Why do people shit on Freud?

BinaryMan
BinaryMan

His ideas are literally true. His theories on dreams, repression, the unconscious, the ego/id/super-ego, and defence mechanisms are correct. Civilization and its Discontents is one of the greatest philosophical works of the 20th century.

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GoogleCat
GoogleCat

Because it's a meme to shit on things you haven't read.

New_Cliche
New_Cliche

Because was a Jew

Playboyize
Playboyize

jung smoked

Methshot
Methshot

Mostly because the Oedipus/Electra complexes have been debunked by neuroscience, although Freud did key into some behavior that was found to be scientifically sound

Carnalpleasure
Carnalpleasure

lol "neuroscience"

Burnblaze
Burnblaze

more like nerdospying AMIRIGHT FOLKS

Sir_Gallonhead
Sir_Gallonhead

His theories are correct
no

Snarelure
Snarelure

t.Wantzta Fukmimum

MPmaster
MPmaster

T. prudish postmodernist American faggot. Kys loser.

TalkBomber
TalkBomber

Civilization and its Discontents
Greatest
Philosophical works

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LuckyDusty
LuckyDusty

le penis man

He was a complete retard and only other retards like him

Methnerd
Methnerd

Damn, I guess even Veeky Forums can't escape these kinds of posters.

DeathDog
DeathDog

More like Fraud.

His work is nothing more than making up edgy-sounding but vacuous meta-narratives for stuff he didn't like. Cue "repression".

Jung still has scientific merit, he never had any. Guess who is more popular in academia.

JunkTop
JunkTop

Freud's and Jung's ideas have filtered into popular consciousness enough that they are still shaping how many people think today and how they thought at the time in which they were writing. Several prominent authors of the early 20th century even underwent psychoanalytic treatment with Freud and for many, their work is explicitly and implicitly shaped by their understanding of his theories of mind. To take a relatively popular example, many people's understanding of storytelling today has been influenced by George Lucas, who was heavily influenced by Jung via Campbell. It's kind of beside the point whether or not Jung is "correct" in his archetypal theories when looking at literature and narratives that have been shaped by it. A psychologist may look at Jung and say, "None of that is correct based on our current understanding of the mind," and yet that assessment frankly doesn't matter when looking at literature that has been influenced by the theory. Somewhat paradoxically, the result is that psychologists often make very bad literary critics for understanding theories of mind because they have a hard time suspending what they know about how the mind works.

This leads into a larger issue.

1/?

BunnyJinx
BunnyJinx

Works of literature are obviously all products of psychological processes and they are interpreted via psychological processes. And there is a significant place for current methods in psychology for understanding literature. The field of stylistics for instance has been very proactive in embracing psychology as a means for understanding how different techniques produce effects in a consistent way in the mind. Pick up a book like The Bloomsbury Companion to Stylistics and you'll find lots of close attention to how psychology shapes our interpretation of things like deixis or metaphor or text-worlds.

But most people who write literature are not experts in theories of mind, and the characters they write about are not the same as actual people. Psychology has rich insights to offer us about how to understand the mental processes involved with the physical/mental act ofreading literature. But it has surprisingly little to say about about the representations of mental processes offered in literature itself, because psychologists aren't equipped for that kind of study, nor are literary works typically judged based on whether or not they adhere to current understandings of the mind. To take an example of an author who was very familiar with Freud, it's beside the point to ask whether or not Virginia Woolf's depiction of stream of consciousness writing is an accurate representation of people's thought processes. We can and should ask to what extent she was influenced by theories like Freud, and it's worth knowing whether or not her understanding of mental processes matches up with what current research in psychology would suggest (and I know that Virginia Woolf experts are using current cognitive methods to understand her work).

But, in the end, it frankly doesn't matter whether or not Virginia Woolf's understanding of the mind is "correct" or not. A psychologist may look at Freud and be able to point out things that he got wrong or got right or where he had an interesting idea that was further developed by later research. Literary study is fundamentally different. We don't really discard works of literature, nor do we "disprove" them or place them in a hierarchy of "correctness". The result is that we tend to hold ideas of correctness in abeyance, even when we look at other types of writing. It often doesn't matter to us whether or not an idea is correct, because it's not a notion that holds currency in literature. There are no three hundred year old gender bending figures in the real world, but there are in literature in works like Virginia Woolf's Orlando. It can be discomforting to have to give up the scientific method when looking at literature, but it's often (but not always) necessary.

Let's consider two other theories that are less controversial as points of comparison.

2/?

GoogleCat
GoogleCat

Jung still has scientific merit

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StrangeWizard
StrangeWizard

Freud is fine if you are jewish. Jung mapped the gentile european soul. Also Freud kept on fainting which is like super pussy tier.

New_Cliche
New_Cliche

English professors working on the 19th century are way more likely than biology professors to read Charles Darwin's Origin of Species (though both are less likely to read it than a historian of science and philosophy). For a biologist, reading Darwin only offers historical curiosity, perhaps a sense of connection across time with an important founder of your field or an example of a naturalist's mind at work. But for an English professor, Darwin's work offers a powerful point of entry to 19th century understandings of the natural world that can illuminate the natural world. Within the world of science, Darwin's textual corpus has been thoroughly examined and already incorporated into scientific discourse in such a way that it is unlikely that any further scientific discoveries or truths are available to a reader whose interest is in science. Within the world of literature, it's a continually renewing resource that can offer new insights that might be employed in analyzing literature produced in the period. Whether or not Darwin was wrong or right about some particular scientific point is often beside the point for a literary critic, though literary critics can and often do engage with contemporary scientific understanding too.

But your retort may be that even if Darwin has been modified substantially by subsequent literature, his basic insights are still correct. So let's take a different example. The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis holds that the structure of a language shapes the ability of its speakers to think and perceive the world. What is often called the strong form of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis has been pretty thoroughly disproven, and in fact arguing against this hypothesis, which often popularly takes the form of statements like, "Eskimos have X many words for snow," is a common past time for linguists. There is some evidence to support a significantly weaker form of the hypothesis, as expressed in cognitive metaphor studies, for instance, but nothing that would rise to the level of shaping mental perception as originally argued. And yet, the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis has been hugely influential in literature, especially science fiction. The basic idea shapes works such as the Star Trek: Next Generation episode "Darmok", Ted Chiang's novella Story of Your Life and the subsequent movie Arrival, and China Mieville's novel Embassytown. These works are all clearly shaped by the strong form of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, and to argue that their understanding of how language works is incorrect is of relatively little importance to our understanding of those works.

To take an even more extreme example, Julian Jaynes's theory of bicameralism in the ancient mind has been dismissed by pretty much everybody within the fields of psychology and ancient literature, and yet, it was influential in Neal Stephenson's novel Snow Crash.

3/?

Stupidasole
Stupidasole

But the real issue is that you're arguing against a bit of a strawman, although a strawman that exists for an understandable reason. I'm curious how much recent literary criticism you have read that would fall within the psychoanalytic tradition. I'm relatively uninterested in psychoanalysis and actively oppose much of its conclusions within literary studies, but I've never read a recent work of mainstream literary criticism that relies uncritically on Freud. It just doesn't happen. When Freud is used, and he's certainly still used, it tends to be in a much more nuanced way. Take this passage from D. Vance Smith's book Arts of Possession: The Middle English Household Imaginary as an example:

Freud's recognition that the self is like a house rests on the emergence of the house as a powerful symbol of bourgeois identity, as a place of retreat, privacy, interiority, and (in every sense of the word) appropriation--a place where the surplus of labor could be gathered, where property was established, where propriety was observed, where le propre (the self) itself resided. Thus the term that Freud chose for experiences that threaten to undo the self is one that negates the house--the unheimlich, the uncanny, the un-housed, even though it ultimately leads one back (zuruckgeht) to old, familiar knowledge (das Altebekannte, Langstvertraute). In one sense, the unheimlich is the heimlich, the other always projected on the memory of the home. But for the medieval home, at least, the other is always in the home, conjured up by the house's own memorial practices. The dominant notion of alterity in medieval studies, on the other hand, has been one underwritten by the assumption that the other is what opposes the self, the domus, the vicus, or the realm, not what is already too much present, dwelling here: the death we meet, as the revellers in Chaucer's Pardoner's Tale discover, in those most proximate to us, the death that has his "habitacioun" here, not elsewhere.

Even that lengthy snippet isn't really enough to give a sense of what Smith is up to, but Smith is one of the great current theorists of Middle English literature who makes use of Freud, but he doesn't match at all what you seem to anticipate of critics who use Freud. He's pointing out places in which Freud innovated and he's interpreting how Freud used language to make his arguments, but he's not uncritically accepting what Freud argued, nor is he arguing for a simple exportation of Freudian ideas to medieval contexts. He's sensitively pointing out how Freud complicated our understanding of what home is in the early 20th century, and using Freud as a launching point to complicate the way that we think about the representation of household possessions in medieval literature while explicitly pointing out differences between late medieval and early 20th century households.

4/?

Illusionz
Illusionz

Whether or not Freud's theories about the home and the uncanny are accurate is beside the point of the fact that he was a pivotal figure in thinking through those issues.

You're also significantly overstating the extent to which Freud and Jung shape current literary discourse. While they are historically important influences who pop up incidentally in some current criticism, it's not the case that literary theorists are constantly using them uncritically at every turn. The issue is one of pedagogy. There are historically important reasons for students to read Freud within the field of literary study, which you already concede, such as for the sake of analyzing modernist literature influenced by his theories as well as for understanding his place in the discourses that have developed around the application of psychoanalysis to literature. However, while it's important to teach Freud, it can often be difficult to develop writing assignments at the undergraduate level that will be able to replicate the nuance with which someone like Smith employs Freud.

Many theory classes simply give students a theoretical text and ask them to apply it to a literary work. So they may for instance read a bit of Freud on the interpretation of dreams and then apply it to a text that includes some kind of dream. None of those essays are going to be good representations of high quality literary criticism, nor will any of them be publishable, and yet they can still serve a useful pedagogical purpose. A student who wrote such an essay and spent the entire essay writing about how Freud is stupid and unscientific would have missed the point of the assignment. Nobody will ever be able to write a good essay on how Freud's theories influenced modernist literature (which you've already conceded elsewhere is a good use of Freud) if they aren't able to appreciate Freud as an important thinker without the need to constantly be challenging his theories based on the state of current psychological knowledge.

It's worth saying at this point that I on occasion teach the undergraduate literary theory course at my university. I don't teach Freud, Jung, or Lacan, though I do teach some more recent psychoanalytic criticism that makes use of Freud. I don't teach Freud or Jung because I teach the course in a way that emphasizes more contemporary approaches to literature and I think they are more a historical curiosity, and I don't teach Lacan because I fundamentally disagree with too much of what he does to feel like I could teach him well, but I don't have a problem with people who do teach him.

5/?

Spazyfool
Spazyfool

And as for Jung, I find your invocation of him kind of funny. Hardly anyone in literature departments today reads Jung. The same could be said for his most famous disciple, Joseph Campbell. Jungian criticism is so far out of the mainstream of what most people in literature departments do that I really have very little interest in trying to defend it. That's not to say that nobody writes using Jung or that people are necessarily wrong to do so. But it just feels unnecessary to defend. In my experience, students are far more enthusiastic about Jung and Campbell than any professor I know. The issue with Jung and Campbell is that, for all their interest in mythology, they are really bad at working with actual mythological sources, so they don't really have a home with serious people working in those actual literary traditions, and their theoretical ideas as they apply to literature aren't terribly sophisticated so there isn't much to talk about in terms of literary theory.

When that nasty bigot Jordan Peterson first achieved some measure of prominence a few years ago, I decided to try reading his book with an open mind and quickly discovered that it embodied the worst caricature of literary criticism imaginable. In spite of the fact that he writes constantly about ancient mythological traditions, he demonstrates absolutely zero desire to engage with the considerable body of critical literature that exists about those traditions, half-assedly employing Jung and Campbell in some barely reheated analysis of archetypes. It's really funny that he runs around on television talking about the scientific method because his work doesn't embody it at all, and the fact that he projects his own shortcomings as a scholar onto the "postmodern neo-Marxist" fields that he purports to critique would be hilarious if it weren't for the fact that his influence is frightening.

But that's perhaps a side issue.

Elsewhere, you mock the idea that Beowulf or Hamlet have anything to tell us about David Copperfield, and I find the fact that you would mock that idea really telling. Part of it is how you phrase the inquiry. I'm not interested in asking what Hamlet would do in David Copperfield's shoes. But I am interested in making connections between different bodies of literature and different kinds of ideas. It's a fundamental part of literary study. Go take a look at Daniel Heller-Roazen's books, like The Inner Touch: Archaeology of a Sensation. The greatest characteristic of literature is not how inapplicable any one work is to any other but how works of literature across many time periods and places wrestle with similar questions. I'm not interested in asking what characters would do in one another's shoes.

6/?

Stark_Naked
Stark_Naked

But I can't help but find your choice of examples funny, given that both Beowulf and Hamlet are kings from the Scandinavian heroic/mythological tradition. I wouldn't ask what one would do in another's shoes, but surely there are other questions we might ask about the limits of power, about what it means to be a king, about treachery.

A side issue of all of this is that psychology itself demonstrates that many of its conclusions are bound by context. I work on early medieval literature, and I'd highly recommend Leslie Lockett's book, Anglo-Saxon Psychologies in the Vernacular and Latin Traditions. I promise it's not full of the Freudian and Lacanian nonsense you're so bothered by. But it makes an important point. Our understanding of psychology and theories of mind are often based within particular cultural horizons that may not be shared by the literature we read. Lockett explores what literature has to tell us about the understanding of psychology by people living in early medieval England, and unsurprisingly, their theory of mind differs a lot from ours, nor can we run experiments on early medieval people for the simple reason that they aren't around.

Psychology offers a set of tools for approaching literature (and I would agree that it is a set of tools that hasn't been adequately taken advantage of by literary theory), but you need to understand that the paradigms and norms that shape how we think about literature are not and should not be the same as those that shape how we think about psychology.

7/7

farquit
farquit

Who are these?

Inmate
Inmate

Freud left, Jung right.

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Gigastrength
Gigastrength

didn't read lol

Crazy_Nice
Crazy_Nice

kek

viagrandad
viagrandad

His ideas are literally true.
his ideas are falsifiable. He gives us a nice story that sounds valid, sound and cogent.
His theories on dreams,
disproven, or still contentious
repression, the unconscious, the ego/id/super-ego, and defence mechanisms are correct.
the unconscious has no scientific validity.

takes2long
takes2long

the unconscious has no scientific validity.
Get the fuck out of this thread stupid brainlet.

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Bidwell
Bidwell

will read later lmao

idontknow
idontknow

the unconscious has no scientific validity.
t. The Unconscious

likme
likme

How was MBTI entrenched without psychological types?

Playboyize
Playboyize

the Oedipus/Electra complexes have been debunked by neuroscience
How does that work? Neuroscience isn't really at the point where we can read minds yet.

Snarelure
Snarelure

Read everything, thanks user

TechHater
TechHater

is it worth the read?

w8t4u
w8t4u

con you recommend couple of books on literary criticism?

Inmate
Inmate

cuz daddy Peterson sucks the Jung cock

Poker_Star
Poker_Star

Maybe because of the "everything you do is because of lybidinose impulses" stupid thing?

PackManBrainlure
PackManBrainlure

It takes you two or three minutes to read all he said you fucking retard.

Snarelure
Snarelure

His theories on dreams, repression, the unconscious, the ego/id/super-ego, and defence mechanisms are correct
Unfalsifiable, therefore pseudoscience.

Flameblow
Flameblow

yeah but I'd rather not

Ignoramus
Ignoramus

The burden of proof is on you retard.

Dreamworx
Dreamworx

So you're saying that the uncoscious is a rehashed version of false-consciousness?

Bidwell
Bidwell

Lmao, you don't even understand what unfalsifable is. Embarassing post.

Burnblaze
Burnblaze

He was a cocke addict got his theories btfo and hijacked by his nephew Bernays who created the consumer amerimutt culture we all know today.

Dreamworx
Dreamworx

the unconscious has no scientific validity
What new level of retardation is this?

You know when you suddenly notice an insect crawling up your arm? That's when an unconscious sensory impression becomes conscious, you dolt.

hairygrape
hairygrape

Jung still has scientific merit

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Inmate
Inmate

I know you don't know anything about neuroscience

New_Cliche
New_Cliche

has anyone read freud's book about jokes? I'm interested in it

Crazy_Nice
Crazy_Nice

His ideas are literally true. His theories on dreams, repression, the unconscious, the ego/id/super-ego, and defence mechanisms are correct.
Nice claims, got anything to back them up?

w8t4u
w8t4u

normies are uncomfortable about how accurate his theory of Psychosexual Development is.

lostmypassword
lostmypassword

Because Freud rhymes with Pseud

Poker_Star
Poker_Star

ALL POPPERFAGS MUST HANG

memes aside psychoanalysis isn't actually unfalsifiable, it's just wrong

Methshot
Methshot

Yes, it says that daily jokes about Freud are caused by repression and supressed envy towards him

Methnerd
Methnerd

Freud < Jung < Allers

TurtleCat
TurtleCat

Freud (It) > Freud (Ego) > Freud (Super-Ego)

BlogWobbles
BlogWobbles

no it doesn’t. It’s pronounced “froid”

TechHater
TechHater

Fuck, he even has a Chad facial structure.

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JunkTop
JunkTop

Psoid

Lunatick
Lunatick

soidointellectual
nice

5mileys
5mileys

People shit on Freud for these reasons:

1. His Oedipus complex idea, which tends to be easily spun into a narrative that everything we do is based in some form of repressed sexual conduct, which is absurd.

2. The fact that many professors and scholars HAVE easily spun it into said narrative. Today, you can find "Freudian analyses" about everything — everything under the sun has been called a symbolism for the penis or vagina by some wingnut professor somewhere.

Gigastrength
Gigastrength

verything under the sun has been called a symbolism for the penis or vagina
...and this is a good thing!

Deadlyinx
Deadlyinx

CHAD Gustav Jung

Supergrass
Supergrass

Muh nuerostatistical inference

Methshot
Methshot

Decent, where is this from?

PurpleCharger
PurpleCharger

Based user, what is your opinion on Anna Freud and Klein? Also I’m pretty new to psychoanalytics. What would you recommend as a good summary of the field today? What are your must-reads?

Flameblow
Flameblow

Man and His Symbols for Jung, I haven’t started Freud tho.

haveahappyday
haveahappyday

No. These ideas are now embedded in our culture but they have no basis, reproduciblility, or consistency. They sound cool and neat, that's it. They're all wrong.

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