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What do we know about Sigmund Freud's theories? Show more Show less
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Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), commonly referred to as "the father of psychoanalysis" was an Austrian neurologist and is generally recognized as one of the most influential and authoritative thinkers of the twentieth century. He remains a well-recognised figure and he and his ideas are still frequently referenced in pop culture. Freud has been influential in two related but distinct ways. He simultaneously developed a theory of the human mind and human behaviour, as well as clinical techniques for attempting to help neurotics. He popularised the ideas of the unconscious, defense mechanisms, Freudian slips and dream symbolism, while also making a long-lasting impact on fields as diverse as literature, film, Marxist and feminist theories, literary criticism, philosophy and psychology.

Much of what we know comes from pop culture Show more Show less

Freud remains an influential figure and trope in popular culture.
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Words and sayings

A huge amount of sayings that are now common parlance come from Freud and his theories.
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As WH Auden wrote after Freud's death, "To us he is no more a person / now but a whole climate of opinion."[1]

The Argument

“More than dead Hitler or Lenin, Roosevelt or Kennedy, more than Picasso, Eliot, or Stravinsky, more than the Beatles or Bob Dylan, Freud's influence on modern culture has been profound and long-lasting.”[2] Phrases we can thank Freud for include: Mommy and daddy issues. Arrested development. Death wishes. Freudian slips. Phallic symbols. Anal retentiveness. Defense mechanisms. Cathartic release. Oedipus complex. Denial. Id, ego and super-ego. Libido. Death wishes. Anal retentiveness. Defence mechanisms. Displacement. Phallic symbols. Projection. Transference. And Freudian slips. Are all in common parlance and started with Freud. It's not just Freud's terminology that persists, he's an adjective in his own right.[1]

Counter arguments


[P1] Freud's theories have lent us a huge amount of common sayings.

Rejecting the premises



This page was last edited on Monday, 23 Mar 2020 at 12:55 UTC


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