackson Von Habsburg
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I have been very interested in the views that my fellow Classmates on the ideas which we had discussed in class. I know that we talked about a lot of the ideas of Freud we talked a lot about this idea but I do have a lot of issues with some of the ideas which found presents. I think that there is merit to the psychosocial perspective in literature but I believe that Freud is wrong on many issues which especially with the ideas onto which morality is the repression of natural desires. I see an issue with this because I find it interesting that he finds repression of morality is he says this is bad but how can something be bad if he doesn't believe in objective morality. If we look at the literature I see this as the struggle that Frodo makes the choice between giving in to his dark desires which are represented in the ring which we as the reader is evil. So under a Freudian view, Frodo should have given into the ring and his desires. So I think we see that a lot of Tolkiens literature cannot be viewed through Freudian lends


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Gil
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Unfortunately, I was not available on the day the class discussed Freud's theories, but looking at the Persuall notes I found the theories of Freud very interesting! It seemed many think that Freud simplifies things too much. Maybe he does, but I'm not sure. He does seem to have quite a broad, wide range of topics, in which a piece of literature will somehow fit the description. What do you think of this? Do you think his catergories are too simple, or are they accurate?

What part of Freud's theory do you agree with the most, or the least? I think the internal balance between societal or parental morals that we have been taught, and our natural instincts/desires, especially for teenagers. The internal conflict really begins and is strong for teenagers. Teenagers begin to decide what they believe, separate from their parents. However, maybe this theory is too simplistic. Does internal conflict consist of more than this?


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looneylibra
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I would disagree with the statement that Freud is entirely wrong in his evaluations of morality as the representation of desires, as there has been so much research done with the starting points that Freud gives us. While Freuds evaluations may be over simplified to an extent, they are in no way wrong and have opened up many new ideas in the study of psychology in general and in our use of it now for understanding literature. While his ideas are not necessarily the absolute correct answer to everything, it would be incorrect to just disregard his findings and claim them to be wrong. 


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octavia
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@curtis I second this. I think that his ideas have truly set a baseline in the field of psychology, and though some ideas may be viewed as too much or too little, it is undeniable that he has made important discoveries in psychology that have gotten us to where we are today. Though I may disagree with some of his views and analysis, he has an important figure in the study of psychology and in literature.


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Jackson Von Habsburg
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@curtis I think there is a misunderstanding of what I said. I don't disregard his ideas I think he has some ideas worth pushing back on. I think for me one example which rings true is that of his ideas of the repression of desire is what creates morality. I am someone who is practically religious so i do have some issues with the ideas unto which he presents in that regard. I know to justify this Chisnell talked about the games in pagan Rome. I would push back against that because while for the short term that helped their society. The introduction of Christianity as a Unifier class and the strict morality unto which it presented its self is what carried the roman civilization to last for hundreds of more years. Unlike Freud, I do believe in good and evil which is another point in which I disagree with him. that doesn't mean his ideas are completely worthless I think that he has a lot of ideas are valuable but i think there is a good middle ground which we can reach  


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wildsalmon
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I thought Freud was very good at observing what he saw, and using that as a basis for his ideas. My issue is that he took the behaviors of people at the time as universal truths, rather than just results of the society they happened to be residing in. His ideas probably ring very true when placed in turn of the century Europe. For example, morality being repression does sound like a very late 1800s thing to me. In a modern context though, where we as a society have progressed to a greater understanding of ourselves and our belief systems, things need to be updated. It helps recontextualize a lot of the sex stuff too, as all the stiffness and lack of dialogue probably did lead to these primal desires being the main driving force behind many actions. Freud was right, but only in his time. I think what his followers did best was generalize his ideas to ring more true across cultural shifts.


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Persephone
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I don't think it's that Freud oversimplifies, it's just that he brings things down to it's base element, like the Id, Ego, and Superego ideas. and as @curtis said, we cannot throw his ideas out based on our own opinion, especially when his findings have done wonders for the community. I think that Freud brought things down to a base understanding as a way of a unification of sorts. I think all people do share a collective unconscious and we can observe this through archetypes and so forth, and Freud was just the beginning of these ideas, so I think there may be some misunderstandings happening here between whether he is oversimplifying or not.


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abuzz
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@persephone I wonder if Freud's intention was to create a baseline thinking for philosophers, and his students, to build off of or critique. He has many works and from what we have discussed in class his ideas are portrayed in just about every psychology class and are revealed to be seen in some way in characters such as IM, Dr. Bledsoe Trueblood, and so on. To me, it seems that he meticulously constructed a base of elements that is nearly universal for the sake of being a beginning for others to build off of. I agree that we share a collective unconscious, and while his ideas may be simple in a sense, I believe it is because it was necessary in order to be expanded by others.


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savhoisington
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I think that many of Freud's theories have truth behind them so I would disagree with anyone who says Freud's theories are bogus (I know there is a large community of these people out there). I think that his theories definitely are powerful in many areas just as many in this thread have agreed with- In psychology, literature, and maybe even in raising a kid. They may be able to even help a person understand the way they think themselves. There are many aspects of his theories that still hold questions, for example how much Freud seems to believe sexual desire plays into the development of a child. But, I do not know how much we will ever know on that topic because It is a very unmeasurable type of research. But, as @abuzz stated, it could just be simply used as a baseline for other research


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savhoisington
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@persephone I think this is a really good point to clarify. Freud's theories help to outline the basics of the way we operate and why we operate those ways. We all have the same components of our minds like the Id, superego, and ego, so why do we all operate differently? For such a complicated question, Freud did a great job simplifying his ideas. Maybe that is why there seems to be a common thought that his ideas are too generalized ? 


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Gil
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@salmon I don't quite understand, you think sexual urges or natural instincts do not exist anymore? I think Freud does have a point about morality vs. our natural instincts. I think that sexual drive, a large part of humans' constant biological instincts, always remains. Biologically, it is one of, if not our only purposes to reproduce, humans have and will always possess these natural instincts. To add to this, no matter the time nor the culture, it is the nature of humans to develop societal norms/morals. These two attributes of humans result in internal conflict within humans. So personally, I don't think Freud is outdated-I think the internal conflict will always ring true for humans.


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Nicole
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@persephone I agree with this. I think things can be put into a few basic categories, and the more complex details can be discussed individually. Humans have very complex minds, so if we created categories for everything, it would probably be overwhelming. As long as things are in a category that very basically describes it, it isn't necessarily being misrepresented, so I don't think very specific categories are necessarily needed to discuss certain things of the human psyche.


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bunkymoo
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@nicole you bring up a good point. Organizing things into a lot of categories can be confusing and like you said, overwhelming. Id, Ego, and Superego are broad categories that most people in life can fit into in some sort of way. Having a smaller amount of broader subjects is a better way to organize individuals because we are all different. 


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username27
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@bunkymoo - I agree with you as well. I feel like a few broad categories over many specific ones is probably more effective in classifying people. Broader categories take away the pressure of trying to single a human down into one very specific category. That way you know everyone has a place. In the specific ones, it would be very difficult to place things because if the person does fit exactly to the specifications one wouldn't know where to put them. In this way, they would at least fit into one of the broader psychological categories.


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MangoMan
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@bunkymoo Don't you find it odd that we are putting human nature into categories? this wasn't what this forum was originally about but I was thinking about it and I think it's so weird that we categorize ourselves and study each other like lab rat.  What do you think?


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