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Sigmund Freud

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Sigmund Freud was born on May 6, 1856 in Freiberg, Moravia in 1856. When he was four years old his family moved to Vienna. Due to his Jewish heritage, Freud left for England when the Nazi's took control of Austria. Freud always considered himself first and foremost a scientist, endeavoring to extend the compass of human knowledge, and to his end, he enrolled at the medical school at the University of Vienna in 1873.

Sigmund Freud elaborated the theory that the mind is a complex energy-system, the structural investigation of which is proper province of psychology. He articulated and refined the concepts of the unconscious, of infantile sexuality, of repression, and proposed a tri-partite account of the mind's structure, all as part of a radically new conceptual and therapeutic frame of reference for the understanding of human psychological development and the treatment of abnormal mental conditions. Freud's innovative treatment of human actions, dreams, and indeed of cultural artefacts as invariably possessing implicit symbolic significance has proven to be extraordinarily fecund, and has had massive implications for a wide variety of fields, including anthropology, semiotics, and artistic creativity and appreciation in addition to psychology.


Sigmund Freud concentrated originally on biology, doing research in physiology for six years under the great German scientist Ernest von Brucke. After that he focused in neurology. While at the university, in 1874 he discovered anti-Jewish prejudices and declared his place is "with the opposition." He traveled to Manchester, Britain, to see his half brother, Philippe, and his niece Pauline, in 1875. The following year he did his first personal research in Trieste, on sexual glands of anguilas. That sane year he joined Brucke's laboratory. In 1877, Freud published the end result of his anatomical research on the central nervous system of a specific larva. In 1880, he did a year of military service. Freud received his medical degree in 1881. Having become engaged to be married in 1882, he rather unwillingly took up more dependable and financially rewarding work as a doctor at Vienna General Hospital. Shortly after his marriage in 1886, which was extremely happy, and gave him six children, the youngest of whom, Anna, was herself to become a distinguished psychoanalyst. He discovered the analgesic properties of cocaine. Freud himself used cocaine as a tonic but prescribed it to his friend Fleischl who was addicted to morphine. He was criticized in medical circles. He started treating nervous disorders by means of electro-therapy. He at the same time invented a method for coloring neurologic preparations for the microscope and published an article on that and a monograph on coke. In 1885, he held a brief position in a private clinic where hypnosis was used. He was awarded a grant for a study tour and chose to go to Paris. When he returned to Vienna, Freud experimented with hypnosis, but found that its positive effects did not last. In 1990, he published The Interpretation of Dreams, which is regarded as his greatest work, and this was followed in 1901 by The Psycho-pathology of Everyday Life and in 1905 by Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality. In 1909, he was invited to give a course of lectures in the United States, which formed the basis of his 1916 book Five Lectures on Psycho-Analysis. From this point on Freud's reputation and fame grew enormously, and he continued to write industriously until his death, producing in all more than twenty volumes of theoretical works and clinical studies. He immigrated to England just before World War II when Vienna became an increasingly dangerous place for Jews. After a life of incredible enthusiasm and creative productivity, he died of cancer in 1939.

Contributions and Ideas

Sigmund Freud's Psychoanalytical Theory states that sexual desires serve as the primary motivator for all of our actions and our psychological development. It also states that there are three divisions of personality structure and that the attributes that define our personality lie in our unconscious. According to Freud, psychosexual development plays an essential role in the development of our individual personalities and in defining who we are. It is divided into five stages, including a latent stage in which sexual development halts and sexual desires become dormant. Successful completion of each stage will be followed by forward advancement on to the next stage, while unsuccessful completion of a stage will cause one to develop negative fixations on elements that are particular to that stage of development and contributes to an unhealthy personality. Freud's theory divides human personality into three sectors: Id, Ego, and Superego. The Id is the part of our personality, which we are born with. The Id is selfish, cares only about its own necessities, and demands immediate gratification. It is motivated by primal impulses such as sex, hunger, and anger. The Ego



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