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The Ego and the Id (The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud) Paperback – September 17, 1990


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; The Standard Edition edition (September 17, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393001423
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393001426
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.4 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #144,403 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English
Original Language: German

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.

Peter Gay is the author of more than twenty-five books, including the National Book Award winner The Enlightenment, the best-selling Weimar Culture, and the widely translated Freud: A Life for Our Time. He lives in New York City.

Customer Reviews

Great Book Fabulous!
Nina N. Kassim
A pretty much intereting reading for anyone interested in the history of psychanalisys and in concepts already of working value.
Roberto P. De Ferraz
I thought the first two chapters and the last chapter of the book were pretty good and had a lot of interesting insights.
Brian C.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Roberto P. De Ferraz on April 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
Despite being a very small book, with good introduction and preface, this is not an easy book to read and in my opinion the more the reader is well acquainted with the evolution of Freud's terminology the better. In this regard The Interpretation of Dreams is a prior reading which will give substance for the later reading of The Ego and the Id.

Some concepts already presented in earlier books are developed more soundly in this opus, despite some confusion between the terminology, a situation acknowledge by the editor and even by the author.
The Ego and the Id was written in 1924 and, contrary to some earlier books by Freud which could be read by the lay person (" The Interpretation of Dreams" , "The Psychopathology of Every Day Life" , "Jokes and Their Relations with the Unconscious" , " Totem and Taboo" and many others), this one was not written for the non-scientific person, due to a lot of psychanalitical lingo he uses in the text and the difficulty faced in the conceptualization.
Despite all this, I think it is an useful reading to everyone interested in the history and theory of psychanalisys. The figth between the Id (which equals the Unconscious plus some conscious departments), the Ego (mainly inputed by senses perception) and the Ideal Ego (or Super-ego), who represents a kind of moral agency who reviews and criticizes all the actions by the Ego, is of special beauty and are quintessential Freudian. A pretty much intereting reading for anyone interested in the history of psychanalisys and in concepts already of working value.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By M. A. ZAIDI on November 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
Id- Unconscious part of the mind which consists of natural instincts, urges, and drives that are repressed. It includes "internal events" which stem from the influence of heredity. Although the id is the cause of all activity, the thoughts are often unconscious and repressed. The id represents biological forces. It is also a constant in the personality as it is always present. The id is governed by the "pleasure principle", or the notion of hedonism (the seeking of pleasure).
Ego- A defense mechanism that is partly conscious and contains the capacities to calculate, reason, and plan. As the Id relates to internal events, the Ego is occupied with the external world. Its task is to regulate and control the instincts provided by the id. However, in times of sleep, the ego detaches itself from the outside world and changes, its organization. The prime function of the ego is determined by the individuals experiences. The ego is the surface of the personality, the part you show the world. The ego is governed by the "reality principle ," or a pragmatic approach to the world. For example, a child may want to snitch a cookie from the kitchen, but will not if a parent is present. Id desires are still present, but the ego realizes the consequences of brazen cookie theft.
Super-ego- the connection between the id and ego. The super ego is the minds link to reality and society. It contains the influence of what is learned from other people. The super-ego, unlike the id, is not intuitive from birth, but acquired from childhood. Once established, one begins to feel guilt. The superego consists of two parts, the conscience and the ego-ideal. The conscience is the familiar metaphor of angel and devil on each shoulder. The conscience decides what course of action one should take.
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50 of 60 people found the following review helpful By rareoopdvds VINE VOICE on January 31, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sigmund Freud is not known for his easy-to-read writing style. Those that translated Freud's works have recently been under fire for being misleading or inaccurate. When I set out to read this book, I felt it neccessary to make as many notes neccesary and to dig beneath and between to bring out what Freud really meant by "ego" and "id." To my conclusion, the reason Freud is argued against so much is because of the confusion that surrounds his theories.
The words "ego" and "id" are Greek, and we have carried them into the English language and then nominalized. By doing this our consciousness solidifies them as things within our brains. The word "ego" means "I" or "self". The word "id" means "non-I" or "non-self", or "it." We dont say "the I" when we refer to ourselves. But so often we say "the ego" as if to refer to a specific part or thing of our minds.
The other confusion that adds to nominalization is then believing the rest of the book is about things in space. Yet, Freud specifically says, "The state of things which we have been describing can be respresented diagramatically, though it must be remarked that the form chosen has no pretensions to any special applicability, but is mere intended to serve for purposes of exposition (p. 18)." What Freud is saying is that in order to communicate clearly what is happening in ones psyche, or mind, there needs to be a working model of the psyche.That is to say, a model meaning a diagram with its parts that do not act as the psyche itself (or of reality), but shows what the psyche consists of. He does this by discerning that which is "descriptive," and that which is "dynamic." The descriptive only describes through language or imaginative use, while dynamic is more at the process that actually occurs.
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The Ego and the Id (The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud)
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