Civilisation and Its Discontents

Author(s) : Sigmund Freud, Editor : Adam Phillips

Part of New Penguin Freud series - more in this series

Civilisation and Its Discontents

Book Details

  • Publisher : Penguin Books
  • Published : January 2002
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 144
  • Category :
    Psychoanalysis
  • Catalogue No : 85611
  • ISBN 13 : 9780141182360
  • ISBN 10 : 0141182369

Also by Sigmund Freud

Also by Adam Phillips

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In what remains one of his most seminal papers, Freud considers the incompatibility of civilisation and individual happiness, and the tensions between the claims of society and the individual. We all know that living in civilised groups means sacrificing a degree of personal interest, but couldn't you argue that it in fact creates the conditions for our happiness? Freud explores the arguments and counter-arguments surrounding this proposition, focusing on what he perceives to be one of society's greatest dangers; 'civilised' sexual morality. After all, doesn't repression of sexuality deeply affect people and compromise their chances of happiness?

About the Author(s)

Sigmund Freud was born in 1856 in Moravia; from 1860 until Hitler's invasion of Austria in 1938 he lived in Vienna. He was then forced to seek asylum in London, where he died the following year. He began his career as a doctor, specialising in work on the anatomy and physiology of the nervous system. He was almost thirty when his interests first turned to psychology, and during ten years of clinical work in Vienna he developed the practice of what he called ""psychoanalysis"". This began simply as a method of treating neurotic patients by investigating their minds, but it quickly grew into an investigation of the workings of the mind in general, both ill or healthy. Freud demonstrated the normal development of the sexual instinct in childhood and, largely on the basis of an examination of dreams, arrived at his fundamental discovery of the unconscious forces that influence our everyday thoughts and actions. Freud's ideas have shaped not only many specialist disciplines, but have also influenced the entire intellectual climate of the last century.

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Adam Phillips is a psychoanalyst and a visiting professor in the English Department at the University of York. He is the author of several well-known volumes, all widely acclaimed, including On Kissing, Tickling and Being Bored, Going Sane, Side Effects and recently On Kindness, co-written with historian Barbara Taylor, On Balance, Missing Out and One Way and Another.

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