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Civilization and Its Discontents (The Standard Edition) (Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud) Hardcover – January 17, 2005


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Product Details

  • Series: Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (January 17, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393059952
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393059953
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #566,634 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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4 1-hour cassettes --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

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Customer Reviews

I got this book for required reading for a Coursera class.
Jane Newhagen
I made a bad decision trying to save a dollar or two when I could have purchased an edition that was actually legible.
Peter
It is for most a reference book, however the content is such that it can be read even though mostly in small sections.
Mr. Peter T. Bill

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Steiner VINE VOICE on July 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
`Civilization and its Discontents' is Freud's miniature opus. It is a superficial masterpiece that stretches further than any of his other works; he is reaching for an explanation for human nature in terms of the id-ego-superego structure of the individual as he exists in civilization. For Freud, human beings are characterized by Eros (Sex Drive) and Thanatos (Death Drive), which remain in opposition to one another. This small book is filled with as many interesting ideas as any work of modern philosophy. Freud adopts (perhaps a bit hastily), a Nietzschean position with regard to the role of religion and institutions of social morality which curb and shape primordial human drives. As a result, human beings, and civilizations as a whole remain unsatisfied and suffer from neuroses. He concludes with a discussion of human aggression, which manifests itself in the form of communalized human aggression. He wonders as to whether or not human beings will be able to overcome this drive. It seems to me that this question remains the most important for human beings in the 21st century. Will we be able to overcome our Thanatos and survive the destructive powers that we have created? I suspect that Freud will be better remembered as a thinker and philosopher than as an analyst or doctor precisely because he asks the questions that remain relevant for civilization today, and are likely to remain imperative in the future.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jack Ragsdale on December 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Freud continued writing into his old age. The three books* of this period are highly suitable for the general reader, that is, every seeker of knowledge.In 1930 when he was 74, He wrote "Civilization and Its Discontents" which, in its first words, scolds us gently. Our judgments are faulty. We fail to recognize and respect greatness; we allow ourselves to be misled--our oceanic, sensation of eternity to be misdirected. The subject matter in this book touches such diversities as the world's problems, religion, happiness and guilt with the deft hand.
Louis Menand's introduction contains valuable information on Freud's work, and Peter Gay's "Brief Life" tells of the author's origins and life. This book may be called "popular" in the best sense of that word.
*The Future of an Illusion, Civilization and Its Discontents & Thomas Woodrow Wilson a Psychological Study
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By whj on August 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Whether you agree with Freud's psychoanalytical theories or not, there is no dispute over his intelligence, insight, and his eloquence. In this short book, he explains the conflicts civilization process created in individual psyche. Basically, he argues that the civilization's aim in uniting community in order to avoid sources of suffering imposes restrictions on individual liberty (of origin is libido--pleasure principle) which becomes the main source of discontents. He also warns about the danger of a powerful group with control over the force of nature which can potentially eliminate some human beings, which is rather prophetic considering the Nazi's presenct in Europe shortly after publication of this book. His logic is very tight according his main theories (structural theory, mainly), and writing is precise and eloquent. Just Brilliant.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Reader on May 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is arguably Freud's best work, in the sense that it covers issues that are absolutely timeless in the most straightforward manner possible. Not inflected with Freud's theories on trauma, gender, or hysteria, this book is a pure distillation of the un-get-around-able question: How do we balance our our visceral desires with out need to get along? How do the sacrifices we make in order to live in society affect our primal selves? And are they worth it?

Written in the wake of a devastating war, this book contains a streak of intelligent, wary pessimism that's hard to counter.

In the lineage of lasting works that address the question of balancing desires with responsibilities, urges with laws, this book comes after Euripides' "The Bacchae" and Nietzsche's "The Birth of Tragedy" for me. It's a compelling read and re-read.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Grant A. Knarr on February 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A good book though a little wordy at times. Follows a train of thought from time to time just to illustrate that it's a dead end. Does it a lot to be honest.
The struggle to transform the inner primate into the higher being and all the twists and turns that lead men astray. To supress, to deny, to self-loathe, the fear of acceptance. "Civilization and Its Discontents" discusses the very dilemna of humanity's persistent emptiness and seemingly futile attempts to become an "enlightened" race and proposes the idea that the answer may very well lie in a simplistic new perception of where we come from and where we are going.
A satisfying read that I would recommend to anyone intrusted in the study of psychology/sociology and the dynamic evolution of consciousness.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the last of Sigmund Freud's writings. It is very short compared to his other books. I've read this one several times and It has greatly influenced how I see Individuals and society as a whole.
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By Ivanna Cacho on March 19, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In love with Freud more than ever!
Really interesting content!
Great for independent reading or for class. Got it for a class but for sure im going to read it again and again!
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