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Similarities Between Freud’s and Lewis’ Life

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Section 1

Question 2

Similarities between Freud’s and Lewis’ life:

  • both of them had a great loss in their early ages:
    - Freud lost his sibling
    - Lewis lost his mother
  • they had surrogate mothers during their life
  • ambivalence took place in their life mostly caused by their father  thus they had ambivalent feelings toward the spiritual world as well
  • both of their families moved away
  • both of them got instructions of faith from their family
  • they became atheists in their teens
  • the source of their fond of philosophy came from significant authors:
    - Freud read Feuerbach, and was taught by Franz Brentano (philosopher and theologist)
    - Lewis by his teachers

Differences in their biographies:

  • Freud’s father was Orthodox Jew that he gave up practicing later
  • Freud lost his sibling but not his mother unlike Lewis
  • Lewis had more surrogate mothers through his life:
    - Miss Cowie in Cherbourg
    - Paddy’s mother
    - (Freud had only one: his nanny about whom he had repetitive dreams in his adult life)
  • Freud was exposed to Catholic practices by his nanny  her leaving made him disappoint in the religion as well which may indicated some part of his anger toward the spiritual worldview
  • Lewis’ brother took a serious place in his religious view: he made it look silly for him
  • Freud got attacks because of his religious origin (the anti-Semitism in Austria in the 19th century)
  • Lewis felt more isolated, sensitive and lonely in his life
  • Lewis had very unhappy experiences at his boarding school (brutal headmaster, loneliness)
  • Lewis experienced the battlefield’s terror, also the loss of his friend
  • Freud had more ethical and historical views

1.  In Freud’s own analysis, he observed feelings in himself like those of the “Oedipal complex” that he made famous.  How might this psychological dynamic of conflict with his father have influenced Freud with regard to a spiritual worldview? (See especially Nicholi, pp. 15-17,23-25.)

Freud said he was in love with his mother and saw his father as a rival against this belonging just like he described it generally as the ‘’Oedipal complex’’.  Its complex’s solution should be the identification with the father and absorbing his worldview in the hope of obtaining the mother. As we know, Freud’s father gave up his religious practices although he still read the bible for him. From Freud’s atheism I dare to conclude to this solution of the complex did not happen somehow.

7.  In the first chapter of The Future of an Illusion, Freud gives his characterization of the masses (e.g., pp. 8-9 in Norton ed.).  How would you describe his view of humanity?  Do you think it is accurate?

In his opinion, masses are lazy and unintelligent from nature so they have no instinctual renunciation. Thus they can’t be convinced because individuals basically support one another to rein to their indiscipline. However, there are some individuals that can perform work and renounce. The existence of society depends on them. They possess a superior insight into the necessities of life. This way they are the masters of instinctual wishes. Although, everything goes well in the mass with them they can also be dangerous if they give more to the mass then they get from it. My first question looking upon these lines was : how does one become an individual like this? Afterwards, Freud explains the two types of human characters and there we figure out their origin: upbringing.



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