¶ … Freud and the existentialists are too pessimistic about human nature? Are humanistic psychologists closer to the truth, or too optimistic?
According to Freud, all desire is a form of displacement. First, the young boy desires his mother. However, unable to realize this desire because of societal conventions, he shifts the focus of his affection to another woman and tries to become like his father instead and find a substitute mother/woman. Similarly, the young girl shifts her desire for a penis onto a male, which becomes her way of 'having' a penis. Both developmental trajectories result in the child similarly never having the thing he or she truly wants. However, this form of repression is necessary to prevent incest and repression of all kinds is required for human society to function. For Freud, society is an inevitable series of compromises: the id (and the ego, which satisfies the id's desires) is always at war with the superego, which relegates individuals to a state of constant denial. To be alive is to be neurotic or in a constant state of conflict....
"The Id accounts for 90% of who we are. It is unconscious and therefore unknown to us, but it shapes our conscious life and sometimes even dominates the Ego. We then become neurotic" when the id is denied ("Theories of human nature," n.d.).
Existentialists similarly see human beings in a state of conflict with their environments. Sartre famously stated that "existence precedes essence" ("Theories of human nature," n.d.). Rather than essentializing human nature, Sartre believed that human beings had the potential to be free of constraints, but that they had tremendous difficulty exercising this freedom. "The reality of our freedom is good and bad -- it creates anguish, it leads us to self-deception as we try to avoid our freedom. We must struggle against having our lives determined by the others -- this is inauthentic" ("Theories of human nature," n.d.). In stark contrast to Freud, Sartre sees external pressures and determination not as negative but as a threat to human freedom. Human beings create barriers for themselves that hem in that freedom. These barriers only exist in their own head and are not necessary.
Although Freud and Sartre have very different views of human nature, both see most human beings as effectively in conflict with themselves and with society. For Freud, natural desires are inevitably going to clash against…
The boy had conflicting religious training. Officially, he was Catholic, but his grandfather's Protestantism influenced him greatly. He learned little of the major philosophers of the day because they were not given attention at the French university of the time, but he would encounter them later when he was in his twenties. He passed his written examination for the agregation on his second try and fulfilled his military service
This work provided an intensive discussion historical forces that were to lead to modern humanism but also succeeds in placing these aspects into the context of the larger social, historical and political milieu. . Online sources and databases proved to be a valid and often insightful recourse area for this topic. Of particular note is a concise and well-written article by Stephen Weldon entitled Secular Humanism in the United States.
Existentialism: A History Existentialism is a philosophical school of thought that addresses the "problem of being" (Stanford Encyclopedia, 2010). Existentialist questions involve the nature of man in relation to the universe, the subjective nature of "I" versus the objective "we," the creation and measure of meaning in a world with no intrinsic meaning, standards of morality in the absence of Divine Law (God), and the creation and measure of success in
role of Islam as a unifying force Perhaps more than any other religion in the world, Islam has put to work its less obvious sense in order to unify the peoples sharing the same belief. Through its art, its common language and its judicial system that has the Koran teachings at its base, Islam was a unifying force among the Arabic peoples of the Arabic Peninsula, Northern Africa and the
Socrates, "The unexamined life is not worth living (rdg.uk)." It is for this reason that a critical examination of our most fundamental beliefs about truth and reality whether right or wrong becomes an important undertaking (rdg.uk). The examination of major life perspectives challenges as well as helps us to better establish many of our own assumptions about life (rdg.uk). We should all be concerned with how different views of
Both Existential and Transpersonal psychologies have this in common, a respect for and utilization of Eastern techniques to reach a state of stress-free maintenance of human psychological health. But the differences lie in their origins. While Transpersonal psychologies are related to the Eastern or Western indigenous epistemologies, Existential-Humanistic psychologies have a Freudian origin, coming through Freud and his descendents. While Transpersonal psychology is considered to be a "fourth force" in psychology,