Psychoanalysis and Civilization
One of the most forceful shocks administered in our time to the belief in human goodness and progress has come from the revelations of psychoanalysis, and especially those of Dr. Sigmund Freud of Vienna. Although in later life he elaborated a whole philosophy of history and civilization, Freud was first a physician, who earned his M.D. at the University of Vienna as long ago as 1881, and based his understanding of human nature on thousands of hours of professional consultations with mentally disturbed patients. Beneath the rational man of the Enlightenment and the passional man of Romanticism he discovered the still vigorously thriving animal man of prehistory. Even the “innocence of childhood” was demolished by Freud’s inquiries. It follows that he was better equipped than many of the leading thinkers of his generation to explain the psychological significance of the world war that broke out in 1914.
KeywordsOuter World Collective Individual Psychic Life Spiritual Change Neurotic Disorder
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