Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Freud: The Mind of the Moralist Third Edition Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Elsevier Sales & Deals
Save up to 50% on textbooks, study guides & resources for your medical specialty.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Philip Rieff remained obscure throughout his life (conservative to the point of being reactionary), producing a vast and profound work in the quarterlies, written mainly for culture elites (professional intellectuals and academics). He wrote in a condescending and hard to understand style with jargon derived from the Social Sciences. If he was unable to find a word to express his exact meaning he created a neologism. From 1950 to 1959 he was married to the soon to be famous radical chic political activist and literary icon, Susan Sontag. They had one son, David Rieff, a well known polemicist and pundit.
When this, his seminal work, came out in 1959 it was read in the groves of academe, and, on the strength of this book and his teaching reputation, Rieff was awarded a fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. He remained at UofP, a legendary figure in the classroom, until being forced by failing health to retire in 1993.
"Freud: The Mind of The Moralist" is impossible to summarize. A critic once remarked that reading Rieff is like "chewing ball bearings and finding the occasional cherry." This book is a rigorous exposition of the labyrinthine intellectual and moral implications of Freud's thought. Reading the footnotes alone is like attending a seminar in The History of Ideas. Rieff's erudition is staggering.Read more ›
As a social theory of it's own, this book was extremely prescient. As far as I can tell, Rieff is reading Freudian psychoanalysis as a response to the disenchantment of secularization, to the "death of God". The subject matter may be Freud, but the figures of Durkheim and Weber loom very large over the text.
Rieff's argument is that the loss of religion as both existential orientation and collective conscience means that the tools we have for coping with contingency and limitation have been fatally diminished. Freud's solution to the malaise is a rational one, a turn inwards to an examination of the psyche. But far from liberating us from the impediments of prejudice and tradition, Freud's inward turn was meant to be reconciliation with the inevitability suffering and constraint. The super-ego and the reality principle are the new bases of morality in a world without Gods. Hence, with fuller knowledge of our mental capacity, we are better able to accept our fate. This stands in stark contrast to the liberatory left-wing interpretations of psycho-analysis that Rieff later attacks in Triumph of the Therapeutic.
The paradox, however, is that with the interrogation of the mind, the process of secular rationalization has now rooted itself even deeper; inside the very inner life of the self. We are more trapped in the iron cage than ever.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If I could give a separate review for content quality and physical quality, I would (5 stars and 1 star!).
The content is really solid. Read more
Resisting therapy becomes the greatest irony as a way to avoid the kind of social antagonism Zoo Animal sings about in Folded Hands. Read morePublished on August 23, 2013 by Bruce P. Barten