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Civilization and Its Discontents Paperback – September 15, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) is one of the twentieth century's greatest minds and the founder of the psychoanalytic school of psychology. His many works include The Ego and the Id; An Outline of Psycho-Analysis; Inhibitions; Symptoms and Anxiety; New Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis; Civilization and Its Discontent, and others. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1453833897
  • ISBN-13: 978-1453833896
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #886,423 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I found this really interesting, Freud takes his theories about the psyche and stretches them as far as they can go, asking what, if anything is the mental state of civilization. What its components are, how they interact with each other and what happens when they clash with one another. A lot of these observations seem really obvious, but he approaches them in a way which shows how so much of how we live our day to day lives is based on this weird sense of dissatisfaction with the world that we might ultimately need in order to really function as people. And, as with Moses and Monotheism, he's got enough humility and appreciation for how huge his tasks here are to admit that he might not have it all figured out. It's a really great sociological book to read if you don't care for sociology per se
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Excellent thought provoking book that casts a new light on your perception of civilization and the individual's love/hate relationship with it. Not to nit pick, but the death instinct and the libido are not in "constant" opposition, but a bit of both can always be found in each one's expression. For example, the cold pleasure of self destruction and the aggressiveness of the sexual act. This is not my "take" on it so to speak, but discussed extensively by Freud himself in his other works, where he even gives eating as an example. (The destruction of outside organic matter to sustain life.) Regarding libido and death instincts as polar opposites is a simplification that, oddly enough, makes things more confusing.
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I read this in my youth at which time it seemed to have a great impression on me. Re-reading it now 60 yrs later, it is still of interest, but not so impressive, since many of Freud's concepts are now commonplace.
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CIVILIZATION AND ITS DISCONTENTS -- by Dr. Sigmund Freud (1930)

[Why wasn't THIS on anyone's high school, college or graduate school reading list?]

I thought Freud only wrote about sex and psyche. Here he takes on the "discontents" of civilization which has always been praised and beatified to us as the highest embodiment of Homo sapiens sapiens accomplishment. Freud does buy into that, but he is also pretty clear-eyed about the 'discontents' that befall human civilization.

And, yes, there is also sex and psyche within.

It is a very readable and accessible book. 144 pages. (I wonder why "THEY" didn't want us to read this?)]

EXCERPTS:

"The bit of truth behind all this - one so eagerly denied - is that men are not gentle, friendly creatures wishing for love, who simply defend themselves if attacked, but that a powerful measure of desire for aggression has to be reckoned as part of their instinctual endowment. The result is that their neighbor is to them not only a possible helper or sexual object, but also a temptation to them to gratify their aggressiveness on him, to exploit his capacity for work without recompense, to use him sexually without his consent, to seize his possessions, to humiliate him, to cause him pain, to torture and kill him. Homo hominine lupus; who has the courage to dispute it in the face of all the evidence in his own life and in history?

"This aggressive cruelty usually lies in wait for some provocation, or else it steps into the service of some other purpose, the aim of which might as well have been achieved by milder measures...man as savage beast to whom the thought of spring THEIR OWN KIND is alien.
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Format: Paperback
A bit complex as an introduction to Freud but a great look into his ideas. Civilization and its Discontents covers what Freud believes to be the psychological origins of civilization as well as its costs and benefits.

Full review linked here: [...]
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Format: Paperback
Despite the many years past its publishing. Very much relatable to many current cultural changes occurring in our modern day society. A must read for anyone interested in culture and Freudian thoughts.
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This book offers the the truth about the nature of civilization and why we all experience some level of neuroses. Be prepared to see everything in society more clearly.
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Freud is a household name for a reason. Right or wrong, he had an amazing ability for analysis and theory of the human mind. This is a "must read".
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